It´s a beautiful square, always full of tourists and street artists. The fountains are really nice with a big mass of water that gives a special sound to the place. If you have enough money, you should sit in one of the cafés around the square, but they´re very expensive.-
At night if you want to have dinner, you should go early, not later than 9.00 p.m., because these cafés close early - at about 12.00 p.m. - and if you go after 9.00, there isn´t a good variety of food.-
Es una plaza bellísima, siempre llena de turistas y de artistas callejeros. Las fuentes son increiblemente bellas, y como en todo Italia, con una gran masa de agua en todas ellas, lo que le da un sonido especial al lugar. Si se tiene suficiente dinero vale la pena sentarse en uno de los cafés que rodean la plaza, pero son realmente caros. De noche, si uno quiere cenar debe ir temprano - 9 pm - porque cierran temprano y luego sólo sirven lo que ellos quieren.-
Largo Argentina - aka Roman Fat Cat Habitat
Area Sacra of Largo Argentina has been adopted by Roman cats - en masse - but that seems to be OK with the local folks as on any given day a quadre of providers will come with refreshments for them all. This very special square block of ruins is one of the most fascinating and, yet, lesser known of the large Roman ruin sites.
This acceptance of very high-profile monuments that become home to numerous cats is not so uncommon. The Castle Sforza in Milano maintains its own cat habitat there and I've even seen a book and a calendar there in the Museum on the cats of Sforza.
The Cat Santuary is supported by a group of people who accept donations and sell trinkets there at the Torre Argentina site.
A note of interest regarding the area known as "Argentina" is that the name is not a reference to the country Argentina; but is derived instead from an association with Johannes Burckardt and his Strasbourg homeland. Of further note regarding names is that Burckardt's mansion in the Argentina area of Rome is now home to the "Burcardo" Library and Museum (on my "off the beaten path" Rome tips).
This street is the shopping paradise if you want to buy italian style clothes. Here you can find all the shops of the most famous brands of clothing, starting from Valentino to Armani, from Cavalli to Prada....
But the street worth a visit even if you don't want to buy anything...
This is however one of the most famous streets in Rome.
Via Condotti has very old origins: in Roman times it was one of the streets that crossed the ancient Via Flaminia and enabled people who crossed the Tiber to flow towards the Pincio hill.
On the Pincio hill, Lucullo, the Roman leader famous from having brought to Rome the culture and oriental splendor from Geece, decided to build his villa after having defeated Mitridate in Asia Minor.
Via Condotti originally must have been the entrance to Lucullo's villa and remained during the Medioeval times a country road.
From 1870 the street has pretty much remained the same as it was originally designed, when Rome became the capital of Italy and this area was designed to be occupied by banks and state administrative offices.
Since the beginnig of 1700 the habit of meeting in Via Condotti's cafes and at the Spanish Steps has not altered in the slightest. The names of those who met in Via Condotti are very well know and distinguished such as: Sthendal, Byron, Shelley, Goethe and D'Annunzio.
A plague still stands today to indicate where one of the most famous Italian poets, Giacomo Leopardi lived (81, via Condotti).
Caffé Greco is perhaps the most famous cafè in the capital; estabilished in 1760 by a Greek man, remains today one of the places where, politicians, artist and writers meet.
Arriving at Termini
But for just a few euros more I think the express is less hassle, especially when you have luggage with you and your hotel (as many are) is near Termini. Bear in mind that to walk to the exit of Termini station takes 10mins!! Its a huge station and the Leonardo Express platform is right at the end - good ideda to have a case with wheels!
Authentic Roman cooking
Da Bucatini was the arena for our little VT-meeting, and lucky for me that Sara (Sarita76)and Marco knew about this wonderful trattoria. The kitchen is authentic Roman and the atmosphere is that of a true trattoria.
The place has a good reputation, lots of people there on a Friday night and booking is essential at least for week-ends. I was introduced to the wonderful and very Roman "Bucatini all'amatriciana" - tastefully al dente e un po' picante. I loved it!
Not to mention the delicious Tiramisù....:-))))))