Villa San Pio

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

Via S Melania 19, Rome, Lazio, 00153, Italy

2 Reviews

Hotel Villa San Pio
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95%

Satisfaction Excellent
Excellent
63%
340
Very Good
27%
146
Average
5%
30
Poor
1%
9
Terrible
1%
8

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 44% more than similarly rated 3 star hotels

Show Prices

Good For Couples
  • Families92
  • Couples95
  • Solo87
  • Business93
  • dmitter's Profile Photo

    Quiet Oasis in a Busy City

    by

    Like staying in a private villa. Beautiful grounds, wonderful accomodations, fabulous three course meal for 25 Euros in a lovely setting.

  • zuhur's Profile Photo

    Roman Lush Retreat

    by

    I stayed at Via San Pio in November 2008 while visiting the NATO College in Rome.
    I would absolutely recommend it, and seems it has a sister hotel in the same area,
    as we wandered around walking, we found it - also gorgeous, different.

    Very nice breakfast and snacking area. I did not eat dinner here. Room was small but
    pretty - very historic and set the mood for Roma!

    Directions: Above the Coliseum and Coliseum Metro stop; the neighborhood is very quiet, free of traffic, MUCH nicer than where I stayed in Rome before (near the train station)

More about Villa San Pio

A Peaceful Haven in Rome

by TripAdvisor Member KTra

My husband and I just returned from our Italian vacation. We spent three nights at the Villa San Pio. The hotel was a beautiful hideaway from the city's hustle and bustle. Although the hotel was a bit of a walk from the nearest subway station, we never complained because we knew when we reached the gates of Villa San Pio we'd be entering serenity: beautiful greenery, a welcoming courtyard where we could sip wine in the evening, a lovely spacious well-airconditioned room, and a well-appointed shower. If you're looking for privacy this is the place. The staff leaves you to your own devices. They are not overly friendly. If you ask a question like where to go for dinner, they will answer it but without any personal warmth. For some, this may be viewed as a negative and perhaps it is an area that the staff might work on as a means of improvement. Overall, we throughly enjoyed our stay here and would absolutely recommend it to all of you.

Simply ...the BEST

by TripAdvisor Member cucubau

I must admit that it is one of the best Hotels in which we stayed on this planet: position: EXCELLENT. EXTREMELY CLEAN, ELEGANT, QUIET, DISTINCTIVE, with a good Restaurant, Villa San Pio, located on Di Santa Melania 19, at 15 minutes walking distance from Colosseo, and 4 minutes from other means of transportation tram No. 3, Bus No.23 to Vatican on Marmorata, bus 75 and/or the subway, this hotel represents what could be the BEST ratio: price/quality. I really hope that they will keep the same price at the same level of services. We paid 155 Euro/triple room with an excellent breakfast included. Reception 24 hours with a very attentive service. Breakfast offered in a beautiful garden by very kind and very professional people. Congratulations to the Management and keep the same OUTSTANDING LEVEL! Constantin.

Lovely Hotel .... Service Without a Smile

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at the Villa San Pio at the end June 2004 ... the start of our 2 week honeymoon in Italy. We chose this hotel based on the reviews and have no regrets. Rome is a busy city, so it was nice to go home to the quiet Aventino district at the end of a long day. The hotel itself is wonderful. The rooms are spacious, nicely decorated and very clean. I'm not sure about the bathrooms in the other rooms, but ours was very large and modern. We too had a jacuzzi tub but never used it since our shower/tub leaked. Despite this, it was a nice option to have. The only downfall of this hotel is the staff at the front desk. I do not think that we got a smile out of any of them during our entire 3 day stay. They were helpful when we asked for information on bus routes, places to eat, etc., but never offered any additional information that may have been useful. For example, they will tell you which bus to take to where you want to go but will not tell you where to catch the bus. I think the best way to sum up their cold demeanor was when we checked out. We were not asked how our stay was, if everything was okay, and were definitely not sent off with a smile. They simply handed us the bill to sign and took our room keys. Regardless of our opinion of the staff, the Villa San Pio is a lovely hotel. For the amount of time we actually spent at the hotel, the staff was not enough to keep us away if we ever visit Rome again.

