Rome Journals

Roman Pilgrimage

A May 2004 trip to Rome by JulieHolm

Roman Forum Photo, Rome, Italy More Photos
Quote: We followed history and the meaning of Rome from ancient to present days. Our focus ran toward churches, Catacombs to the Vatican, San Clemente which embodies the spirit of Rome, an unearthly moment of grace/ Mozart/Sun shining through the Pantheon.

Roman Pilgrimage

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Roman Forum Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Visiting the Pantheon during Mass, when a choir broke into Mozart's Ave Verum. Having a communion service in the Catacombs of Domatilla. The amazingly beautiful Bernini sculptures of ancient myths in the Borghese Gallery. The Sistine Chapel.Quick Tips: You can't do it all in a short time. We had four full days and nights and just scratched the surface. Plan to come back. Give yourself a full day for the Vatican. We did not, and were disappointed at missing some things we did not want to miss. Check opening and closing times and days for everything, and when you get there and it is not open even though you think it should be, have a sense of humour. Best Way To Get Around: Ta...Read More

Grand Hotel Beverly Hills, Rome

Hotel | "Grand Hotel Beverly Hills"

Grand Hotel Beverly Hills, Rome Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The accomodations here are very nice. Plus room with very comfortable bed. Smallish baths with bidet, small shower, sink, toilette, but very well appointed. Very close to public transport and the Borghese Gallery.

Breakfast here is a really good buffet with a vast variety of food, including museli and rolls and cold cuts for northern europeans, as well as fruit, danish rolls. Excellent coffee, juice, yogurt, and some cereals.

They have lobby access to the internet for 4 euro for 20 minutes, very reasonable. We had a group dinner in their dining room which was not bad.

It was a bit pricey, but then, so is all of Rome!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Grand Hotel Beverly Hills, Rome
Largo Benedetto Marcello 220
Rome, Italy 00198
39 068 542141

La Balestra

Restaurant

Quote:
We ate here our first evening in Rome. As we sat we had friends who were traveling with us wander in and join us. Our table for two ended up expanding to a table for eight! Our waiter, I think the owner, took it all in stride, and let us, the first to arrive, hang around until the latecomers were done. We ordered a bottle of red wine. We had olive brochette to start (it was one large slice, which Mark and I cut and shared and was just delicious. Mark had veal, scallopinied and rolled around mozzarella that was then baked. He also had asparagus. I had risotto with mushrooms and a mixed salad. It was 9pm when they finally showed up to the restaurant. We ate dessert largely to hang out with f...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

La Balestra
Around the corner from the Grand Hotel Beverly Hil
Rome, Italy

Pizzaria Gaudi

Restaurant

Quote:
Pizzeria Gaudi, was near our hotel and recommended by our contact from the American Embassy. Lunch there was pizza of course. I got the salad bar and Mark a Sorrento Pizza, with Mozzarella and Arugula and tiny fresh tomatoes (pommodorini). It was all yummy.

We ate in a large group and they did separate checks for each couple of for which was very nice.

When you know what to order, you need to turn on a switch on the light above the table.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Pizzaria Gaudi
via R. Giovannelli 8/12
Rome, Italy
(06) 884-5451

Catacombe di San Callisto

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Attraction | "Catacombs of Callista/Callixus"

Catacombe di San Callisto Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We went to the Callista Catacombs on the public bus (660) to Appia Antica. Unfortunately we got off the second bus two stops early; we walked at least a couple kilometers. The tour of the Callista catacombs was very nice. An Australian priest named Father Owen led us. He is a member of an order dedicated to preserving and caring for the catacombs. He gave us a quick overview of catacomb history and then of the symbology. Callista is the oldest catacombs, and has 13 popes, many martyrs (including St. Cecilia), and four levels underground (note that we found out at Callista, that one of the levels has completely collapsed, the one closest to the top.) The catacombs are named that way be...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Catacombe di San Callisto
Via Appia Antica, 110
Rome, Italy 00179
+39 065136725

Catacombe di Priscilla

Attraction | "Catacombs of Priscilla"

