Tickets for Travel Anywhere in Rome
I would strongly suggest your first port of call, as soon as you arrive in Romes city centre, to be to track down a travel ticket.
In Rome, they have got it sussed!! You can buy a travel ticket that allows travel on any bus, metro or tram for an allocated time, and away you go! This way saves you money, and saves the hassle of sifting through your euro change everytime you just want to hop on and off crowded buses......
You just need to look after your ticket, and get it stamped in a machine everytime you board.
There are however, big fines for people caught travelling without valid tickets, and you must remember to make a note of the expiry date on the back of your ticket (as a mate of mine found out to his cost!)
You can purchase such 'heavenly' tickets from any normal newsagents / convenience store, by simply asking for a 7day travel pass (or however long you want it for). I think i remember the price to be around £4-5 for a week, which is unbelievable for city travel.
The Vegetable Garden (Orto Castrense)
It located just next door to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and only 10 minutes walk from the Basilica of St. John in Lateran.
This place is now little more famous because there was some press coverage when the new iron and glass door by contemporary artist Jannis Kounellis was officially presented to the public (November 2007)
You can also buy their produce from the little shop open few days a week.
I suggest to call ahead or send an email to find out about guided tours and opening hours.
There is also a hotel in the same complex :www.domussessoriana.it
Arriving at Fiumicino airport you can take the train to Rome, Stazione Termini. This trip takes about 40 minutes and I do not remember the price. We tried to buy a ticket from the machine but this did not work so I tried in my best Italian to buy a ticket and it worked! Stazione Termini is very big! It is quite a walk to the taxi stand...
Salads and more
L'Insalata Ricca is a popular chain of eateries in Rome and before you gasp in horror ("You ate at a CHAIN???") these lovely little trattorias are a far cry from Olive Garden. Insalata Ricca means "rich salad" - there are a bunch of them of the menu and they're rumored to be very large, very fresh and very good. We didn't have one - go figure. Winding up here at the end of a long, last day in Rome, we had an appetizer, a secondi apiece, and some lively dinner conversation with a couple of astronomers from the States - who, by the way, said they ate here often as it was always good.
If I remember correctly, Jerry had fork-tender Bistecca di manzo - beef in a traditional sweet and sour sauce. I had salmon baked in parchment with vegetables - a little on the fishy side but also good. Both entrees were very reasonably priced, wines were inexpensive and good, and the place was packed with locals and tourists alike. The menu includes salads (of course), pasta, pizza, fish and a few meat dishes. Don't eat anything that moos or clucks? Not to worry - their many meatless offerings make it a good choice for vegetarians.
The website lists all locations - we ate outside at the one on Piazza Pasquino, 72, just a little southwest of Piazza Navona. Nothing in particular- we read many recos based on quality of food and reasonable price. Our total bill was under 50 euro (appetizer, two entrees and wine) but I'm not posting a PP price based on ever-changing exchange rates.
Piazza Navona is a majestic and tranquel part of the city. The surprising vastness and overwhelming calm of the square is almost spiritual. It is a lovely place to dine or take a coffee after walking for hours.
There is a little shop to the end of the square which sells traditional toys. This may not be the sort of place that would draw most of us in but there is something very special towards the back. Leather masks! They are the type you would wear to a 'masked' ball and are beautiful. Some are coloured with shiny things or feathers but all are tasteful and chic.
My biggest regret of my trip to Rome was to not buy one of these as a souviner. To me, its worth a return visit!