More about Express By Holiday Inn San Giovanni
Roman Holiday Inn
We spent five great days at the Rome-San Giovanni Holiday Inn Express. This hotel is located within an easy walk from the "Rome Tuscolana" railway station which is on a direct line to the international Fiumicino Airport. The subway stop "Pontelungo" and bus stops are also close by. Easy location for all forms of city transportation. Friendly, english speaking staff. Great brealfast menu. Close to the Basialica San Giovanni which is a major sightseeing site.
San Giovanni in Laterano - Outside.
The Basilica has two façades very typical of the Baroque Rome. San Giovanni in Laterano looks more like a palace than like a church.
The main one, facing Porta S Giovanno, is from the architect Allessandro Galilei in 1735. It was said in Rome that he got the job because he was from Florence as well as the pope Clement XII.
It is a very suggestive façade combining dark openings and bright columns. The 15 giant statues on top are visible from far away even from the Capitoline Hill. They represent Christ surrounded by St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist the co-patrons of the Cathedral and other saints. The statues are 7 m high. It is one of the views of Rome tourists certainly do remember.
The very impressive bronze doors (1st c. AC) are those of the ancient Roman Senate, the "Curia Julia". They were transferred here from the Forum by Pope Alexander VII in 1660.
Left of the entrance in a large statue of the first christian Emperor Constantine I. This statue was once at the Imperial baths on the Quirinal.
If you arrive at the basilica by the opposite side i.e. by the Piazza S. Giovani with the Obelisk you see, on the right of the Palace, the other nice façade by Domenico Fontana (1586).
Open each day from 7 to 18.30 h. Free entrance.
Clean and good size rooms
Some reviews state that the hotel is up a steep hill, I think this is a slight exaggeration. The hill is only a slight incline, so don't be put off by this. We arrived in Rome at approx 10am and from advise posted by other travellers we caught a bus fromk oustide of the airport for one euro, you should get of the bus at the Anignana stop (think thats how its spelt), from here you get on the tube and this takes you directly to the Puento Lungo stop. You can purchase a 3 day ticket for the tube and bus for 11 euros (great value!) Once you get off the tube take the Gela street exit, walk down Gela road until you meet a junction, here turn right and walk under the railway bridge. The hotel is then first left, on the left hand side of the road. The breakfast is good, lots of choice, although the hot food wasn't to my taste. The hotel receptionist recommended to us a restaurant just around the corner, and I would recommend to anyone. We ate there both nights of our stay. If you come out of the hotel, turn left, and then I think its first right, there is a restaurant called Stacco. Ask the receptionist for directions, the food was lovely, and the place was very clean and tastefully decorated. I could recommend the steak, which was 16 euros. Mmmmm, delicious!
American Standard hotel, Good breakfast, Free parking.
The hotel rooms are roomy and clean. Everything is new. Coffee maker is in the room. Breakfast was pretty decent, cereal, yogurts, cheese and pork. Scrambled eggs and sausage were not always there, you had to wait until they bring them in and then it was snatched quickly. The good bang for a buck for us was a free parking in the underground garage. The one negative point was the luck of the safe in the room. They claimed to have them in the reception but during our 3-night stay they claimed that all were taken. The walk to the metro was really 10 min. Some people said it was closing early but we were so tired from walking that returned before 9 pm. It wasn’t a problem for us. Overall, I think, the hotel is better then 2 star rating.
Good hotel for short break stay.
Stayed here for 3 nights. Room comfortable and air-conditioned, a real treat to return to after walking around in the summer heat! Staff friendly and very helpful, all spoke English. Continental breakfast with good variety of cold meats, cheeses pastries etc. Also cereals, fruit and yogurt. Hot option was scrambled egg and bacon. Ice and snack vending machines near hotel reception area. Good supermarket near railway underpass, less than 5 minutes walk from hotel. Couple of good restaurants nearby, one already mentioned in another review, other is across main road and serves mainly pasta dishes. Metro station about 10 minutes walk from hotel and is the easiest way of travelling to historic sights.
