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ROME

APARTMENT RENTALS:

  • Italy Perfect – Pat and Lisa Byrne are wonderful people with an excellent selection of beautiful apartments. Highly Recommended.
  • Friendly Rentals is based in Barcelona but they have agents and great apartments in Rome. Very Friendy people and easy rentals
  • VRBO.com and HomeAway.com are always great for apartment searches
  • AirBnb – rent a room or an entire apartment from the owner
  • One Fine Stay has some really beautiful properties in Rome, Paris, London, New York and Los Angeles
  • Campo dei Fiori Penthouse $$ – Very comfortable in a great location. We stayed here a few times. The location is excellent. There is an elevator to the apartment door but a long flight of stairs up to the apartment once you enter the front door. The terrace has no view and the kitchen is very small.
  • Pantheon Apartment $$$ – this is one of the best apartments we’ve stayed at in Rome. Beautiful view, very quiet, great location. The terrace is enormous with a great view over the Pantheon.

HOTELS:

  • Casa Fabbrini Boutique B&B $$ is a beautiful place near Piazza del Popolo and the Ara Pacis Museum.
  • Hotel Lancelot $ is near the colosseum is a small family owned hotel. Friends of ours love this place. We have not stayed here but we trust our friend’s recommendation.
  • Hotel Ivanhoe $ in the Monti is a wonderful small 3star hotel with kind of 1960s ambience. The management is wonderful, the price is great (with free wifi) and the roof garden can’t be beat.
  • Hotel Due Torri $ is close to the Tevere River near Piazza Navona. Very nice rooms with free wifi.
  • Hotel Capo d’Africa $$ is close to the Coliseum. It’s quiet and contemporary
  • Hotel Lunetta $$ is small hotel near the Campo dei Fiori. The spa at the hotel is built into the ruins of Pompey’s Theater
  • Hotel Scalinata di Spagna $$-$$$ is at the top of the Spanish Steps. It’s an old established hotel and close to the Alla Rampa Restaurant ( a great meal). The rooms are good size and very traditional. There is a wonderful rooftop terrace for breakfast with an amazing view over the city.
  • Hotel Raphael $$$ is close to Piazza Navona and the antique shops along Via Coronari. The decor is traditional.
  • Albergo Hotel Santa Chiara – $-$$. This small hotel near the Pantheon has been recommended by a few of our readers and friends
  • 47 Hotel – $$-$$$ -Stylish and contemporary with some great views from the roof bar. We’ve visited the hotel and it looked great. However, we have not stayed here yet.
  • Hotel Stendahl – A contemporary and very clean hotel. The only drawback is the hotel is on a busy street, via del Tritone, but once inside it’s quiet and beautiful. The street is close to the Trevi Fountain and a very short walk to Piazza di Spagna.
  • Hotel Indigo $$$ (also known as the Hotel St George). On the beautiful via Giulia with a great roof bar. Beautiful contemporary rooms.
  • D.O.M $$$ – Beautiful boutique hotel on the Via Giulia with a rooftop restaurant.
  • Gigli d’Oro – $$-$$$ small property with 6 suites very close to Piazza Navona
  • Luxury Suites $$$ (Margutta 54, Babuino 181 and Mario dei Fiori 37) are three small guest hotels with beautiful accommodations near the Spanish Steps
  • Hotel Eden – $$-$$$ this is a larger hotel between the Spanish Steps and the Borghese Park. It commands an amazing view of the city. The rooms are a good size and the furnishing is contemporary.
  • Domus Libera – $$-$$$ is a new luxury boutique hotel close to the Piazza Venezia. A mix of contemporary and old world.

