homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Visiting Rome (Page 2)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Visiting Rome
tomb
Shipmate
# 174

 - Posted      Profile for tomb   Author's homepage   Email tomb   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Geroff emailed me urging me to "share" about one of my favorite places in Rome. It's the church of Santi Vicento e Anastasio. It's right off the Piazza di Trevi--where the Trevi Fountain is.

It's sort of a ratty little church--by Rome standards--but it has the unique distinction of housing the embalmed entrails of every pope since Leo XIII.

I call it the "Church of the Holy Guts." I first discovered that it had this dubious distinction while trying to decode the Latin plaque on the street opposite its facade. I thought to myself, "Holy Poop, I know my Latin's pretty dodgy, but this can't really mean what I think it means."

Then Julie (Mrs. tomb), more adventuresome than I, discovered the English translation plaque further down the street. "Tom!" she screamed, "they've got Pope Entrails embalmed in that church!"

So there you have it. My Favorite Place in Rome.

You owe me, Geroff.

Posts: 5039 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
tomb
Shipmate
# 174

 - Posted      Profile for tomb   Author's homepage   Email tomb   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Notwithstanding all that, here are a few of my suggestions:

You'll need to apply to the Vatican to get tickets, but I highly recommend a tour of the Scavi under St. Peter's basilica.

In the 1950s, they definitively discovered the tomb (thank God, not eponymous) of St. Peter. You can actually peer through the excavation to see what purport to be St. Peter's bones.

The Vatican hill was, in Roman times, the Circus of Nero, where St. Peter was martyred--as well as one of the great cemeteries of Rome (The law forbade people from being buried inside the walls of the City). Hence, he was buried nearby. The remains of the monument that Constantine erected over his tomb can still be seen in the Scavi, along with Roman tombs that were subsequently christianized. It's sort of like Pompeii without the ash or porn.

If you are near the Vatican and looking for a place to eat dinner, make reservations at Il Quattro Mori. Have their pasta with truffle sauce.
You will never think about food the same after that.

When visiting the Vatican museum, check out the Clemintine Pio museum, where you can see the Laocoon.

I like to spend time in the Vatican museum before the Rafael Stanza. It's just a ways before the Sistine Chapel, but bears some time just sitting and meditating and praying.

I had the great fortune several years ago to be a member of a choir from Denver that sang a concert in the Sistine Chapel. It was in the evening, the Chapel was absolutely empty, and the only light was from the clerestory windows.

When the audience filed in, we stood on the steps of the papal altar and sang, among other things, Allegri's Miserere Mei, Deus.

I was privileged to be the baritone in the quartet for that piece, and we stood in front of the Rood Screen looking at the Last Judgement. It was and will be one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Other things in Rome. Hmmm. There's a little cava pizza place next to the church of San Ignacio. They have awesome pizza and have fresh mozarella. But be careful; they'll try to rip you off if they can.

Thanks, Geroff, for bringing back so many good memories.

Posts: 5039 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
tomb
Shipmate
# 174

 - Posted      Profile for tomb   Author's homepage   Email tomb   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It would seem that my info about the Church of the Holy Guts was wrong. I guess they *stopped* storing papal entrails there after Leo XIII. Read the wikipedia article here: here:
Posts: 5039 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
marzipan
Shipmate
# 9442

 - Posted      Profile for marzipan   Author's homepage   Email marzipan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
random memory from Rome - if you're visiting St Peter's, you have to go through a metal detector and other security things. They took away a butter knife which me and my friend were going to make sandwiches with... so if you're in the habit of carrying pen knives or other sharp things around with you, don't take them to the vatican!

--------------------
formerly cheesymarzipan.
Now containing 50% less cheese

Posts: 917 | From: nowhere in particular | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
# 3216

 - Posted      Profile for LeRoc     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
tomb: You'll need to apply to the Vatican to get tickets, but I highly recommend a tour of the Scavi under St. Peter's basilica.
Seconded. By luck, I went with a friend who had a friend who had a friend in the Vatican... Very recommendable.

--------------------
I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

Posts: 9474 | From: Brazil / Africa | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Huntress
Shipmate
# 2595

 - Posted      Profile for Huntress   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I returned from Rome a couple of weeks ago after spending 12 days there on something of a budget with my better half. We stayed in Monti, on Via dei Serpenti, so looked at quite a bit of stuff around there, but did venture further afield thanks to a bus pass. Yes, much is walkable in the old centre and longer on-foot journeys can have cafe / gelato stops worked into them [Smile] but I had injured my foot somehow whilst 'doing' the Forum and Palatine Hill.

