The second day of our Rome trip was exhausting! We saw and did too many things! The first thing we all did was a class field trip to Villa Borghese! Which by the way you have to make an appointment before you go there! This park is Rome’s largest, this villa was built for Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1615 for the purpose of showcasing his fabulous and amazing antiquities collection. Among them are Bernini’s famous sculptures of Apollo and Daphne, David, and the Rape of Proserpine. They also house some of Caravaggio’s paintings including his famous “David and Goliath” which was actually a present to the Pope of Rome begging him to pardon his exile for killing a man. Caravaggio was 37 when he passed away in exile, before the news could reach him that he was allowed to come back to Rome.
Other things we did and saw:
1) The Pantheon – One of Rome’s ancient buildings and best preserved monuments, it was built by Hadrian in 120 AD.
2) The Capuchin Crypt – beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione on the Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini. Be advised: You need to cover your shoulders and knees, dress code is enforced as it is considered a holy place.
3) Giolitti – By far the best Gelato I’ve tasted in all of Italy! Very famous indeed! I tried the Bailey’s Irish Cream flavor, so delicious.
4) Piazza de Barberini – The 17th century Palazzo Barberini is here and was the residence of Rome’s leading art patron, Pope Urban VIII. A great place for local art being displayed by artists, as well as some restaurants etc. The Fontana del Tritone is also located in this area.
5) Open Baladin – Where we ate for dinner, American style food and craft beer! I ordered the Chicken burger, a must try with their house beer!
6) Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna – Houses neoclassical and romantic paintings, their collection is worth seeing as there are tons of landscapes and cityscape paintings as well.
7) Fontana di Trevi – Famous fountain with sculptures of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water. The fountain is the world’s most spectacular wishing well, make a wish for fun! I’d suggest going at night when it’s lit up, it’s kind of amazing! But be prepared for the hundreds of tourists also standing around near the area. Keep your belongings close to you!
Other noteworthy eats in Rome (list from one of our instructors who’ve visited Rome several times before.)
- Sora Margherita – Jewish ghetto, great lunch, try the fried artichoke.
- Ristaurante Vecchia Roma – Jewish ghetto, romantic dinner, great outdoor seating but expensive!
- Bartaruga – Jewish ghetto, undiscovered wine bar, turns into a party spot in the late hours.
- Trattoria Da Lucia – In Trastevere, cheap eats, try the spaghettie all gricia.
- Bir and Fud – Trastevere, best mushroom pizza.
- Piperno – Jewish ghetto, Highly recommended.
- La Nova Cappanina – Restaurant near Pantheon in a quiet alley, great mom and pop restaurant for lunch.
- II Portico restuarant – Near Piazza Della Cinque Scola, good spaghetti alla pecorino e pepper.
- Sabatini – On piazza Santa Maria Trastevere, more expensive and fancy.
Other Places we didn’t get to see that are worth seeing:
The Spanish Steps, Sant’ Ignazio Church, Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Palazzo Doria Pamphili, Sant’ Andrea della Valle, San Clemente, Piazza della Republica.