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Archive for January, 2012

Trastevere Charm behind the river Tìber


Charm behind the river Tìber

This is one of the most famous and old quartiers in Rome, its name comes from the latin trans Tiberis, which means “Behind the Tíber”. It is always full of tourists and locals for many reasons;coblestones roads (girls wearing high heels may show their best skills walking here) ancient buildings, street artists, alleys, piazzas, fountains, restaurants, pubs, cafés and more.

The arquitecture is charming: medieval houses with the original facade, in light and neutral colors, some of which have climbing plants on the walls, trees and flowers; in many corners there are still images of the Madonna or the Virgen Mary, that have been there since the time when Rome was owned by the Vatican;it is a trafic limited zone during the the night, so if you’re coming with a car,you better inform yourself about the forbidden hours because if you break the rule, no matter from where you’re coming from, you’ll receive a fine afterwards!.

The neighborhood has many museums, from which the Museo di Roma in Trastevere stands out, there you can see “Landscapes recalled: watercolours of Rome between 1876 and 1895 by Ettore Roesler Franz” . The districts, narrow streets and houses of times past shown in the watercolours provide a record and a reminder of how Rome looked up until the end of the 19th century. His work reflects the provincial city Rome once was, evidently behind the other european capitals, nevertheless after Italy became one country, great advances were made which the artist decided to disregard maby out of melancholy. The museum has another exhibitions, so it’s worth it.

One of the most popular restaurants is “La Parolaccia” which means “The dirty or the four-letter word”, this place is a typical trattoria where the funny thing is that you’ll be insulted by the waiters, some of the comments are really offensive, therefore sensitive or thincklish personalities will do better not going. The clients already know what to expect, actually they wait with pleasure the first “slap”, if you dare to confront them you may have some digestion problems, because the waiters wont leave you in peace for the whole night! According to the reviews online, fun is guaranteed though.

For a sweet treat, go to the ice cream chain “Ciuri-Ciuri” at Piazza San Cosimato, where you can taste a traditional sicilian dessert, best flavors to try are nociola (hazelnut) and almonds. Not very far from there over the Piazza San Calisto you’ll find a Bar (same name as the piazza) chocolate ice cream here is absolutely superior, the place is open up until one or two in the morning, depending on the day, beers cost not much (around €3) they also have these vodka sorbets, that are just perfect for the summer heat. Other choices are Fior de Luna and Da Checco, but don’t worry, the gelato is never running short!

If you’re on a low budget and you still want a nice evening, you could make an aperitivo for just €7 at Freni e Frizioni, served from 7 to 10 pm, it includes a drink and all you can eat buffet, which is pretty assorted with salads, pasta, rice, many dressings like hummus, bread and fruits, the staff is always checking that there is no empty plates; the bar is at Via Politeama 4, near Piazza Trilussa. If your budget is really limited you can go to that piazza and bring your own beer or wine, the place is always crowded and a meeting point to start a walk in Trastevere, just be careful not to drink outside after 11 pm because is not allowed, at least up until march 17 you can’t buy a drink to take away.
Another cheap solution is the trattoria and pizza place Carlo Menta, at Via della Lungaretta, be sure of arriving early because people do know about its low prices, a simple Marguerita pizza costs €4, while a pasta dish goes from €5 depending on the ingredients, anyway this is a well known restaurant with a good price/quality food.

At the street Vicolo del 5 there is a special Café called Rivendita Libri Cioccolata e Vino, we suggest to pay a quick visit and drink one of the very original shots, not only the mix is a house creation but they flaunt erotic names that prone to fantasizing like: “Quickie” “Orgasm” or “Lovebite”,the shot will be served in a little chocolate shot . It’s an tradition to put it the whole shot in your mouth, so you can enjoy the liquor and chocolate at the same time.

What else is waiting for you in Trastevere? Clothes shops, vendors street, comediants, magicians, like the AKA “The magician Guarda”, guarda in italiano means ” to look” he does his show with simple magic tricks, he’s pretty obvious but funny too, if he has a big audience who participate, they will usually get excited by asking him not to stuck a sword in his throat.
To reach Trastevere you could catch one of the many buses like the H or tram 8, you could even walk from the center, is not far.

