Rome Journals

City of Thieves

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A May 2007 trip to Rome by Wasatch

Quote: Rome is an object lesson in what can be accomplished by stealing on a grand scale.

City of Thieves

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Overview

Quote:
The Emperors stole with taxes to build a marble covered city. The Christians stole the Emperors marble to build churches. Today, hotels, pickpockets, and gypsies steal from tourists. Rome truly is the cradle of Western Civilization– thievery run amok.  Listed in order by how impressed we were are the sights of Rome we saw in three days:Ancient Rome: The Roman Forum– in the small valley along the Via Sacra was the civic center of the Republic. The palace ruins on Palatine Hill (fee) was where most of the Emperors lived. The Pantheon is the most completely reserved ancient building, with a spectacular marble interior. The Coliseum packs a big wow factor, even after seeing it ...Read More

Capo d'Africa Hotel

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Hotel | "Hotel Capo d’Africa"

Quote:
First the bad news. High season (May-October) 2007 room rates were €400 or $570 a night for deluxe rooms. Even with advanced booking Expedia discount, our rate was $435. Standard rooms are less, but standard rooms are smaller. Our Deluxe room was quite large, even by American standards, large enough that we didn’t unpack into the sizable closets, instead we spread three days living out on the floor and still had no problem navigating the room. Forgetting the price, we have never stayed in a better hotel. The decor is a bit odd, sort of an austere designer modern, but Capo d’Africa was one of the quietest hotels where we have ever stayed.  The only sound that intruded into the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 23, 2007

Capo d'Africa Hotel
Via Capo d'Africa 54
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 (06) 772 801

Across the Street from Le Naumachie

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Restaurant | "Across the Street from Le Naumachie"

Quote:
Rome’s residential neighborhoods are well populated with little restaurants where prices are lower than in tourist areas. We looked at a menu directly across the street from the Coliseum. Lasagne was $14. We walked up the block, away from the tourist zone, and, at the other end of the block, Lasagne for $7. Even in the lower priced zone, prices are not cheap. Italian servings are much smaller than American servings because meals are meant to have 2-4 courses. That $7 Lasagne will feed only a very light eater. At the low price end, figure $7 for a salad, $6-9 for a pasta dish with no sides, and $14-25 for an entrée with a few potatoes.We ate at three neighborhood restaurants on our stay...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 29, 2007

Osenlia il Bocconcino

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Restaurant | "Osenlia il Bocconcino "

Quote:
Somewhere during our 33 European vacations, we developed a philosophy for eating in Europe. The only restaurant recommendations we occasionally follow are the Michelin Red Guide, restaurants rating at least three red crossed knives and forks. Otherwise, we go to some place close to our hotel that looks interesting. We have never been disappointed by taking pot luck because the average quality of European restaurants is far above the USA. I’ve eaten nearly 400 diners in Europe. That’s a lot of restaurants. We go exploring someplace new most of the time rather than returning to a previous restaurant because we know not to worry about quality. Ignore specific restaurant advice. Be adventu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 16, 2007

Le Naumachie

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Restaurant | "Le Naumachie"

Quote:
Our hotel, three blocks from the Coliseum, was in one of Rome’s residential neighborhoods, which are well populated with little restaurants with lower prices than those in tourist areas. On a menu across the street from the Coliseum, lasagne was $14. We walked up the block, away from the tourist zone, at the other end of the block, lasagne for $7. One more block, $5.  But even in the low priced zone, prices are not cheap. Italian servings are much smaller than American servings. That $5 or $14 lasagne will feed only a very light eater. At the low price end, a big eater should figure $7 for a salad, $6-9 for a pasta dish with no sides, and $14-25 for an entree with a few potatoes....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 21, 2007

Le Naumachie
Via Celimontana, 7
Rome, Italy

Spanish Steps (Scalinata)

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Attraction | "Spanish Steps to the Vatican"

