The harbour city of ancient Rome, which was abandoned when the shoreline moved. Beautiful mosaics on the floor of the old baths, a necropolis, virtually intact buildings, and relatively few visitors.
Metro to Piramide and then train to Ostia Antica; www.ostia-antica.org/
Rome’s rice croquette. Originally conceived as a way to use up leftovers, it consists of a mixture of rice, mozzarella and tomato paste in a crust of deep-fried breadcrumbs. More often found in bars and snack bars than in restaurants. Hard to stop at just one.
What appears to be just another medieval church (which has excellent mosaics) sits above a fourth-century church which in turn sits above an even older pagan Temple of Mithras and underground spring. Not for the claustrophobic.
A couple of hundred yards from the Colosseum.
The villa of the powerful Borghese family. Not only the gardens are wonderful, the villa itself boasts some of the most famous works of the Baroque era. Some of the best Bernini sculptures are there. Booking required.
Entrance: Piazzale Museo Borghese; www.ticketeria.it/ticketeria/borghese-eng.asp
Every morning this gorgeous piazza hosts a food market. I am not going to be able to do it justice. It is full of tomatoes, chillies, fruit, garlic, onions. But not as we know them. The bland unripe unseasonal rubbish that you find on the shelves of British supermarkets bears absolutely no relation to the stuff you can buy (for pennies) in Campo dei Fiori.
For a cheap lunch just come here early, buy a few tomatoes and some foccaccia, stuff them in your bag, and eat them at a Bernini fountain in nearby Navonna while laughing at the fessi (gullible ones) who have paid through the nose to eat tourist junk at the inauthentic cafes.
At Campo dei Fiori of course. Just north of the Jewish ghetto along the east bank of the Tiber
The legend is that if throw a coin over your shoulder into the Trevi fountain, you will return to Rome! It worked for me! Eat an ice cream whilst sitting there. Famous for most celebrated sequence, Ekberg splashing in the fountain, in Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita.
Down Via del Corso follow the signs for Fontana di Trevi, it's to the right.
Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma
Directions: near Via Del Corso and Via del Tritone Underground exit: Barberini Buses 52,53,61,62,63,71,80,95,116,119,175,492, and 630 exit Via del Tritone
The most surprising is what you see if you look through a keyhole in the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta on the Aventine hill. You can’t miss the door. There’s always someone peering through it. And I won’t ruin the surprise. Open 10-11am Sat.
Priorito di Malta, 3 Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta; Tel: 06 6758 1234
The Palatine Hill is worth visiting for its own sake as well as being the place to buy a ticket to get you in to the Colosseum. More relaxing than the Roman forum below and a nice place for a picnic if you're there at lunchtime.
Along with Ostia, Antica and the Parthenon one of my Rome highlights. Amazing site with gardens, mosaics, statues and ruins of a magnificent holiday villa, theatre and baths built by the emperor Hadrian. And like Ostia and unlike the sites in Rome itself, relatively crowd free.
Get there by bus from Tivoli
This is Rome's oldest 'gelateria' (ice cream shop). They make the most delicious ice cream, so creamy and so many different flavours to choose from. Buy an ice cream and go to Piazza della Rotonda (where the Pantheon is) and enjoy it while watching the world go by. Not to be missed, not even in winter!
via Uffici del Vicario, 40
Bloody good pizza. The service can be a bit unfriendly, and they rush you a bit, but the pizza is worth it. The location, not far from Piazza Navona, is great as well. It's listed in all the guide books.
Via Governo Vecchio 114, behind Piazza Navona.
We got a very romantic apartment perched above the gossipy little streets of Trastevere with this company, and for only 75 euro a night. It was cheaper than a hotel and much better, because there are no hotels to speak of in this fabulously relaxed district. Frescoes on the ceiling, a great rooftop balcony and all the pavement restaurants below a short stumble away. It absolutely made the holiday.
This part of Rome is much quieter and on a smaller scale than much of the main part of the city. It's on the west side of the Tiber and south of the Vatican and has many small restaurants and boutiques - a few too many perhaps. It's a little reminiscent of Florence and the narrow cobbled streets still contain many picturesque old houses.
You always have to queue so get there one hour early and walk through all the rooms directly to the Sistine Chapel, ignore the rest or do another time; then you arrive ahead of the crowds able to glory in it without the noise and hub-bub. Many people take mirrors to look down into to save their necks.
One of the best views in Rome is from the Pincio, above Santa Maria del Popolo, which has two magnificent Caravaggios, including the Crucifixion of St Peter and Conversion of St Paul.
South west of the Villa Borghese, above Piazza del Popolo.
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