Here are some recommendations, some of which overlap with the excellent suggestions already made.

Churches and Museums:
San Clemente, recommended repeatedly earlier in the thread. Yes it is excellent, also a nice cool way of spending time underground if the weather is hot. Tickets are 5 euro each full price to go down to the underground basilica and (further underground) Mithraic temple. The above-ground church (with beautiful frescoes by Masolino of St Catherine) is free.

Santa Maria della Concezione and Capuchin Museum with Crypts. The Church was closed for refurbishment a couple of weeks ago. The museum was open. 6 euros for a ticket full price. Very interesting museum about the Capuchins with the Crypts at the end and then a shop selling (rather pricey) souvenirs. It is stated in the museum, however, that proceeds from tickets etc. go to the Capuchin's charitable projects.

Santa Maria in Ara Coeli. On the same hill as the Piazza del Campidoglio, up a frightening number of steps, but Oh! the view from the top! The church is very decorated and contains the tomb of St Helen.

The Museum of Crime, on Via del Gonfalone. 2 euros entrance. Very good value for 2 hours worth of exhibits related to crime and punishment in Rome over the last few centuries. Some rather grim exhibits. Quite a lot of the information is in English.

If you go to St Peter's there will be a lot of people on the surrounding streets trying to sell you stuff and some strongly implying that you need a ticket (bought from them) to enter the basilica. You don't need a ticket. I think they are trying to sell tours and misleading people. I didn't enjoy my visit to St Peter's so much - until 6pm came and it started quietening down.

Domus Romane, in Palazzo Valentini. Booking online is necessary for this one, we booked an English tour. With booking fees it came to 13 euro but it was worth it. DM is an excavated Roman villa in the basement of a Renaissance palace. They have placed strong glass a few feet above the surving floors and walls so you are walking above the rooms, with projected images and animations recreating the original building around you. Also good as an underground out-of-the-sun activity. The tour took just over an hour and a half.

The combined Colosseum / Forum / Palatine Hill ticket, at 12 euros, is very good value for all that can be seen and you have (need) two days to use the ticket. Regardless of which attraction you want to see first, buy the ticket from the Palatine Hill entrance and the queue will be shorter - DON'T queue at the Colosseum.

I think I went in 36 churches during our holiday. Many were on the basis of 'oh there's an open church door' and it's great to see what can be discovered within, if you're interested in art; saints bodies; etc. or just want to get inside for a while.

Churches of different denominations do services in English, if you want one. We went to Mass at San Silvestro in Capite on a Sunday evening and discovered that the Church houses the (reputed) head of St John the Baptist. On our last Sunday we went to Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore (in Italian) and managed well enough to know what was going on. It was quite nice to look at the mosaics from a comfortable seat - unavailable during the week when the nave is cleared of seating. [Biased]

Practical bits and bobs:

Standing up at the bar (banco) in a cafe will almsot always be cheaper than sitting at a table (tavolo) to drink your coffee / eat your pastry.
Tazza d'oro, near the Pantheon, has some benches which can be perched on at no extra cost and is exellent for coffee and also for granita con panna (shaved coffee ice with cream). Their toilet is quite nice too.

There are water fountains all over Rome and the water is perfectly drinkable, very cold and tastes very nice. Just keep a water bottle with you and fill it at one of these fountains and save money. I believe there is an App available to locate them.

The buses are quite good but can get very very crowded. Tickets can be bought on some - not all - buses, from a machine, but are best bought in advance from tobacconists.

Places that sell pizza by the slice or cut (taglio) and weight are good for a cheap snack or lunch, especially when you can specify with your hands, if necessary, the size of piece you want.

Aperitivo 'hour' (often two or three) was how we had a few evening meals. Many places will charge 8-10 euros for a glass of wine and plate of food or an open buffet. I heartily recommend Josephine Bistrot on via Leonida Bissolati for this. Their food was diverse and excellent.

Gelato: I think the best we had was at Fatamorgana - one of whose branches was a few minutes' walk away from our apartment and at Gelateria del Teatro, on via dei Coronari, a few minutes' walk from Piazza Navona. There are various websites advising how to avoid low-quality gelato, tips which were reinforced by local residents during our stay.

I found the website Revealed Rome very useful, it supplied various recommendations and tips, some of which were followed up on and are repeated above [Smile]

--------------------
The Amazing Chronoscope

Posts: 431 | From: Lancashire / Nottingham | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Huntress
Shipmate
# 2595

 - Posted      Profile for Huntress   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
For clarification: the water fountains you can drink from are the small hydrant-type 'fontanelle' or 'nasoni' NOT the decorative fountains like Trevi etc. I have no knowledge about the water quality of those.