Quote:
We bought an all-day transit pass at a news stand 1½ blocks from our hotel, I took a bus to the Coliseum Metro station to Spagna (Spanish Square) and the famous Spanish Steps (impressive, but I think over rated) and visit America Express to cash Amex Travelers’ Checks at the best rate we found in Italy.Rearmed with euros, we reversed direction to the far end of the Square and went left on Via d. Croce, an attractive narrow street lined with trendy shops, to Via Corso, Rome’s main shopping street. San Carlo al Corso, with its impressive Baroque interior was almost directly across V. Corso. A short walk (two blocks) to the left on leaving the church brought us to V. Pontifici, where a le...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 12, 2007

Spanish Steps (Scalinata)
Piazza Di Spagna
Rome, Italy 00187

Roman Forum

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Attraction | "The Forum (of the Republic), Forum Romani"

Quote:
The heart of ancient Rome is a central mass of the ruins of the Forum (the Republic), the Imperial Fori (the Emperor’s forms), Palatine Hill, and the Coliseum (free entrance during Culture Week). The Imperial Fori are separated from the rest by Via d. Fori Imperiali. There are three entrances to the Roman (Republic) Forum, the oldest of the Fori. Avoid the one in the middle of the block along V. Fori Imperiali. It lacks the impact of the view when entering from the Coliseum end or Capitoline Hill. For a thousand years, the Forum was the government center for the known world, and its most surprising feature is how small it is– about a half mile long. Also note how narrow the Via...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 14, 2007

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

Trevi Fountain

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Attraction | "Trevi Fountian"

Quote:
The Trevi Fountain was one of favorite spots in Rome. We visited three times, mid-morning, late afternoon, and about 9:30pm. We concluded there is no time when the small Piazza Trevi, when the fountain is located, is not packed with tourists and hawkers. The variations in lighting at the different times of day make multiple visits more than mere repetition. I especially liked late afternoon, watching the sunset shadow line creep over the fountain. During the course of our three visits, we had long looks at the fountain head on, from the far right, and from the far left from the steps. Each spot offers a different perspective and is worth doing. Another good view place is from the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 21, 2007

Trevi Fountain
Piazza di Trevi
Rome, Italy 00187

Piazza Navona

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Attraction | "A Walk from Piazza Navona to Trevi Fountain"

Quote:
Piazza Navona is a pedestrian-only zone, a quiet spot in the middle of Rome. Several bus routes run along the next street over, making Piazza Navona easy to get to. The large, long, and narrow square has three fountains in it, the star of the show is Bernini’s Fountains of the Four Rivers, which was surrounded by scaffolds for repair when we were there in May, 2007. The large church dominating the center of the square, St Agnese in Agone, has an excellent Baroque interior. At the curved end of the square, we entered Via d. Lorenesi where several churches are packed together in a short block. We returned to Piazza Navona, left the square by the narrow street more or less opposite St. Agnese, al...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 28, 2007

Piazza Navona

Rome, Italy 00186

Palatine

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Attraction | "Palatine Hill "

Quote:
We weren’t quite sure what to expect when we advanced on the Palatine Hill, one of the legendary Seven hills of Rome, but turned out to be a highlight of our visit to Rome, perhaps even more impressive than the Forum Romani which lies in the valley at the foot of the Palatine. In a nutshell, the Palatine was where Rome was first settled around 800 BC and eventually became the site of the homes of the leading Romans, especially the Emperors. More or less bay accident, we arrived atop the Palatine by the best possible approach– coming from the Coliseum, we went past the Arch of Titus and then up the monumental stairway across from Constantine’s Basilica. The view of the Forum and Coliseum from t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 9, 2007

Palatine
Via San Gregorio
Rome, Italy 00184
+39 066990110

Prices, Money, and Currency Exchange

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Currency Exchange in Italy: On our 14 day trip around Italy, we tried to convert American Express Travelers Checks into euros 11 times and succeeded four times. The first attempt required visiting four different banks, waiting in line in each, only to be told that we had to go to a different bank in the first three banks.The second time was a major disaster– five banks, four long lines, and when we finally found a bank that claimed they could do it, the computer screwed up and came up with a wrong result.  For $150, we should have received 106 euros. The computer came up with 55 euros. I pointed out the mistake to the bank, which they at first didn’t believe was an erro...Read More