About what you would expect
It is an American motel and about what you expect from one. It is clean, modern with a very good breakfast buffet, but no other meals served. Our room was small, especially since there were three of us. There is no laundry service and while the staff was generally helpful they could not help me find a laundromat or service. The hotel is not very well located, about 400 meters from the nearest metro stop. It was moderately priced but totally lacking in charm.
Could not fault
Have just returned from the San Giovanni having spent 4 nights there. The hotel is located in the suburbs a 10 minute underground ride from the main tourist sites (1euro). The nearest station is Punto Lungo a five minute walk from the hotel. Or catch the 85 bus from the bottom of the street.
The hotel is bright, clean and modern. Our room was ample size for 2 adults and one 16 year old (one double bed and one double sofa bed). Housekeeping was very good, lots of fresh towels everyday and sheets changed every other day.
Breakfast was a vast array of cereals, yoguts, honey, fruit, cheeses, bread, spreads, pastries,cakes, and a hot counter with bacon, sausage and eggs. The waitresses were friendly and efficient and kept every thing replenshed. We found 8.00am was just about right as any later was crowded.
There are a couple of decent restaraunts close by, our daughter enjoyed Pizzario, Pastario at the bottom of the street, popular with the locals.
Great Great Great!!!!!!!
We decided to stayed at the San Giovanni after seeing all the positive reviews on this site and they weren't wrong. We had no problems finding the hotel thanks to the directions given by another reviewer. The hotel was spotlessly clean, loads of fresh towels every day and the service was excellent. When we arrived the weather wasn't great we were a bit cold, we called down to reception and within 5 minutes they had brought us up more blankets and pillows. Ask the receptionist for map of Rome, they are really useful and very clear we would he probably missed half of the sites without this. Breakfast was lovely only complaint is the extra pounds that I have gained due to eating pastries for breakfast.
A few handy hints:-
If you flying with Ryan Air or Easyjet then you can catch the coach Terravision from the airport to the Termini. It cost us 8 euros each. You can also get the coach back to the airport from roughly the same place where you got it from and they run approx every half hour. From where the coach drops you cross the road and walk straight ahead an to the right across a car park. You should see the large train station to your left and to your right a red sign with a M on it, this is the Metro station and you want Metro line A. The signs for the Metro aren't very clear just a large red sign with M written on, nothing to indicate that it is a station or which one, but at the bottom of the sign you will see steps leading down into Metro station. If you can't see this, then you can walk to the far end of the station and you should be able to get to Metro line A from here. You will need to buy a ticket from one of the machines, we bought an all day ticket for 4 euros each which meant that we could get on and off the metro as many times as we pleased, it was well used and we didnt have to worry about it running out while we were on Metro system. Push it through the machine at the barriers but make sure you wait for it to come out again. You want a train heading towards Anagnina. and get off at Ponte Lungo. Further directions can been seen at one of the other reviews as i would just be repeating exactly what they have said. We used the Metro system a lot during our stay, they run about every 3 minutes and were extremely useful for getting us across Rome, there is many stops close to major sites in Rome, a map from the receptionist will help you to see which ones to get off at. It my seem a long distance between the stop and where you want to go but it isn't at all. So you have some idea from the river to the Spanish Steps took us approx 10 mins and that was at a leisurely stroll. Use the Metro to Battistini to get back into the centre of Rome. At no time did I feel uneasy about using the Metro or at any time whilst in Rome, as with any major city in the world i just used common sense and wore a bag across my chest that fastened with a zip rather than over my shoulder and was just aware of anyone who seemed to be getting a bit close. At peak times the Metro can get extremely busy you just have to push yourself on even though there doesn't seem any room there will be space. We managed to push our way with two suitcase size backpacks and no body complained. The people there don't seem to mind it in the slightest, it's just part of everyday life for them. The only complaint is that Line A closes at 9.30, but of an evening we got a taxi back to the hotel which cost us between 12 and 15 euros (not expensive in the slightest) depending on where we were in Rome. The taxi ride itself is worth the money, just to see all the building lit up was amazing.
