A Half Day in Rome

On our last trip to Italy, we spent the last half of a day in Rome before flying out the next morning. We've visited the city many times before, but here are some sites we packed into a day of meandering the cobblestone streets.


Convenient Bed & Breakfast

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by airynfaerie on July 12, 2010

During our last visit to Italy, we needed to quickly find a convenient place to stay in Rome. We had a morning flight from the Rome airport, and so we wanted to stay near the train station to catch the airport shuttle the next day.

Previously, I'd stayed in a nice hostel near the station when I've traveled alone, but this time there weren't any rooms with 2 beds available for me and my husband. So after some quick research online from our hotel in Ischia where we were staying most of our trip, we found "Bed and Breakfast A Roma Termini" with a vacant room, good prices, and great location for our needs.

Booking just a full day ahead of time, I knew our choices may be limited, but we ended up being very pleased, and have made a note to remember this place for other quick trips to Rome (to/from the airport). By no means is this my recommended place to stay if you're staying in Rome for an actual visit, but we've been there many times, and stayed in several places. This trip was just to be near the airport shuttle for the next morning, and to enjoy one final afternoon/evening in the city before we left the country.

Located just a couple blocks from the Termini station, it wasn't hard to get too at all with our bags...although it is a bit hard to spot, as there isn't a sign. Just look for the street address and you'll see the name on the door buzzer. We arrived a bit early, so I called the phone number provided and within 3 minutes a lovely lady named Claudia was there to greet us. She said she also ran another b&b just a block away.

There's an elevator in the building which took us up to the b&b, where she showed us a couple rooms we could choose from (as we were the first to check in for the day). We chose one with a window to the quieter back courtyard instead of the main street. For us, it was very quiet through the night. The room was clean, simple, and had plenty of space. There was a little private bathroom, tv, wardrobe, safe, and desk.

Claudia showed us around and said to make ourselves at home. The kitchen was stocked with basic drink/food items and things mainly to make a simple breakfast the next morning. The entry hallway had a spread of maps and guidebooks that guests can use. During breakfast the next morning, we meet a family of 3 who had stayed all week and really liked it.

For the price, you can't beat it and the location is perfect if you want to be near the station. I'd recommend it for a budget traveler looking for a good mid-range place that's clean, simple, and perfect for a place to sleep.

Bed and Breakfast A Roma Termini
Via Napoleone III, 48
06 44340797‎, 338 44. 13. 029
http://www.bbromatermini.it/
B&B in Rome Termini
Via Napoleone Iii N° 48
Rome, 00185
+39 06 44 340 797

Best Bakery in Rome

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by airynfaerie on July 12, 2010

A handful of times in the past, I've been in Rome and planned on going to eat at one of the most famous bakeries in the city...but never made it. This past trip, though, was different. I was determined to make this the first stop in the half day we had there.

Forno Campo de' Fiori is located in (you guessed it) the piazza Campo de' Fiori. This is one of the many beautiful squares in the city, but it's also one of the most active, as its filled with an outdoor market most days. There are several cafes and bars lining the piazza, but just keep walking until you get to the corner where the big word FORNO graces the building. Actually the Forno is located on both sides of an alleyway (one where you can watch the bakers at work and buy the famous "Pizza Bianca", and another that's more like a sandwich shop).

We headed for the sandwich section to grab a bite for lunch. There were so many options in the glass case that I had a hard time deciding, but tried to hurry up as there was a continual stream of people in and out. I finally made my choice and as I took the first bite I was in heaven with a hot spinach and mozzarella sandwich and a bubbly lemon soda.

You may be a bit confused with the protocol when you enter (especially during the busy peaks)...but we told the guy behind the counter what we wanted. They asked if we want it heated, (which we did) and while they put it in the press, they gave us a ticket with the items listed which we took to the cashier along with drinks from the cooler, paid and returned to the counter to grab our hot sandwiches.

This really is the perfect lunch in Rome - and you can't beat the price of a few euros per person.

Forno Campo de' Fiori
Campo de' Fiori, 22 - Vicolo del Gallo, 14
06 68806662
http://www.fornocampodefiori.com/
Il Forno di Campo de' Fiori
Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22/22a
Rome, Italy, 00186
+39 0668806662

A Top Gelateria in Rome

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by airynfaerie on July 12, 2010

We've visited Rome many times previous to our last recent trip. And we've lived in Italy and tasted many a gelato flavor, let me tell you.

That's why, when my husband found a scoop in Rome which was "the best he's ever had"... it's a noteworthy place indeed.

