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Italy

Recommended attractions in Rome


Ostia Antica (Rome)
Ostia Antica, Viale dei Romagnoli 717
This archeological site 20 miles from Rome was once a port city of 100,000. Today, it provides a wonderfully intimate look at the life of a working class city dating from the 4th century AD.
You'll walk among the ruins of shops, houses, apartment buildings, cafes, baths, bars, warehouses, and temples at this well-preserved site. Many fine mosaics remain, and it's much easier to grasp the layout here than at Rome's Forum.
Phone:  06.56.35.80.99
Hours:  8:30AM to 6PM
Tuesday through
Sunday; closing
at 5PM in March,
and at 4PM
during the winter
Web:   www.ostiaantica.net
Admission:   4EUR

Rome
Basilica di San Clemente, Piazza San Clemente, Via Labicana 95
Beneath the 12th-century street level church, there?s a 4th-century church. Beneath that is a Roman apartment dating from the 1st century AD. You can explore the subterranean grottoes on your own. They lead to a public building dating from the great fire.
Phone:  06.77.40.021
Hours:  9AM to 12:30PM and 3PM to 6PM Monday through Saturday; 10AM to noon and 3PM to 6PM Sundays
Admission to the grottoes:   3EUR Admission to the church is free

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4
The Cathedral of the diocese of Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano stands on the site of a church built by Constantine in 314AD. The church has been rebuilt many times since, and today the church is distinguished by its Baroque interior, designed by Borromini in the 17th century. The cloisters, which date from 1220, are among the best in Rome. The attached Chapel of San Venanzio is decorated with 7th-century mosaics. And the adjoining palace was the home of the Popes until the 13th century.
Phone:  06.69.88.64.33
Hours:  7AM to 6:45PM daily; closing at 6PM off season
Admission to the cloisters:   2EUR Admission to the church is free

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore
This monumental church combines nine centuries of Italian art and architecture. Highlights include the 5th-century mosaics in the nave, the Gothic tomb of Cardinal Rodriguez, the 16th-century Capella Sistine, a beautiful coffered ceiling, and the tomb of Bernini.
Phone:  06.488.1094
Hours:  7AM to 7PM daily
Admission:   4EUR

Botanical Gardens, Largo Cristina di Svezia 24
Once the grounds of the Palazzo Corsini, the gardens were given to the University of Rome in 1883. There are more than 7,000 species here, including palms, orchids, and bromeliads.
Phone:  06.686.4193
Hours:  9AM to 6:30PM Tuesday day through Saturday in Summer; 9AM to 5:30PM Tuesday day through Saturday in Winter; Closed in August
Admission:   2EUR

Campo de? Fiori, Piazza Campo de? Fiori
This is Rome?s best open-air food market. In addition to fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, cheeses, and wine, you?ll find flowers, breads, and desserts. Everything you need to compose a world-class picnic.
Hours:  7AM to 1:30 PM Monday through Saturday

Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio
Located on Michelangelo?s beautiful Piazza del Campidoglio, there are actually two museums, one of each side of the Piazza. Palazzo Nuovo, on your right when you face the staircase, contains the bronze equestrian statue or Marcus Aurelius, the Hall of the Philosophers, and the moving Dying Gaul. The Pallazo Conservatori contains a colossal head of Constantine, the Etruscan bronze of the she-wolf, and paintings by Titian, Caravaggio, and Veronese.
Phone:  06.671.02.071
Hours:  9AM to 8PM Tuesday through Sunday
Admission:   7.80EUR

Castel Sant'Angelo , Lungotevere Castello 50
Built in 139AD as the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian, the castle became a refuge for the Popes during the Middle Ages. Visitors can tour the splendid Renaissance Apartments, a museum of ancient arms and weapons, and the ancient prison cells below. An added bonus is the wonderful views from the terrace.
Phone:  06.39.96.76.00
Hours:  9AM to 8PM daily
Admission:   5EUR

Castroni, Via Cola di Rienzo 196
A food lover?s paradise, Castroni stocks delicacies from all over the world, as well as Italian specialties. If it?s worth eating, you?ll find it here. Not far from the Vatican.
Phone:  06.687.4383
Hours:  8AM to 8PM Monday through Saturday

Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, Via dei Fori Imperiali
Opened in 80AD with a 100-day program of events, the Colosseum held 50,000 avid spectators. Remarkably, they could leave through the 80 arched entrances in less than 10 minutes. From the top, you can see the underground passageways where lions were admitted to the arena.
Phone:  06.39.96.76.00
Hours:  9AM to 7:15PM daily, March through August; 9AM to 7PM daily, in September; 9AM to 6PM daily, in October; 9AM to 4:30PM daily, November through February
Admission:   10EUR includes visit to Palatine Hill

Domus Aurea (Nero?s Golden House), Via della Domus Aurea
You can tour 32 of the rooms here at what was once the most lavish villa in the Empire. You can make reservations in advance through Select Italy's website , a surcharge will be added.
Phone:  06.397.4907 Reservations required
Hours:  Currently closed for restoration, scheduled to re-open in 2008
From:   0

Fontana dei Trevi (Trevi Fountain), Piazza di Trevi
The Trevi is Rome?s most famous fountain. Completed in 1762 according to the design by Nicolo Salvi, it?s young by Roman standards. The central figure is Neptune in a chariot drawn by winged horses led by Tritons. Toss in a coin to ensure a return visit to Rome.

Fontana della Tartarughe, Piazza Mattei
One of Rome?s most charming fountains, the Fontana della Tartarughe shows four youths with their feet resting atop the heads of dolphins. The turtles, for which the fountain is named, may have been added by Bernini.

Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery), Piazza Scipione Borghese
Reopened after a 13-year restoration, the Borghese Gallery contains some of Rome?s most dazzling art treasures. Bernini?s "Apollo and Daphne", "David", and "Pluto and Proserpina" are here. As is Titian?s "Sacred and Profane Love", Raphael?s "Desosition", Canova statue of Pauline Bonaparte, and priceless works by Cranach, Rubens, Caravaggio, and others. This is a must-see for any art lover. When you?re through visiting the museum, you can rent bikes to ride through the park.
Phone:  06.32.810 Reservations required
Hours:  Tuesday through Sunday 9AM to 7PM
Web:   www.galleriaborghese.it/default-en.htm
Admission:   8.50EUR

I Bike Rome, Parcheggio di Villa Borghese, Via Veneto 156
This bike rental shop is convenient for rides through the Villa Borghese gardens.
Phone:  06.322.5240
Hours:  9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 7PM Monday through Friday; 8AM to 10PM Saturdays
Bike rentals from:   3EUR

La Rinascente, Largo Chigi 20
Rome?s leading department store is good for ready-to-wear clothes, housewares, and accessories. Show your passport and you?ll receive a 10% discount on perfume or cosmetics.
Phone:  06.679.7691
Hours:  9:30AM to 10PM Monday through Saturday; 10:30AM to 8PM Sundays
Web:   www.rinascente.it

National Etruscan Museum (Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia), Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9
The highlight of this collection housed in a 16th-century palace is the superb 6th-century BC sarcophagus depicting an Estruscan and his bride. There?s also a reconstructed Etruscan temple, bronze sculptures, jewelry, and terra cotta vases.
Phone:  06.320.1951
Hours:  Tuesday through Sunday 8:30AM to 7:30PM
Admission:   4EUR

National Museum of Palazzo Venezia, Via del Plebiscito 118
Built in the 15th century for a Venetian Cardinal who became Pope Paul II, the Palazzo Venezia now houses Rome?s finest museum of decorative arts. The museum contains a double portrait by Giorgione, Renaissance paintings and wood panels, a large collection of ceramics and porcelain, and terra cotta prototypes of Bernini?s Fontana del Tritone. The palace was Mussolini?s headquarters and he addressed the crowds from the balcony in the center. The palace also hosts temporary exhibits, such as the Caravaggio show here in early 2001.
Phone:  06.69.99.41
Hours:  8:30AM to 7PM Tuesday through Sunday
Admission:   4EUR

Palazzo Corsini, Via della Lungara 10
The Palazzo was built for Cardinal Domenico Riario in 1510 and it was visited by Michelangelo, Bramante, Erasmus, and Queen Christina of Sweden, who died here in 1689. Today, the palace houses the Galleria Nazionale d?Arte Antica which displays the work of Rubens, Caravaggio, Van Dyck, and numerous Italian artists.
Phone:  06.68.80.23.23
Hours:  8:30AM to 1:30PM Tuesday through Sunday
Web:   www.galleriaborghese.it
Admission:   4EUR

Piazza Navona
The oval shape of this lively meeting place reveals the original Roman racetrack on whose foundations the present Baroque structures were built. The piazza is graced by three lovely fountains, including Bernini?s Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) in the center. There?s always something happening here, and it?s great for people watching, night or day.