MUSEUMS, ARCHEOLOGY, HERITAGE, ART AND HISTORY

  • Coopculture is a Heritage foundation that works closely with the Superintendent of Archeology in Rome, Naples and Siena. You’ll find tickets here that no one else will offer.
  • Borghese Gallery
  • Capitoline Museums – on the Capitoline Hill. This is one of the best ancient Roman museums in the world.
  • Museums of Rome
  • The Palazzo Colonna – This 14th century Palazzo has been updated till the 18th century. The Grand Gallery was built at the same time as Versailles and is perfectly restored. It is still privately owned but they open to the public on Saturdays from 9am – 1:15p
  • Galleria Doria Pamphilj – The home and art collection of Giovanni Battista Pamphilj (Pope Innocent X from 1644-1655).
  • The Museo della Civiltà Romana – The Museum of Roman Civilization at EUR
  • Vatican Museums – try to get on one of the night visits. There are less people and it’s magical in the Cortile della Pigna
  • Centrale Montemartini is a great mixture of 20th century power machinery with 1st and 2nd century Stautues
  • Necropolis beneath St Peter’s Basilica – Send an email to the address on the webpage for access to the Necropolis. It’s an amazing old roman street and catacombs of 1st century Christians. The tour ends with the (supposed) tomb of St Peter.
  • Basilica San Clemete – Three levels of Rome. Enter the 12th century Church and go down to the 4th century basilica and further down to the 1st century apartment buildings.
  • Cinecittà – The most famous Film Studio in Italy is now open to public for tours. They did a great job. The studio is on the Metro A line.
  • The Domus Romane at Palazzo Valentini – this is a multimedia exhibit near the Piazza Venezia and Ancient Fori. It is an amazing installation. You can actually see what life was like in the 1st century.
  • Archeological Sites in and around Rome – This site is managed by the Superintendent of Archeology. it used to just be in Italian but it has been recently translated. You can buy tickets to some wonderful very obscure places through this site.

DESTINATION GUIDES:

MOVIES/CINEMAS – (ENGLISH VERSION)

  • English Version Movies – Most films in Italy are in Italian, usually dubbed into Italian. However, there are a few Cinemas that will show the VO (version original) of American and UK films

TRANSPORTATION:

  • LOCAL TRAINS FROM LEONARDO DA VINCI (FIUMICINO FCO) AIRPORT
  • Trains and buses from the Airport to the city – Take the Trenitalia Leonardo Da Vinci express train from Fiumicino (FCO) to the Termini Train Station but the metro station at Termini is a long walk from the train. Another alternative is to take the FR1 metropolitan service that connects Fiumicino Airport with the Metro stations at Roma Ostiense or Roma Tiburtina. From these stations your can take the Metro B (blue line) to different locations in the city. The train and Metro will cost about os. A cab from the airport to the city is os (within the old walls).
  • BUSES AND METRO:
  • ATAC – Getting around Rome by public transportation is actually quite easy
  • Rome info: Metro Map
  • World Taxi meter – a clever way to figure the cab coast
  • Taxi Stands are around the city. The cabs will (usually) not stop for you if you try to flag them down. You can call for a cab in advance at either: 06-3570, 06-4157, 06-4994 or 06-6645. Ask for an English speaker person. There is a surplus charge to call a cab to pick you up.
  • CAR SERVICE:
  • Paolo’s Private Driving Tours – This site is very popular with the expat community. Paolo Apolloni offers tours, transfers and golf carts for disabled tourists. This is a family run business since 1949
  • Bob’s Limousine – An American who moved to Rome
  • SCOOTERS AND CLASSIC CAR RENTALS:
  • Happy Rent – OK the name is kind of goofy but they have classic cars and scooters for rent with audio guides. A step back in time
  • Bici e Baci – scooter rentals are in many locations around the city
  • CARS AND PARKING
  • There are lots throughout the city and most of them are around per day. However, there is a lot near Villa Borghese called PARK Si that is only /day. If you do have a car in Rome, this is a better solution for parking. There are over 1800 places for cars in this protected lot. Drive up via Francesco Crispi, enter the Villa Borghese park through the via Porta Pinciana and turn left on the Viale del Muro Torto. Stay to the right and the road will split onto Viale del Galoppatoio. The lot is very close to the split from Viale del Muro Torto. It is a 10 minute walk to the metro station at Piazza di Spagna.

SPAS

  • AcquaMadre Hammam – is in the old Jewish Ghetto. It is designed around an ancient Roman bath. The prices are very reasonable

LANGUAGE SCHOOL – Learn to Speak Italian while you are visiting Rome

DAY TRIPS:

Getting out of town is pretty easy. There are regional trains, or the faster more comfortable Trenitalia and Italotreno. If you pre-order the tickets from their websites you can save a lot. Italotreno and Trenitalia both have very good super economy ticket prices but they sell out.

