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Via Principe Umberto 85, Rome, 185, Italy
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The Chiaramonti Museum
One of the domes
I didn't have a guidebook, it was a long wait!
What to see on a Monday
I am arriving in Ostia Antica around 11am on a Monday. My flight is the following morning at 10am. Any ideas of what sites are open on Mondays. I had wanted to see Domus Aurea but I think that has still not re-opened.
Re: What to see on a Monday
Things in Rome open on a Monday:
1. The Vatican Museums (normally, do check at www.vatican.va)
2. Most outdoor venues like the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus (well, no fence - it's hard to keep you out), the Baths of Caracalla (I think, I'd have to check), etc.
3. Sites that are open to the public like Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo (and the Borghese Gardens above), Piazza Navona, Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Venezia, Piazza San Pietro, and most churches (like St. Peter's)
or 4. - MANGIA!!! ;-)
Travel Tips for Rome
This would be one of most loved places and I entered the chapel feeling that the work was most likely over-rated until I got there. The ceiling is just amazing and when I found out a few facts about how it was done, even more amazing.
In 1508 Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the chapel and it took him until 1512 to complete. He had to paint the roof as he plastered it with damp plaster so had to work quickly before it dried!! Unfortunately the plaster grew mold as the plaster was too wet so he had to start again!! Over the centuries the ceiling got a bit grubby due to candle smoke, soot, and applications of poor quality varnish. The cleaning of the ceiling took place in the early 1980's and revealed the stunning colours you see today.
Photography is banned so my shot below is very low quality (flash off and taken from the hip). It is still a great reminder of the chapel (though I did buy a guide book with all of the paintings in it....).
St Benedict founded the abbey of Montecassino in 529. It was sacked and burned in about 577 by the Longobards, and again around 883 by the Saracens. An earthquake destroyed it in 1349. During World War II, Allied forces were bogged down by German troops, who were well dug in on a defensive line running through the rugged mountains of southern Italy. After months of fruitless attacks, the Allies, thinking that the Abbey was being used by German artillery observers, bombed it. The rubble provided better cover and concealment than the Abbey would have. But there has never been any evidence that the Germans ever had anyone up there.
It's been beautifully and lovingly restored. One can only hope that it does not become necessary again. This is one of the true gems of southern Italy.
It's perched on a hill the offers a commanding view of the entire valley. The entrance cloister is on the site of an ancient Roman temple to Apollo. St Benedict dedicated it to St Martin, Bishop of Tours. Bramante, the next cloister, is named for the Renaissance architect who designed it. It was built in 1595. Fansago designed the 17th century Cathedral, also carefully restored to its original splendor. Finally, lest we forget, take a look at the nearby military cemetery, with the graves of Polish soldiers who died fighting for the Allies in the Italian campaign of World War II.
Visitors are asked to be quiet and respectful, to refrain from flash photography, and to dress conservatively (this is still a functioning monastery). To reach it, follow the traffic signs for the town of Cassino. From Rome or Naples, you can get there by the A1 railway.
Quiet corner in Trastevere
Big Star, on via Goffredo Mameli, is a quiet relaxing place to get away from tourists and glossy cocktail bars. Great draft beer- Dutch and German. Good music, lots of jazz, and sometimes live bands upstairs.
The staff are really friendly and welcoming.
A real Roman experience off via Condotti
Fiaschetteria Beltramme, on Via della Croce, has been around since 1886 and has a marble plaque inside the doorway decreeing the restaurant to be of significant interest by the Italian Minister of Culture. There is no telephone number, no bookings, no menus in English and no personal tables; you must share a table with others when you dine there. What they do have, however, is very good traditional Roman cooking in a unique dining room with the walls totally covered in art and a big table at the back where lone diners seemed to be eating. The owners seem a little eccentric, it gets full real quick and, unlike many places around here that cater to tourists, it closes at 2.30 p.m and re opens at night.
The excellent quality of the cooking and ingredients means the dining room is full of locals popping in for lunch from the office or shopping trip, Madonna has been spotted here and in the Dolce Vita days of the 50’s it was a haunt for playwrights, film makers and social commentators like Ennio Flaiano and Federico Fellini.
Pasta with clams and mussels x 2, beef with artichokes, grilled tuna with a salad, bread and a litre of wine was 68 euro. Smashing.
my full blog is on http://www.salvos.co.uk/diary/blog/index.php?show=0,12,2006 beef with artichokes or ruchetta when artie season finishes.
Restaurants are open for lunch from Noon to 2:30p.m., roughly. Some open as late as 1:00, not closing until 3:30. You can't eat a restaurant lunch either early or late. Restaurants reopen for dinner at perhaps 7:30p.m. - you may find some opening at 7p.m., and many not until 8p.m. or 8:30p.m.. Bars and sandwich shops are open most of the day.
The title of the 'restaurant' may give some notion of the price range (from top to bottom priced):
Ristorante are usually the most expensive, though occasionally you'll find a modest establishment with delusions of grandeur.
Trattorie are generally medium-priced, though some are quite upscale.
Osterie ('hostelry') would have been farily humble establishments in the past; some continue to be economical, some at the top of the price scale.
A taverna is a lower-priced trattoria.
Pizzerie are what you'd guess.
Bars and Caffes are generally places for a 'coffee break', with the bars typically more elaborate than caffes. Do not think of a bar (or cafe) in the American sense. You'll generally find most patrons drinking coffee, eating rolls or sandwiches, and so forth. They do, however, serve alcoholic beverages, ranging from polite aperitifs through strong liquor and after-dinner drinks. Either bar or caffee may have sandwiches (panini e toasts).
Your neighborhood bar or caffe is often the best choice for a 'continental' breakfast. If your hotel or pension does serve breakfast (most do) for a separate charge the nearest bar or caffe will be a much more economical choice, and more fun.
Tavola Calda, 'hot table', suggests a steam table. You may see the sign at a bar or caffe, or as a stand-alone as the name of what we'd call a cafeteria. They're usually inexpensive.
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