Move to the rear
What hasn’t been said about the Sistine Chapel? Mountains of words have been written about this cavernous room with Michelangelo’s frescoes covering every inch of the ceiling. Every scene he painted from the Book of Genesis (from 1508 to 1512), every detail of his vision of the Last Judgment, has been scrutinized under a microscope. The guidebooks are overflowing with analysis of the ceiling panels, the walls, the lunettes and the altar wall. Since the cleaning work that began in the 1980s, art historians have devoted endless discussion to whether the bright new color scheme has restored the paintings to their former glory or ruined them. As someone who visited in the early 1970s, and again in 2008, I personally couldn’t see a difference, but who am I to say. Anyway, back then, on my honeymoon, maybe I wasn’t paying so much attention.
So here is a tip that will allow you to get a better view of these glorious paintings, which invariably leave visitors with a crick in their neck: When you enter the room, don’t do what everybody else does, which is stand still in your tracks and stare up in amazement. Move to the rear! What I realized, as my feet (and neck) began to ache and I tried to find a place to sit on the benches that line the room, is that people tend to congregate in the first part of the hall. But if you keep going, through the carved partition that divides the room, not only are you getting away from the crowds, but you get a much better view (the Last Judgment is on the wall opposite you). You won’t even have to squeeze in to find a spot on the bench.
Never leave home without it...
We chose Cash Passport cards, also known as Visa TravelMoney cards, issued by our local CAA club, rather than carry cash. We didn't wish to use our credit cards (easier to negotiate prices with cash in Europe), and DEBIT cards were tied to our bank accounts, allowing us too easy access to funds we didn't wish to spend. Cash passport cards are prepaid, up to $15,000, and are accepted by all ATM machines. We felt that using a prepaid card would help to maintain our travel budget, plus we could access our balance online. We used these cards exclusively for almost two years, and had never been denied funds anywhere in Italy. Check them out.....$3 CDN per transaction. The cards may now be used like a credit card, allowing for on-line purchases. Perfect for booking flights, hotels, or sending the odd gift.
Also great for younger family members to carry, safer (and not as scary) than providing a credit card for 'emergency' use.
SHOPPING AROUND THE SPANISH STEPS
Oh well if Via Condotti is not for you, then don't take the street opposite the Spanish Steps, instead take a right or a left, there are plenty of shops on both streets which are not as expensive as those on via condotti.
Facing the Spanish Steps on the left hand side you can take the longest street that takes you to Piazza del Popolo where you are likely to find alot of shops on the way there. Womens/Mens/Childrens - Cloths/Shoes/Accesories
You also find food stores, restaurants and cafeterias where you can make your groceries shopping or stop for a quick snack, an ice cream or dinner before or after shopping. Normal prices, depending on what you buy!
Exquisite trattoria near Piazza Barberini
Completely unpretentious, and highly authentic, this simple yet exquisite trattoria is a Roman gem. It is located in a narrow side street a short walk from Piazza Barberini (at the bottom of Via Veneto) hidden from heavy traffic. Although some tourists seem to have known about, Italians also dine here, as it serves authentic and delicious traditional Roman cuisine at very reasonable prices. The antipasti are heavenly and the pasta perfectly prepared. I so want to return here again and again!
Very good pizza places in central Rome
Piazza del Fico 29
(Near Navova Square)
Vicolo Savelli 13
Via S.Giovanni in Laterano 88
(near the Colosseum)
Via del Governo Vecchio 76
(near Navona Square)