Quote:
We headed to the catacombs of Priscilla, very early in the morning. They are located less than a Kilometer and a half from the Villa Borghese. The fact that they are in Rome rather than out on Appia Antica makes them very accessible. If you don't want to take the long trip out to the Catacombs, these may be more accessible. The Priscilla catacomb had some lovely art, some in better shape than the art in Callista, although it was less diverse in subject and there was less of it. The Priscilla has a couple of Popes and some Martyrs also. A very nice nun led us through the catacomb for about three quarters of an hour. Unfortunately, again we could not take pictures, so we have little to s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Catacombe di Priscilla
Via Salaria, 430
Rome, Italy 00199
+39 0686206272

Catacombe di Domitilla

Attraction | "Catacombs of Domatilla"

Quote:
We moved on to the catacombs of Domatilla. This was by far the least impressive of the three catacombs we saw. Domatilla has four levels, 150,000 burial spaces. Something like 17 kilometers of corridor. There is, however, very little art in the section that we toured. Otherwise we learned much of the same stuff that we learned in the other catacombs, and the group was the largest that we have see, which is quite a problem in the catacombs, since there were many places we just did not fit! The big special thing here, however, was that if you are a church group, as we were, you could have a communion service in the Catacombs, in a little underground room set up for worship. We had a nice communion serv...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Catacombe di Domitilla
Via delle Sette Chiese, 282
Rome, Italy 00147
+39 065110342

Borghese Gallery and Museum (Galleria Borghese)

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Attraction | "Galleria Borghese"

Borghese Gallery and Museum (Galleria Borghese) Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The Borghese Gallery is a beautiful art Museum with some wonderful Bernini sculptures including Apollo and Daphne, and some works by Caravaggio and Raphael's Sacred and Profane love. The gallery is really wonderful, and we spent almost all of two hours enjoying it. You need to either make reservations in advance, for a two-hour window, or wait in a very long line to get tickets that are not claimed. Since we all had reservations had no problem getting in quickly. We waited in a moderately long line for less than 10 minutes to get our tickets, prior to the entrance time checked our big bags (mostly my backpack and Mark's camera bag) and entered. We started upstairs, seeing rooms full of...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Borghese Gallery and Museum (Galleria Borghese)
Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5
Rome, Italy 00197
+39 068413979

Roman Forum

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Attraction | "Il Foro Romano"

Roman Forum Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The forum was the center of Ancient Rome, and sits in the shadow of the Emperor's palaces on the Palatine Hill, one of the seven Hills of Rome (the Capitoline Hill borders the forum on another side. It is pretty overwhelming. The story is that Romulus and Remus were abandoned by their mother, a nymph and raised by a shepherd and a she-wolf. They founded Rome in 753 BC on the Palatine Hill. Romulus drew a circle and said that within that circle there was civilization. Remus went outside the circle and Romulus killed him. Our guide told us that archaeologists had indeed found a circle/city border that dated to the right time period, about 730 BC. We started at the Capitoline Hill end, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Roman Forum
Largo Romolo e Remo
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 066990110

San Clemente

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Attraction | "The Church of San Clemente"

San Clemente Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
San Clemente is a wonderful place to begin a visit to Rome, since in many ways the church of San Clemente reflects the history of Rome. The architecture of Rome is constantly built, both figuratively and literally on what came before and this is true in San Clemente, whose physical roots reach back to pre-Christian Rome. This is one of the oldest churches in Rome, dating from the fourth century. We entered the top, which dates from medieval times, and is dominated by beautiful mosaics with tons of gold. The mosaics were so beautiful that I got a book just on the mosaics, knowing that my photographs would not do them justice. There was also in the upper church, which is an ancient basilica in str...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

San Clemente
Via Labicana, 95
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 0670451018

Church of Saint John Lateran

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Attraction

Church of Saint John Lateran Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Saint John Lateran is the seat of the Bishop of Rome. This is a huge beautiful church with some great artwork. Note the statues on the top of the grand facade. Just inside we stopped and looked around, mostly to see two bronze doors that came from the Curia of the Roman Forum, and are with the doors on the temple of Romulus the oldest bronze doors in existence. These, however, are not on their original hinges. Then went into the Sanctuary. We saw the 12 statues of the apostles, carved by Borromini, who was a rival of Bernini, who did much of the design work for the church. Bernini's sculptures can be found throughout the city, some of the best at the Borghese Gallery, and his fountains dot Rome...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Church of Saint John Lateran