  • Ostia – well preserved Roman port – 25 minutes
  • Tivoli– Hadrian’s Villa and the Villa d’Este – 45 minutes
  • Tarquinia – Etruscan Tombs – 1 hr
  • Viterbo – medieval hill town – 2hrs
  • Castel Gandolfo – Summer Palace of the Popes on Lake Albano – 45 minutes
  • Frascati – small wine community. They’ve been making Frascati wine for the Romans for over 2000 years – 30 minutes
  • Orbetello and Monte Argentario – in the Tuscan natural wildlife lagoon – 2hr
  • Naples – one of the best archeology museums in the world, a really fascinating city and great pizza – 1hr
  • Pompeii and Ercolano – the ruins of the 69 AD Vesuvius eruption – 1.5 hrs
  • Florence – 1.5 hrs
  • Orvieto – beautiful Umbriam small city – 1.25 hrs
  • EUR – Developed by Mussolini in the 1930s for the Esposizione Universale Roma (that never happened). The Museo della Civiltà Romana (Roman History Museum) includes a scale model of 4th century Rome and a deconstructed plaster cast of Trajan’s column. You can finally see the entire story of Trajan’s victory over the Dacians.

FOOD AND RESTAURANTS:

Roman classic dishes to try: cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), spaghetti carbonara (egg, grated cheese and bacon), bucatini all’amatriciana (tomato sauce, bacon, crushed red pepper, grated cheese), saltimboca (veal, prociuto and sage), porchetta (deboned pig), stuffed zucchini flowers and fried artichokes. The restaurants are best for pizza. The street pizze are more like focaccia bread with toppings. However, pizza is usually only served at night in the restaurants.

FOOD GUIDES AND BLOGS:

  • KatieParla.com is an amazing foodie blog by Katie Parla, a American living in Rome and writing about great places to eat.
  • Elizabeth Minchilli – a great guide to food and life in Rome since 1987
  • Revealed Rome is a blog by Amanda Ruggeri, a freelance journalist and travel writer living in Rome. She is a great writer and always has new information.
  • Following Hadrian – Carole Raddato has spent years devoting her time to discovering the world of the Emperor Hadrian.

RESTAURANTS AND FOOD SHOPS:

