Visit 'The Spanish Steps'...
Visit 'The Spanish Steps' Built in the 17th century, they got there name from the Piazza di Spagna at the base of the steps. There is great window shopping along Via Condotti which stretches away from the steps. ie Gucci,Prada etc.
Roaming from the Pantheon
I'm realising, again! that writing tips helps me see where I was... In Rome perhaps more than in anywhere else! I'll have to build Roaming from the Pantheon in a few separate tips to keep everything readable.
The Pantheon itself is not "Off The Beaten Path" but the streets and alleys I chose to go from there were truly off the beaten path for me, albeit still in a touristy part of Rome.
(On this last visit to Rome, filled with a kind of "VT spirit", I was determined to note everything of importance and to return with useful stuff... Once back home, I had to admit once again that I'm not gifted for writing useful tips. Rome remains baffling...)
Anyway, starting at the Pantheon: a busy place, very Roman in atmosphere even with all the tourists. Seeing the inside is a MUST. The grand portico with its eights columns is linked to the rotunda by a massive brick construction. A gigantic bronze door lets you in. There you will be amazed! The celestial vault, 9 meters of open sky, is the only source of light in the temple and is absolutely awe-inspiring.
The niches inside used to be decorated with statues of gods. Today they are chapels, one of them dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto Primo. Very beautiful.
Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport
Leonardo da Vinci (IATA code FCO) is the largest airport in Italy; it is located 32 km away from the centre of Rome and it's easily reacheable by :
* car (through the Rome-Fiumicino motorway)
- Leonardo Express train (direct links from/to Termini station)
- metropolitan train FM1
* bus : Terravision Shuttle, Schiaffini Travel Shuttle, COTRAL (including night service).
Some airlines operating on Leonardo da Vinci Airport : Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air China, Air France, Alitalia, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Carpatair, Cathay Pacific, CSA, Delta Airlines, easyJet, Emirates, JAL, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Malev, Ryanair, SAS, Spanair, TAROM.
Italian fare at its Best
Rome is full of really good restaurants, and I am lucky to have discovered a couple of truly great ones.
One of my favourites is Doney at the Westin Excelsior. I ate there on a balmy evening in early June and so I was delighted to be seated outside on the pavement. Although I was with my Mum, the atmosphere was softly romantic at the candlelit table with the warm evening air on my skin.
The food is delectable, and the service is outstanding - the very best kind of silver service that one might expect at one of the best that Rome has to offer.
You just have to indulge in champagne here, watch the effortlessly elegant Italians walk along the Via Veneto, and savour every bite of the gastronomic feast.
It is disappointing that I had just four nights in Rome - so many restaurants, so little time...... I wanted to try everything on the menu, but my lobster starter was definitely the pick of the lot.
Cinema al fresco
During the summer months of L'Estate Romane, June to September the Isola hosts several nights of open air cinema. I saw "Ignorant fairies" here. An Italian film based in Rome. Tickets are cheap compared to other cinemas and they tend to show non commercial films. During the warm summer months it is the perfect place to see a film with the stars above and the Tiber river at your side.