We only had a half of a day in the Eternal City before our flight home, so we spent it wandering to a few new sites, meeting up with some friends, and of course, eating. So we made sure to fit in a stop at a highly-praised gelateria which we hadn't been before. We'd been told it was the favorite of a couple people we know who live in Rome, so decided it was definitely worth the stop.

The Gelateria del Teatro is a small establishment down one of the most adorable alleyways. Located not far from the Tiber river across from the Castel Sant' Angelo, it's located in a quaint section of town full of people strolling by and not many cars at all.

There was a group of people outside in the courtyard area (as there's no space inside to eat), and a small line around the glass case when we entered. We sampled a few of the unusual flavors, and finally decided. I had a vanilla/caramel flavor on top of caffe, which wasn't too unique, but was wonderful. My husband had yogurt with lampone e salvia (raspberry & sage), which was a flavor we'd never seen before, and he said was one of the best he's ever had. This combination of the sour yogurt with the savory sage and sweet/tart raspberry was an explosion of flavor in your mouth.

Out of the gelaterias I've tried in Rome, this is definitely at the top, and a place I'll return to.

Gelateria del Teatro
Via di San Simone, 70
06 45474880
Gelateria del Teatro
Via Di San Simone, 70
Rome
+39 06 45474880

Presidential Palace

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by airynfaerie on July 13, 2010

During our half day in Rome, we wanted to just walk around the city and see some sites we hadn't seen in past visits. A couple hours after arriving we walked past a poster on the streets announcing a big Caravagio exhibit. I'd remembered reading about this very important exhibit when it opened a few months back.

Because it was the first exhibit of its kind honoring the influential painter, the crowds that flocked to the exhibit when it initially opened were quite large. But I had hoped that the lines would be shorter now that it had been open for a few months.

We walked to the Piazza del Quirinale which is in the city center on the top of the highest of the seven hills of Rome. The view from the Piazza is amazing and on all sides there are beautiful and important buildings. Unfortunately, the lines at the Scuderie del Quirinale (the old stable building, which houses most special exhibits) were extremely long...so we passed on Caravaggio, and instead went to tour the Palazzo del Quirinale.

This palace was built in 1583 as a papal residence. Later it became the royal palace for the Italian kings, and currently serves as the house of the president. It was quite interesting to see what is in effect, Italy's "white house".

Although the official hours states that its open on Sundays 8:30-12:30 for a 5euro admission fee, we were there on a Friday afternoon and there was a special art exhibit with some pieces from the Medici family in Florence - so it was open and free! What a deal!

We enjoyed the tour, as well as catching the show of the changing of the guards in the inner courtyard. If you're in the area, definitely check to see if there's a special event or exhibit - it's worth a visit.

Palazzo del Quirinale
Piazza del Quirinale
http://www.quirinale.it/qrnw/statico/palazzo/palazzo.htm
Open: 8:30a-12:30p Sun
Admission: 5euro
+39 06 46 991
Palazzo del Quirinale
Piazza del Quirinale
Rome, Italy, 00187
+39 0646991

Are You Lying?!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by airynfaerie on July 13, 2010

There's a few place in Rome that I've wanted to see, but they never made my list of the 'must-see' places on earlier trips to the Eternal City. One of those places was the "Bocca della Verita" (mouth of truth), which was made famous on the film, "Roman Holiday".

During our last trip to Italy, we had a half a day in Rome before flying out, and just wanted a relaxing afternoon of walking around and seeing a few sites that weren't swarming with tourists. So we strolled down the banks of the Tiber, past the Jewish Ghetto area, and towards Palantine Hill. When we arrived near Circus Maximus, the Piazza della Bocca della Verita appeared, and it was such a beautiful area. We sat by the fountain and some ruins in the piazza before heading to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin where the Bocca della Verita is located.

I wasn't expecting there to be a line, but there was a substantial one in place when we arrived. We decided to wait in the queue which formed inside the gates along the front courtyard area of the church where the old stone circular sculpture is located. Although there's no admission fee, there is a "donation" box at the front where a volunteer stands and offers to take a photo for you with your camera.

After we took the iconic photo, we proceeded to the interior of the church which I didn't really know much about. It actually ended up to be a wonderful part of the visit, and almost more worth a visit than the Bocca della Verita. Founded in 780 in the Byzantine style, this church boasts a relic from St. Valentino.

Both are definitely worth a stop, especially if you're looking for free activities in Rome.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18
06-6781419
Open daily 9am-8pm (summer); daily 9am-5pm (off-season)
Free Admission
http://www.dpsusa.com/bocca_verita_history.shtml
Bocca della Verita (The Mouth of Truth)
Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Rome, Italy

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j74361-Rome-A_Half_Day_in_Rome.html

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