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Here are some interesting places tin Rome o visit other than the usual biggies


Jan 21st, 2008, 05:04 AM
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Here are some interesting places tin Rome o visit other than the usual biggies

We were in Rome just after the New Year and also found these places quite interesting. In no particular order....

Palazzo Doria Pamphlia--set right in the heart of the busy city, one would never know that this huge block-large palazzo is there if the gates were shut. It is a gorgeous palace surrounding an open courtyard and has a huge art collection. Nearly every inch of wall space is covered with paintings from all eras. We rented the headsets and enjoyed the extra insights they gave us into the family background and the pieces of art.

The Catacombs of Priscilla--We were the only visitors there so had a private guided tour of these catacombs on the NE fringe of the city. Located ??? 3 miles from the Borghese, we walked there after our Borghese tour (there is probably a better way to get there) and then took the bus back into the heart of Rome. A truly interesting look at what the catacombs were like and the frescoes from 250AD.

Villa Farnesina--A large mansion in Trastevere with very few visitors. This has superb frescoed rooms, some by Raphael. It was a peaceful and lovely place to visit.

Aventine Hill--We just walked around enjoying the ambience of the neighborhood and stopped in at a few churches.

Palantine Hill--you've already paid for this if you've paid for your Colosseum admission. It was an interesting walk looking at different ruins and seeing things from a different perspective.

We took in a free concert at the Basilica dei Ss. Giovani e Paolo al Celio. It was a lovely church in what I am sure would be a beautiful neighborhood in the daytime. For us, it was dark and pretty deserted and we were debating whether we should walk through a completely unknown neighborhood in the dark. We are glad we did and wish we'd had time to walk there again in the daylight.

We had 8 nights so had time to add in some of these things. Even if your time is short, I'd recommend trying to hit at least a couple of these places so you can enjoy Rome without all the crowds. We did a zillion churches too and now that I'm home, frankly, I can remember these as individual places, whereas the churches have, for the most part, run together in my memory even though I have photos of them.
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Jan 21st, 2008, 05:34 AM
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Thank you so much for this information. We have been to Rome twice but haven't seen any of this except Palatine Hill. Next time.
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Jan 21st, 2008, 07:50 AM
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We toured the Villa Farnesina last February, and we even bought a book about it from their giftshop, because we thought the place was so interesting. And I had never heard about this place before our visit, either (and this was our 2nd visit to Rome).

It's amazing all the out-of-the-way places you can find things in Rome!
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Jan 21st, 2008, 09:11 AM
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I agree with you about the Doria Pamphili. I go there twice each time Iím in Rome. If I go to Rome this May, Iíll go twice more. Wonderful, manageable collection. No crowds. Great audioguide about the art and the family history. The highlight for me is always the Velazquez portrait of Pope Innocent X, and the Bernini sculpture of X right next to it, in that alcove thatís always closely monitored. (I have a poster of the Velazquez in my room here. And of Caravaggioís Mary Magdalene, which is also in the collection.)

And, yes. Villa Farnesina was a treat, an unexpected one as I was wandering around Trastevere. (Another nice surprise was the botanical garden nearby.)
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Jan 21st, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Julies, we have four and a half days in Rome, you lists helps alot. I think going to Borghese and the Catacombs of Priscilla make sense because they are inthe same direction.
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Jan 21st, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Julies, Thanks very much. These go in my trip plans for Spring.
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 01:20 AM
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Thanks from me too Julies. We will be there in May and had Avantine Hill and Palantine Hill on our list, but not the others. Thanks again.
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:45 AM
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I already had Villa Farnesina on my list for next trip to Rome and am glad to have you and wanderful confirm it is a good choice. The sights in Trastevere and the Janiculum generally seem less crowded than those across the Tiber and certainly it is nice to see a few places that can be characterized as "peaceful."
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:14 AM
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The Villa Farnesina is wonderful, I was there last week myself! But remember, it's only open in the mornings (until 1 p.m.) and there is almost no information provided. Be sure to bring your own travel guide, or copy a few pages from a good guide and bring with you! Also, it's a bit tricky to find, so check a map before you go. Its grounds essentially lie on the Lungotevere della Farnesina (the main street that runs along the Tiber) but the entrance to this lovely villa is on a side street.

The Palazzo Colonna is also wonderful to see (also the site where some scenes from the old movie Roman Holiday were shot) but it's only open Saturday mornings. The rooms are fantastic and some great art as well.

I'd also recommend the new archeological exhibition that's opened in the Palazzo Valentini. I'm not sure how long tickets will be available, but the multimedia show sketching out how the domus would have looked, based on the what they have found in the site, was fantastic. I also saw it about 10 days ago -- the tour was only in Italian so I missed some information -- but very much worth seeing. And it's basically on the Piazza Venezia, so very central!
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 09:44 AM
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Has anyone been to Sperlonga? Is the Grotta de Tiberia anything like the Capri blue grotto?
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Thank you - going to Rome in 2 months!
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 02:50 AM
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I know Michelangelo had plans to connect the Villa Farnesina to the Palazzo Farnese by a bridge over the Tiber. The only thing that got built was the Farnese archway over the Via Giulia. I suppose if the plans had been realized the Villa Farnesina would now be easier to reach and therefore more crowded.

I also wanted to add to the list of interesting places to visit in Rome:
Bramante's Tempietto in the courtyard of San Pietro in Montorio. It is considered the first true Renaissance building in Rome and is a short walk uphill from Santa Maria in Trastevere or downhill from Piazzale Garibaldi on the Janiculum. There are good views of Rome from this point, although not quite as spectacular as those from the Piazzale on top of the hill.
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