Paulina Ceballos

The Capitoline Geese

posted by admin in Curiosity

Among the Seven Hills of Rome, the Capitol is certainly the most famous, known as the nerve cente of daily life in ancient Rome. Someone may not know that this hill is also the home of many events where historical and legendary protagonists meet.
One of the most popular legends of Rome refers to the sacred geese living on the Capitol Hill, in the temple dedicated to the mother of the gods.
The story goes that in 390 b. C., when Rome was fighting against the invasion of the Gauls, Roman citizens who were in town had to face hunger and isolation, and the soldiers who guarded The City had no other place to spend the night but the temple of Juno.
One night a former consul Marcus Manlius, who was sleeping together with the army, he heard the geese honking, immediately got up and ran to the walls of the fortress and found one of the Gauls who tried to climb the rock of the hill, confronted him and tore his fingers. Meanwhile, the geese who kept squawking, woke the whole army, which finally defeated the invaders.

Are you coming to Rome on Valentine’s Day? Best Places to watch the sunset!!

view from gianicolo hill

view from gianicolo hill

Without doubt Rome is one of the most romantics cities in the world, full of : little streets, lovely cafés to sit and enjoy a cappuccino,
charming piazzas with street artists playing tarantella (a folk italian music) or even singing opera and  beautiful fountains in every corner.

If you are coming with that special someone, don’t forget to take a minute and watch the sunset in one of these places:

  • Gianicolo: if you are in Trastevere is really easy to get there: take Via Garibaldi, that street leads onto the place, on your way you’ll see a big fountain called Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, it’s really impressive and also offers a great view, nevertheless keep on going, because the Gianicolo offers a unique opportunity to get a panoramic view of Saint Peters dome on one side and on the other the center of Rome. Best things is that it’s free!
  • Castel Sant’ Angelo: try to visit it in the afternoon, in the winter you can catch the sunset at 17:30 more or less, from the top you can enjoy the view of the river Tiber and the storical center.
  • Giardino degli aranci (Orange Trees Garden): In the winter the trees are full of fruits therefore since you get in you’ll sense its perfume, the view is fascinating: the river Tiber, Trastevere, the domes in the center, the gianicolo hill, the Tiber Island. In the same street at the end, you’ll see a big gate, look closely through the little hole, you can see St. Peter’s Basilica. From the metro B Circo Massimo: Take Via del Circo Massimo, when you get to the Piazzale Ugo La Malfa turn left at Via di Valle Murcia, go straight, that street turns into Via di Santa Sabina, the garden is at the Park Savello at the end.
  • Pincio: From it’s terrace you’ll get the view of the storical center, the Castel Sant’Angelo and Saint Peter’s Dome. The easiest way to get there is by metro A Flaminio, got to the Piazza del Popolo, there is a ramp, go up, if had eaten a big pizza you might need a few minutes to catch your breath, but believe me, it’s worth it!! Anyway there is another option, go to the metro Spagna, take the Monti steps, pass the church at your right and continue until you get to Piazza Napoleone I, then you’re there!

BTW if you decided to visit the last suggestion and you still can’t get enough of romanticism, perhapes before that you could go to the
Lake’s Garden in Villa Borghese, you could rent a boat there and row in front of the Esculapio Temple, which is an imitation of a greek temple.

Rome is always enchanting, full of colours and terribly romantic, so for those who are single in this day: take precautions!!!. No matter where you go, you’ll surely find something that will take your breath away.  Don’t forget to take your time sit somewhere to just observe the people walking, the voices of the Italians (loud enough trust me) and a big gelato.

Paulina Ceballos


A church in Rome decorated with real bones and skulls? Discover this secret place: the Church of the Cappuccini Friars

posted by admin in Curiosity, Monuments

Cripta dei Cappuccini Roma

Cripta dei Cappuccini Roma

Death closes the gates of time, and opens those of eternity”

That is the message that welcomes you when you arrive to the Cappuccini Crypt, which is in the Church of the Immaculate. Probably is not included in every “To do” list in Rome, but if you have time and you want to see one of the secret places of the city, you’ll be amazed. Actually is really easy to get there, because it’s right outside the Metro Barberini, after paying a visit, you could continue your walk along the worldwide famous Via Veneto. The walls and ceilings are “decorated” with the remaining bones of the Cappuccini friars, who died between 1528 and 1870.

These friars obtained their named Capuchin from the hood, or capuce they used to wear. The church is small, while you walk along the corridor your eyes will be delighted seeing different crypts with this peculiar decoration of skulls, pelvises, lamps made out of leg bones and even a complete skeleton lying peacefully in front of the tourists eyes.

Not to miss: Check the design of the clock on the wall opposite the door, it represents the continuity of life, in time and in eternity.

It could be a little macabre or creepy for some people, but definitely it’s a place in Rome that you will never forget!!
How to arrive: Metro Red Line A: Barberini, take the Via Veneto exit and look for the number 27.

Price: 50 cents donation.

Opening hours:9-12 noon; 3-6 p.m. Closed Thursdays.

Paulina Ceballos

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