Crossing the streets in Rome:- This can be a scary task at first but you soon get used to it, basically if there isn't a green man crossing then you have to edge your way out and the traffic will stop for you just be aware of mopeds shooting out from behind cars. On our first day there we found ourselves being crossed over the road by a rather elderly local lady who just walked out and stopped the traffic for us. Car drivers over there are used to having to stop for people crossing and i have been told the reason for this is that pedestrians have the right of way but i can't confirm how factual that is. It is a bizarre experience drivers will beep like mad at other road users but never at pedestrians. Another bit of good advice is don't run when crossing, as drivers there are used to people walking out in front of them they have developed a sense of timing and this will put them off. Don't be surprised to find cars driving around you back and front as you are crossing. Just be extremely careful when crossing roads as you will see there doesn't seem to be any rules there when it comes to driving. One of the most amusing things we found while we where in Rome was the parking. It seems to just be a case have if there is space then I will make my car fit. Have a look for yourselves when you are there, it sent us into fits of giggles many a time, they obviously don't have traffic wardens.
Best places to eat:- We always went into the centre of Rome to eat so i cannot comment on anything around the hotel. Although many reviews say not to eat on the Piazza's as they are much more expensive, we found them to be not much difference in price and to only be a couple of euros more, well worth it for the views and the atmosphere. Try Piazza Navona or one of the streets around the Pantheon. We tried a restaurant in an piazza called Campo Dei Fiori, we wouldn't recommend it, thankfully we had only stopped for lunch. The service was poor and we found that italians were served before us. After speaking to people we found that this is were the locals mainly meet, and by the service we got we think they want to keep it that way. Other than that every other meal we had was fantastic and the service excellent.
At the Colosseum we were approached by a tour guide who told us that the queue was 1 hour long but if we went in as part of a tour for 18 euros each 8 euros more than the actual entrance fee then we would get in straight away, we didn't go in and decided we would come back the next day. We returned the next day and decided to wait in the queue which was the same size as the previous day, it took us approx 15 minutes at the most to get in, so don't be fooled by these tour guides they just want your money. They actually done us a favour as when we left the Colosseum the first time after deciding not to wait in the queue we wandered over to the Vatican and seen the pope performing mass which was really nice as we weren't expecting it.
I could go on for a lot longer about things to do and see in Rome but i think i'll have to end it there. Rome was amazing and I would recommend for anyone to go there, just be prepared to do a lot of walking. We will definately be going back as there is still a lot of places we just didn't have time to see and will more than likely be staying in the same hotel as it was excellent value for money, unless i win the lottery in the mean time and i can afford to stay in one of the £1000 a night hotels.
Rome April 2007
"Rome San Giovanni"
Our hotel was within easy walking distance of the Rome Tuscolana rail station. After we got checked in we begin to explore and found the Basilica San Giovanni less than a half mile form the hotel. The Basilica was first erected in the bigining of the 4th century on land given to the church by the emperor Constantine. It has been repaired from fire, earthquake and barbarian damage and remodelled in the 17th and 18th centuries.
"Colosseum, Palatine and the Roman forum"
Day two was "downtown". We joined an English speaking tour group, the first guide, an Italian speaking heavely accented English, intorduced us to the Colosseum and then turned us loose for an hour inside the Colosseum. The guide for the rest of the tour was a delightful young Austrailian girl. Additionally she put together an walking tour that eveing that included the Trevi Fountian and the Pantheon.
Rome - San Giovanni in Laterano
Rome - San Giovanni in Laterano
Rome - San Giovanni in Laterano's ceiling
Has anyone gone on a JDB tour or a Viator tour? JDB tend to be expensive and I wonder if they are worth it compared to the reasonable prices of Viator. Also, are there any tours of the churches that contain the relics of Christ's crucifixtion?
The church with probably the widest array of the type of relics you're looking for is Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in the Lateran area. You really don't need a tour - there's plenty of info online so I'll see if I can find a website you can download a page from to take with you.
While you're in that area, you'll want to visit San Giovanni in Laterno - which is, officially, the Pope's church according to his title as Bishop of Rome. The Scala Santa are there also - supposedly the 28 steps in Pilate's house that Christ climbed on the way to his trial, and brought to Rome by St. Helena. They are a popular destination for pilgrims. Once again, you probably don't need a tour as you can find info online - will look for a website.
Here is a good website with very good info and pictures to get you started. You can also use this site to check out other churches in Rome (see the list on the left side of the page).