take some good shoes
Some parts of touristic Rome has the old road. It is very uneven and one can easily sprain an ankle. So it is always wise to take some good shoes, also because one can walk all day and do not see everything in Rome....
In the picture you can see a strech of this ancient road in the Forum. Notice how much it is used, one can see the marks of the wagonwheels. The romans were very known for their road building. They built roads throughout their empire to connect one corner with the other. They built approx. 5,300 miles of roads. (The U.S. Interstate Highway System has 4,200 miles.)
Check out the ruins
I would seriously take some time to look at the field of ruins that lay next to The Coliseum. I took considerable interest in such things. There are excavated sights all over the city to look at. It's a remarkable opportunity to look into the past.
Big Night Out
I was lucky to be in Rome in 2006 for the World Cup Final.
And Australia did so well.
(Until we were robbed! By Totti who is a local guy from Testaccio. Okay so in the market the next day they were all asking me where I was from and when I replied - Australia - they laughed and laughed. But we were robbed!)
Anyway - my sister was visiting and we reckoned we would like to go and see a public screening. Apparently there were several but Circo Massimo was the nearest.
We were a little afraid of soccer thugs - but my sister assured her kids in Australia if we saw anything we didn't like we would come straight back home.
I was very impressed. The crowd was amenable and not a bit violent or drunk. My sister was amazed at the lack of eskies filled with cans. Security was great. Crowd control was great. There were officials handing out bottles of water.
We had a top night.
Then of course the streets went mad so we had to watch our step with the traffic on the way home. But all good clean fun. High spirits. The bars all stayed opened of course - but again no violence or drunkeness that we saw.
They have all sorts of free events - like a free concert by Genesis is happening soon - but don't be afraid to go out and have fun. You'd have to be really unlucky to get in trouble.
Our mother was visiting too but she stayed home and was in bed by the time we had walked back - stopping off at a bar or two.
She wasn't asleep and we asked her to guess who had won.
She replied - Italy!
The streets were going mad. No mistake about who had won.
Paella? In Rome?
Tapa loca is a truly authentic Spanish restaurant, a mere stonesthrow from Piazza Navona. It's housed in an old Roman palace with objects dating form 15th Century Seville. It has a lovely welcoming feel inside it and the staff are really helpful and really friendly. Even though it was early April and still quite chilly, we braved the elements and sat outside.
We started with patatas bravas (fantastic little roast potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce) and another potato dish (can't remember its name) which was two whole potatoes, sliced in two and filled with a meat sauce. Fantastic.
Our main was Paella Valenciana - an enormous authentic paella for two containing mussels, chicken, the kings of all King Prawns - in fact the emperors themselves, pork and a whole host of sweet tasting vegetables - peppers, onions, mushrooms.
All this washed down with a bottle of Chianti and the bill was £36 for the two of us!!
Oh and a bowl of olives! Paella Valenciana- forget the fact the you're in Italy and taste Paella as only the Spanish can do it., with a skilled Andalucian cook at the helm
Tour of Vatican Museums & St. Peter's
I took a downloadable tour of the Vatican Museums, narrated by BBC/PBS historian, Sister Wendy. Aside from the price (only $14.95), I got a full tour of both places, even in the Sistine Chapel where normal guides aren't allowed to talk! Not to mention that having the pods in your ears, certainly took care of the noise levels there. Would recommend it to anyone/everyone. www.artineraries.com