  • Il Pagliaccio – expensive and extremely inventive. Everything is fresh from the market every day. The restaurant is also open for lunch. There are only 28 tables so book early.
  • Glass Hosteria – Chef Cristina Bowerman has created a whole new kind of Roman restaurant in the Trastevere, filled with exotic flavors, a mixture of world cultures. This is one of the best meals you’ll ever have.
  • Roscioli near Campo dei Fiori is an amazing salumeria/restaurant/wine shop. They also have an excellent bakery around the corner. Lunch here is a must for anyone looking for an amazing meal.
  • Roscioli Forno – next to Roscioli and an incredible bakery.
  • Emma – one of the best pizzerias in Rome. Also great for Burrata, Bufala mozzarella, classic Roman dishes.
  • L’Asino d’Oro – via del Boschetto 73 in the Monti, close to the Forum. This is an amazing small restaurant with excellent food and a great staff. Highly recommended. 12:30pm-2:30pm for Lunch; 7:30pm-11pm for dinner. Call for reservations 06 48913832
  • La Taverna dei Fori Imperiale – Very close to the Forum, Via dei Fori Imperiali and via Cavour. This is a small and wonderful restaurant, one of our favorites. They are always fully booked so be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
  • Flavio Al Velavevodetto – classic white tablecloth Italian cucina. One of the best of the Testaccio.
  • Da Felice – another classic Cucina Romana in the Testaccio area. Make reservations at least 4 days in advance.
  • Cuoco e Camicia is a contemporary “nuova cucina” Italian restaurant in the Monti. The food is top quality and the chef is very creative.
  • Pierluigi – close to the via Giulia on Piazza dei Ricci. lots of outdoor tables; great Roman food,especially fish. Very good wine list. There are some who feel this is a tourist restaurant and yes, a lot of tourists do come here. However, we like the atmosphere, the food and the service and it’s great for people watching.
  • Il SanLorenzo – fresh fish every day but Sunday
  • Gusto – restaurant, pizza, bar near the Ara Pacis memorial and the Tomb of Augustus on Piazza Augusto Imperatore. After a visit to the Ara Pacis Museum, this is a perfect stop of lunch.
  • Ditirambo – Piazza della Cancelleria (near Campo dei Fiori). Great Roman style cooking. Their other restaurant across the street is Grappolo D’Oro. Very Small Restaurant. Get there early or make a reservation.
  • Enoteca Buccone – This is a really great wine shop with wines from all over Italy and the rest of the world. The staff is very helpful and the prices are very reasonable. They also have a great selection of beer and olive oil. The Enoteca is on via Ripetta between the Pizza del Popolo and the Ara Pacis Museum
  • Castroni – Wonderful upscale grocery shop with locations all over the city.
  • Panella – an amazing bread shop. It’s pricey but well worth the trip just to see their creations. It is truly the art of bread making in Rome.
  • Ristorante Alla Rampa in the Piazza Mignanelli (just behind the American Express office near the Spanish Steps) might just have the best antipasto table in Rome. We’ve been coming back here for over 12 years. Fabulous antipasti table. Great Roman fare at good prices.
  • Enoteca Antica – Via della Croce (near the Spanish Steps) trattoria, wine bar and restaurant in the heart of the shopping district
  • Trattoria Cavalier Gino – Vicolo Rosini, 4, Rome, + 39 06 6873434; near the Piazza Montecitorio and the Hall of Deputies. It’s always filled with politicians.
  • Antico Arco – in the Trastevere. This is one of the new very trendy nuova cucina restaurants of Rome. Dinner is pricey but they are also open for lunch.
  • Urbana47 – In the Monti. The restaurant has changed format and is now a bar service for local pasta and pizza. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Sciuè Sciuè – Wonderful and inventive small restaurant in via Urbana in the Monti
  • Circus at Hotel 47 – The Hotel 47 is across the street from the Temple of Hercules near the Piazza della Bocca Verità. The restaurant is on the roof. It commands an incredible view, but don’t just go for the view, the meal is absolutely amazing. This is one of the hidden secrets of Rome.
  • La Bottega del Cafè – It’s a wonderful place to watch people mull around the Piazza Madonna dei Monti, the main Piazza of the Monti district. The coffee is good and the price is less than anywhere else for a seat on the terrace. The cafe is connected to a B&B named Il Corvo
  • Le Tavernelles in the Monti. The restaurant goes back many years and it was a favorite of local celebrities and movie stars. The walls are still covered with Celebrity photos. It’s now owned by Franco and Mimmo who are doing an excellent job. The cacio e pepe is very good. The prices are very reasonable (food and wine) and the service is the best thanks to Franco’s brother Enrico.

PIZZA

  • Habemus Pinsa – near Piazza Barberini. A wonderful crust and an ancient way of making pizza, the old Roman way. Lots of topping choices. The pinsa are small and cut into 4 slices. It’s a perfect amount but you can always order more.
  • Trieste Pizzette – on via Urbana in the Monti. Pizzete are small pizzas, perfect for lunch. The crust is light, airy and crunchy and the toppings are delicious.
  • Li Rioni Pizzeria – via dei SS Quattro Coronari 24 (near the Colosseo) – +39 06 70450605. No website (yet). The pizze are excellent and very affordable. This is a local favorite and if you don’t get there early it’s a long wait. They do take reservations.
  • Pizza Montecarlo – Vicolo Savelli, just off the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II. Get there early. There is always a line
  • Pizza Re – there are a few in the city. Neopolitan style. We like the one on Via della Ripetta (near Piazza del Popolo).
  • Pizzeria Pan’Unto – Piazza S Rufina (near Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere) in the Trastevere recommended by friends who loved it.
  • Pizzeria Baffetto – near Piazza Navona. Reservations can be made and are very helpful. It fulls up early
  • Baffetto 2 – Near Campo dei Fiori
  • Grazie Dio è Venerdi – Translates to Thank God it’s Friday. This is a wonderful small pizzeria in the Monti. The pizze are crisp and a bit thicker than most Roman pizza. Kind of a cross between Roman and Napolitano.
  • La Gatta Mangiona – a little further away from the centro storico but an amazing gourmet pizzeria, pastaria and over 60 varieties of beer

