Minettes at the Coliseum

Special Place to visit:
An Italian diplomat was asked his favorite church in Rome. He replied, "Semplice. San Clemente." It's among the oldest churches in Rome. It's very near the Coliseum.

The building that you enter from the street dates from the 12th century. It contains the stellar Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria, one of the earliest Renaissance masterpieces and painted by perhaps Masaccio and Masolino, either alone or together or perhaps by somebody else--no matter the frescoes have a rapture and a freshness that must be seen. Go down one level. Enter the fourth century basilica to see a fresco of the empress Theodora Christianized into a Madonna. I'm charmed by the comic-strip frescoes of the life of St. Alexis. Descend to the next level, to the second century, where a pagan temple still contains the altar of Mithras, a deity worshiped by Roman soldiers. I hear rushing water. I go down to yet another level, to buildings of the first century A.D. The water is loud. I see the rushing stream that supplied the drinking water to the people who lived and worked here 1,900 years ago and is still flowing. I'm 30 feet below Rome.

Find your way up and out. Breathe deep.
(John Guare, Gourmet March 2003)

Handy Hint:      
Buy your tickets to the Coliseum at the Palatine Hill entrance (no lines). Visit the Palatine and then the Coliseum. The line for Coliseum tickets often winds half way round the structure. You go right to the head of that line and in!

Good Place to eat:    
Orso 80
Via dell'Orso 33, Piazza Navona, Italy Phone: 06-6864904
EUR 13 to EUR 18
Piazza Navona
The good kind of tourist restaurant, this bright and bustling trattoria near Piazza Navona is well known for its fabulous antipasto table, heaped high with tasty vegetables, meat, and seafood. Try the homemade egg pasta or the bucatini all'amatriciana (pasta with tomatoes, sheep's milk cheese, and bacon); there's plenty of fish on the menu, too. For dessert, the ricotta cake, a genuine Roman specialty, is always good. Closed Mon. And Aug.

During a recent trip to Rome my son Zak and a long time family friend vowed to track down the best gelato in Rome. Their unanimous choice in the pistachio category was Giolitti's. Click on their logo below for information and their two locations in Rome. If you find a another contender, let me know, and I will post it.


Good Place to stay:
Residenza San Pantaleo

Piazza S. Pantaleo 3 00186 Roma
4th floor
Tel: 06 6832345
FAX: 06 6868073

This is a nice small B&B just a five minute walk from the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona, right in the heart of Rome. We paid EUR 120/night for three of us in a room.

More on Rome:

Here is an xl database file keyed to the images in our current and previous Art History text books. For more databases for more cities, go to the Databases page in the Travel section.