Rome Journals

A Week in Rome to Wine, Dine, and Tour

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A March 2007 trip to Rome by artslover

Hotel Scalinata di Spagna Photo, Rome, Italy More Photos
Quote: This was a trip to drink wine, sample good food, and look at history, art, and architecture.

A Week in Rome to Wine, Dine, and Tour

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Overview

Trevi at night Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Rome is one of the great cities of the world. It is the capital of the Italian Republic with over 3.8 million inhabitants. The city traditionally is considered to have been built on seven hills: Palatino, Aventino, Campidoglio, Quirinale, Viminale, Esquilino, and Celio. For a visitor, this means bustling crowds and rarely walking on a level street.For a North American, Rome puts you in awe of its long history, and wealth of arts, and architecture. It surrounds you. Evidence of ancient Rome can be found in the Colosseo, the arch of Constantine, and the Pantheon. When walking the streets of Rome, you encounter many churches filled with beautiful works of art and many museums especially those wit...Read More

Hotel Scalinata di Spagna

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Hotel

Hotel Scalinata di Spagna Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We picked this hotel because of its fairly central location. It is next to the Spanish Steps, which is in the northern area of the center of Rome and within walking distance of everything we wanted to do. We made reservations through the hotel website at: www.hotelscalinata.com.We also liked that it is a boutique hotel with only 16 rooms; and they offered what they call a family suite. We wanted this because we expected to be in Rome with our son and his girlfriend. Turned out it was only our son, but the family suite gave us privacy when we needed it but it was easy to get together. The family suite is two rooms connected both by a door and a s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Hotel Scalinata di Spagna
Piazza Trinità dei Monti 17
Rome, Italy 00187
+39 (06) 69940896

Le Royal Meridien Hotel Eden Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We booked this hotel for our last night in Italy as a treat to compensate for seeing the end of our vacation. Information about the hotel can be found and reservations can made at their website at: www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/questex/hoteleden/index.php.Hotel Eden (pronounced Ed-in) is the most over the top luxury hotel where we have stayed. Tons of little extras in the room, like an overnight bag with toothbrush, comb and razor, and lots of attention from the staff, like when I ask to use the Internet, I get walked through the entire process of logging on. Yet it costs less than some Manhattan hotels we've stayed...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Le Royal Meridien Hotel Eden
Via Ludovisi q9
Rome, Italy 00187
+39 (06) 478121

Gina

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Restaurant

Gina Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The look of Gina is very different from other Italian restaurants where we’ve been. Very white, clean lines, abstract paintings, and pale blue cushions on the seats. It is located barely a block away from the Spanish Steps.We went at lunch time, early, and got in without a reservation. We started with a bottle of vino rosso and an antipasti misti, which was very tasty. It included the palest orange smoke salmon I've ever seen. We followed with a mozzarella and fresh tomato pasta and a tuna, corn and fresh tomato pasta. They came without sauce but we see others taking the olive oil, salt, and pepper and dressing the pasta themselves. We tried it and because the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Gina
Via San Sebastianello 7A
Rome, Italy
+39 (06) 678-0251

Il Convivio

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Restaurant

Il Convivio Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This was our one evening of rain the entire trip so we took a taxi. Instead of dropping us at the restaurant, the driver stopped on a major road and pointed us to a small parallel street barely wide enough for a scooter. That wasn’t even the street, the restaurant is on an equally narrow alley which isn’t even named on the huge map of Rome I had.We had made reservations through the restaurants website at: www.ilconviviotroiani.com because it receives very high ratings for its food.This was described as having typical Roman recipes reinvented in a contemporary style and presented in an elegant setting. The more modern but formal de...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Il Convivio
Vicolo dei Soldati, 31
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 066869432

