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November in Rome

Old Sep 15th, 2017, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Oh, also, capuchin crypt is a must see for me. Less for the crypt, though. The crypt probably falls on the macabre descripion as bvlenci said. But leading up to it is a very well done museum about the Capuchins and Franciscan order. I find ossuaries interesting so I enjoyed the crypt, but wouldn't go again for that- I'd go again for the museum though. (Bvlenci may be talking about a different crypt, but I didn't think vittoria had one. I'm pretty sure I went there for Bernini. Capuchin is attached to Santa Maria Della Concezione. Bvlenci is the Italy expert though, so I may be mistaken. If am, link to the other crypt, please, Bvlenci?)
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 12:21 PM
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This to me was one Vatican-run church that was fascinating because of the Holy Stairs pilgrims climb on their knees. Sure hubby wants to do that!
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 12:23 PM
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Oops meant to say steps in St John Lateran Basilica on south edge of Rome - not far beyond Colosseum if I recall correctly.
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 02:13 PM
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Oh yes! Surely he will want to do the Holy Stairs. On his knees. Anything physical - he is in - and if you throw Catholic guilt on top - he will be on his knees in a heartbeat. He can say a rosary for his heathen wife while he's down there
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Old Sep 16th, 2017, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Ok - so it looks like we will be in Rome for 4 nights. Probably best to make a couple of dinner reservations. Any specific suggestions?

Obviously just looking for some great Southern Italian food ... pastas and pizzas. Nothing too fancy. For lunches, we will get advice from our tour guides or grab something quick on the go. I think my favorite meal in Rome last time was a panini at some little cart. Dinner though... would love some great pasta and wine.

For our Orvieto day - is there a restaurant there we should experience?
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 09:37 AM
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Hi everyone,

We were able to add 2 more days to our trip. YAY! Initially planned on adding Venice. But I'm wondering if we are going to regret going from crowded, busy Rome to crowded, busy Venice. Am I overlooking a hidden gem? I've looked a bit at Lucca and Bologna and getting mixed feelings.

Some of this may be driven by the fact that I have been to Rome and Venice before. My husband says after Rome, he's open to anything and leaving it up to me. So as much as I would enjoy Venice again, I would also love to experience some place new too. I wonder if something more low-key would be a good contrast after the bustle of Rome.

Thoughts ?
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 12:04 PM
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The Exedra is a very posh hotel, but it is a far walk from the major sites of Rome.

Not far from the hotel is Chiesa Santa Maria Vittoria. Do stop in to see the Bernini Ecstasy of Saint THERESA. This is one of the world's greatest sculptures.

You can also walk over to see Maria Maggiore and my favorite church in Rome, Santa Prassede.

A great restaurant nearby is Trattoria Monti on Via San Vito.

If you haven't already visited Castle Sant'Angelo you should do so on this trip. Absolutely glorious views of Rome from the upper terrace.

Try to visit Trastevere & Testaccio for great bars and restaurants.

My favourite museum in Rome is the Villa Giulia Etruscan Museum.

I will be in Rome on October 19. One night in Orvieto.

Thin aka JoAnn Gucci
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 12:52 PM
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Capuchin is attached to Santa Maria Della Concezione. Bvlenci is the Italy expert though, so I may be mistaken. If am, link to the other crypt, please, Bvlenci?)

No, I had a momentary brain freeze. It's the crypt in Santa Maria della Concezione. It's not really a crypt, though.
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 01:21 PM
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The Exedra is right across from one of my favorite churches, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri. It was originally part of the Baths of Diocletian. The Exedra gets its name from the entrance hall (exedra) to the baths, which was a circular hall on the footprint of the present Piazza della Repubblica.

The conversion of the bath hall to a church was designed by Michelangelo, although other architects got a piece of the project as well.

Just inside the entrance, if you look up, you'll see an oculus like the one in the Pantheon. This one has been covered by a glass lantern to keep the rain out.

Another interesting feature of the basilica is the meridian line, which is a long metal bar on the floor marked with the dates of the year. A beam of light that enters through a small hole high on a wall crosses this bar at noon, on the point with the day's date. This was the official marker of noon until sometime in the 19th century, when time was actually marked by the sun, before time zones existed. At noon, the bells of the basilica were rung so the citizens of Rome could set their rather unreliable timepieces. Now, instead, a cannon is fired from the Janiculum hill at noon. If it's not too noisy, you can hear it in central Rome.

Santa Maria degli Angeli is very attached to the arts. The bronze doors are by a Polish sculptor, installed about ten years ago. The basilica has a wonderful organ, and an impressive choir (sadly, a rare thing in the land of Palestrina and Monteverdi). There's usually a short organ concert between two of the Sunday masses.

The Baths of Diocletian (Terme di Diocleziano) took up an enormous space in the vicinity of Termini station. In fact, the station is named for the baths, or actually for the neighborhood which was called Termini before the station was built. (Terme = baths.)

There are really plenty of places you can visit on foot from the Exedra. Apart from Santa Maria della Vittoria, mentioned by Thin, and the Basilica mentioned by me, it's an easy walk (about 15 minutes) to Trevi Fountain. The Museum of Rome, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme division, has a wonderful collection of ancient Roman art and artifacts, and is just a stone's throw from the Exedra. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is about 15 minutes away. The Roman Forum, is about half an hour from the Exedra, passing through the interesting Suburra neighborhood.

Bernini isn't a favorite of mine, and his Santa Teresa seems very overwrought to me. The church itself is depressing, and in these ecumenical times, maybe they should rename it. The "vittoria" celebrates the lopsided victory of Catholic troops over Protestant Bohemians, during the Thirty Years War.
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 01:36 PM
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For a little respite from tourist crowds and busy-ness, there are some towns quite easy to get to by train between Rome & Venice that make lovely 2-night stays. Consider Orvieto, Arezzo, Modena or Ferrara. If you are interested in Etruscans, then put Chiusi in the mix. If you have a special interest, often a short dogleg on the train can get you exactly what you want == for instance, in November the small Tuscan town of San Miniato is in the midst of its truffle fairs. Or there is new olive oil and artichokes in Brisighella (an hour's detour outside of bologna) and of course there are car museums or fashion museums or ceramics museums etc quite nearby Bologna & Florence.

Each one of the towns I mentioned --- Arezzo, Orvieto, etc -- has its own personality & outstanding sights, but not so many you'll feel stuck on a tourist treadmill. They have their own special foods -- Ferrara or Modena are outstanding for this, with dishes you don't find elsewhere in Italy.

It can be really charming to take such a breather in a small Italian town of history, beautifully preserved, where only a few tourists come to spend nights.
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 05:38 PM
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Wow, so much great information! Lots to absorb, thank you all so much! I'm sure after I dig around with this a bit I'll be back for more!
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