Drinking water in Rome
The sale of bottled water is a thriving business in Rome. Generally, we do not drink the tap water, even though it is, of course, treated. The problem is with antiquated plumbing through which the water passes. The very best drinking water is right at the street fountains that are there for that purpose - not to be confused with the miriad artistic fountains you will see. And, there is a way to drink from them. *
Fill water bottles here - you will be drinking Rome's best quality and safest water - and saving a few Euro a day in the process.*
Here are two photos of the water fountain in the Piazza beside the Pantheon. Signor Nasoni - the Romans call these water faucets that you see throughout the streets of Rome "big nose" - just stop the water flow with a finger and the water will come up through a little hole in top of the faucet. If you drink from the water spigot at the bottom - well, that's where our little doggies drink also.*
God Doesn't Like Knees or Shoulders
Appropriate dress is required to visit any church in Rome. This means, essentially, that you must cover your knees and your shoulders. For women, tops cannot be sleeveless, and skirts or long shorts must fall at least below the knee. For men, it's best to wear full-length pants. If you want to wear sleeveless tops when walking around in the heat, you can bring a shawl to throw over your shoulders when you visit churches. There will probably not be anyone to stop you from walking into the smaller churches dressed inappropriately, though of course you should adhere to the rules out of respect anyway. To enter St. Peter's Basilica you will have to pass about a dozen hawk-eyed guards, and there's no way you'll get past them without proper attire. Some of the souvenir shops around the Vatican have capitalised on this and now sell throw-away, paper pants to desperate tourists. Don't waste your money on paper pants; come prepared. To visit most of the Vatican museums you can wear what you like, but when you get to the Sistine Chapel the same rules apply, so unless you want to miss the chapel you should cover knees and shoulders when going to the museums as well.
The Museo Barraco consists of a prestigious collection of antique sculpture – art from Assyria, Egypt, Cyprus, Phoenicia, Etruria, Greece and Rome – which Giovanni Barracco, a wealthy nobleman of Calabria, gave to the Municipality of Rome in 1904. Baron Barracco had dedicated his life to collecting such pieces, some acquired from antiques’ merchants, others recovered from the excavations which, at the end of the nineteenth century, marked the urban transformation of Rome as the capital of Italy. A small designated neoclassical palazzo was built to accommodate the collection, but, unfortunately, was destroyed during the works done to widen the Corso Vittorio. It was only in 1948 that the collection could be resettled in the “Farnesina ai Baullari” (the Farnese Palace in the street of the trunk makers), which was built in 1516 to a design of Antonio da Sangallo the young.
Egyptian art is represented from the earliest dynasty (3000 BC) until the end of the Roman era.
From Mesopotamia come the precious Assyrian slabs, which once decorated the walls of the palaces of Assurbanipal at Nineveh and Sennacherib at Nimrud, from the VII to the VI century BC.
Unusually for an Italian museum, there is a section dedicated to Cypriot art, in which a number of objects of unusual manufacture are displayed, such as the multicoloured votive cart and the head of Heracles from the VII-VI centuries BC.
The museum boasts numerous Greek originals, including works which give an exhaustive picture of the great sculptor Polyclitus and his school.
Roman art is represented by the head of a boy from the Julian family, an elegant example of private portraiture from the early imperial era (1st century AD).
Finally provincial art is included with three slabs from Palmyra, a caravanserai city which flourished in the II century AD.
The display finishes with a polychrome mosaic from the first church of St Peter in Roma, which dates from the XII century AD.
Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II N°168
By bus is a good way to travel in Rome (although I only traveled this way twice, so I am not an expert), I liked it better than the metro. The main bus terminal is right in front of the main train station – Roma Termini. When I went with my friends we bought tickets that lasted for 75 minutes and cost us 1€. But just be sure that when you get on the bus that you validate your ticket. If it is not validated you make get a fine if it is checked.
Buses run from early in the morning until around midnight – but in some areas there are night buses as well. Check out the website below for more information on different types of tickets, and the different routes that the buses travel along.
Cheap but good Italian restaurant
For a cheap but good meal check out Al '39. It is a typical Italian restaurant with quite a big menu with very good prices. For 10-15 euro's you'll have a great meal. I had pasta arabbiata (or sth), which is penne in spicy tomato sauce, and a piece of pork. Check out the seasonal fruit for dessert aswell. For only 1 euro we had a big plate full of fresh cherries!