La Terrazza dell'Hotel Eden

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Restaurant

La Terrazza dell'Hotel Eden Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We made dinner reservations at the Hotel Eden rooftop restaurant, La Terrazza. Before we went to dine, we visited the bar for a pre-dinner libation. Like the hotel, the bar and restaurant are luxurious in an old fashioned way. Many of the patrons were likely staying at the hotel. A number looked wealthy but one group looked like some very trendy rich rock band.Both the bar and restaurant are on the top floor of Hotel Eden so we had a great view of Villa Borghese, St. Peter's, Vittorio Emanuele monument, and the Quirinale. As we sat, we watched the sunset and sipped on sparkling Italian white and a martini. These came with a tray of nibbles including some delicious huge green olives. We ate the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

La Terrazza dell'Hotel Eden
Via Ludovisi, 49
Rome, Italy 00187
+39 06478121

Ristorante Mirabelle

Restaurant | "Ristorante Mirabelle in Hotel Splendide Royal"

Ristorante Mirabelle Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This is a Michelin starred restaurant which describes its cuisine as Italian Mediterranean, but it has a very French feel to it. Roccoco old fashioned-style decor and very formal service like North American restaurants, rather than the more casual Italian style.The restaurant is located on the seventh floor of Hotel Splendide Royal near the Parco Borghese. Thus there is an enjoyable view from the windows.As we perused our menus, we were brought glasses of prosecco, a three tiered tray of amuse bouches and a basket of crispy cold crudites to nibble. For antipasti, we had eggplant and zucchini stuffed with ricotta and basil; onion soup and tuna tartare. Secondi: lamb two ways -- loi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Ristorante Mirabelle
Hotel Splendide Royal
Rome, Italy
+39 (06) 42168

Trattoria

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Restaurant

Trattoria Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This restaurant, located near the Pantheon, is relatively new, five years old, and popular. Their website is at: www.ristorantetrattoria.it but reservations need to be made by telephone or email at: info@ristorantetrattoria.it.Our reservation was at 8pm and when we arrived, no one else was there; in fact, the staff seemed slightly surprised by our arrival. The place started to fill up around 9pm with a number of young diners who look as they would stay all night. The chef seems to be a bit of a celebrity. The restaurant website has photos of him with a number of famous people.The r...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Trattoria
Via del Pozzo delle Cornacchie, 25
Rome, Italy
+39 (06) 6830-1427

Context Rome - Roma Antica Tour

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Attraction

Overlooking the Imperial forums Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We took a private 8-hour tour which began on the Palatine Hill, where, according to legend, Romulus founded the city in 753 B.C. (on April 21, to be exact). After covering the founding myths and anthropological record of the Palatine, we explored the imperial palaces that eventually covered the hill, stopping in the Palatine museum for a lecture on Roman statuary. We lingered among the ruins for a while on the Palatine, looked at Circus Maximus and got a very good introduction to archaeological technique, Roman architecture, and construction technologies, and Roman political and social structure. We explored the remnants of the aqueduct of Claudius, the mosaics left from Nero's so-called "Golden House...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Context Rome - Roma Antica Tour
Via Baccina 40
Rome, Italy

Borghese Gallery and Museum (Galleria Borghese)

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Attraction | "Galleria Borghese"

Borghese Gallery and Museum (Galleria Borghese) Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This is an extremely popular art museum and reservations are required. We reserved and bought our tickets through Tickitaly (www.tickitaly.com) before we left on vacation. Three tickets, reservation fee, and the fee from the company was €42 or €14 each. It was a good thing we reserved because when we arrived on Sunday for our reservation, they had a sign indicating no more tickets were available until Tuesday. Tickets for the Galleria Borghese have to be reserved for a specific two hour time slot. They are very rigid about entry and sweep you out at the end of the two hours. The Villa Borghese is located in a huge park near the Spanish Steps. If you ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

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

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica a Palazzo Corsini

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Attraction | "Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Antica"

