This coffee ship, around since 1946 is located near the Pantheon, at via degli Orfani, 84 and is said to have the best coffee in Rome. It is a huge place (for a bar in Italy) and its long bar winds around inside. They use high quality Brazilian coffee beans for their concoction. You can buy the beans here as well. The coffee is a mere 80 cents a cup (espresso), also probably the cheapest in Rome. Delicious!
The name means Saint Mary over Minerva which is because the church was built over a temple to Minerva…..or so they thought at the time. The temple was actually for the Egyptian goddess Isis. I always visit here on my way to or from the Pantheon, which is only two blocks away.This church was completed and consecrated in 1370, and is the only truly Gothic church in Rome. While it is not much to look at on the outside, the inside is magnificent. Outside there is a whimsical elephant obelisk designed by Bernini and completed by one of his students. It is one of 11 obelisks in Rome. It was brought to Rome from Egypt between 284-305 to be placed at the temple of Isis.Inside the church, the brilliant blue ceiling is stunning, and Michelangelo’s Risen Christ is one of the most famous pieces in the church. You have to laugh at the bronze loin cloth that church officials had placed on it to cover his nudity! Other great works include the last chapel on the right which was frescoed by Fillipino Lippo and the tomb of Fra’ Angelico is also located here. It is opened from 7 am until 7 pm Monday-Friday and Saturday mornings from 8-12 and Sunday afternoon from 2-7. It is free to enter.
I always love a trip to Rome. Originally, when I came to Italy for my one year leave of absence, I thought that I would spend the year in Rome. After thinking carefully about it, I decided that I hadn’t lived in that large of a city in the USA, and to move to a foreign country into a large city where I didn’t know the language or anyone there, might be more of a challenge than I was up for. So I decided on Florence, which is small, beautiful, pedestrian, and has a historic center that makes me feel like I am living in a “snow globe” sometimes! In the best of ways!
I think of Rome as I do of New York City. They are both two of my favorite cities in the world to visit. Being in close proximity to New York City when I lived in Washington D.C. allowed me easy and quick access for weekend or longer getaways. I can get to Rome in about an hour and a half, so even a day trip is possible!Recently, I took a day trip to Rome to see a good friend who was vacationing there with her sisters. During the week she was there, she had beautiful weather, except for the day that I came. She was staying in a hotel near the Pantheon, so when I arrived, we had lunch, and spent the afternoon and early evening walking around that area and exploring.More details to come later, but wanted to share some of my best photos of a rainy day in Rome. It was lovely!
Visiting Italy is one of the best getaways one can have, undoubtedly. The stunning destinations that you can visit here, and the fine Rome apartments make this such a dream vacation spot for anyone. Feel free to browse the various entries in this blog and get to know more about this amazing country.
It’s been a few years since I visited St. Peter’s Basilica. If anyone has any doubt about the wealth of the Catholic Church, this Basilica along with the museums in the Vatican will put all of that doubt to rest. St. Peter’s has the largest interior of any Christian Church in the world. The amazing thing to me is that this was built starting in 1506, and took until 1656 to complete it. The materials, precision, majesty, and beauty are amazing!St. Peter’s Square was not at its loveliest with scaffolding chairs and stages set up for something….maybe a talk from the Pope? The number of tourists and pilgrims was exorbitant, as always.For me, the attraction is to see Michelangelo’s Pieta again, which even behind the glass that is there to protect any further vandalism attempts, is exquisite. (The sculpture was attacked by in 1972 by a mentally disturbed person who hit it with a geological hammer crying “I am Jesus Christ”) This work was completed by Michelangelo when he was only 23 and is one of the most finished of his work. Few others contain the highly polished exterior of the Pieta.
Entrance into St. Peter’s Basilica is free, but you have to pay to go to the Dome or into the museums. This is a great information site for all the details you need to know about visiting St. Peter’s.saintpetersbasilica.org
It is practically a requirement when visiting Rome, to visit the Vatican Museums. I have been many, many times, but it has been a couple of years now, so I decided to do it again. Ticket prices are 15 euro, which is reasonable for the 3-4 hours you will undoubtedly spend there. It is hard not to spend that amount of time, if nothing else due to the enormity of the collection and the way that it is housed.I bought my tickets on line, and there was no line out front when I approached. They have really streamlined this since the last time I went. My entrance time was at noon, and when we entered, the museum was nicely populated. By 4 in the afternoon, you could barely move down the large, wide hallways because they were so crowded with tour groups. I have done the tour groups before, and if this is your first visit, you might want to indulge. There is so much art that the tour guide can point out and discuss the important pieces and keep you focused. As you approach the entrance to the ticket office, there are many guides out front selling their services. I have never used one of these street guides, but am told that obviously, there skill can vary. Audio guides are also available for an additional cost inside the ticket office.I haven’t found any good restaurants in this area. The small café inside the museum is not bad, and the prices are relatively reasonable. We stopped at a café for a beer afterwards and paid 5 Euros each!For me, the main attraction to the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel. Interestingly enough, you can’t only go to that, but must go through practically the entire museum to get to it, finally at the end. For me however, it makes the whole day worthwhile. Exhausted from the day, I sit in the seats along the side, with my mouth open in amazement and awe. I illegally snapped this photo this time. Shame on me. When I got back to Florence, I had to buy the old movie The Agony and the Ecstasy about the painting of the Sistine Chapel to watch all over again. If you haven’t seen it, you must!