Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Rome In A Day
You can stay in Rome six days or six months and you will still not see everything, but here's a list I once posted on an Italian internet list in response to someone who said they only had one day to see Rome. Maureen Fant (qv) writes about Italian and other European restaurants for the New York Times.
With only one day for Rome, I would recommend you put all your time into strolling the streets and piazzas. You should be able to do that on your own with just a few taxi rides here and there.
Visiting something as high up on the list of sights as the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel would take away too high a percentage of your time. You will have time, however, to stroll (not linger) in and out of some churches and palazzi, and at some churches you can see great paintings and sculpture. Example: Caravaggio's The Calling of St. Matthew in S. Luigi dei Francesi (St. Louis des Francais - St. Louis of the French).
Any good guidebook will show you all the following places and their locations.
Since you are staying in the Centro Storico, start the day with coffee and rolls in the Piazza Sant'Eustachio. Walk to Piazza della Rotonda, visit the Pantheon. Walk to Piazza della Minerva, Sant Maria Sopra Minerva (Michelangelo, Bernini, Filippo Lippi). Walk to Piazza del Collegio Romano (Borromini and Palazzo Doria Pamphili - no time to go in). Piazza di Sant'Ignazio, Sant'Ignazio di Loyola (Andrea Pozzo ceiling). Piazza Colonna. Piazza di Montecitorio. Via Condotti to Piazza di Spagna. Taxi or walk to Piazza Barberini. Via del Quattro Fontane to Via del Quirinale. S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Borromini. Via del Quirinale to Sant'Andrea al Quirinale by Bernini. Presidential Palace opposite. Via del Quirinale to Piazza del Quirinale to Fontana di Trevi.
If you haven't had lunch by now, you will want it! Maureen?
Taxi to St. Peter's. View church, quickly, and piazza.
Taxi to the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill, Michelangelo). Look out over the Roman Forum, which you probably will not stroll around today (next trip -- too bad). Walk to Piazza Farnese. Campo de' Fiori to Cancelleria to Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne to Piazza Navona (you are now almost back to where you started). Santa Maria della Pace, Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, San Luigi dei Francesi. Piazza della Rotonda, again: collapse in cafe.
Maureen Fant, author of Trattorias of Rome, Florence, and Venice replied:
Off the top of my head, the only place near Fontana di Trevi I would recommend is Al Moro. Gelato near Trevi is a must--San Crispino in Via della Panetteria. Otello alla Concordia is a perennial fave (lovely ambience, not exciting food but good enough) near P di Spagna (Via della Croce) and further down same street the little trattoria Beltramme (known by various other names as well), no phone. Or Dal Bolognese near P del Popolo. I presume we want to go for the classics on a day like this. Eden roof garden makes a nice break in the day too.
PS: I skipped the Piazza del Popolo for logistical reasons, but New Urbanists are probably crazy enough to add that, plus some more of the Forum and the Colosseum. I was married near the Piazza del Popolo. At Maureen's suggestion, we stayed at the Hotel de Russie, on the piazza. Of course the Euro was 30% lower than, and you only marry once.
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