Visit the Vatican and the eat here. Off the tourist track and a short walk away. Fantastic dining with great rustic food and wonderful atmosphere.
Best fine dining I've had in a while. This place is a gastronomic delight. Great food, beautifully presented, fantastic service and the wine list just superb! Located in a palazzetto, the interior is just stunning.
Best pastries and coffee when you need a break with the family from sightseeing. It's a foodie's paradise with cakes beautifully presented and great service.
Via del Governo Vecchio, 12 00186 Rome, Italy
Google map: bit.ly/gVgsy5
We found this hotel in Rome's center, amazing price and friendly staff, we were satisfied. An excellent quality price hotel. Basic but very clean double room. Perfect location for the public transportation.
I was born in Puglia, lived most of my life near Florence, but my preferred city in Italy is Rome, mainly because it is more enjoyable as tourist than Florence or Venice. An espresso in Florence can cost up to €5 served at the table. In Piazza Navona in Rome I have been charged €1.
In summer Rome’s most beautiful piazzas provide the backdrop for a programme of concerts for vocal quartets. Songs from the Roman repertoire and opera arias, with intermezzos on the piano will take tourists on a magical journey through the history of music drama and the best-loved classics of the Italian repertoire.
Find details, plus restaurant and hotel ideas, at en.turismoroma.it
Benedetto's B&B is just outside Rome's city centre and away from all the chaos and the traffic. The road it's located on is a tranquil, private road.
The room was bright and welcoming, and Benny's also has a small pool on a sunny terrace, a piano and a fireplace.
The owner is friendly and happy to share the apartment with you, and he's full of help and suggestions.
The most visited attraction in Italy, the grandeur of Rome’s Colosseum seems barely untouched by the endless tourists that come to take its picture, the endless traffic that must begrudgingly detour around it and the endless decay that has come from centuries of pillage and rampage.
As a local, I see the Colosseum almost every day but nothing will take away the strength of my first impression of stumbling across it floodlit at night as I emerged from the Colosseo Metro station. And even if some days I can take it for granted, taking time out to go and appreciate it properly is still something I do on a regular basis.
While the lavish days of gladiator battles may be long gone, the Colosseum still evokes an aura of majesty and if you stand inside and close your eyes, you can still imagine the shouts of the crowds inside as they watched the spectacles of the gladiators fighting wild animals and each other o face death or glory.
Built by captive Jews at the end of the first century for Emperor Vespasian, it was originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre, built on the same wetlands as the Roman Forum, which stands alongside it. Its inauguration was an unforgettable show of lavish display lasting 100 days and involving the deaths of many thousands of gladiators and 5000 wild beats.
The building is oval shaped and stood at four storeys high, its facade made of travertine stone. There are three circular tiers each made up of its distinctive arches, 80 on each tier. The ones along the bottom were the original doorways. Once inside, an estimated 80,000 spectators took their free seats around the arena which was 253 feet by 153 feet, their seating depending on their social position.
The arena was open air, but there was a huge canopy ‘the velarium’ which was extended across on ropes to protect the crowd from the sun. Ceasar had his own royal box, surrounded by his consuls and officials whilst the only women allowed in were the Vestal Virgins and the Empress.
Underneath the arena there were elaborate systems of pulleys and machinery to bring the caged exotic animals such as tigers, hippos, crocodiles, elephants and bears into the arena from the tunnels below to fight their bloody battles for the pleasure of the crowd. One of the most heart-wrenching events was when prisoners sentenced to death were let loose into the arena, and given weapons with which to kill each other.
After the crowd were warmed-up with preliminaries, it was time for the real battles of gladiator combat. These were often fights to the death, but if a gladiator was badly injured, he could appeal to the crowd for mercy. If the crowd felt he had fought well and deserved to live, the crowd gave a ‘thumbs up’ sign. Often gladiators were slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. A successful gladiator could expect riches and a life of privilege.
These barbaric practices were eventually stopped around 3rd century with the advent of Christianity. As the saying goes, “While stands the Colosseum, then Rome shall stand ” but despite earthquakes, plundering (much of its materials were taken to build other monuments in Rome such as St. Peter’s Basilica) and general neglect (at one time it was used as a stone quarry), the building is still remarkably intact.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get there is to take the Metro Line B to Colosseo. Otherwise it’s a short walk or bus ride from Piazza Venezia, passing through the ruins of the Forum down Via , controversially built by Mussolini. Tickets 9 Euros (but also includes access to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill and it stays valid for two days.
Buy the Roma pass which is a combined discount card at any ticket booth around the city (23 euros and includes a free 3 day public transport pass and entrance into 2 museums including the Colosseum). Roma pass holders have a special entrance so avoid the queues. Otherwise buy your ticket at the Palatine Hill for shorter waiting times.
One of Rome’s highlights has to be climbing the Dome. Set off early in the morning on a clear day with a bottle of water and camera and prepare for a view of Rome that cannot be equalled.
Arrive in St. Peter’s Square and join the queue which forms at the security check. This queue does move quite quickly even if it seems long. Once through security, follow the path around to the Basilica, and head for the ticket office which is clearly signposted. You can opt to climb the whole way or take the lift which takes you to the first part and the roof area where you will find a small cafe.
