Rome Journals

The Italian Job: Rome, Part I

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An October 2004 trip to Rome by KJP

Hotel Portoghesi Photo, Rome, Italy More Photos
Quote: In this first installment chronicling eleven days in Italy, we arrive at our base camp in Rome. Come along as we get our feet wet, walking south from our hotel to explore the ancient city: the Colosseum, the Forum, Piazza del Campidoglio, Largo Argentina, and more.

The Italian Job: Rome, Part I

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Overview

The Italian Job: Rome, Part I Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city. - Anatole BroyardWithout trying to sound like Mr. Obvious, Rome has it all. History, legend, mythology, art, culture, architecture, shopping, nightlife, and some of the best food anywhere. A trip to Rome is going to be about choices: you simply can’t see it all. While most every visitor will make it a point to see the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican, after that it starts to become a bit more subjective.The Forum.While the priceless collection of the ...Read More

Hotel Portoghesi

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Hotel

Hotel Portoghesi Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The Hotel Portoghesi is a moderately priced (by Rome standards), three-star hotel in an ideal location, less than a five minute walk northeast of Piazza Navonna. This family-owned, 150 year-old hotel is also very close to the Pantheon, while the Castel Sant’Angelo, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain are just slightly further afield. The staff is friendly, and everyone speaks enough English to assist guests that aren’t fluent in Italian. The lobby is modest, with just a small seating area and...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 10, 2004

Hotel Portoghesi
Via dei Portoghesi, 1
Rome, Italy
+39 066864231

Area Sacra di Largo Argentina

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Story/Tip

Area Sacra di Largo Argentina Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
As we walk south, past the Pantheon and across Corso Vittorio Emanuele II on our way to The Colosseum and The Forum, we’re afforded the opportunity to check Largo Argentina off of our to-do list. Despite the long day ahead of us, it’s worthy of a brief diversion. Mussolini’s project to demolish the old quarter inadvertently unearthed one of the most important archaeological complexes of the city. The Area Sacra di Largo Argentina, below street level and encircled by traffic, is one of the few remaining ex...Read More

Piazza Venezia

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Story/Tip

Piazza Venezia Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Heading east from the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina, we walk along Via del Plebescito to Piazza Venezia. The piazza’s current appearance is attributed to Pope Paul II, although the decision in 1882 to construct a monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of a unified Italy, also required a major revamping of the square, including the leveling of one building and the relocation of another. As we reach the square we’re greeted with throngs of pedestrians and a dizzying swirl of traffic that resembles a video game as much as it does real life: cars, buses, and scooters circling, honking, ...Read More

The Colosseum

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Story/Tip

The Colosseum. Photo, London, England
Quote:
This is why you’re in Rome, isn’t it? The Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre (Anfiteatro Flavio), as it is properly known, flaunted the power and might of the Roman empire, and to this day remains an icon of the Eternal City’s former glory. Due to our unhurried start and our previous stops along the way, it was late morning by the time we arrived. Consequently, we waited patiently in line for forty-five or fifty minutes as the line slowly snaked its way to the ticket windows. At long last we purchase our tickets and walked up into the arena. As we got our look around, I took in the scene from various angles, trying to imagine how it looked before its structural demise: full of ...Read More

The Forum

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Story/Tip

The Forum. Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Regaining my bearings, having exited the Colosseum, I wait for the rest of our group of six to reassemble. I casually eye a gaggle of four or five gladiators about forty yards away, apparently on a cigarette break. I’m hoping I might spot something particularly amusing from this group, although I’m not sure what that might be. I guess there’s something inherently funny about a group of guys dressed in gladiator outfits. I’m not sure if it’s because they resemble a few stragglers in a marching band who just missed the team bus, or because their body language and mannerisms are no different than that of a half-bored baseball player leaning on the dugout steps, waiting for his next turn a...Read More
Piazza Campigdolio Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Piazza del Campidoglio Although it’s the smallest of Rome’s seven hills, the Capitoline hill has served as Rome’s political and civic center since the city was founded more than twenty-five hundred years ago. Ideally positioned to defend the Tiber River, the hill was accessible in ancient times only by a single road and two staircases. Enclosed in fortifications linked to the walls of the old city, it soon became an important religious center, and temples paying homage to Jupiter, Minerva, and Juno were constructed. In 1536, Pope Paul III Farnese approached the great Michelangelo to draw up plans to repave the neglected Piazza del Campidoglio atop the hill and renovate ...Read More
Rome at Night. Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Like most tourists visiting Rome, our days were consumed by long hours of sightseeing. After gathering on the rooftop terrace of our hotel for breakfast each morning, we’d walk miles upon miles and saw a dizzying array of Rome’s most famous sites, museums, fountains, and churches, especially during our first three or four days. In the early evening we’d drag ourselves back to our hotel, then regroup again two or three hours later for a 9 or 10pm dinner reservation. On most nights, while my other traveling companions used those evening hours to nap, clean up, or practice our new mantra for t...Read More