September 27, 2010

Rome in September

For a Norwegian, late September must be the best time to visit Rome.

We left Norway at fall temperatures and arrived at a summerly 23 degrees in Italy.
I had been to Tuscany for a few days already and met up with Terje to enjoy Roma for three days.


Touring the city

We've experienced the very top tourist sights of Rome on our former trips, so this time I asked my art historian co-worker and friend, Oda, for recommendations on what to see.

On her recommendations, we spent time at:
  • The Quirinale, visiting several baroque churches and the four fountains on each of the street corners. 
  • The renaissance facade of palazzo Farnese (which houses the French embassy, at piazza Farnese right by Campo dei Fiori - which is also a nice place for a coffee or prosecco - while you enjoy the look and life of the piazza).
  • Palazzo Massimo alle Terme: Great work of art from the Roman empire.
  • Villa Borghese park: strolling in the park 
  • Piazza del Popolo: Art work by Caravaggio in the church Santa Maria del Popolo
  • The sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo in the church San Pietro in Vincoli (the neighbourhood of this church has some cool cafes and cute small shops). 
We wanted to visit the Galleria Borghese in Villa Borghese, but we missed it because we hadn't bought tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved on-line using the site


The baroque churces at the Quirinale: San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Sant'Andrea Al Quirinale (Bernini's favorite church) and Santa Maria della Vittoria

One of the four fountains (quattro fontane), situated in each corner of the intersection of the Via del Quirinale and Via delle Quattro Fontane.

Piazza Farnese (right by Campo dei Fiori) featuring the renessance facade of palazzo Farnese (which houses the French embassy) The piazza is a nice place for a coffee or prosecco.

In Palazzo Massimo alle Terme: The famous sculpture of an athlete throwing a discos (reproduction of a bronze sculpture, probobly made by Myron, a Greek sculptor, known for his portraits of athletes.)

The boxer, a bronze sculpture, in which the artist has even carved the wounds of the athlete. Amazing work of art at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme.

Taking a stroll in the Villa Borghese park

 Piazza del Popolo

In the church Santa Maria del Popolo there are two beautiful paintings by Caravaggio.

The magnificent sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo in the church San Pietro in Vincoli

Leonardo Da Vinci's big machines
We also stumbled upon an exhibition showing models of some of Leonardo Da Vinci's inventions: Le grandi macchine (Big machines) – Leonardo Da Vinci. The exhibition was in a building (an old monastery) right behind Campo dei Fiori.

The machines exhibited have been built by scientists and Florentine craftsmen, after having studied Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings and notes. Such an incredibly impressive man he was. A true creative genius!

Hotel Parlamento
In Rome we stayed at Hotel Parlamento:
This family run and very friendly hotel is at the corner of Via del Corso, the main shopping street of Rome. You're close to the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps and piazza Navona, and you're in walking distance of Forum Romanum, Colossoeum and St. Pete's Cathedral. Pritty much in the center of everything!

Parlamento is located in a five story apartment building. The lower floor is apartments, the middle floor is another hotel, and Hotel Parlamento is on the top coupple of floors - so you really feel like you're staying in an apartment in the city. There is a terrace on the top floor open for everyone, from where you can see the city. If you want to have your breakfast up there, just ask the staff and they'll bring it up for you. (The elevator is very small - take the steps instead if you're not carrying luggage - it's good for you :-)

The hotel can be booked by writing them an e-mail

Recommendable restaurants (and bar)
Se also:
Restaurant (close to Pantheon): Il Bacaro, via degli spagnoli 27 Truffles are a part of every dish it seems. I had pasta (homemade) in a white sauce with truffles etc. Terje had risotto, and without asking for it, we were both given a side plate with a small portion of eachother's dish. Charming.

Our last meal this time in Rome we had at Enoteca e Taverna Capranica (also close to Pantheon), piazza Capranica, 104 Very recomendable place with great atmosphere. I had a really good saltimbocca, and we had assorted bruschetti for starters. Terje had risotto. It was all really, really good. Excellent Italian Riesling to go with it. I had an amazing Tiramisu for desert.

Lunch at Insalata Ricca, Corso Vittorio Emanuele (close to Campo dei Fiori) where they have a great selection of really big tasty salads. (They have lots of other dishes too, but both of the times I've been there I've had salads).

Lunch at Fiaschetteria bel Tramme, Via del Croce 39 (close to the Spannish steps). This place is all Italian, and fills up really quickly, we sat inside and had a great time watching the families catching up with eachother for lunch. The place is kind of like Gina (which I love) - only much older.

I also want to recommend a good place for drinks (aperitivo): Ristorante Vitti, piazza Capranica. They have tables in the piazza (great for people watching) and serve the best aperitivo-snacks I've had in Rome so far. (The snacks/little bites they serve when you order a drink). The place is right oposite Enoteca e Taverna Capranica.

Lunch at Fiaschetteria bel Tramme

Oda: Thanks for all your recommendations. There was of course much more on your list, but this is all we had time for now. Next time we'll do more.

 Fontana dei Fiumi, by Bernini, in the center of beautiful Piazza Navona

The crowd at Fontana di Trevi