Tuesday, February 6, 2007

When in Rome


Rome is an amazing city. Whether your into the churches, the art, the gorgeous food and wine or the handsome Italian's, this city has it all.
What to do depends on 1) if it's your first trip 2) your interests 3) how long you go for.
1) If it's your first time in Rome there are certain "must sees". The vatican, the colosseum, trevi fountain, Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna etc... Rome is actually very easy to get around and you should be able to cover all the big sites in one or two days. Make sure you get to the vatican early or you could find yourself in line for hours.
2) A lot depends on your interests too. There are churches everywhere which are worth a visit both for religous reasons and for the art. Monuments are everywhere too and you'll find you see a lot of art and history just walking around the city. If you're more into nature and relaxing, there are numerous parks (Villa Borghese is right in the centre and great for a picnic. From the Pincio you get a great view over Rome too).
3) How long you stay for will also effect how much you see. As the famous saying goes "A lifetime is not enough". If you have a couple of weeks check out the big sites in the centre and some of the lesser visited ones like St. Petro in vincoli (up the hill in front of the Colosseum which has in my opinion one of Michelangelo's best pieces), take one of the boat trips down the tevere river to Ostia (the beach), get a bus to Tivoli and go to Villa D'este (a beautiful villa with gorgeous gardens full of statues, fountains, and view of Rome from a distance)
make sure you eat at restaurants where Italians eat and not at the tourist restaurants in the centre. Although some tourist menus are ok they are nothing compared the Italian food prepared for Italians. Think about it, tourists menus are created for people who won't be coming back, proper Italian restaurant what the people to come back and therefore have better quality of food and service...and price!

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