See here for information [Smile]

--------------------
The Amazing Chronoscope

Posts: 431 | From: Lancashire / Nottingham | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
hanginginthere
Shipmate
# 17541

 - Posted      Profile for hanginginthere   Email hanginginthere   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks, Huntress, for your long list of suggestions. So many people have responded to my plea that I am going to have to do some serious pruning of the list I am compiling. But it's brilliant to have personal recommendations - much better than just looking through a guide book.

--------------------
'Safe?' said Mr Beaver. 'Who said anything about safe? But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'

Posts: 72 | From: Eboracum | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged
hanginginthere
Shipmate
# 17541

 - Posted      Profile for hanginginthere   Email hanginginthere   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Leaving for Rome tomorrow evening! I will try to pack in as many of the recommendations on this thread as possible ...

--------------------
'Safe?' said Mr Beaver. 'Who said anything about safe? But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'

Posts: 72 | From: Eboracum | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged
FCB

Hillbilly Thomist
# 1495

 - Posted      Profile for FCB   Author's homepage   Email FCB   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
A last minute suggestion: if you're going to St. Peter's, go early in the morning when, in my experience, it is almost empty except for priests and pilgrims celebrating Masses at the various side altars. Believe it or not, it's actually quite peaceful.

--------------------
Agent of the Inquisition since 1982.

Posts: 2928 | From: that city in "The Wire" | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chesterbelloc

Tremendous trifler
# 3128

 - Posted      Profile for Chesterbelloc   Email Chesterbelloc   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Another thought just occured to me: when buying transport tickets of any kind DO NOT FORGET TO VALIDATE THEM in the machines provided before you use them! There's an on-the-spot fine if you don't, but almost no-one official tells you this until it's too late. Although the fine is small (around €40) it's really not worth the hassle if caught. Also on the transport front, if travelling to Ciampino airport from Termini (central railway station) by the Terravision buses, go really, really early - hours before your flight - because the queues for them can be hours long. If travelling to Fiumicino (Da Vinci) airport, only the expensive Leonardo Express train goes from Termini - the cheper one only goes from Ostiense. Finally, if using the (very good) left luggage facilities at Termini, be prepared for quite long queue there too (up to an hour, I find).

Also, what the Huntress said about the fountains. Ignore what the Romans themselves say about the delicious, free and ubiquitous water giving you bladder-stones - it's probably a rumour spread by bottled-water companies. [Biased]

My wife adds: always get a restaurant table before 1.30pm to be sure of getting one at all in anywhere decent for lunch (around which meal we always plan each Roman day); and remember that most churches are shut for most of the afternoon, only opening again in the evening.

[ 07. October 2013, 21:47: Message edited by: Chesterbelloc ]

--------------------
"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

Posts: 4199 | From: Athens Borealis | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Emendator Liturgia
Shipmate
# 17245

 - Posted      Profile for Emendator Liturgia   Author's homepage   Email Emendator Liturgia   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Huntress, where did you stay? Was it the Antica Residenza Monti?
Posts: 401 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged
hanginginthere
Shipmate
# 17541

 - Posted      Profile for hanginginthere   Email hanginginthere   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, I'm back, and feeling distinctly punch-drunk from all that walking and sightseeing. Main impressions? Nothing prepared me for the sheer scale of everything! I have in my time proofread many art history books and seen innumerable photos of e.g. the Pantheon, but I could not believe the overwhelming size of everything. And the way ancient walls, columns etc are round every corner - things that would be a major tourist attraction anywhere else are just there, unregarded and unlabled in the streets. We used the Porta Maggiore tram interchange every day, and the Porta is a vast gate that dates from 52 AD, but no one takes any notice of it and we certainly wouldn't have known it was there if we hadn't been staying on that side of town.

A big disappointment was not being able to get into St Peter's - entry was barred because of some big event. We saw lots of churches, of course, and, as I said in my OP, I am not a fan of the baroque, so many of them did not really appeal (the Gesu is so totally over the top that it made my head spin!). My favourite was S. Maria in Trastevere with its lovely Byzantine-style mosaics, and I also liked the little S. Maria in Loreto, near Trajan's Column. San Clemente was fascinating - thanks to all of you who suggested it, as I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. And thanks for the tip about the water fountains, which we took full advantage of!

Mr h and I have come back with a long list for 'next time', and yes, there will definitely be a next time!

--------------------
'Safe?' said Mr Beaver. 'Who said anything about safe? But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'

Posts: 72 | From: Eboracum | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
 
  ship of fools