Every Sunday there is a street market in Tastevere which is great fun. It covers four or five blocks and you can get everything from clothes and books to DVDs and statues. Everyone in our family could find something different and exciting and we have two nice oil paintings in our living room which we bought for less that £4 each.
Trastevere area - take the tram
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
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.
This may seem an odd thing to do in Rome, but you can visit here for a pot of English tea and a selection of cakes if the fancy takes you. It’s at the bottom of the Spanish steps and to the left as you face them. The rooms were opened in 1896 by the Babington sisters for homesick English travellers and now days also serves lunch. It’s a little pricey, but fun.
Piazza di Spagna, 23 00187; Tel: +39 06 678 6027
As you face the Spanish Steps, the house is at the bottom on the right. Keats spent his last days here, suffering from consumption, and you can see relics of him and Shelley in this memorial to the Romantic poets. When I visited, there was a shop next door named Byron, but I think this was purely coincidental.
Piazza di Spagna 26 00187; www.keats-shelley-house.org; Tel: +39 06 678 4235
The Castello Sofrzesco, an easy walk from the Duomo, was largely rebuilt during the 19th-century, so there is little left of the original medieval structure, but it now hosts an array of exhibitions. All of these can be visited for as little as three euros per person, under-18s get in free.
Piazza Castello, subway line 1 (red), Cairoli stop; www.milanocastello.it/ita/home.html
A typical "bolognese" restaurant in which to eat well, big quantity of food, spending very few. Also, Fantoni is located in a very nice pedestrian street full of "osterie" (the pubs typical of the area of Bologna, in which you can both drink both eat good dishes).
via del Pratello 11a (city center) Bologna 0039 051 236358
A palace with pictures crammed onto every inch of wallspace: founder of D-P family fortunes Innocent X (Velasquez' greatest portrait) has a room to himself while Caravaggio and Titian compete for attention elsewhere with Bernini and Raphael. Sumptuously decorated salons and a glittering mirrored gallery: space to wander and gaze without queueing or jostling crowds. Price of entrance (€8) includes excellent personal audioguide by Jonathan Pamphilj: art history interspersed with family anecdotes.
Piazza dei Collegio Romano no.2Tel: 066797323www.doriapamphilj.it
A tradional bar which serves the best authentic home made tartufo ice cream (chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks). One is enough for two.
Piazza Navona 28 Phone: 39 066 880 1996 In the middle on the northern side of the piazza.
Ice cream shop near the Forum with Rome’s, if not Italy's, largest selection of soy ice cream - 14 flavours, the chocolate-nut comes specially recommended.
Via dei Serpenti 28
Is this the best bar in the world? Well, it is set in a beautiful crumbling piazza, serves Frascati that will amaze you, does a nice line in salads and shows the Italian football on the TV indoors. All this without attracting too many tourists.
Pop into the Museum of Trastevere opposite, clock the art, come here after and have some frascati with a pear salad while pretending to read La Repubblica over your fake Gucci sunglasses. Now that's civilised.
The bar staff are really sexy too.
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
Rome is obsessed with football - even more so than most Italian cities - and a match at the Olimpico can be an exhilarating experience. The stadium itself is an interesting Mussolini-era construction that has typically grand avenues approaching it from the south, lined with statues of fascist heroes and paved with crumbling mosaics glorifying "Honour and Enemies". Inside, you will soon discover that Italian fans make the game a far louder and more colourful affair than their British counterparts. Tip 1 - sit in the tribuna along the side of the pitch rather than behind the goal (where the nutters congregate); Tip 2 - watch Roma rather than Lazio, who have neo-Nazi connections that may cause offence; Tip 3 - set off early as the stadium is shockingly badly served by the otherwise excellent public transport system.
Two miles north of Piazza del Popolo. You can take a bus there, but expect it to be rammed with supporters and make very slow progress through the Eternal City's eternal traffic jam
These are possibly the two best places to eat in Trastevere, and they're opposite one another down a small side street just north of Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Augusto is a legendary restaurant with a very limited and traditional Roman menu. There are no frills here - you'll have to share a table with complete strangers, there's only house wine available, and the bill is scrawled on the tablecloth by a rushed waitress who doesn't make a fuss of tourists - but the food is great and punters flock here from all over the city for a proper Roman nosh.
Cassetta opposite lacks the charm and the history of Da Augusto, but the food is similarly authentic and (whisper it) even better. Both places are amazingly cheap, with a three course meal with a litre of wine costing about 30-40 pounds for a couple.
A small street just 20 metres north of Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
This hotel specialises in catering for Jewish visitors to Rome, but it's also great value for anyone who wants somewhere basic but friendly and well-located. In the middle of arty Trastevere, at the foot of the stunning Janiculum Hill, the Mamelli is surrounded by the some of the best bars and restaurants in Rome. Trastevere is a great base from which to explore the city because it comes alive at night; this allows you to spend the day on the other side of the river doing the tourist thing before returning over the Tiber for a night out within staggering distance of home.
Via Goffredo Mamelli
I lived in Rome for eight years and was never robbed once. Here are my tips for stopping it happening to you.
Be aware. Yes, there's lots to see, but still, you don't have to walk around looking gormless. When you're in a crowded place have a quick 360 degree scan once in a while. If there are groups of people watching you or edging closer to you, give them the evil eye and hold your bags close to you.
Wearing shorts, t-shirts and baseball caps in the city marks you out as a tourist. OK, so you're on holiday, but leave the beachwear for Rimini. You don't have to wear a suit, just don't be a walking billboard.
You're unlikely to be robbed 'one-one-one' - much more likely is that one of a team will distract you by jostling you and apologising while another robs you in the confusion. Push them away.
Put a rubber band around you wallet. It creates friction, so it’s harder for someone to slide it out of your pocket.
If someone spills something on you then offers to clean it off, watch out. You're being had.
Shout 'Ladro!' ('thief!)and create a big scene, if you're robbed. This is no time to practice your stiff upper lip. Be Roman. Be theatrical.
Worst places to be robbed: any of the stations or the number 64 bus to the Vatican.
Not all of the Romanies you see are dishonest. Treat them as humans first and potential thieves second.
Violent robbery is almost unheard of in Rome. Feel safe. Be confident. But most of all be aware.
Ordering drinks at tables in Piazza Navona, Piazza della Rotunda etc can be pricey. You won't save much by ordering a small beer or a cappuccino, so get value for money by ordering a Negroni - a cocktail made of three alcoholic drinks (Gin, Vermouth and Campari) The cost should be five to eight euros and you'll be bought some nibbles too.
My favourite place to sit and sip one is the bar to the right of the Pantheon. You'll take away an unforgettable memory of Rome - just don't drink more than two, or the memory will be lost in the haze.
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
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