A February 2005 trip
to Rome by uyyek
Quote: Notes from our trip to Italy, including notable sights and things to do! Live la dolce vita with us!
If you choose a taxi, make sure it is a certified cab (with the light on top and everything) Unmarked cars advertising themselves as taxis are uncertified and will most likely take you around the block 10 or 12 times before going where you want to go to drive up the meter.
Hotel | "Hotel Beverly Hills"
The concierge desk provided us with ample resources to schedule tours, and the staff at the front desk were extremely helpful in navigating the sometimes infuriating system of roads, subways, buses and trolleys that are in place to get you from Point A to somewhere near Point B. Our only complaint is that we didn’t receive the wake-up call we requested and were lucky we had thought to set an alarm on my wristwatch, or we would have missed our 5:30am flight home.
On the premises is a fully-stocked bar and a restaurant, La Mascagni. We didn’t have dinner there, but it is where one has the complimentary continental breakfast every morning, serving sliced meats (bologna and parma ham, primarily), sliced cheese (I’m sure they were Italian cheeses, but I’m no expert--the Swiss-like cheese was possibly Gruviera, and there was what looked and tasted like a firm mozzarella), several pastries, including bagels, croissants, and pain au chocolat (don’t really know if there’s an Italian equivalent), as well as custard and fruit tarts and fresh fruit. Regular drip coffee is available, as well as juice and milk, but if you want a cappuccino or latte, you’ll have to ask for it and pay extra (we managed to get a couple cups for free before we knew we were supposed to pay for them, because the waitstaff were too busy to keep track of us before we left).
The final touch of excellence to our stay were the brown bag breakfasts we received at 4:30am on our last day; the front desk kept track of our flight times and knew we were leaving early, so they had a croissant sandwich, a juice box, some fruit, and a hard-boiled egg in a paper sack for each of us waiting down in the lobby when we checked out. I would definitely stay there again!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2005
Grand Hotel Beverly Hills, Rome
Largo Benedetto Marcello 220
Rome, Italy 00198
39 068 542141
Attraction | "Colosseum"
The existing structure has been buttressed in modern times with brickwork and metal bracing to support it against earthquakes and the passage of time, but it is remarkably intact. The stadium floor was originally made of wood and covered with sand (or arena in Latin, which is where we get the name for a sporting venue), but is obviously missing now. Beneath the arena was a vast staging area where gladiators dressed and prepared for the fights, and where exotic animals were kept prior to battle.
I would recommend arranging for a guided tour, for there isn't much information available there unless you buy a guidebook, and the details are rather scant even then. There are tour guides offering their services outside, but they are hit-and-miss as far as quality or historical accuracy.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2005
Piazza Del Colosseo
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 7004261
Attraction | "The Roman Forum"
Here, you'll find temples dedicated to the major gods of the Roman pantheon, meeting halls where political and financial leaders of the day met and discussed policy and the news of the day, as well as the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated by order of his successors Mark Antony and Augustus and numerous monuments were dedicated to the military glory of the emperor's Titus and Septimius Severus.
You'll also find crowds of other tourists here, as well as roving bands of pickpockets, so be wary, and plan to see the area early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Bring plenty of film, and I would recommend getting a guided tour through your travel agent or the concierge of your hotel, because the guidebooks simply don't tell you enough to make you appreciate what you're looking at.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2005
Largo Romolo e Remo
Rome, Italy 00186
Even though this is one of the best-preserved pieces of Roman architecture, don't forget it's still a functioning Catholic church, with regular services, so be aware that it's not always open for tourists. It's often crowded on the weekends, so I'd recommend visiting during the week.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2005
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186