SUCH A ROMANTIC ATMOSPHERE @ THE TREVI FOUNTAIN
Definetely The Trevi Fountain is a must while in Rome. I think of the Trevi Fountain and I have no words to describe the place, the feelings, the atmosphere. I can never figure out exactly how to explain what I felt that day when I was finally there, infront of the Trevi Fountain ! Every tourist seemed to have been excited like me: smiles, laughter, pictures... felt as though happiness was in the air! I definetely threw a coin in the fountain so that I secure my return to the eternal city ;) Always wanted to be there, near the Trevi fountain, tossing a coin, taking a picture, but had never imagined it would be so nice....
Sun glasses is a must. Comfy shoes, although I use high heels and can't change that... :) Water for drinking, esp. in summer, as it's hot. OXYGEN. pollution is enormous, beauty demands sacrificies ;). a MAP, that you can get in the tourist information (it will have also Metro schemes).
Where to shop
(by no means a definitive list, they were just areas I happened to actually look at shops)
I liked the area Sta Maria in Trastevere and the river Tiber (Lgt Raff. Sanzio).
Also around the Trevi fountain.
and finally for windowshopping of all the top designer brands: Via dei Condotti, leading right up to the Spanish steps.
Mentioned elsewhere: Porta Portese market on Sundays 7 am to 2 pm.
Great Tourist Menu and a Tee Shirt!
My family and I rented an apartment near the Coliseum on via Labicana in August of 2007. Two or three doors up the street from us was this little restaurant named Custom Station Roma. I still have no idea as to the origin of the name--next time there I will be sure to ask. Every day, we would pass by on our way out or on our way home, and we would see a small table outside with menus and a flyer announcing a "Tee Shirt Special". My kids were intrigued by this and forced us to stop in and inquire about it. Believe it or not, it was a full three course "menu turistica", which consisted of an appetizer, a first course pasta dish and dessert. In addition, they advertised a free T-shirt to anyone who ordered the tourist menu, which cost around 12 euros TOTAL, including the souvenir shirt! A half-liter of wine was another 5 euros.
My wife and I kept telling the kids that it had to be a gimmick, but they won out, and on our next to last night in Rome, we stopped in. The owner said to us "Oh, you are the American family that is staying down the street at #80". I guess we were the big news that week in this non-touristy, but very central neighborhood near the Coliseum.
As usual, the kids' instincts were correct. We each ordered the tourist menu. We sat just outside the restaurant in a little alcove off the street and we received wonderful service and even better food. We had a choice of three or four appetizers, but we each had the mixed fried seafood, along with wonderful fresh bread. Pasta course was also a choice of three--I had spaghetti carbonara, creamy and delicious. My wife and the kids had spaghetti with shrimp in a lemon-butter-garlic sauce. We then each ordered the included dessert which was again a choice of three, all delicious.
At the end of the meal, my wife and I fully expected them to say that they were out of tee shirts, or that they only had infant sizes, etc., but the waiter brought out four beautiful black tees, with Custom Station Roma colorfully printed on the front and on one sleeve. Unbelievably, the quality of the shirts was excellent (they still look great almost a year later). They all fit nicely, too, from my daughter's extra small to my extra large and the price was right--free! So, we each got a three course delicious meal and a great tee shirt for just a little more than the retail price of the shirt alone. Amazing--one of the few true "bargains" we found on the entire trip. Plus, every time one of us wears our shirt, it reminds all of us of a wonderful night just a few doors down from our apartment. The mixed fried seafood appetizer and the spaghetti with large shrimp in a buttery lemon garlic sauce first course
Indian Restaurant near Colloseo/ Piazza Venezia
The coperto or cover charge is something that seems to grate with visitors to Italian restaurants who do not understand that it is really just a transparent way of adding on a cost what would be added to dishes by smoke and mirrors in other countries. Yo may read that it notionally covers the tablecloth and bread or breadsticks ? Well, in this Indian restaurant the Eu2 per person coperto also covers a glass of Prosecco (sparkling white like champagne from Northern Italy) which was something new! We had pakora starters and the Maharajah chicken tikka and Chicken Madras with rice and Peshwar nan bread,awter and Indian Cobra beer as well as a gulab jamun (syrupy sponge desert) and tea , complete with milk in the pot - see pictureof this cracking little teapot!