The shade is halfway down to block the sun, but it’s already burning inside the train. A group of teenage scouts in uniform of some troop brigade chats loudly nearby, in front of me is a young law student, and, to my right, two ragazzi speak in thick dialect. I can barely understand them when they ask if I can close the shade completely. The regionale train takes nearly three hours to reach Rome from Naples, where I had just visited, and I am without water, slowly sweating out what little precious liquid remains in my body. But, hey, at least I don’t have to pee.
If you’re traveling on a budget in Rome, pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) is your best friend. Not only is Roman pizza a local delicacy, it’s also cheap and can be eaten on the street. Often, even the more mediocre Roman pizzarie surpass their American counterparts. But if you truly want a great slice, where do you go? Here’s my top 10 list of favorite pizza by the slice spots in Rome (in no particular order).
I’m slowly trudging through the 36GB of photos taken during my Italy trip last May. If you’re interested in seeing some unique perspectives on Rome, Naples and towns within Emilia-Romagna, check out my Flickr page (I’ll go back and add descriptions and tags after I’m done uploading everything).
Here are a few shots from Rome that I like in particular… Continue reading “36GB of Photos from Rome, Naples and Emilia-Romagna”
Everyone has their favorite gelaterie in Rome; these are mine. All of them sit within the center of Rome, where I did most of my wandering during my month there. This list is current as of July 2012, meaning I haven’t been to anywhere that opened since. If your favorite gelateria isn’t mentioned, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to try it during my next visit to Rome! (Pardon the watermark accident I had…) Continue reading “The Best Gelato in Rome”
Imagine, if you will, making your way through the crowded mess that is the Musei Vaticani on a typical summer day. Packed with tourists, you shuffle through, half-admiring the timeless art and half-watching your step. Now, imagine that Vatican security steps out just for you, unhinging velvet ropes and letting you through to areas prohibited to the public. “Wow… VIP,” an American tourist comments, partly in jest and in jealousy. You smile, humbly, but also somewhat proudly, because you certainly feel like a “VIP” as you bypass the hordes and enter breathtaking areas like sections of the Stanze di Raffaello with just you, your guide and a few others.
It’s like having the Vatican Museums all for yourself. Continue reading “Visiting the Musei Vaticani like a VIP with Walks of Italy”
After wandering Rome non-stop for a month, I thought I had seen all the romance the city had to offer. I’d seen the Centro Storico under a nearly supermoon, walked through the Spanish Steps in the rain, caught the sunset from Campidoglio and spent long nights in Trastevere.
But all this paled in comparison.
Gianicolo (Janiculum in English) is the second-tallest hill in Rome and one of the city’s most popular attractions. While it’s not one of the “Seven Hills of Rome,” as it sits outside the ancient boundaries of the city, it provides perhaps the best panoramic view that you can get. West of Trastevere, visitors can reach the summit by walking (or taking the bus) along the tranquil Passeggiata del Gianicolo leading up the hill. At the top, there are several monuments to the Garibaldi family as well as the Orto Botanico dell’Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” a botanical garden sitting slightly under the viewing area.
Is it worth the trip? Definitely. It’s cool and breezy up here; wholly romantic. I can only imagine that this effect is magnified many times over during the sunrise, the sunset and the night.
If you’re a film lover in Rome, a visit to Cinecittà is a must. Built by Mussolini in 1937, the studio has long shed its fascist ways (save for an eagle at the base of the flagpole), becoming one of the longest running and largest film studios in Europe. Great directors have worked here, most notably Federico Fellini for the production of his classics La Dolce Vita and Satyricon. More recently, the studio was used for the filming of Martin Scorsese’s The Gangs of New York, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and HBO’s television series Rome, in which a multi-million dollar set was produced (photos below). Located along the Metro’s Linea A, reaching the expansive movie studio via public transit is really easy.