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Rediscovering Rome

By Pat Bellieni , 24 May 2019

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Rome

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As a native Venetian, I know Italy very well, and every year I return to the key cities – Venice, Florence and Rome – often with new colleagues, and just occasionally with my husband… On our most recent visit to Rome, we spent a day in the company of one of Kirker’s expert local guides, and it was a revelation – even to someone who must have visited Rome dozens of times. He was able to bring the ancient monuments to life in a new way and show us corners of the city that we never would have found. Starting at the Vatican we surveyed the great piazza designed by Bernini, the 17th century architect and sculptor whose work is found throughout the city, before continuing across the Ponte Sant’Angelo, in front of the castle of the same name, where Tosca meets her demise in Puccini’s opera.

We paused for lunch and a glass of wine at Piazza Navona, where again marble sculptures by Bernini take centre-stage, before heading over to the Spanish Steps for a spot of window shopping in the designer shops and boutiques in the afternoon sunshine. By evening, we were ready for dinner in one of my favourite Roman trattoria, but we took a detour to wander past one more marble edifice, the magnificent Trevi Fountain which – after a major restoration project – is gloriously illuminated at night.

If you are looking for a breath of fresh air and an escape from the madding crowd - Rome is a busy city at any time of year - I must urge you to visit the Villa Borghese. Surrounded by extensive gardens which offer a wonderful oasis from the city, this is one of Rome's most important art galleries, with a remarkable collection of sculpture in particular: Bernini appears again with his outstanding marble of Apollo & Daphne; but also paintings by Titian, Caravaggio and Raphael. 

My husband is a photographer, and he was in heaven as we explored the Roman Forum, with its great monuments from the ancient city, but I knew that he would enjoy the spot I had chosen for our last dinner even more – L’Aroma Restaurant at the Hotel Palazzo Manfredi has the most magnificent views of the Colosseum, surely one of the most incredible sights in the world, and a fitting finale for our short break in Rome. I will never tire of travelling to Rome, from the fascinating ancient monuments, to the lively local bars and trattoria, it really is a year-round destination for anyone with an interest in culture in all its forms.

Click here to view a short film about my trip to Rome

 

 

 

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Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.

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