Buy a pass to see the sights
If you want to avoid lines and are planning to see quite a few archeological sites in Rome within a week, the Archaeologia Card is a good buy.
It includes these sites:
Colosseo, Palatino and Palatino museum, National Roman Museum (Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Crypta Balbi, Terme Diocleziano), Terme di Caracalla, Cecilia Metella, Villa Dei Quintili.
The card costs € 23,50 for all 9 sites, valid for a week, and you can buy it at the National Museum near Roma Termini (probably at other locations too).
More info and addresses here
Note: Discount for EU citizens between 18-25 yrs and teachers: € 13,50.
EU citizens under 18 and over 65 the card is free. Combine this card with the CIS transportation card, also valid for 7 days (€ 16) and you are all set to discover Rome.
Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to The Unknown Soldier of Italy World War I
By virtue of a joint resolution of Congress, approved 12.October.1921, the Medal of Honor, emblem of highest ideals and virtues, is bestowed in the name of Congress of the United States of America upon the unknown, unidentified Italian soldier to be buried in the National Monument to Victor Emanuel II, in Rome …
The opening from U.S. War Department General Orders, No. 52, 1.December.1922
HOW THE UNKNOWN IS KNOWN That portion of the Victor Emanual Monument where the unidentified soldier rests is known as Altare della Patria. The solider’s remains were selected by the mother of an Italian soldier who never returned home, and was counted among the thousands missing. Her own son was most likely interred somewhere in an unmarked grave, perhaps even in a mass grave.
Members of different branches of the armed forces rotate the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We saw this change around Noon on a Saturday in late May. It lacks the pomp of a Buckingham Palace guard change; with good reason this occasion is much more solemn.
Palazzo Madama - The Italian Senate
Palazzo Madama currently house of the Senate of the Italian Republic.
It was built atop the ruins of the ancient baths Nero, next to Piazza Navona. The terrain had been acquired in the Middle Ages by the monks of the Abbey of Farfa, who later ceded it to France.
The new building was begun at the end of the 15th century and completed in 1505, for the Medici family. It housed two Medici cardinals and cousins, Giovanni and Giuliano, who both later became popes as Leo X and Clement VII, respectively. Catherine de' Medici, Clement VII's niece, also lived here before she was married to Henry, son of King Francis I of France in 1533.
The palazzo takes its name from Madama Margherita of Austria, illegitimate daughter of Emperor Charles V, who married another illegitimate son, Alessandro de' Medici and, after his death, Ottavio Farnese. Thus part of the art collection of the Florentine Medici family was inherited by the Farnese family.
The current façade was built in the mid 1650s by both Cigoli and Paolo Maruccelli. The latter added the ornate cornice and whimsical decorative urns on the roof.
After the extinction of the Medici, the palace was handed over to the House of Lorraine and, later, to Pope Benedict XIV, who made it the seat of the Papal Government. In 1849 Pius IX moved here the Ministeries of Finances and of the Public Debt, as well as the Papal Post Offices. In 1871, after the conquest of Rome by the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, the palazzo has been the seat of the Senato della Repubblica.
The Palace is open to the public every first Saturday of the month (not in August) from 10am till 6pm. No reservation is required and it is free of charge.
Getting around in Rome
Forget driving in Rome: the traffic is MAD!!! The only people drivers tend to slow down for are the clergy, so try to cross the street with a priest or nun when you get the chance. Renting a scooter might seem a very Italian thing to do and it probably is, but again you're taking your life in your own hands and do you really want to risk crashing into a car?
Better to use the bus and metro then. Have a look at the map and rest assured: everything is within easy walking distance in Rome! A very handy bus line is 64 or 40 (Express) from Termini via the city centre to the Vatican, and a one-way ticket costs EUR0.77.
Fried fish fillets el Fresco.
If you like deep fried fish fillet's you will enjoy this place. It is very reasonably priced and weather permitting, you can enjoy your meal on the uneven cobblestones outside in the small square. As with most restaurant's in Rome it is quite hard to find but, worth the effort! I believe fish is the only thing they serve but, it is very fresh and good. FISH! One of the very few entree's we found to be deep fried in our visit to Roma.