Pincio Gardens, Il Pincio
Between the gardens of the Villa Borghese and Piazza del Popolo, these lovely terraced gardens provide wonderful views at sunset. Great for a romantic stroll.

Porta Portese, Via Portuense e via Ippolito Nievo
With more than 4,000 stalls, Porta Portese is the largest flea market in Europe. The array of goods is staggering. There?s furniture, antiques, leather goods, housewares -- you name it, it?s here, And the people-watching is hard to beat.
Hours:  6:30AM to 2PM Sundays

Roman Forum, Via dei Fori Imperiali
Wander among the ruins and try to imagine the splendor of the ancient capital. You?ll see what remains of the Temple of Venus and Rome, the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius, the House of the Vestal Virgins, and the Arch of Septimus Severus. The little red book called "Rome, Past and Present" will help you visualize the original structures. You can climb the Palatine Hill for beautiful views of the ancient city.
Phone:  06.39.96.76.00
Hours:  9AM to 7PM daily, April through September; 9AM to 4:30PM daily, October through March
Palantine Hill admission:    8EUR Includes admission to the Colosseum, Admission to the Forum is free

Romarent, Vicolo dei Bovari 7A
Romarent rents bikes and has guided bicycle tours too.
Phone:  06.689.6555
Hours:  8:30AM to 7PM daily
Bike rentals from:   3EUR

San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains), Piazza San Pietro in Vincoli 4A
The chains which imprisoned St. Peter are displayed here. But the church is most famous for Michelangelo?s Moses, which was created as part of his unfinished tomb for Pope Julius II.
Phone:  06.488.2865
Hours:  7AM to 12:30PM and 3:30PM to 7PM daily; closing at 6PM off season

Sant Ignazio di Loyola, Piazza di Sant?Ignazio
Built by Pope Gregory XV in 1626, Sant?Ignazio features a Baroque ceiling by Andrea Pozzo and a trompe l?oeil cupola, painted when funding for the dome fell through.
Phone:  06.679.4406
Hours:  7:30AM to 12:30PM and 4PM to 7:15PM daily

Santa Maria del Popolo, Piazza del Popolo 12
Highlights of this Renaissance church on Piazza del Popolo include Raphael?s Chigi Chapel, some lovely frescoes by Pinturicchio, and two paintings by Caravaggio.
Phone:  06.631.0836
Hours:  7AM to noon and 4PM to 7PM Monday through Saturday; 8AM to 1:30PM and 4:30PM to 7PM Sundays

Santa Maria in Trastevere, Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
Built in the 4th century AD and expanded in the 12th, this was Rome?s first Christian church. There are magnificent mosaics in the apse by Cavallini.
Phone:  06.581.4802
Hours:  7:30AM to 8PM daily
Admission   is free

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Piazza della Minerva 42
Not far from the Pantheon, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is Rome?s only Gothic church. It contains art from the 13th, 15th, and 16th centuries, and a fresco by Fillipino Lippi. St. Catherine of Siena and Fra Angelico are buried here.
Phone:  06.679.3926
Hours:  7AM to 7PM daily; cloisters are open 8:30AM to 1PM and 4PM to 7PM Monday through Saturday

Santo Spirito in Sassia, Via dei Penitenzieri
Rebuilt after the Sack of Rome left it in ruins, Santo Spirito in Sassia is decorated with some lovely 16th-century frescoes.
Phone:  06.687.9310
Hours:  7AM to noon and 3PM to 8PM daily

St. Peter?s Basilica, Piazza San Pietro
With it?s magnificent dome designed by Michelangelo, St. Peter?s is one of the most impressive churches in the world, as well as the center of Christendom. The product of Renaissance geniuses Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo, the church is on the site of a basilica built by Constantine in 349AD. Among its many treasures are Bernini?s Baldacchino -- the gilded-bronze canopy above the Papal Altar -- and Michelangelo?s Pieta. You must dress appropriately to visit; the dress code is strictly enforced. The pope usually has an audience in St. Peter?s Square on Wednesday mornings. To reserve tickets, visit www.santasusanna.org.
Phone:  06.6988.4466
Hours:   9AM to 7PM daily, closing at 6PM off season; dome is open 8AM to 6PM daily, closing at 5PM off season
Dome admission:   4EUR - Admission to the Basilica, treasury and grottoes is free

The Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda
Built in 27BC by Marcus Agrippa and rebuilt by Hadrian around 120AD, this is the best preserved Roman building in Rome. The only light is provided by the 30-ft. oculus in the center of the magnificent dome. In terms of light, space, and construction technique, the Pantheon is one of the most significant buildings in the history of architecture. It?s also lovely.
Phone:  06.683.00.230
Hours:  8:30AM to 7:30PM Monday through Saturday; Sundays 9AM to 6PM

Treno e Scooter Rent , Stazione Termini
Near the taxi stand of the central rail station, this company rents bikes and accessories
Phone:  06.4890.5823
Hours:  9AM to 7PM daily
Bike rentals from:   3EUR

Trinita dei Monti, Piazza della Trinta dei Monti
One of the few French churches in Rome, Trinita dei Monti carved a place for itself in history by having the Spanish Steps built. The church is unremarkable, but the view from the landing in front of the portal is great for photographs. There are some mannerist paintings inside by a pupil of Michelangelo?s.
Phone:  06.679.4179
Hours:  10AM to 1PM and 4PM to 6:30PM daily

Vatican Museums, Viale Vaticano
With precious objects dating from the 13th century BC to the present, this collection is so vast, you?ll only be able to see a fraction of it. Stand-outs are the Egyptian Museum, the Estruscan Museum, and the Pinacoteca (picture gallery). The two must-sees here are the spectacular Raphael Rooms -- painted by the master between 1508 and his death in 1520 -- and the Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling by Michelangelo is one of the world?s great works of art.
Phone:  06.698.8333
Hours:  8:45AM to 4:45PM Monday through Friday and the last Sunday of the month; Saturdays 8:45AM to 1:45PM; 8:45AM to 1:45PM Monday through Saturday off season.
Web:   www.vatican.va
Admission   12EUR

Villa Farnesina, Via della Lungara 230
Built in 1508 as a pleasure palace for Sienese banker Agostine Chigi, Villa Farnesina contains fabulous frescoes by Peruzzi, Raphael, and his students.
Phone:  68.80.17.67
Hours:  9AM to 1PM Monday through Saturday
Admission:   5EUR

Tivoli (Rome)
Azienda Autonoma di Turismo, Largo Garibaldi
You can pick up information about the town here.
Phone:  07.74.33.45.22
Hours:  9AM to 1PM and 3PM to 5PM Monday through Friday; 9AM to 7PM Saturday

Hadrian's Villa, Via di Villa Adriana
An avid traveler, historian, and aesthete, the Emperor Hadrian wanted to recreate the wonders he?d seen in his explorations at his villa outside Tivoli. The result was arguably the most fabulous villa in the Empire. The 300-acre grounds contain the Maritime Theater which features a large pool with an island in the center, Greek and Latin libraries, a huge reflecting pool, and an Egyptian temple for which a 130-yard caryatid lined canal was dug.
Phone:  07.74.38.27.33
Hours:  9AM to sunset daily
Admission:   6.50EUR

Villa d?Este, Piazza Trento
Although the gardens are not as well kept as they could be and things are a little run down, the grottoes and fountains of Villa d?Este are still a big draw. Built by a Cardinal who failed to become Pope in the 1550s, the Villa and its gardens provide a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the Renaissance clergy. There are dozens of elaborate fountains here, surrounded by temples and gardens.
Phone:  07.74.31.20.70
Hours:  8:30AM until 1 hour before sunset, Tuesday through Sunday
Admission:   6.50EUR

Villa Gregoriana, Largo Sant'Angelo
Built by Pope Gregory XVI in the 1830s, Villa Gregoriana features a circular walking trail along a deep gorge with a waterfall created when the Pope diverted the flow of the local river. It?s a beautiful walk down into the gorge, but the hike back up is grueling. If you?re game, wear sturdy, waterproof shoes.
Phone:  07.74.33.45.22
Hours:  10AM to 6:30PM; 10AM to 2:30PM off season
Web:   www.villagregoriana.it/
Admission:   4EUR