Once you have reached this roof area, you then start your journey into the dome proper. Just at the start, there is an opportunity to walk around the base of the dome high inside the basilica, giving you a true sense of its scale when you see the tiny tourists below you.
Start the climb up varying staircases for a total of 330 steps. For the most part you follow spiral staircases, but there are also parts where you walk on a slight incline as the walls lean in forming their dome shape, and also very straight steep parts where there is a rope to help you keep your balance, until finally you emerge breathlessly to the top and the stunning views of Rome that meet you from every side.
Slowly make the 360 degree circle absorbing views of the Vatican gardens, the rear view of the statues that stand above the entrance to the Basilica, St Peter’s Square, Castle St Angelo and the cityscape of church domes, buildings, green spaces and the river that stretch out before you. At peak times it can be hard to look properly due to the sheer volume of people at the top, but don’t be hurried.
Then its time to start the descent down to the ground, to stand in St. Peter’s Square and look up at the top of the Dome to appreciate your hard work.
Hints and Tips:
At busy time, there will be a large queue on your right hand side after you have passed through security and headed round to the Basilica – this is the Dome queue – those passing on the left are going straight into the Basilica which is free to enter. This queue can be quite slow moving, and you are really advised to get here early (around 8.30am) not only to avoid a long wait, but also to enjoy the climb and the views at the top more easily.
Opening times are 8.30 to 4.45
It will cost you €4 to make the climb (or €7 if you use the lift at the start) Get your tickets at the office just next to the Basilica entrance, clearly marked after you have passed through security checks.
As with any visit to the Vatican, cover shoulders and do not arrive in shorts or a mini-skirt. You will not be allowed in. In hot weather, get into the habit of carrying a cardigan with you to put on as you enter churches around the city. apart for the decorum aspect, they can be quite cool inside.
St Peter's Basilica is in the St Peters Square, in the Vatican City. Nearest metro is Ottiviano or take the 64 or 62 bus.
Taking the tour underneath St Peter’s Basilica within the Vatican City is one that takes you to the very heart of the ancient Rome. The highlight has to be the visit to St Peter’s Tomb, a key symbol of Catholicism. The longstanding belief that St. Peter’s relics lay underneath is the reason that the present day Basilica and its predecessor which was built by Constantine was located here.
Take time to admire the street of mausoleums which is almost perfectly preserved and imagine it open to the elements as ancient Roman families came by to visit their families, often bringing picnics and wine to spend the day in the family vaults. Those that have been excavated reveal intricate mosaics and frescoes which are still brightly coloured even 1700 years later.
Sadly excavations stopped after just a few years as it was feared they could endanger the structure of the immense Basilica which has this area as its foundations so only a small area is revealed and open to the public.
Hints and Tips
As with any Vatican visit, keep shoulders covered and do not turn up in short or a mini skirt. You need comfortable shoes and layers are advised as the temperature underneath the Basilica is quite humid. This is NOT a tour for people with access needs or for those susceptible to claustrophobia. The tour lasts around 75 mins and you cannot take photos or bulky bags with you.
Booking your place:
This tour is not one that you can do spontaneously as you need to book it several weeks ahead. Email or fax your request to the Excavations Office and await your allocated time if a tour is available on your chosen date and in your chosen language. You will then need to pay immediately to confirm your place. Only people aged 15 or over are allowed on the tour and you must book directly as no reservations through agencies are allowed.
Send an email or fax that includes the following information:
The exact number of visitors and names
Language desired for the visit
The dates available during which the Office can arrange the visit (The precise time of the visit will be determined by the Excavations Office).
Contact information (an e-mail address, fax number, or full postal address) so that the Excavations Office may advise you about your visit
Cost: 12 euros per person (January 2010 price)
For more details about the tour, visit www.traveltalesfromrome.com
Fabbrica di San Pietro
00120 Città del Vaticano
Tel: 0039 0669885318
Fax: 0039 06 698 73017
Nearest Metro - Ottiviano
We arrived early and the staff were gracious and got us into a wonderfully large, well appointed room early at 11:00AM. After flying overnight it was much appreciated.
We loved the location. Quiet, yet easily walkable to the Via Veneto, the Spanish Steps and Metro.
The meal and view from the Mirabelle Terrace restaurant was delicious and breathtaking (if quite pricey)
We highly recommend this property and will be sure to return.
If you don't want to queue for hours book your Colosseum ticket before you go, on line.
We arrived at the Colosseum and found a long snake of a queue. For ticket holders you can head for a different ticket office with no queue.
This is highly recommended especially if you have children.
