Poppy’s Travel Diary Rome – Again! – If you’ve visited Rome before, you’ve probably chipped away at your to-do list. ‘Known as the Eternal City’, it is one of the oldest cities in the world with every street and avenue having something to tell you.
Its panoramas are filled with ornate chapels, magnificent palaces, ancient monuments, winding streets, and of course, sculptures and works of art.
For first-timers, your Roman itinerary may consist of the magnificence of the Colosseum the world’s largest amphitheatre, St. Peter’s Basilica a true architectural inspiration, the unmistakable domed roof of The Pantheon and of course, The Trevi Fountain the largest fountain in Italy.
Having visited the city numerous times at various times of the year, I can confirm that with 28 centuries of history and culture – this city has more to offer than the top tourist attractions.
There’s no “bad” time to visit Rome, but keep in mind that July and August can be hot and humid, and December through March are on the chilly side.
Rome has a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and hot, humid summers. My last visit was in late June, the end of spring but on the cusp of summer, so the weather is perfect – warm enough to eat outside – and the city was looking gorgeous with blue skies and colourful flowers.
Where to Stay
Baglioni Hotel Regina – If you are looking for a central position, this was a fabulous location for a graceful walk to the city centre and local shops and sights. The Baglioni Hotel in Rome has a magnificent selection of rooms ranging from the Roman Penthouse Apartment to Family rooms and Deluxe Suites, in an original Italian Art Deco style. A truly stunning interior and design with inspirational features.
Where to Eat
Brunello Bar and Restaurant – Located in the Baglioni Hotel gave us the opportunity to try this excellent cuisine and cocktail selection on several occasions, all equally good. The bar and restaurant combine traditional Italian elegance and contemporary design. Perfect to savour their innovative cuisine.
Chef Luciano Sarzi Sartori creates typically Mediterranean dishes by combining innovation and tradition and has been developing his passion for cooking since his teenage years.
Since 2009, he has been the chef at the Brunello Bar and Restaurant, receiving the “International Certificate of Excellence” from Gotha del Gusto, the international body that brings together more than 200 food and wine journalists and agri-food experts.
Mater Terrae Restaurant – Organic, vegetarian, and vegan restaurant. MICHELIN Green Star: Gastronomy and sustainability.
This evocatively named restaurant focuses on vegetarian and organic cuisine, which is served on its stunning terraces overlooking the rooftops and domes of the historic centre of Rome.
The partnership between restaurant owner Vannoni and talented chef Pietro Leeman has resulted in the best vegetarian restaurant in the Italian capital. Mater Terrae offers a selection of organic, biodynamic, and vegetarian dishes which not only respect the environment but also focus on limiting waste as much as possible.
The restaurant is built from eco-sustainable materials, as are many of the guestrooms in the hotel, which has been a member of the Bio Hotels chain for many years now.
Since January 2018 they have been collaborating with the historic restaurant “La Manuelina” of the Carbone family, famous for its excellent Focaccia with Recco cheese.
The Focaccia with Recco Cheese was invented by the great-grandmother Manuelina in her simple Inn in Recco, located between Genova and Portofino in the magnificent Gulf of Tigullio, at the end of the nineteenth century, exactly in 1885.
The splendid Palazzo overlooks an Italian garden, surrounded by olive and lemon trees, in the centre of which there is a swimming pool, on which you can enjoy a Peruvian-Nikkei Menu designed by Chef Jaime Pesaque
Where to Visit
The Capitoline Museums is a single museum containing a group of art and archaeological museums in Piazza del Campidoglio, on top of Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy.
Housed in two buildings but considered a singular museum, they are the connection between a never forgotten past and the present in Rome, and contain an incredible collection of ancient Roman bronze and marble statues, medieval and Renaissance art, and elaborate frescoes – not to mention one of the best views of the Roman Forum, where there is a conveniently placed café and restaurant where you can enjoy a super salad!!!
The Villa Borghese Park occupies a large area in the heart of the city, it contains buildings,
sculptures, monuments and fountains, the work of illustrious artists of Baroque, neoclassical and eclectic art, surrounded by centuries-old trees, ponds, Italian gardens, and large free spaces.
There is so much to see and enjoy including the Garden of the lake where it is possible to rent boats and admire, in the centre of the water mirror, the Temple dedicated to Aesculapius and, along the banks, the Sundial and the Fountain of the Family of Satyrs; the Secret Gardens, (the Uccelliera Garden, the Old Garden, the Sundial Garden and the Cultivation Garden) reconstructed on the basis of historical and iconographic documentation.
The Mouth of Truth
The Mouth of Truth is a marble mask in Rome, Italy, which stands against the left wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, at the Piazza Della Bocca Della Verità.
Dating back to around the 1st century CE, the Mouth of Truth is a tall stone disc carved into a humanoid face with hollow holes for eyes and its gaping mouth. The original purpose of the large medallion has been theorized as everything from a ceremonial well cover, to a piece of fountain decoration, to a manhole cover. The face itself has been said to represent a pagan god although exactly which one is up for debate with scholars guessing at everyone from forest god Faunus to sea god Oceanus, to a local river god.
While the origin is up for debate the one unifying legend surrounding the stone carving is that if one were to stick their hand inside the disc’s mouth and tell a lie, the rocky maw would bite the offending hand off.
Many of the cats in Rome live amongst ancient ruins, making for a bizarre and lively exhibit of history. Visit Torre Argentina, where stray cats started taking over the ancient ruins back in the 1920s before it was turned into a cat sheltering project. Now the cats are cared for, fed, cleaned, vaccinated, and put up for adoption, all whilst napping on ruins of roman architecture.