After our morning cappuccino and cream filled croissant, we three ladies kept traipsing towards the Via del Corso which is the center street emanating from the Piazza del Piccolo. On one occasion we headed towards the Piazza Venezia before we turned west (right) onto the Via del Plebiscito which becomes Corso Vittoria Emanuele II, in order to find the Piazza Navona. With its ornate fountains, baroque palazzi (mansions) and colourful cast of street artists, hawkers and tourists, Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s beautiful showcases. This is a perfect place to sit outside at a nearby café to enjoy a cold drink, pizza, gelato or anything else as you observe for a couple of hours, all that is going on in front of you. In Italy, the waiters will not chase you away until you ask for the check.
Then we sauntered towards the Campo de’ Fiori area which is a market by day and a great place to grab a drink or get dinner in the evening. The market is immense and awesome for anyone that wants to grab something fresh or even pick up a souvenir. If you go at night people will try to sell something but they will not harass you too much.
The following excerpts are from http://www.Italyguides.it.
Over the centuries, the piazza has remained a lively and tumultuous place. Since the second half of the 1800s, it has hosted a vibrant and picturesque daily street market, where you can still sense the soul of the Roman populace among the colourful cries of vendors and the throngs of buyers.
Homage to this place was even paid by Italian cinema with a 1943 film, “Campo dei Fiori”.
At sunset Campo dei Fiori transforms into a beloved nightlife haunt. It is packed with young people – Italians and foreigners alike – hanging out at the numerous clubs in the piazza and the neighbouring streets.
From the Campo dei Fiori, we headed east on Via del Plebiscito (Corso Vittoria Emanuele II) and then south on Via del Teatro di Marcello to search for the Great Synagogue. As per a trip advisor review, the Jewish museum and synagogue is accessible from the Marcelo theater. The reviewer suggests to start by exploring the interesting building and proceed until you come on the other side of the theater to the Jewish museum. The Jewish museum reflects more then 2000 years of Jewish existence in Rome. Tickets are 11 Euros. The artifacts are well explained in English and Italian and there is also an audio guide. The visit to the Synagogues are only guided tours with no extra money. You may also book a guided tour in the Jewish quarter for extra. Very interesting and educating.
When we found the Great Synagogue of Rome, we were not able to take a tour but we were able to gawk at lovely bride and handsome husband with their wedding party exiting this gorgeous setting.
In one lovely evening we took a cab across the Tiber River to tour the Trastevere area. This charming medieval, busy neighborhood with a feisty temperament was formerly a working class district. We strolled around the square, taking in the heady nightlife, checking out the stores where we discovered a British owned book store.
We found a trattoria with a good reputation, Da Augusto but it was a little tricky to find. When you get to Piazza de’ Renzi, there’s one clearly marked restaurant which wasn’t Da Augusto. There was no sign for the trattoria but there was a menu posted up and we did have an address. The real hint that we were at this restaurant, was the line that was forming promptly at 8:00 pm. We learned that the owner does not accept reservations. After we were seated and enjoying our food, we noticed a large crowd of people in line waiting for an vacant table. The photo below is what the place looks like.
When we were there, we were the only tourists – the rest of the tables were full of Roman families, single businessmen, couples meeting for dinner. We weren’t any less welcome though; our waiter was very keen to practice her English on us and we were able to remain a long time. This restaurant is obviously a family run place which we thoroughly enjoyed. With this atmosphere, we expected a home style dinner which was forthcoming and scrumptious.
Later, at the end of our evening, we took the trolley from Trastevere to the Piazza Venezia and then we walked north on the Via del Corso to reach our apartment.
Other evenings we managed to find our favorite nearby restaurant, on the street to the left branching out from the southern part of Piazza del Popolo which is Via del Babuino. The next street to the left is Via Margutta where you will find Babette Bar & Ristorante at number 1D, +39 06 321 1559. You will need a reservation to sit in the beautiful courtyard area at this popular restaurant. As we normally did we ordered the dishes recommended by our waiter.
Right across from the Babette Bar & Ristorante is Il Margutta RistorArte, a very popular, upscale vegetarian restaurant which we did try on one lovely evening. The food recommended by our waitress was delicious and we would highly recommend it. Because we three ladies are not vegetarians, we had a preference for Babette.
The Lonely Planet has some added ideas of what to do in this area of Trastevere during the day which are as follows:
“Stroll through Porta Settimiana to Via della Lungara and you’ll see Villa Farnesin on your right – this opulent Renaissance villa, built by Peruzzi, is home to many incredible frescoes by artists such as Raphael.”
“Cross the street to Palazza Corsini, a baroque palace with a collection of antique art by Titian and Caravaggio. Behind the palace is the University of Rome’s Orto Botanico (botanic garden), an oasis with more than 7000 plant species – the perfect place to relax. Above the gardens is the Gianicolo, the eighth hill of Rome. It’s worth the 20-minute climb for some of the best views in the city, and it sees few tourists.”.