When in Rome
When in Rome, we always throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain so we can come back. The first time I did this was in the early 80's as a kid, and hoped when I grew older that I would some day get to go with Bill. He is not a city person, but the history and the ancient sites may be enough to overlook the metropolitan area. We either rent an apartment through Under the Roman Sun for longer stays, or stay at the Hotel Richmond for a few nights.
There are way too many things that we have done in Rome that it would be unreasonable to share it all here. We have a few highlights on this page of sites that have some meaning to us, and have provided a separate page for churches in Rome. I can not imagine running out of things to do or sites to see in this densely packed city. Visiting special exhibits in museums or hanging out in Villa Borghese always provides a few hours of entertainment. We have seen an exhibit on Gowns by Valentino (which almost killed Bill), Frescoes from Villas, and one on Bugs. The Forum is always a good spot to see and is close to the Colosseum, and we finally got over to see the Pantheon after many visits. The Vatican Museums and visiting St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is a day or more worth of sites. Browsing the high end fashion boutiques at the Spanish Steps and Via Babuino are a nice attraction, and I always have to stop by Save the Queen on Via Babuino, and then walk along the ally on the side of that shop to a nice little restaurant for some pasta with mushrooms, or the pasta with pesto.
This is the first thing we visited together in Rome. It would be later that year that this structure would become one of the 7 New World Wonders. It is the among the greatest examples of the Roman Empire's engineering feats and is almost 2000 years old. In modern times it is easily accessed via the Metro at the Colosseum station.
In the vicinity of the Colosseum is another site we missed and was closed the last time we were there, but tickets can be purchased to see the underground structures across the street. A 15 minute walk away is the Baths of Caracalla, which closes before sundown, and we had to go back to visit it on another future trip.
Baths of Caracalla
Largo di Torre Argentina
This site can be seen any time of day by looking into the small hole in the middle of the buildings and busy streets. Although it seems unremarkable compared to the grand layout of the Forum, for example, the historic significance of this site is great. We took a tour at 4:30 (4:00 in winter) offered by the cat sanctuary that is located next to the ruins. The guide, from Philadelphia, brought his little dog on the tour as we walked the perimeter and peered in. Seeing the site where Julius Caesar was killed (white square stone below), and visiting the cat sanctuary made for a perfect late afternoon visit.
About the Food: The Ghetto and Campo di Fiori
This continues to be the place that we visit every time we are in Rome. Sometimes twice on a visit. If just for a midday snack of carciofi or salted cod, or an evening of dining, we always seek out Giggettos. The streets wind in tiny alley ways, and the history is important. There are tours that one can take, and also a museum at the Synagogue that provide more information. We do not know how to actually get on one of the tours, but we do follow our guidebook on a suggested walk in the area and it explains things along the way. Also in the area is the Campo di Fiori where we sometimes pick up groceries. You need to get there earlier in the day as it is not open the entire day.