Friday, 16 May 2014

Far from the Madding Crowd

Need a short respite from all that sight seeing? Then try one of these tranquil spots to revive flagging spirits.
If you are close to the Spanish Steps or Piazza del Popolo then the obvious choice is Villa Borghese. The area around the lake is especially pretty with plenty of benches close by. Refreshment can be found at Pic Nic the little green kiosk at Piazzale delle Canestre.

If you should find yourself between sights at Termini station why not walk outside, cross Piazza dei Cinquecento and step in to the tranquil gardens of the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian. You don't need to pay the entrance fee as the gardens are before the ticket office. There are benches in shady areas and a fountain tinkles away in the background. If it is around lunch time you could pick up a panini  from Mr Panini or picnic provisions from one of the supermarkets before exiting the station.

After a morning spent exploring the Colosseum hop on the metro from Colosseo to Circo Massimo. Transfer on to the number 118 bus as far as Basilica San Sebastiano on the Appia Antica. A short walk will take you to the Tomb of Cecilia Metella.
A little further on is Bar Appia Antica where you can enjoy lunch after which you can stroll on along this ancient Roman road. Explore the grave stones that line the road accompanied by the sounds of birdsong.
Occasionally you will snatch a glimpse through a gateway to a beautiful villa beyond.
It is hard to believe that you are so close to the city in these tranquil surroundings.
Retrace your steps to Bar Appia Antica and pick up bus 660 to Colli Albani where the metro will take you back to Termini with connections to all parts of the city.
Would you like an al fresco lunch after touring the Forum? Then cross Via Dei Fori Imperiale in to Via Madonna dei Monti . At number 16 you will find Dall' Anto where you can pick up a ricotta filled chestnut flour crepe, a wedge of faranita - a chick pea flour pancake or a simple bruschetta made with artisan bread & drizzled with fragrant extra -virgin olive oil. Take your portable feast to Piazza Santa Maria dei Monti , find a spot on the steps of the fountain and enjoy!
After a morning in the Vatican Museums you will feel the need for respite in a quiet corner of Rome. My final suggestion involves a little effort to reach but is well worth it.
Walk from the museum exit to Piazza Le Degli Eroi then take bus 913 for 7 stops to Monte Mario.  For detailed directions to your destination, Lo Zodiaco, see my previous post 'Romantic Rome'
Take a seat on the terrace of Lo Zodiaco, overlooking the 'Lovers Walk'
Order lunch and sit and drink in the view.



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