Gateway into Palazzo Barberini Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 8:30am - 7:30pm and Sunday, 9am - 1pm, admission is €5. When we went, there were no crowds and it was easy to get in. Be aware that you have to check your baggage, including cameras.This gallery is in the former palatial home of a rich, powerful, and famous family which had a member become pope during the counter reformation era when Saint Peter's (San Pietro) was being built and he also had a very good eye for art and thus, art patronage, and collecting. The decorations and furnishing which are in the gallery provide a glimpse into the lives of such a family.The Palazzo Barberini houses part of the Galleria Nazionale D'Arte Antica, a rathe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica a Palazzo Corsini
Via della Lungara, 10
Rome, Italy 00165
+39 0668802323

Vatican Museums

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Attraction | "Musei Vaticani"

Vatican Museums Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We had a private tour through Context Rome for this tour. This was the smartest thing we did before going to the Vatican museums.As we went meet our docent, we saw the line to the museums was probably a kilometer long. Our docent was in line for the tickets and saved us an hour and a half wait. To get to the ticket booths, we ascended a very long escalator. The ticket area is quite new, built for the 2000 jubilee celebrations of the Catholic Church. (Entry ticket is €13; €8 with student ID. Closed on Mondays.) We began our tour of the Vatican Museums in the courtyard where our docent explained the basic origin of the museums and discussed the Sistine Chapel because it woul...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Vatican Museums
Viale Vaticano
Rome, Italy 00165
0039 06 69884676

Pantheon

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Attraction

Pantheon Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
The Pantheon is the best preserved ancient Roman building in Rome. It is open Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 7:30pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. There is no admission charge.Inside, there are helpful signs explaining the buildings origins, history, and some of its features.The building was built around 125 A.D. under the Emperor Hadrian (the guy with the wall named after him in Britain). The name means "Temple of all the Gods" and was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome.In medieval times, it was given to the pope who reconsecrated it as a Christian church titled Santa Maria ad Martyres (or in E...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 0668300230

Piazza Navona

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Attraction

Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Piazza Navona is located in the historic center of Rome, near the Pantheon. It is a great place to view some art and architecture, have a drink or a bite to eat, check out the shops, and generally people-watch. The piazza follows the plan of an ancient Roman circus, essentially a race track. In this case, like the first-century Stadium of Domitian, where the Romans came to watch the agones ("games"). The name, Navona, stems from the corruption of the word agones into agone, then nagone and then, navona, which actually means "big ship" in Italian.We went about noon hour, so stopped at a bar or enoteca with tables outside directly in front of Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fium...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Piazza Navona

Rome, Italy 00186

San Luigi dei Francesi Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
This church is in the historic center of Rome near the Pantheon and a number of other popular sites. It is open Friday - Wednesday, 8am - 12:30pm and 3:30 - 7pm and Thursday, 8am - 12:30pm. Admission is free.We went to a lot of churches often to look at only one masterpiece inside. If you are not as interested in touring churches, this would be one I would recommend because it has more than one masterpiece by more than one artist and the interior marble work is as beautiful as a work of art as well.The interior has Caravaggio's three paintings of St. Matthew in the Contarelli Chapel. These were the paintings which made Caravaggio's reputation in Rome. Our photos don't do them justice. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

San Luigi dei Francesi
Via S. Giovanna d'Arco
Rome, Italy 00186
+39 06688271

Santa Maria del Popolo

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Attraction

Santa Maria del Popolo Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
We were headed to Santa Maria del Popolo (Piazza del Popolo 12, open Monday - Sunday, 8am - 1:30pm, and 4:30pm - 7pm), where I wanted to look at two Caravaggio paintings in a chapel near the head altar. This was on Palm Sunday, so I did not want to be one of those unbelievably disrespectful tourists who sightsee during mass. I could not find the mass times, so the only solution seemed to go there. Of course, when we got there, we saw mass was every hour until 2pm. However, assuming there would be a bit of time between each mass, we went to a nearby exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci's machines and then went back into the church when mass was ending, about 15 minutes before the next one begins....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2007

Santa Maria del Popolo
Via del Popolo, 12
Rome, Italy 00187
+39 063610836