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Out my window

We've had our annual dusting of snow in the hills south of Rome -- here's the view out of my office window this morning.

It's beginning to look like that time of year...

(My office overlooks the cloister garden. On the other side of the wall is a convent.)


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
Trade you - this shot was taken outside our kitchen window this morning :->

Dec. 19th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! :)
The funny thing is that you got snow and we, up North, haven't yet (6° and sunny at the moment).
Dec. 19th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
That is lovely!

Can I ask a favor? My parents are traveling to Rome in Jan and I'd love to buy them (via Visa gift card) dinner at a restaurant while they are on their trip. Do you have a nice, modestly priced restaurant I can recommend they go to with their present?

Also, you would not happen to have a good recommendation for a a good iPad translation app they can use to help them communicate? While Mom's family is Italian, her italian is VERY rusty.

I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas season.
Dec. 20th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Wow, trying to recommend a restaurant in Rome is almost impossible... there are so many, and they are all so good. The other problem is that I actually live about an hour away and don't get to Rome that often. I asked a local, who laughed and said, "When I am in Rome I eat at home!"

That said... what neighborhood are they likely to be in? And how modest is modest? You won't get a sit-down meal for under 20 euros...

Don't worry about knowing Italian; Romans are used to, and very welcoming, of tourists and virtually all will have menus in English.

Dec. 23rd, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
Hi there. Sorry, it took me a few days to get some answers out of mom.

I'm looking for fairly modest, but not undoable. Probably about 75 or so euros for the two of them.

They are staying in the Trestevera area, near the train station. But, are willing to travel a bit to neighboring areas.

Mom was wondering if you, or your friends might have recommendations for things they should not miss (not necessarily the most touristy, just things they may not find in a guide book. My mom is an artist, so she has a wide variety of things she would love to see. She was also asking about nooks or exhibits at the Vatican museum that she might want to make sure she sees? They were thinking about traveling down to Albano and were wondering if the Castle Gandolfo has public areas?

When they travel out of Rome (I think she was mentioning visiting areas our family may have been from), will they have a need for some kind of translation to English?

Sorry for so many questions, this started out as a simple request to give my parents a dinner for Christmas and has turned in to a few more. Feel free to decline answering. I realize that this is not your exact area of expertise.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season. (and if you'd prefer to email me directly, my email address is timestep05@yahoo.com

Thanks again,
Dec. 24th, 2011 08:11 am (UTC)
Restaurants: As I say, almost any restaurant would be good, especially in Trastevere, which is sort of the "Soho" of Rome. Two that I have been to recently near the Vatican are Ristorante Pizzeria La Romanella, Borgo Pio, 135, which is simple and not too expensive; and I Quattro Mori, Via di Santa Maria alle Fornaci, 8, which is probably out of that price range (I think there's a fixed menu that starts at at least 45 Euros each, not counting water and wine) but which is certainly an unforgettable experience. (You are given only two choices, meat or fish, and then based on that they start bringing out more food than you could imagine... a fun place to bring visitors.)

Along with the obvious things to see (Vatican Museum, Forum, etc.) I recommend two items that you need to make reservations ahead of time (on the internet works, or the concierge at their hotel can do it): The Scavi (excavations) under St. Peters, and The Borghese Museum which has an incredible collection of Bernini sculpture and Caravaggio paintings among many other treasures.

In the Vatican Museums, my two bits of advice: first, at the start, go off the beaten track by turning right (when the crowds go left) right at the beginning and find your way to the Pinacoteca, which is a small collection of paintings and tapestries, including eight paintings of astronomical objects from the 1700s but with some other real gems. It is also close to the cafe and public bathrooms! The second suggestion is... take your time, do NOT rush to the Sistine Chapel at the expense of not seeing all the other good stuff before you get there.

And, even outside Rome, you will generally find someone who can speak English... but making an attempt to learn the basics in Italian always helps. The Italians are very forgiving of tourists who butcher the language, unlike other places in Europe I could mention... If you have a small tourist-language book, you can always point to the phrase you want if they can't understand your pronunciation!

I hope they have a great trip. (I will be in the US for most of January, myself.) A wonderful Christmas to you all!

Edited at 2011-12-24 08:12 am (UTC)
Dec. 24th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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