Paradise

by TripAdvisor Member kiddo74

We booked at Villa San Pio after reading all the praising reviews here - and were not disappointed. This place is paradise and we will certainly go back. Stayed there 3 nights in the beginning of this August, got a great room with a wonderful balcony overlooking part of Rome. Splendid place to sip your wine and unwind after a warm and long day of sightseeing. Noticed that others have mentioned that the reception staff didn't smile too much. We also met some of that attitude, while others were really friendly and helpful. Must definitely recommend the restaurant at the hotel and its boss Nico. He supplied sandwiches for us when the kitchen was closed and was genuinely helpful, professional and serviceminded. This certainly added to our experience at the hotel.
The hotel is situated away from the stress of the city, but close enough to walk to some sites. We walked to the Colisseum, took us about 15-20 minutes (with a child) in the heat. A taxi from the shopping street Via del Corso to the hotel costed about 5-6 euros. Back to the airport the hotel arranged for a car which only costed us 40 euros. Friends of us said they paid 20 euros more with a regular taxi when they went the other way earlier this summer.

Simply amazing

by TripAdvisor Member selinasantos

We booked this hotel based on the wonderful reviews on this site! What a wonderful find in Rome... away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. I looked forward to returning to the Villa after a hard, hot day of sight seeing. We were greeted with a bottle of champagne! I would definitly will recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Rome.

Rome Pre Cruise

by dmitter

"Rome in a day!"

Arrived again in this magical city. I have escorted groups the past three years to the mediterranean. We started our stay this year the the fabulous S. Anselmo Hotel and Villa San Pio on Aventine Hill. A wonderful oasis of calm, beauty, and luxury in a fast paced and sometimes noisy city. We had a delicious welcome meal at the Villa San Pio. Next morning a private tour of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican, St. Peters, Colusseum, and Roman Forum. Our tour guide, Patricia, who was trained in ancient history and architecture, was a wealth of information. We had lunch at Navonna Notte and dinner at the Old Bear Tavern, which I highly recommend. The Old Bear Tavern was north of Piazza Navonna on a tiny street surrounded by quaint shops and outdoor vendors. To be included in one of our future group email me.

Rome

by edwis

"‘la Bella Italia’."

Roman Hotel

Our hotel (Villa San Pio) was in a residential area up a hill with a curvy tree lined street that had a monastery, school, and the American Embassy all within 2 blocks. It was a very pretty, secluded and quiet setting. The San Pio is a bed and breakfast type place which was once a villa estate consisting of three buildings. Now they are all connected by central garden setting that is the breakfast and cocktail area for the hotel. We were very pleased with this environment. The rooms were very neat for our first European hotel ever. In fact, I found this little clothes washing stool (or maybe it was some sort of a foot washing device?) sitting right next to toilet. Oh stupid me, when I found out later that the cute little device was a bidet! I’ve never seen one or even thought about that there might be one. I also liked that when you placed your room key card in a slot in the wall, the lights dimmed out as you leave and turn on when you return and opened the door. I was easily amused by all these new and strange devices. The bath area had a Jacuzzi shower stall, which was about the size of a telephone booth, but had 9 water jets all coming at you from the front wall of the shower. The pillows on the bed were about three feet long and we had 4 of them all piled up. I made a note to get some soon as we returned home, which we did. Then there were the great Euro styled toilets, with two flat panels (buttons) to push on the wall behind the stool. The large button for the full water flush and a smaller button for what I figured to be a little lite flush. I found that to be very efficient. The room air conditioners were run by remote control. You are able set the temperature, fan speed, and angle of vents using the remote, how cool. Croatia also had these models and I enjoyed making all the adjustments. I thought I could just stay around the hotel and be amazed by all these gadgets which I kept discovering.

Roman Sites
When we got to Roma, we started out with a kind of list of the ‘ten best things to see ‘and decided to “wing it” from there. Hell, we were so hyped about this being our first trip that we saw most of the ten sites before noon on the first day. About eight blocks away (walking distance for us) from our hotel was the Roman Forum, then a nice little walk over the temple ruins, continuing on to the Coliseum (Colosseo), and the Circus Maximus. We found some large sunken ruins, some16 feet below street level, which looked like a giant jigsaw puzzle from above. We learned this was known as Trajan’s Forum from the 1st century. Then we come upon the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele. We read there that many Italians referred to it as the "The Wedding Cake" building and we could easily see why. It really seemed out of place today amongst the old, ancient and weathered buildings around it. We were told that many Romans wish it would sink under its own great weight. That was the most steps I have ever walked up at one time. Evidently it celebrates Italy's unification in 1870 and is dedicated to the first King, Victor Emmanuel II. Coming out of there, I saw a gray bearded priest in a black gown outfit with a long ponytail walking with a nun. It looked to be a little too romantic scene to me, but who was I to speculate.

