Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II
At one of the most busy trafficsquares of Rome you find this huge white marble building, also called The Weddingcake.
The building is build to honour Italian's first king between 1885 and 1911 and designed by Giuseppe Sacconi.
The building is now also the grave of the unknown soldier.
Altare della Patria.
Via Appia Antica
Immerse yourself in ancient, Christian Rome along the Appian Way. HISTORY – In 71 BC six thousand slaves rebelling under Spartacus, having been captured after his final defeat and death, were crucified along this road by Marcus Licinius Crassus.
The Appian Way was begun in 312 BC by the consul Appius Claudius Caecus over an existing track that connected Rome with the Alban Hills. Supposedly, to be the one that originally brought Latins from Albalonga to Rome when it was founded.
The original path of the Appian Way connected Rome (heading in the area of Baths of Caracalla) with Ariccia, Forum Appii, Terracina, Fondi, Formia, Minturnae (Minturno), Sinuessa (Mondragone) and finally Capua – extended in 190 BC to Benevento (Beneventum) and Venosa which was founded at that time and populated by 20,000 Roman farmers – then to Taranto (Tarentum) and Brindisi (Brundisium).
Via Appia Antica was the most famous of all road that led to Rome, stretching all the way from Rome to the seaport of Brindisi, which accommodated trade with the colonies in Greece and the East.
A new Appian Way was built in parallel with the old one in 1784. After the fall of the Roman empire, the road was not as used as before; Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration and brought it into new use.
You will see many tombs and catacombs of Roman and early Christian origin along the road close to Rome with great monuments and ancient tombs of patrician Roman families. Burials were forbidden within the city walls as early as the 5th century B.C. and, beneath the surface, miles of tunnels were hewn from tufa stone.
Also the Church of Domine Quo Vadis is in the first mile of the road. It was along the Appian Way that an escaping Peter encountered the vision of Christ, causing him to go back to the city to face subsequent martyrdom.
These tunnels, or catacombs, were where early Christians buried their dead and, during the worst times of persecution, held church services discreetly out of the public eye. A few of them are open to the public, so you can wander through mile after mile of musty-smelling tunnels whose soft walls are gouged out with tens of thousands of burial niches (long shelves made for 2-3 bodies each). In some dank, dark grottoes, you can still discover the remains of early Christian art. The requisite guided tours feature a small dose of extremely biased history and a large dose of sermonizing.
Finnegans is an Irish owned bar in Rome. It feels like a typical Irish bar, with good Irish brew (Guinness is a given - although I am not a fan of the drink myself). It is a great bar to go to as it is not on the main streets of Rome (but is still in the historical centre) and therefore a lot of the people who come here are locals - well okay, a lot of them are Irish or from the UK, but they're not likely to be the same tourists who were checking out the Trevi Fountain or Spanish Steps.
The atmosphere is great - sit at the bar and have a chat with the staff, play a game of pool (billiards) in the back room, sit outside, or sit at one of the booths/tables and just relax. When I went here it was because there was a 'friendly' football match on - Ireland v. Italy - Italy won 1-2. If you're looking to watch anything sports related to Ireland (Rugby, football, gaelic football, hurling) - they will, more than likely, be showing it here.
So, if you're in Rome, but for some reason feel the need for a good Irish pub - then this is your place.
Pizzeria Da Baffetto
When the friend I was staying with told me we were going to have pizza yet again for dinner, I was disappointed at least. When she told me we were likely going to have to wait in line, I was borderline angry. What about all the nice looking pasta places? I wondered. But after a good 15-20 minute wait in line at Pizzeria da Baffetto and another 15 minutes spent milking a gigantic Nastro Azzurro beer, I realized why she had submitted me to my fleeting half hour of agonizing hunger. This was by far the best pizza I have ever had. Forget Domino's, forget store bought pizzas, forget California Pizza Kitchen, or that specialty, dirty looking place that has the most "authentic" pizza in town back home. My parents are pizza purists, and growing up I was never allowed to have any kind of chain pizza, or anything that departed too far from the classic New York-style thin crust. When we go back east to see the family, we stop for pizza at Mario's BEFORE we get to the grandparents. So I've seen my fair share of pizza. This crust was so thin, so deliciously soaked with cheese and tomato sauce and toppings, that by the time I had finished my first WHOLE pizza, I was ready for more. And that's WITH the giant beer and the promise of gelato ahead. So even if you think you've had enough pizza, even if you've already eaten dinner, stop by Baffetto for something like you've never tasted. But be sure to get there when it opens, which I believe is at 6:30 (double check that though!), or you'll find yourself waiting outside the closed door in a growing line. And be ready and willing to split a table with another party if there's only two or three of you, likely a group of fellow travelers. But it really just adds to the experience. I don't remember what they called it, but it was pizza with onion, sausage, and mushroom, and maybe some other things.
Tasty despite its name
Anywhere else in the world, I would avoid a restaurant with the name Maccheroni. But not in Rome, where if it had served bad food, it probably would not have lasted, at least among the locals. Ristorante Maccheroni serves delicious Roman cuisine, complemented by other regional Italian dishes. It is located at a very charming piazza, just north of the Pantheon, next to a couple of other popular restaurants and wine bars.