When in Rome – Do As the Tour Guides Do!

Here are some destination tips on Rome taken straight from the mouths of those who know it best, the Rome Tour Guides.  Largo Cream

Elisabetta: Strangely enough, I don’t think many tourists really know much about the Gianicolo Hill. It really does have a far better view of Rome than that seen from the dome of St. Peter’s. Not to mention, there is no waiting in line and no need to climb three thousand steps. Oh and the best part: it’s free! What a great place to enjoy a coffee or aperitivo while taking in the panorama or even for an evening of romance… bring a little wine, bread, cheese, and there’s no telling where the evening could progress! To get there from the Vatican (behind gianicolo bus station) take the 115 bus which will take you directly there.

Maria: I adore the pasticceria near the Ottaviano metro station (metro line A) named Dolce Maniera. It smells divine any time of the day you walk past but the best part about it is that it’s open all night long. It’s right next door to an army store and the “sexy shop”. The proper street name is Via Barletta. If you are walking towards the metro station from Via Ottaviano, keep going across Via Giulio Cesare and it’s that street, on the left hand side. Walk a bit further down, and really just follow your nose!

While we’re talking food, don’t miss La Casa dei Supplì, (located in Piazza Re di Roma just next door to the Sma supermarket). This place has by far the best suppli; (little balls of mozzarella, rice and tomato coated with bread crumbs and fried) I’ve tasted in Rome. Better than Il Delfino, which is also heavenly but La Casa dei Suppli’ tops it.

Sofia: Ristorante Le Naumachie – Via Celimontana, 7 Run by the nicest brothers, Alfredo and Roberto Micheli. This casual restaurant takes its name from the Naumachie, the naval battles which supposedly occurred when the Ancient Romans flooded the nearby Colosseum. The menu is short and sweet, and just about everything on it is fantastic. You must try the mozzarella di bufala appetizer, the pizzas have a fantastic crust, and the meats are top quality (order the Filettto Danese). The house specialty dessert called “cestino le Naumachie” is probably going to be the highlight of your visit, so leave room! It’s a little basket of perfection made of a waffle crust, with confectioner’s cream and fresh berries and/or chocolate on top.

Eva: Il Chiostro del Bramante (Bramante’s Cloister): A 15th century palace which now houses art exhibits, conferences, libraries and a gorgeous cafe, this space is a little slice of heaven in the midst of the chaotic city of Rome. The plan was engineered by Donato Bramante and is connected to the church of Santa Maria della Pace along the Via Della Pace (just a few blocks from piazza Navona) The café is partly indoors, opening up to a courtyard where one can sit out in the fresh air and sip coffee or enjoy a light meal. Highly recommended are the brunch items, salads and light fare as well as coffee drinks and aperitifs. There is even free wireless access (which is worth bragging about in a 600 year old building in a city like Rome)! You won’t find this site in many of the Rome guide books, so enjoy it while it can still claim its crown as a hidden jewel!

Kimberly: The Bernini sculpture of the Ecstasy of St. Teresa located within the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria church at the Largo Santa Susanna. This work of art is one of the sculptural masterpieces of the high Roman baroque period, and is just a short walk from Rome’s main railway station, Termini. Surprisingly few tourists actually make it over to see her, but those who make the effort will have a lasting impression of the brilliant Maestro Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s work to enjoy for eternity.

Anna Maria: The lake at CastelGandolfo. Lake Albano is only 30 minutes by train from the Termini Station, and it is connected to the town of Castelgandolfo where the Pope’s summer residence is located. The volcanic lake is always a lovely and relaxing place to spend a cool day away from the chaos of Rome. There are places to rent bicycles, boats, etc, and several excellent restaurants and family run eateries specializing in the local Porchetta from nearby Ariccia. The best in my opinion is Da Agnese, which is along the lake (just after the tunnel, turn left. Da Agnese is about ½ Kilometer ahead on the right hand side).

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