All of these different areas are connected by little alleyways and streets which we found to be full of gelato stands. I had more gelato treats in a few days than I had ice cream in a year’s time back home. Why does everything just taste so much better while on vacation? I guess that is also the answer – ‘being on vacation’. We took a short taxi ride over one evening to the Spanish Steps,where hundreds of young and pretty locals seemed to gather nightly for socializing and hooking up.

"Roman Sites:"

Other walks took us to the nearby Pantheon / ‘temple for all gods’, which is one of the best-preserved buildings dating back to ancient Rome around 25 B.C. It has a perfect sphere rotunda with the height of the rotunda to the top of its dome matches its diameter. At the top of the dome there is an oculus (eye) of a circular opening which is its only light source.Then, almost by accident we turned a corner and come upon the famous Trevi Fountain. While there are many fountains and squares in Roma, this is most majestic and the most famous throughout the world. The Trevi Fountain dominates a small square in the heart of Rome. The legend says that anyone who throws a coin into the fountain will return to the ‘Eternal City’. Of course we did the coins, and we haven’t return yet.We found some great action and interesting scenes at the Piazza Navona one evening. This is a truly wonderful square to see. It has an unusual, elongated oval shape that is the same as that of the ancient stadium over which the square was built. The predominating style is Baroque and there are so many monuments and buildings to admire such as the main fountain designed by Bernini. This is another nightly gathering place for locals, complete with street mimes, balloons, artists etc. The nearby Campo de Fiore is an open-air market that is shopped by the locals and the food items and other staples seem to have very reasonable prices.

"Trastevere"

There is an old Roman saying that goes; “Roma, non basta en una vida” meaning something like ‘it takes more than one lifetime to see all of Rome’. Well, in our three days there we trekked through 5 of Rome’s 7 hills (zonas). And we had some sore feet to prove it. We spent two different times going over to an artsy and trendy little section called Trastevere (across the Trevor). There are five different bridges across the river coming into this area. We found quaint little narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets that are lined with trattorias, various shops, and a lot of laundry hanging above us that was strung across the narrow streets from the apartments. Many of the buildings are the original Roman construction and the inhabitants take pride in living and preserving ancient Romans traditions. In a beautiful neighborhood square stands Santa Maria credited as the oldest church in Rome. At a little mid-day lunch stop we had a ten-year old little boy come by and played an accordion for us. Another stop there produced another youngster playing a violin. It was perfect for us.

Trastevere sits at the bottom of the Janiculum Hill and garden area. We came from the other side and had our longest walk coming across this place. At the highest point is the garden area which is a tree-lined section leading to the impressive monument of the great Garibaldi. He is Italy’s independence hero who is sitting high atop a horse overlooking his beloved city. From up here we found the best views of the whole city.
Vatican / Citta del Vaticano

Our longest walking journey of the trip took place which covered the Janiculum Hill area and over to the Vatican complex. As you approach it you can’t help but be moved by St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, which overlooks the square that carries the same name. Again it was designed by Bernini and the square is surrounded by a fantastic colonnade you can walk under. We heard several times and were pre-warned about the dress code for women visitors. One must be sure to have your shoulders covered and wear modest clothing etc. But it was I who was the one who couldn’t get in. Since it was an 88-degree Roman day of course I was wearing my normal attire - shorts. The clothing checker guard made it quite clear that there would be no entry for me, so Joan went through the lines and worked her way inside. She saw the main bingo hall with the great famous ceiling. She did have a fancy sundress on which did show a little shoulder. One guard on the inside told her quite directly to “cover yourself up”. This was said even though the outside guard let her pass in.

