The art of protest
We found this gentlemen in a singular protest against some great injustice. He must have felt strongly because it was extremely hot in the Piazza. Note the sign on his lap and the paper crown on his head. What you can't see is the two guards with automatic weapons at the gate of the building he was facing.
If you are going to be around...
If you are going to be around Rome for awhile and want to head to the beach for a day or two, then I have a great location. Sperlonga is 110 km south of Rome and has beautiful beaches that are not crowded and a great small town. Forget the car and take the train. The roads will be crowded and take much longer. Take the train from Roma Termini to Fondi. The tain ride is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. There should be a bus waiting outside the front of the station during regular season. The bus ride costs 2.000 Lit and takes about 10 minutes to reach the beaches. I recommend Grotti dei Dolfini beach club where 2 people can acquire a umbrella and 2 beach chairs for 45.000 Lit. The club has a small changing room, showers, bathrooms, and a bar to have a snack, drink, or even a small meal.
Florence to Rome in 16.1 Euros
If you are on a real tight budget, or even if you are not on a tight budget and just want it to be cheap for the sake of being cheap without much downside then there is no option but to go for the Regional Train. 2nd Class of Regional Train costs 16 Euros, takes less than 4 hours, and runs frequently between these two cities.
On a typical day, the train leaves Florence at 07:09, 09:13, 11:13, 13:13, 15:13, 17:13, 19:13, and 21:13. Further, there is no need to reserve a seat in advance, as you will find one quite easily. You may buy the open ticket, valid for one month, from the vending machine of any Italian train station or from other sources, and whenever you are like going to Florence, just go to the relevant platform, validate the ticket, and get aboard. This is simpler than it sounds. This train touches two stations in both of the cities: Roma Termini & Tiburtina in Rome and Santa Maria Novella & Campo di Marte, making it more flexible.
There is another cheaper option available but with some downside: a train "Freccia del Sud" leaves Florence at 15:25 on a typical day, takes slightly more than 3 hours, and the 2nd Class fare is just 13.90 Euros (after incorporating 20% Amica discount). And what are the downsides. The train does not leave from Santa Maria Novella, the main train station of Florence, but from Campo de Marte and arrives at Roma Tiburtina and not at Roma Termini, the main train station of Rome. The fact that main train stations of both these cities are located in the city center makes this train less cheaper than it seems. Further, 20% Amica discount is only applicable when booked 24 hours in advance. But then this is the cheapest of all the options.
Fast trains also run between these two cities with journey time of as low as 1 hour and 31 minutes and the base fare going up to 39.90 Euros and 56.10 Euros for 2nd Class and 1st Class respectively. These trains offer various discounts on early booking.
26.5 Euro, 2nd class, Intercity trains also connect both the cities on regular intervals and takes less than 3 hours. One may avail 20% Amica discounts on intercity trains.
Reasonable price, close to Colosseo
We were there at lunchtime and starving. On the road of Santa Maria Maggiore we found this nice cafee. Prices were reasonable and especially their pasta was great. They have icecream, desserts and sandwiches too. Interior was bright and very clean. LCD tv's on the wall. Portions are not so much but very delicious. Pasta and desserts
Bocca della Verità
In the front portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, a small but stately church along the Tiber, stands the stone Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). The tradition of sticking your hand in its mouth to tell whether someone is truthful or not, has been known before Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn ventured there in "Roman Holiday."