Rome, Italy

St. Peter's Basilica

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Attraction

St. Peter's Basilica Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We started in St. Peters, which is the largest Christian church in the world. Of course we entered through the Bernini courtyard with all the saints (140) on the columns. The welcoming arms of the mother church of the world, the guide called it. t is the largest but never feels huge. The dome is beautiful. As you enter Michelangelo's Pieta is on the right, behind bulletproof glass. It is an amazing statue, both beautifully and movingly capturing a tender moment as Mary holds the lifeless body of her son in her arms. There are very huge statues of founders of orders in the main halls. One of them was Juliana Falconieri, so I had my picture taken with her. It was good that I noticed whe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

St. Peter's Basilica
Piazza San Pietro
Vatican City, Rome 00193
+39 0669883462

Vatican Museums

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Attraction

Vatican Museums Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
After St. Peters, we took a trip to the Vatican museums. It felt very much like a run-through. We did see a lot of the ancient sculpture, which included the famous sculpture of Apollo and Laacoon, being devoured by snakes with his sons. The map rooms, which have maps painted on the wall, and the tapestries made from Raphael's drawings were beautiful, but we rushed past them. Then we took the shortcut (with the help of a guard) before the Raphael rooms ( :-( ) to go to the Sistine chapel. The chapel was indeed glorious. We'd had an introduction to the chapel earlier in the garden, all of which I already knew from reading "Michelangelo and the Pope's ceiling." The detail of the ceiling can't be des...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 5, 2004

Vatican Museums
Viale Vaticano
Rome, Italy 00165
0039 06 69884676

Walking the via of Rome

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Attraction | "Walking tour of central Rome"

Walking the via of Rome Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We started at the top of the Spanish Steps, in the old center of Rome. We descended them noting, at the bottom, the Bernini fountain of a semi-submerged boat. I think that one of my guides that it was inspired by an actual boat that was grounded there. This is a huge beautiful staircase, and it seems like half of Rome is just hanging out here on a sunny May afternoon. People sitting and talking, lying down and sunning, or just climbing down. Then we headed about 4 blocks south on to the Trevi fountain, where I threw coins in, my husband took pictures, and we did a gelato stop. While the Spanish Steps was larger than I expected, this was much smaller than I did, and the fountain is right up a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 12, 2004

Walking the via of Rome
Rome
Rome, Italy

Pantheon

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Attraction

Pantheon Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Located in the heart of Central Rome, the Pantheon was built in ancient Roman times as a temple to all of the Gods. It was built in the early second century. Of course, it was not long that it actually housed worship to the Olympian Gods, as Christianity became the state religion in the early fourth century. When Olympian worship effectively ended, the Pantheon essentially stood idle for a couple hundred years, before being used as a church again. Indeed this pagan building has been a Christian (Catholic) church for most of its history. It's also famous in the history of the Renaissance because builders of two famous, domes, Brunelleschi (who built the dome in the Duomo in Florence)...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 14, 2004

Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 0668300230

San Ignatio

Attraction

Quote:
San Ignatio is a fascinating little church in the center of Rome, only a couple blocks from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. (Directions are in my walking tour journal) It's most amazing feature is it's ceiling. The ceiling is frescoed in Trompe L'Oeil style, with most of the architectural features painted on, and the ceiling appearing to go much higher than it really does. The saints and angels on the ceiling seem to be actually hovering up there. It is amazing. But the really amazing feature of the ceiling is the dome. There is a bronze dot on the floor between two stars. If you go stand on it and look up, you will see a beautiful renaissance dome arching above the floor. Really a love...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 14, 2004

San Ignatio
Piazza S. Ignazio
Rome, Italy

Quote:
Our previous experience of Europe led us to be in favor of the train. So we planned to go from Naples to Rome on the fast Eurostar. We waited until the last minute on Sunday to go to get tickets, and the 7:30 Eurostar was full, so we ended up on the 8:30 one. We got our tickets and picked up a roll and some cappuccino in a bar in the station while we waited. Despite the jokes about the trains in Rome, this train came and left on time. We of course had seat reservations (these are mandatory and part of the price of any of the high speed trains in Europe, not only the Eurostars but also the TGV. We had no problem finding our car on the train, settled into our seats, and with...Read More