A mini-studio located right off Via Giulia the location is absolutely fantastic for a solo traveler or couple who like to be independent and explore on foot. Of course there are still lots of buses, but Via Giulia is great because central as it is, it's all restricted traffic and really preserves the traditional Roman feel. What I really found charming was not just the structure and general feel of the apartment, but the loving way the owner restored it. He's a true Roman who really appreciates his own history, which is refreshing, and he preserved as much of the original structure as possible, including brick arches and the ruins of no less than three ancient dwellings in the floor that are now on display with found artifacts under a glass tile in the floor. It's just like having a personal museum to come home to! Aside from that, the owner is absolutely the sweetest, speaks wonderful English, cares for his guests like family, and leaves all the little extras you wouldn't necessarily want to travel with (coffee, sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, etc) and leaves a lot of helpful info in the studio. It's comfortable, pretty, romantic, and in the best spot one could ask for. And the agency that rents it out is really pleasant too. I've used them before for friends and have always had positive results and perfect service so I do feel confident recommending them. It's also economical and a much better offer than B&B's in the area, and worth a stay!
I'd like to suggest you to contact Rome Sweet Home, we absolutely loved this apartment www.romesweethome.com/apartments-rental/rome/spanish-steps/corso-panoramic-terrace.asp and it made our stay in Rome extra special. What you might not have known is that this particular to visit was to mark our 40th wedding anniversary so we truly considered have this apartment to be a special gift.
I discovered this company back in 2006 and have since been back three times on their Italian cooking weekends, which are held in their beautiful restored 15th Century palazzo in the wonderful medieval hilltop village of Casperia. Three days of pleasure. From the moment we met on the Friday until we left, it was fun and hands on! I am a single traveller as were most of my fellow guests on my weekend and we all got on famously well. The lessons with Genni, Paula and Franco were just brilliant. The wine and olive oil tasting on the last night with Johnny and Carlo was the icing on the cake - magical. The palazzo and rooms are just wonderful, a perfect comfortable place to relax. Best of all the whole thing is a bit of secret.
It's a really nice place in Trastevere, and that's one of the best places to crash anyway. I've always liked it because it's where the locals chill and it's cool to get away from the usual tourist traps. The food in this area is really good and I know lots of Italians eat here too. Plus it's pretty and super easy to walk all over from here and not hassle with buses. Since the neighbourhood is so nice the roofdeck was super sweet to hang out on and bust out the local wine on. We can't get that quality back home and it was a great atmosphere to sample and enjoy that in without paying for a restaurant or bar. Plus the staff were made up of some of the most fantastic people and they were helpful explaining the general area and letting us know where to eat This was definitely a find, and a perfect compliment to a perfect trip.
Via Iacopa de' Settesoli 7 in Trastevere.
Il Bacaro is an awesome restaurant about five minutes from the Pantheon. Like a lot of places in the area it's not exactly cheap, but it's also not astronomically expensive, and for sure less pretentious than many places in the center. One thing really separates it from the competition; the quality of the food. Prepared fresh daily by skilled, caring personnel, as much love as time and effort go into cooking these fabulous dishes and makes all the difference in taste. Seasonal menus are also a bonus, meaning you only get food REALLY in season at the time. The pumpkin sauce is to die for, the meat delectable, and leaving without dessert may just be a cardinal sin.
They even have a menu on their site. I also have to give props to those who recommended it to me, my apartment rental booking agency, Leisure in Rome. Their English was so good, and they were so helpful and informative, right down to tipping me off about this little gem and others. I'll paste a link to the apartment I stayed in too, a surprisingly quiet place in the heart of Trastevere (lovely) that I absolutely felt at home in: www.leisureinrome.com/_apartments_in_rome-in-trastevere/Trastevere_apartment,S,399.html
For the first five-star hotel in Rome, the St. Regis sure has stood up nicely! Absolutely gorgeous, elegant, and everything one could want. I loved the butler service, it really made me feel pampered. I travel quite often for work and when breezing through amazing cities sometimes I just want to take a load off and let someone do the thinking for me. The exceptional service provided by the staff here, as well as the company I booked through, and the care, concern, and personal attention with which it was delivered definitely made me feel at home.
Travelling so much I hate leaving my dog at home, and they even accommodated him too, which I think was a very special treat :)
What really struck me upon entering is the sheer elegance, and the whole feeling of being transported to another century, with all the modern comforts I've gotten used to of course. And of course the central location was fabulous since I try to avoid public transport when I have to and this let me do so, while still being well connected enough that I wasn't obliged to walk everywhere (yes, you wonder if I can afford a five-star luxury hotel why not a taxi? I hate traffic and genuinely like to walk... so my dog is a good travel companion!).
People often knock the area around Termini, but it can be fabulous if you know where to go, and hopefully now some of you know :)
Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando 3
And my lovely booking agents with their site and photos: www.italiancollection.com/en/st-regis-grand-hotel-rome.html
Offering of short term apartment rentals in Rome is enormous. Many apartments can be booked directly other by rental agencies. I recommend like Mid-range apartments "BHR" distrct "Tiburtina": near underground B "Monti Tiburtini" street "Via dei Durantini"; good choice, not far from the city centre and "Tiburtina Station and Termini station", the price of accommodations varies from month to month and amount of tourists.
Via Dei durantini,www.bestholidayinrome.com,nearest Tiburtina station and underground B
I wanted to make sure the apartment I was booking had a private parking as I went to Italy by car and I know what a mess Rome is with parking!
I've visited a number of websites, but I really like feelhomeinrome's facilities section which is so comprehensive: this way you can compare much better and make sure you don't miss any of the requirements that are important to you.
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