I just hung around outside in the big plaza and was just amazed at all the people moving about. I swear that we saw more nuns in 3 days in Roma than we have seen in past 30 years of our Catholic reared lives. After the Vatican we walked and walked seeing the Palazzo di Justice, the Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Mausoleum de Garibaldi. Somewhere along the way we stumbled upon the Gesu church which is the world headquarters of Jesuits. Since I attended a Jesuit college, this place had some interest for us. I bet we visited about 15 other churches while in Roma. Roman water was an exciting experience. They have public fountains and pipes everywhere producing some of the highest rated clean, purified drinking water available. Many times while walking around you would come upon a public drinking fountain. Albeit sometimes, it was just a single pipe coming out of a stone wall, but you could stop and become refreshed. We witnessed a motor scooter rider stop his scooter, get off, take helmet off, bend over and drink some water from the public fountain then remount continuing onward

Rome

by edwis

"Our first trip overseas landed in ROME"

The main inspiration for this trip was to visit with "J" and "C" and to see their place is Croatia (wherever that was). As the plans developed, an arrival in Rome was our best option, so we decided to spend some time in Italy before heading across the Adriatic Sea for Croatia. Thus, after spending four months in preparation, including 16 weeks of Italian lessons via our local community education program, and a lot of time doing Internet education and research, our main expectation was to fall in love with ‘la Bella Italia’. The short planned version of the trip’s overview was that we would fly into Rome for a few days, rent a car and drive south to Napoli, then to the seaside resort area of the Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri. Then drive back to Roma via Pompeii; Fly over to spent few days with “J" and "C" in Croatia, then fly to Paris for the return flight back home.

Our flight landed in Rome (Roma), we collected our luggage without any difficulties and walked over to the train station connected to the airport. Here we took a city train to the central station and grabbed a short taxi ride to our hotel. The flight over leaves the USA at 530 pm and we arrive in Roma at 830 the next morning. After some pre flight jitters on my part, we actually found our first overseas flight to be quite tolerable. We experienced very good service in which they gave us two bottles of wine, a steak dinner, watched a good movie, and then the whole plane went to sleep until the 700 am breakfast call. Only two other passengers and I stayed awake the whole night flight. I figured someone had to keep an eye out looking for any land lights, listen for any strange flight noises and worry about any bumps along the way. Nothing happened of course.

"Roman Hotel"

Our hotel (Villa San Pio) was in a residential area up a hill with a curvy tree lined street that had a monastery, school, and the American Embassy all within 2 blocks. It was a very pretty, secluded and quiet setting. The San Pio was a bed and breakfast type place which was once a villa estate consisting of three buildings. Now they are all connected by central garden setting that is the breakfast and cocktail area for the hotel. We were very pleased with this environment. The rooms were very neat for our first European hotel ever. In fact, I found this little clothes washing stool (or was it some sort of a feet washing device?). It was sitting right next to toilet. Oh stupid me when I found out later the cute little device was a bidet! I’ve never seen one or even thought about one at all. I liked that when you placed your room key card in a slot in the wall, the lights dim out as you leave and turn on when you return and opened the door. I was easily amused by all these new devices.

The bath area had a Jacuzzi shower stall, which was about the size of a telephone booth, but had 9 water jets all coming at you from the front wall of the shower. The pillows on the bed were about three feet long and we had 4 of them all piled up. I made a note to get some soon as we returned home, which we did. Then there were the great Euro styled toilets, with two flat buttons to push on the wall behind the stool. One large button for the full water flush and a smaller button for what I figured to be a little lite flush. I found that to be very efficient. The room air conditioners were run by remote control. You are able set the temperature, fan speed, and angle of vents using the remote, how cool. Croatia also had these models and I enjoyed making all the adjustments. I thought I could just stay around the hotel and be amazed with all these gadgets which I kept discovering.

Roman Sites

When we got to Roma, we kind of started out with a list of the ‘ten best things to see ‘and decided to “wing it” from there. Hell, we were so hyped about this being our first trip that we saw most of the ten sites before noon on the first day. About eight blocks away (walking distance for us) from our hotel was the Roman Forum, then a nice little walk over the temple ruins, continuing on to the Coliseum (Colosseo), and the Circus Maximus. We found some large sunken ruins, some16 feet below street level, which looked like a giant jigsaw puzzle from above. We learned this was known as Trajan’s Forum from the 1st century. Then we come upon the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele. We read there that many Italians referred to it as the "The Wedding Cake" building and we could easily see why. It really seemed out of place today amongst the old, ancient and weathered buildings around it. We were told that many Romans wish it would sink under its own great weight. That was the most steps I have ever walked up at one time. Evidently it celebrates Italy's unification in 1870 and is dedicated to the first King, Victor Emmanuel II. Coming out of there, I saw a priest in a black gown outfit with a long ponytail walking with a nun. It looked to be a little too romantic scene to me, but who was I to speculate.

