Rome. To be a traveler to Rome is to visit the Vatican, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Although these are interesting and enchanting places, once you've seen them, the thrill is over. Here are five lesser known attractions, where you may not have to fight your way through hundreds of camera toting tourists to enjoy the local color.
1. See How The Romans Lived at CASA ROMANE DEL CELIO
Visit the large residential complex at Largo Pannonia 42, comprising several Roman houses of different periods. For a truly unusual time, try to get on the night tour, "Sotto il Celio: Archeologia e Teatro alle Domus Romane", guides act out scenes from pagan and Christian Rome to give you an inside look at everyday ancient Roman life.
2.Meet A Mr. Mistoffelees at AREA SARCO DI LARGO ARGENTINA
Site of ancient Roman square, where once stood an auditorium, a bank, and an opera house. Known mainly because Julius Caesar was assassinated here It of course is in ruins and the inhabitants now are cats. Black cat, white cats, tabby cats...it is a refuge for Mr Mistoffelees's Roman family. The shelter runs completely on donations so be sure to visit the gift shop after your free tour.Via Largo di Torre Argentina
3.Cool Off At The Largest Ice Cream Parlor in Rome at PALAZZO DEL FREDDO
Since 1880, four generations of Giacomo ice-cream makers have been creating the most wonderful desserts. Try the Sanpietrino squares of cream, chocolate, hazelnuts, and coffee. Yum. Via Principe Eugenio 65-67/A
4. Buy The Shirt For Your Back at PALATENDA II CIRCO DEL MERCANTI
If you want to say, "I bought these shoes (bag, shirt, dress...) on my trip to Italy without breaking the bank, check out this clothing market that sets up only on Sundays from 9 am to dusk. There are around 40 stalls for your buying pleasure. Find it between Ponte delle Valli (Via delle Valli) and Via Conca d’oro
5. Ready To Relax and Ride on the BATTELLI DI ROMA?
After running from one historical site to another, the government run ferry system call Battelli di Roma is a wonderful inexpensive way to spend a few relaxing hours winding down with feet up on a semi guided tour along the Tiber River.
You can do a wine bar cruise or a dinner cruise, but the best bargain is the hop on and off. There are three boarding locations and a single ticket is 16 Euros which gives you the opportunity to hop on and off the boats at will for 24 hours. No reservations needed.
WHERE TO EAT
After all this "Roming" around. I bet you're famished. Who knows where to take you to the best and least expensive places to eat? Cabbies of course. So here are some cabbie approved Rome Eating Spots:
A 75-year-old pizzeria considered among the best in Rome, where locals get loud and every pizza is baked to order. Pizza bianca con fiori di zucca (€7.50) is especially good.
• Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44, Testaccio (0039 6 574 6270), dinner only. Closed Sun
La Fraschetta del Pesce
A new restaurant where ex-fisherman Marco Magliozzi applies a light touch to the seafood his son delivers daily from their home port of Anzio. The Wednesday €13 crudo and pasta special is great value, but the €20, €30 or €40 menus give a taste of his way with fish.
• Via E d'Arborea, 40-42, Nomentano (0039 6 4424 4818; lafraschettadelpesce.it), lunch and dinner. Closed Mon
La Tavernaccia da Bruno
Sisters Paula and Patrizia Persiani took over this trattoria from their parents in 1991. Chef Giuseppe Ruzzeto (Patrizia's husband) frequently leaves the kitchen to take compliments on his rigatoni alla carbonara (€9) and trippa alla romana (tripe in a delicate tomato sauce, €12).
• Via Panfilo Castaldi, 12, Trastevere (0039 6 581 2792; latavernacciaroma.com), lunch and dinner. Closed Wed
La Nuova Cantinetta
A definitive Roman trattoria nestled between two apartment buildings in the Rococo-inspired Garbatella quarter. Owner Paolo Sanna keeps prices low and tassisti coming back for classics such as rigatoni alla pajata (€6).
• Via Basilio Brollo, 7, Garbatella (0039 6 513 5809), lunch and dinner. Closed Sun
Seafood dishes here – such as tassista Cinzia Perroni's favourite risotto alla crema di scampi (€7) – are solid and reasonably priced, but it is their affogato (home-made custard ice cream drizzled with espresso, €6) that merits a cross-town cab ride.
• Via Arezzo, 11, Nomentano (0039 6 4423 6808), lunch and dinner. Closed Mon
A favourite of former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni and taxi driver Laura Piccolo, where rigatoni alla carbonara (€13) and abbacchio (Roman spring lamb, €14) are a bit pricey but pitch-perfect.
• Via Marmorata, 39, Testaccio (0039 6 574 2415), lunch and dinner. Closed Wed
For the full article on Layne Mosler's Where to Eat in Rome GO here.
WHERE TO STAY
Now that you have some ideas of places to visit in Rome, would you like to find an inexpensive place to stay?
I don't know about you, but it really gripes me when I see some "travel guru" go on and on about the little inexpensive hotel that they just stayed at for only $250 a night! BALONEY! I say that travel guru is just being a shill for some hotel and getting a nice big check for promoting them. Then they do offer an even lower place to stay, but (this is where they cringe) it is a youth hostel (if you can stand the bugs...they infer)! They act like these are the only alternatives. A probably bug infested bed in a hotel full of druggies and unwashed twenty-somethings or their economically priced, but luxurious hotel. Well, I'm here to tell you that there are wonderful places to stay for much less and here is how you do it.
With a 30 second search on AIRBNB ,I found a lovely B&B with a private room for two for only 59 Euros, which translates to about $77.00 per night. Here is what is included in your price: internet wifi, towels, and a full breakfast: cheese, scrambled eggs, cereals, biscuits, croissants, toast with butter and many kinds of jam, orange juice, coffee and milk or tea and yogurt.
If it's so cheap, it must be in a bad location, right? Wrong! It is within a 5 minute walk to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme Basilica which are two of the four most ancient basilicas in Rome and only 20 minutes walking to the Colosseum but you can also take the METRO A , which is just few steps away from the door.
To top it all off, the host speaks English, Spanish and Italian - a great resource if you don't speak the language.
Think this may be a fluke? Well, how about this next one?
AN ENTIRE FLAT FOR ONLY 46 Euros ($60 USD) per night, all independent, 18 sqm mini-apartment facing straightly on a quiet garden immersed in green vegetation in an elegant XIX century Umbertin building.
All facilities and comforts for an extremely pleasant stay, such as a tiny functional kitchen equipped with fridge and all the needed tools to prepare your own food at any time you better prefer; small but fully functional bathroom also equipped with many useful accessories (eg. hairdryer, towels, body foam, shampoo, toilet paper and so on); and a double bed with linens and blankets. This host speaks English and Italian.
I think it is safe to say that you can have the trip of your dreams without breaking the bank. It just takes a little research for fun, lodging, food and transportation, and that is what we are all about here at TWO BY TWO TRAVEL, and for now, Buon viaggio!!
Hi Everyone! Having spent the past 20 years traveling full- time we are always looking for our next adventure and hope we can infect you with the travel bug! We travel Two by Two -as evidenced in our blog title, and hope that we can become your travel advisers or companions - with our many tips for your trip. Enjoy!
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