Three Weeks in Rome, 2013
This Trip Report was originally written for the Fodor's Travel Forum.
We've rented out our house for another three months and have hit the road. We're currently in Rome for three weeks, but this is part of a far longer trip that is taking us on, you guessed it, "A Mad Dash Across Too Much". In January we'll be heading to Sri Lanka, Burma and other point east. Anyway, to the matter at hand, Roma. In case you saw our trip to Paris earlier in the year you'll know the format, this will be an ongoing trip report with some details and links to my blog where I post pictures of walks, restaurants and museums, along with some opinion/discussion.
I love Rome, it has long been my favorite capital in Europe but after getting to know Paris a little better my hierarchy is under reconsideration. So I have three weeks to catch up on loving La Dolce Vita! I really appreciated the recent thread on sites in Rome that are slightly off the beaten track and I've already followed some of your helpful advice.
We've been to Rome many times over the last fifteen plus years but have never stayed for more than five days. This time our goal is to orient ourselves in the center and to see some areas a little further out. Essentially we want to develop a better sense of the city and what it has to offer beyond what we've enjoyed before. We've rented a flat in Parione not far from both the Campo die Fiori and the Pantheon. We're close to the Torre Argentina which is great as we want to use the buses and perhaps the tram too. I love waiting for the bus right next to Roman Ruins, it never gets old .
The flat worked out because it was in between rentals, however if we were staying longer I would probably have opted for somewhere like Monti or Testaccio. However we're happily ensconced here and thrilled to be staying only a few doors from Roscioli (the bakery) which I'm loving. In their deli around the corner they have fabulous wines, burrata, cheeses and cured meats too.
A couple of recommendations just off the bat. I'm finding Elizabeth Minchilli's Eating Rome App to be excellent and I highly recommend it. I also downloaded Katie Parla's App, the content is great but I find it harder to use, the interface isn't very user friendly to me which is a pity.
The bus and metro are 1:50 euro, you can buy the ticket at any tabacchi, don't forget to validate your ticket when you get on. It's valid for 100 minutes on any public transportation within the city but remember this includes only one metro ride.
I was a bit busy before we came so I didn't spend as much time planning as I normally do, however once we got here I made a reservation for the Palazzo Farnese tour which is offered in English once a week, currently on a Wednesday at 5pm. It was booked about ten days in advance and I believe in a busier time of year you'll need to make your reservations further ahead of time. The building houses the French Embassy and I've long wanted to see it, so I'll let you know what the tour is like.
Here are the details for booking if anyone is interested.
I'm a great fan of walking everywhere and I brought along four walking tour books which we've already taken out and used. Because we've been to Rome before we're less interested in reprising the Forum, Vatican or the Colosseum so walking tour books are a great way to find an itinerary that contains something new and something we may have seen before. Usually we don't remember we've seen it until we get there!
On our first day we took a walking tour of various Palazzi which took us in a meandering path over and back Via Corso. There were lists of churches and palaces and you can see pictures of them on my blog which incidentally is completely non-commercial. I particularly liked the Chamber of Commerce Building which was previously Hadrian's Temple. As usual we made the newbies mistake of departing just when all the churches close in the afternoon, why do we do this every time?!! Then we were distracted by food which is another repetitive move!
We took the recommendation to go out to see EUR (below) which Mussolini built between 1938 -1942 in anticipation of the 1942 World's Fair which didn't take place because of the intervening war. It really is an extraordinary place and an absolute must for any architecture fans. We were stunned by the buildings which have stood the test of time, they are neoclassical but also deeply modern. Ultimately it was utilized for the 1960 Olympic and is used as an out of town business park though the city has now grown out to meet it. I took us back to our trip to Brasilia which has the same modern planned community feel about it, albeit without the Fascist overtones. Here's a link to my blog post on EUR.I took a lot of photos so it may take me a while to put the walk up on the blog but I'll add a link here when I do.
I may be heading back out to EUR as there's an interesting Ethnographic Museum out there too. Incidentally iIt was easy to get to on the number 30 express bus from Largo Argentina around the corner from our flat. It takes you out via Testaccio. We took the Metro back which was easy and fast.
If you're interested in our full itinerary or how to build a crazy route round Asia on frequent flyer miles I have a post, "The Anatomy of A Mad Dash" on my blog
This link should take you to all the Rome content when it's posted!