"All of these different areas are connected"

by little alleyways and streets which we found to be full of gelato stands. I had more gelato treats in a few days than I had ice cream in a year’s time back home. Why does everything just taste so much better while on vacation? I guess that is also the answer, being on vacation. We took a short taxi ride over one evening to the Spanish Steps, where hundreds of young and pretty locals seemed to gather nightly for socializing and hooking up. Other walks took us to the nearby Pantheon which is one of the best-preserved buildings that date back to ancient Rome around 25 B.C. It has a perfect sphere rotunda with the height of the rotunda to the top of its dome matches its diameter. At the top of the dome there is an oculus (eye) of a circular opening which is its only light source.

Then, almost by accident we turned a corner and come upon the famous Trevi Fountain. While there are many fountains and squares in Roma, this is most majestic and the most famous throughout the world. The Trevi Fountain dominates a small square in the heart of Rome. The legend says that anyone who throws a coin into the fountain will return to the ‘Eternal City’. Of course we did, and we didn’t return yet.We found some great action and interesting scenes at the Piazza Navona one evening. This is a truly wonderful square to see. It has an unusual, elongated oval shape that is the same as that of the ancient stadium over which the square was built. The predominating style is Baroque and there are so many monuments and buildings to admire such as the main fountain designed by Bernini.

This is another nightly gathering place for locals, complete with street mimes, balloons, artists etc. The nearby Campo de Fiore is an open-air market that is shopped by the locals and the food items and other staples seem to have very reasonable prices.

"There is an old Roman saying"

that goes; “Roma, non basta en una vida” meaning something like ‘it takes more than one lifetime to see all of Rome’. Well, in our three days there we trekked through 5 of Rome’s 7 hills (zonas). And we had some sore feet to prove it. We spent two different times going over to an artsy and trendy little section called Trastevere (across the Trevor). There are five different bridges across the river coming into this area.

We found quaint little narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets that are lined with trattorias, various shops, and a lot of laundry hanging above us that was strung across the narrow streets from the apartments. Many of the buildings are the original Roman construction and the inhabitants take pride in living and preserving ancient Romans traditions. In a beautiful neighborhood square stands Santa Maria credited as the oldest church in Rome. At a little mid-day lunch stop we had a ten-year old little boy come by and played an accordion for us. Another stop there produced another youngster playing a violin. It was perfect for us.

"Trastevere"

sits at the bottom of the Janiculum Hill and garden area. We came from the other side and had our longest walk coming across this place. At the highest point is the garden area which is a tree-lined section leading to the impressive monument of the Great Garibaldi. He is Italy’s independence hero who is sitting high atop a horse overlooking the beloved city. From up here is the best view of the whole city.

Vatican / Citta del Vaticano

Our longest walking journey of the trip took place covered the Janiculum Hill area and over to the Vatican complex. As you approach it you can’t help but be moved by St. Peter’s Basilica the largest church in the world, which overlooks the square that carries the same name. Again it was designed by Bernini and the square is surrounded by a fantastic colonnade you can walk under. We heard several times and were pre-warned about the dress code for women visitors. One must be sure to have your shoulders covered and wear modest clothing etc. But it was I who was the one who couldn’t get in. Since it was an 88-degree Roman day of course I was wearing my normal attire - shorts. The clothing checker guard made it quite clear that there would be no entry for me, so Joan went through the lines and worked her way inside. She saw the main bingo hall with the great famous ceiling. She did have a fancy sundress on which did show a little shoulder. One guard on the inside told her quite directly to “cover yourself up”. This was even though the outside guard let her pass in.

I just hung around outside in the big plaza and was just amazed at all the people moving about. I swear that we saw more nuns in 3 days in Roma than we have seen in past 30 years of our Catholic reared lives. After the Vatican we walked and walked seeing the Palazzo di Justice, the Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Mausoleum de Garibaldi. Somewhere along the way we stumbled upon the Gesu church which is the world headquarters of Jesuits. Since I attended a Jesuit college, this place had some interest for us. I bet we visited about 15 other churches while in Roma.

Water / Acqua
At that time our newest discovery of traveling, which later became close to an addiction, was bottled mineral water with carbonation; referred to as ‘gas’, or requested as Acqua Gassata. Everywhere in Europe it was on the table. I was thinking by then that my local Publix supermarket in Florida better stock up on S. Pellegrino bottles for us.

