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A long weekend in Rome – Day 2

Our second day in Rome started with me going back to my old University, Tor Vergata, in order to get my graduation Pergamene (10 years later!). Not sure any of you would like to do quite a long trip to see my old University, so I will start from the interesting part of the day 😀

The interesting part of the day actually started in the area of Vittorio Emanuele tube/metro stop. This area is beautiful and you can definitely get there by tube/metro or walk from the Termini station (the main Rome station) to it. So, closed to the tube stop there is a nice and cute restaurant that definitely needs booking. This place is called: La Vecchia Roma, and it is the one in Via Ferruccio 12.

I discovered this place when I was a student, and it is a must do every time I go back. Speciality of the house is an amazing Pasta (Bucatini) all’Amatriciana Flambe’. So bucatini are thick spaghetti, with a whole in it, to capture all the sauce. Poetry. Amatriciana, is the famous sauce from Amatrice, done with guanciale (pork cheeks), tomatoes sauce and with pecorino cheese on top. So, you wondering what is flambe’ then?! Well, they put fire on a pecorino cheese shape and put your pasta into it, instead of putting the cheese on top. Just imagine, all the cheese your pasta can capture when rolling around those pecorino walls! I can only say that the pasta there it is amazing, no other words needed! See the video here.

There are other dishes there that I would recommend as well, for example the Tagliolini Cacio e Pepe, Tagliolini is another type of pasta, Cacio is a type of cheese and Pepe is Black Pepper. If in season, you could also find a version with artichoke in it, amazing, but not a classic. Artichokes are romans favourite vegetables, if you have tried them as romans cook them, you are not going to ask why. One of the main ways you can find artichoke is fried “a la Giudia” that means “as the Jewish”, as this recipe is coming from the old roman Jewish ghetto, where the Jewish culture and the Italian culture merged and give their best. Carciofo (Artichoke) alla Giudia, it is not only good, but also beautiful to see, looking like a dark rose.

So, I have to say that Sergio, my husband was quite impressed by both dishes of pasta and promised he will be back! That should tell you all 😀

Also, as second, we shared “Coda alla Vaccinara” , Oxtail in red sauce, quite amazing as well and definitely one of the roman must try dished.

In order to burn off all this amazing food, we decided to have quite a long walk, so we started this time from the tube/metro stop Repubblica. This stops sits under Piazza della Repubblica, at the summit of the Viminal Hill and where can also be found the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Santi. Beautiful square, beautiful church. Also really close to there, there is the Opera Theatre (Teatro dell’Opera).

Piazza della Repubblica (Rome) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go
Piazza della Repubblica

Once you visited the premises, follow via Nazionale, but turn to have a quick look to the Quirinal Palace, il Quirinale, the main residence of the italian president (that is different from the italian prime minister).

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You could also visit over there le Scuderie del Quirinale, that host now and then really interesting exhibitions.

Once you have finished, follow the road to get to the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), and walk towards il Foro Romano, the main ruins of the ancient Rome, until you get to the Colosseum.

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Foro Romano
Colosseum - Wikipedia
Colosseum

I am not going to talk about the Colosseum history, as I think that is really well known, but if you do not know it, please have a look to it!

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From there keep walking toward the Circo Massimo (Circus Maximum), the main roman chariot racing stadium. You must have definitely seen it some movies!

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From there, keep walking until you get to the Mouth of Truth, La Bocca della Verita’. A legend says that if you are a layer, the statue will cut your hand off when you put it in its mouth. Guess you need to try!

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From the Mouth of Truth, I recommend one more walk up in the Aventine Hill, to go and give a sneak peek to the keyhole of the door of the Cavalieri di Malta, where you can enjoy an amazing look of St.Peters.

Cavalieri di Malta Keyhole

Rest and enjoy the view also in the Orange Garden, quite close to it, and definitely worth to stop for some pictures.

Once we arrived there, we were so tired that we were looking for a place to rest. Sergio found this place. Not a common roman place, but I would definitely recommend to have some rest, enjoy a nice tequila or a mezcal if you tired of Aperol Spritz (you can find it as well), maybe with a nice aperitivo. Aperitivo is an interesting italian format of eating and drinking, normally you have a menu’ for a drink + “light food”. I definitely recommend to try it, you will get a tray of charcutiers and potentially some mozzarella and more.

After recharging, we then decided to take a bus and go to Teatro Marcello, a theatre merging two different ages of architecture. From there we decided to go back to Via del Corso, but this time instead of turning for Fontana di Trevi, we went through Via dei Condotti to Piazza di Spagna. You need to visit Via dei Condotti, this is the roman showcase of the best italian fashion. Piazza di Spagna, does not need an explanation, with the church of Trinita’ dei Monti on top.

Teatro Marcello in Rome, Info & Opening Hours | Roma Wonder
Trinità dei Monti: restoration in progress
Piazza di Spagna e Trinita’ dei Monti
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From Piazza di Spagna, if you turn and follow Via del Babuino, you can keep enjoy some of the best of Italian fashion, and then finish your walk in Piazza del Popolo. Piazza del Popolo is really important for the romans, it is where all the city goes to follow italian football matches or to strike for something 😀 It is worth also to go and have a look to the churches in Piazza del Popolo, beautiful.

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Piazza del Popolo

I do recommend to find a place to eat while you are walking there, as there are so many side streets to explore. Worth to mention is Pompi, the most famous tiramisu’ in Rome and Mondo Aracina, best of sicilian fried rice balls. I know it is not roman, but it is worth to try!

From there, within half hour walk, you can get to the Vatican City, and visit St. Peter’s church. Just after passing by Castel Sant’Angelo, you will be in Vatican City, not in Rome anymore!

The Story of Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo

Definitely worth a visit St. Peter’s church, but if you want to explore more, the Musei Vaticani are just around the corner, and from there you can visit for example la Cappella Sistina and Raffaello’s rooms. To be fully trasparent, the Vatican Museum take at least few hours to visit, but all fully worth it! Check the opening times in the website, to have also a good light when visit the Cappella Sistina.

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The area around the metro stop Ottaviano is a really good area to have food, I would advice for example to go and look for a pinseria, the roman version of pizza. You should also order as appetizers some suppli’, typical roman potatoes croquettes. Enjoy your dinner!

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