Three Fountains of Piazza Navona
As well as the ambience of this popular square the thee fountains are wonderful pieces of art to admire.:
the central Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Bernini
Fontana del Moro at the southern end and the 19th century Fontana del Nettuno at the other end.
Ponte Sant' Angelo
Ponte Sant' Angelo is an ancient bridge that crosses the Tiber River. It was built by Hadrian in 134 A.D. to 138 A.D. to lead from the City of Rome to his newly constructed mausoleum that is now the Castel Sant' Angelo. For many centuries the bridge was used by pilgrims to traverse the Tiber on there way to the St. Peter's Basilica. Today it is strictly a pedestrian crossing commonly used by tourists (and pilgrims still) to get to the Castel and the Vatican. The most notable feature of the bridge is the ten sculptures of angels on the flanking walls of the bridge that were commissioned by Pope Paul III in the 17th century. These execution of these sculptures was overseen by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and are quite interesting. During my visit, the annoying thing about the Ponte Sant' Angelo was the large number of hawkers selling cheap carvings and jewellary from Africa.
Buy a bus map first thing in Rome.
I bought a 7 day transporation pass for the bus and the train, it is a life-saver because you do not have to validate it each time you get on the bus or the tain. Be aware, the subway is dirty in Rome, it is better to take the bus. First thing in Rome is ... do yourself a favor ... buy a bus map, it costs about 6 Euroupe dollars, but it is worthy, so you will not be lost all the time in Rome.
Take the Leonardo Express train from the airport to Rome, it costs 11 Euroupe dollar per person. And remember validate the ticket at the yellow box, or you will be fined. They actually check the tickets on the train.
To read a bus sign in Rome, the name on the top is the where the bus originated, the one circled means the bus stop you are standing at the moment, and the bottom name is where the bus is headed to. Do'nt confuse them, or you will end up like us, we had all these unnecessary trips to everwhere and we ended up seeing everything in Rome, which is not a bad thing, if you have the time.
Local people do not speak English, be prepared for it.
Have fun in Rome,
Romans lunch here
I was determined to discover Testaccio, the district of Rome where the slaughter-house used to be located. Testaccio is still known for authentic Roman cuisine, simple and tasty. It's still linked to the meat market in people's minds and there's lots of expertise in cooking meat and offals there, so you know what to expect.
I chose to have lunch at Da Felice after hearing about it from a Roman friend. It's a short walking distance from Piazzale Testaccio, where there was an excellent market with fruits, vegetables and meat, poultry and charcuterie. I bought 6 huge green figs for .80 Euro cents... to give you an idea.
Then I asked the way to Felice's: it was just down the street (a bit hidden, on a corner.) I liked the place the minute I saw it and read the menu outside. Felice offers a different traditional dish every day of the week (the typical Roman way) and it looked good so I went in.
My meal is described below. Just to say that I LOVED watching the servers work, mix the spaghetti, call out hello or goodbye to customers, it was quite a cool atmosphere.
I would have given it a "Great Experience" rating IF they had reminded me that I needed to order contorni (accompaniments to the meat dish) if I wanted more than just tongue. There is a feeling that they're insular and content with their usual patrons, they don't pay that much attention to the curious food explorer. But then, you have to expect this when you insist on going to places not yet popular with tourists.
They only take reservations by phone. They say on their website "Sèmo dè Testaccio!" (We're from Testaccio!) -- to explain why they don't accept emails... being "from Testaccio" means one is rather old-fashioned. :) I had Capellini in brodo (fantastic!) as primo (to start) and
as secondo, lingua di manzo bollita. I loved it! that's boiled beef tongue btw.
I forgot to ask for contorni so all I got was tongue, but it was worth the trip.
They offered their house wine and it was good. I was especially happy that it was wine from the Lazio as I was trying to have regional wines everywhere I went during my month in Italy.
It was Principe Pallavicini Rubillo
Cesanese Lazio I.G.T.
Bottled by Colonna (Roma), 12,5%
Produced on volcanic and hilly soil.
For dessert, a torta di fragolini di bosco (wild strawberry pie) on a very rich and yellow crème pâtissière. It was okay. I liked it especially because I needed a sugar lift that day, at that time.
total cost was 35 Euros.
Piazza della Repubblica
As my hotel was near the railway station I started my Rome tour from here and first site is this
Piazza della Repubblica builds in semicircle shape. You might remember seeing this place in some of old Fellini's movies.