Roman water was an exciting experience. They have public fountains and pipes everywhere producing some of the highest rated clean, purified drinking water available. Many times while walking around you would come upon a public drinking fountain. Albeit sometimes, it was just a single pipe coming out of a stone wall, but you could stop and become refreshed. We witnessed a motor scooter rider stop his scooter, get off, take helmet off, bend over and drink some water from the public fountain then remount continuing onward. One of these water stops led to

“My International Water Incident”
We found very few Americans on any of our European travels. Maybe it is just the places that we end up in. The most Americans were in Paris for sure. On the whole our Italy travels seem to encounter Italian tourists and ‘the Germans’. While we were finishing a hot morning exploration of the Rome Forum / temple /ruins, we come upon an official public SPQR water urn. (Officially sanctioned as “Acqua Vergine” aka to us as ‘The good stuff’). Historically, Acqua Vergine came from an ancient aqueduct that continuously over time supplied water to the Trevi fountain and in turn the surrounding district grew very populous, despite its relative distance from the Tiber River.

Anyway, it so happens that a British couple was in front of me at the water source; the ‘Queen Eliz’ or some obviously pampered self anointed ‘princess’ first filled her bottle, then stood there and sprinkled drops on her head, then on her neck, then of her cheeks, arms, wrists, legs, etc. I am standing there very hot, sweaty and anxious so I tap her Brit guy on the shoulder and stated loudly “I don’t think she is supposed to take a bath here”. Well they got all huffy, and I was lucky that I didn’t get popped in the nose (by her). “It’s okay,(va bene) it was only a joke man” No humor in them there Brits I found out.

Pizza / Pizza
Somewhere in the back of my mind’s master plan, I intended to have a pizza everyday I was in Italy, for of course we where in the land of the pizza. While there are many pizzerias, we found that they only serve pizza in the evening! Your lunch meal becomes the big pasta, fish, meat event, and then a lighter meal, usually pizza was at night. Pizzas were all one size about 9 inches, which is about the size of a dinner plate, and they were always available for about $6-7 each. We probably saw 50+ menus of pizza and not once could you find a pizza listed with Italian sausage or pepperoni (this isn’t ‘Papa Johns’). Ham and Prosciutto yes always, but no sausage. Each pizza menu would list like 10-15 pizza choices; some with arugula, with artichokes, with basil, with cheese, with ham, with salami, etc. We had a couple of fantastic ones that expanded our world of pizza choices. One was a wild mushroom with arugula; one a white; another ham + artichoke; and basic salami. This pizza style we found was the European model which we also experienced in both Croatia and France. American pizza offerings are not to be confused with the rest of the world. Pizza in Roma was very thin, almost flat bread style, while elsewhere in other parts of Italy and in Croatia; a medium thicker crust was the norm. Over these trips I think I must have accomplished some kind of informal study of pizza variations.

Wine / Vino
One of the first things that caught our attention was that wine was never served by the glass. Either it came in a little ½ bottle or more common was the 1/4., ½ or full litro carafes. The house wines in Italy were super and priced from about 75 cents to $1.30 a glass. Back home we pay $7-8 per glass all the time. On one of neighborhood walks in a small area, we shopped at a little grocery store and got a bottle of wine (vino bianco). We paid $1.30 for a bottle with no label on it! We figured out an approximate wine price formula that seemed to hold true for our purposes. If we paid $5 for the bottle in Italy/France, double that price and add $1.50; then it is the price that we usually pay at Publix for the same bottle. Knowing that, we found some great bargains of familiar labels.

"Car Driving / La Autostrada"

The rental car was secured via the Internet and was all set to be picked up on our way out of Roma for our southerly drive towards the Amalfi coast. The clerk at the central train station auto rental desk asked us if we wanted a station wagon upgrade for no charge; sure why not, we thought? He points outside and says ‘Verde’ – meaning the green one. We go out to lot where their 15 indicated parking slots are and cannot find any station wagons. In fact there were no green cars around at all. Feeling stupid, I go get the young lot kid, who points down the street and says; see that big brown office building about 2 blocks away, yup we see it, the car is parked over by there on the street. Okie dokie, we accept that and haul our luggage along the sidewalk to it. We find it parked, with two parking tickets affixed to the windshield. Now it is starting to drizzle outside, getting pretty hot and muggy, and we’re sweaty from walking two blocks pulling our entire luggage. We quickly get in the car; everything looks okay, the gauges work, the gas needle is pointed almost to one side.

"We drive off"

and somehow miraculously find the famous ‘Autostrada’ – the toll way south. We drive along for about 15 minutes and the damn fuel warning light comes on. Now we realize that the needle is almost on empty. The rental arrangement was suppose to be a full tank and return it full. Now we are getting into a pretty nervous time for a while as we desperately try to reach the next service center along the toll road. We even talk about whether we should drive real fast and cover more ground and then coast into the service plaza, or do we drive very conservatively using less fuel, but covering less ground. We don’t know what the hell to do and what happens if we run out and we are really stuck in a strange environment with no fuel depots around at all. Well we barely just make it into the toll road’s service plaza and roll to the fuel pumps. Sonow it cost us $47.00 for a diesel fill up. I get real mad at the situation. I adjust and think “Ok, relax; I’ll settle it all upon the return, don’t let this get you down”.

Jovanna (Joan’s newly adopted name when we travel in Italy) goes over to the restroom, while I visited the wine section of the little market. I see that they have this special after-dinner stuff called Limoncello (for which they are famous); it is a nice exotic looking bottle with some type of twisted wire decoration around the bottle necks. Oh, what a nice souvenir I thought, for I have two other bargain priced wines already in my hand basket. So I reached for a bottle of Limoncello and I pull it forward one handed while holding the shopping basket with the other hand. Then about 5 of the bottles which were intertwined with the neck wires all come falling out into my lap, falling onto the tile flooring. Some break, crashed on the floor and my pants are all wet in the front. I set everything down on the tile, and go resume shopping all over again. We were glad to get out of there quickly. We figured out later that the twisted wire necks were security measures, not some cute packaging gimmick for the tourists. After about a half hour of driving, we finally settle down and finally relax for the rest of the drive.

Paying the toll along the way was easy, you slip in the ticket, slip in your credit card, out comes a receipt, the gate opens; and you’re on your way. There are three lanes of traffic on the Autostrada, a right lane for all trucks and cars going 60-70 mph. The middle lane is for 70-80 mph speed, and the left lane is for 80-90+ mph speedsters. I got lights blinked at me only 2x during the whole drive time. Everyone just seems to know where to be. We did a little driving in fast left lane doing 140 km keeping up with a good stream of traffic consisting mostly of BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes. We noticed that all the cars over there both the large models and smaller ones were always standard transmissions, including the finest and largest Mercedes, station wagons, and the public buses. This I found to be much unlike our country which has become almost exclusively automatic transmissions.

Forum Posts

Hotel Villa San Pio

by BGilman

Hello Virtual Travelers:
We will be staying in the hotel Villa San Pio in the Aventino area of Rome. We were wondering if anyone has ever stayed there and what are your thoughts about it? Also, if you know any restaurant or "insider" tips in this area or any other it would be greatly welcomed.

Regards
Brett

Re: Hotel Villa San Pio

by zuiko

We'll be staying at Carlisto's Way, sister hotel of Hotel Des Artistes, near the main train station. So far the staff have been really helpful through emails. This is their website address. You might want to consider if you've not booked the other hotel yet.

http://www.hoteldesartistes.com/

Re: Hotel Villa San Pio

by barbla

Villa San Pio is a wonderful choice; have traveled to Rome frequently in the past 5 years and this is w/out doubt my favorite (for value and location); the Villa will provide you with an outstanding list of local restaurants that are frequented by locals.

Lance J.

Re: Hotel Villa San Pio

by clofitz

Brett

great choice. We stayed in Hotel SAn Anselmo ( sister hotel of Pio and around the corner) last year when we got married in Rome. They are really beautiful hotels in a lovely quiet residential location.

You can walk down to Trastevere in about 10 mins and the forum is also quite close.

We found a fantastic chinese restaurant quite close by which was incredible value. ( if you like a break from the pasta) it's about 10 mins walk

Re: Re: Hotel Villa San Pio

by BGilman

Thanks for the advice. We are really looking forward to it.

Regards
Brett

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 Villa San Pio

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Hotel San Pio
San Pio Hotel

Address: Via S Melania 19, Rome, Lazio, 00153, Italy