GELATO

  • The secret of good Gelateria is this: look for the Gelato that doesn’t look like clouds of deliciousness. Yes, these overfilled vats will suffice if nothing else is around, but if you walk a little further you’ll see small bins without the cloud. It’s fresh, made with natural ingredients and not filled with air to make it look more appealing. This is the best gelato.
  • Gelateria del Teatro – This is our personal favorite. The owner and master Gelatoio, Stefano Marcotulli. In our taste buds, he is the master. The shop has moved from the small alley of via del San Simone to a newer, larger and brighter location on Via Coronati near Piazza Navona. Stefano, originally a pastry chef has now incorporated Gelato based pastries as well and they are amazing. Stefano has also opened a new Gealteria near the Ponte Garibaldi at Lungotevere dei Vallati 25. Bravo Stefano.
  • Gelato Fatamorgana – always unique home made flavors in foour locations around the city
  • Ciuri Ciuri– Via Leonina 18 in the Monti district but there are a few other locations. Best Sicilian style gelato, granita and pastries. Incredible and very difficult to walk past without going in.
  • Fior di Luna – At Via della Lungaretta 96, in the Trastevere near the Ponte Garibaldi (bridge)
  • Gelato Fiocco di Neve – Via del Pantheon near the Pantheon
  • Vice Gelateria – Via Vittorio Emanuele II near the intersection of Corso del Rinascimento, close to Piazza Navona.
  • Grom – This northern Italian gelateria chain is all over Italy and now coming to the US. It’s very good and very creamy but not as inventive as del Teatro or Fatamorgana.
  • FLOR – Similar to Grom, FLOR is another Italian chain with a few locations in Rome.
  • Carpapina – This Gelateria from Florence just opened up next to Roscioli Forno onVia Buonarroti, 46/48. This is a great new addition to an great group of Gelaterie in Rome.

COFFEE-CAFE

MEDICAL SERVICES (just in case)

  • The Rome American Hospital – it’s a distance from the central city but it is the American Hospital with lots of english speaking doctors. Unfortunately, the website is not in English but they do have phone numbers to call.
  • The Aurelia Hospital is closer to the central city and a favorite of tourists. It is very modern with english speaking staff.
  • The Aventino Medical Group is close to the Circo Massimo in the Aventine. It is close to the central city and has English speaking staff. The website is also in English.
  • Doctors in Italy – This is a medical clinic in the Central Historic Area of Rome near the Spanish Steps. The clinic has english speaking staff and Doctors and the website is in English.
  • Medicall is a 7day/24hr medical service. They are close to Piazza di Spagna or if you can’t make it there, they will come to you. The site is in English.

RECOMMENDED READING

  • Rome – The Biography of a City – Christopher Hibbert
  • Rome – Oxford Archeological Guide – Amanda Claridge
  • Dynasty – Tom Holland
  • SPQR – Mary Beard
  • Rome – Cadogan Guide – Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls
  • When in Rome – Matthew Sturgis
  • Rome and Environs – An Archeological Guide – Filippo Coarelli
  • Not Built in a Day – Exploring the Architecture of Rome – George H. Sullivan
  • The Families Who Made Rome – Anthony Majanlahti
  • Rome – A Practical Guide to the History and Culture of the Eternal City – Mauro, Paola, Eric and Jack Lucentini
  • Rome – Robert Hughes
  • Fall of the Roman Empire – Peter Heather
  • The Fires of Vesuvius – Mary Beard
  • The Twelve Caesars – Suetonius
  • The Roman Forum – David Watkin
  • St. Peter’s – Keith Miller
  • The Colosseum – Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard
  • Rubicon: The last Years of the roman Republic – Tom Holland
  • Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization – Lars Brownworth 
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon