Take a stroll along the Tevere...
Take a stroll along the Tevere and enjoy the awesome views. Some areas are dirty or not very well maintained, and the intense traffic is annoying, but it is still worth it, whether by day light or under the moon. You can see more pictures in the travelogue.
Casino dell'Aurora Ludovisi (Villa Ludovisi)
It is not open to the public but small groups (minimum 10 people) can send a written request (fax) to the Amministrazione Boncompagni for a Friday morning private visit that will cost Euro 12 per person.
It was built by Cardinal Ludovisi in the 17th century and frescoed by the Italian painter Giovan Francesco Barbieri named "Guercino". The ceiling fresco's subject is Aurora the goddess of dawn.
You will also admire the painting "Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto" by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi called Caravaggio. It is unusually painted in oils on plaster (oil painting is normally on canvas or sometimes on wood).
Entrance is from Via Lombardia 44, right in front of Hotel Sofitel
Open Top Tour Buses
Rome is a wonderful place to explore on foot because the historical sites are close together and the public transport leaves little to be desired. However, if you're lazy to walk and not good with the guidebooks, another option is to go on an open top bus.
It's not the best way to discover Rome but it will bring you close to most of the major spots. It will cost about Euro 13 which will include the price of the ride & audio guide. You can hop on & off as much as you like or stay on board for a panoramic 90 minute tour.
Tre Scalini in Piazza Navona
A romantic time in Rome itself...hmmmmn...I would make it part of an evening.
One afternoon, after your siesta, when you're done window shopping and all, wander over to the Pantheon and admire it inside and out. Then as darkness falls, go over to Piazza Navona. Make the circle around the whole piazza arm in arm, like other couples. You may see kiosks set up to sell stuff, you may see artists selling caricatures, you will definitely see lots of other people seeing and being seen - it's a car free zone (except for the lone police car that wanders slowly through).
When you've done a circuit or two admiring the fountain of four rivers and the buildings around the Piazza, sit in the bar next to Tre Scalini (it may be Tre Scalini's bar, I don't remember). Tre Scalini is a long time restaurant that all Romans know (even if they don't go) on the west side of the piazza.
Tell the waiter that you would like a drink, and that you would like to have dinner inside afterwards. If you can, sit outside with your drink and your better half, and admire all the people walking by. This evening promenade is quintissentially Mediterranean.
When you're ready (or the waiter comes to tell your that the best table - in the window - is ready), go into the restaurant and have dinner. It will not be cheap, but, frankly, it's more expensive at trendier places. For dessert, be sure to have tartuffo al cioccolato (sp?), a homemade chocolate bomb that was invented by this restaurant.
After dinner, make another circuit of the piazza (to aid digestion), then have an after dinner drink at the bar across the piazza (perhaps a shot of Amaretto or Tuaca - Italian servings are not as large as American) or a digestivo - Italians are big into herbed drinks to aid digestion.
Then stagger home. ;-) Tartuffo cioccolato...'nuff said...
Fontana di Trevi
The only thing I disliked about the Trevi Fountain was the hundreds of tourists that were there (and yes, I was just another one of them). But if you can fall in love with a fountain, then I fell in love with the Fontana di Trevi. It's in a small square, with tall buildings around it, making the atmosphere feel very cosy. It is especially beautiful in the evening when it is lit up.
Also, while at the fountain you are supposed to stand at the waters edge, with your back to the fountain and throw a coin over your left shoulder - this is supposed to mean that you will return to Rome.
Now the fountain itself is very impressive. I've heard a lot of people say it was smaller than they thought it would be... to me it was bigger than I though it would be, and I thought it was stunning to look at. It was completed in the mid 18th Century and was designed by Nicola Salvi. The central figure of the fountain is Neptune, the sea god. The figures that stand immediately to the left and right of Neptune are supposed to represent fertility and good health.