|The Roman Forum|
When we visited: August 2009
Why to go:
Fabulous history, beautiful churches, great art. And a sculpture that just might bite your hand off.
What to see:
You already know most of what you want to see. If you love history, there's no better destination. The Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill will make you appreciate the greatness of the Roman Empire. The Vatican Museums’ Sistine Chapel is truly one of the great works of art, and St. Peter’s Basilica is both majestic and holy.
|The great St. Peter's|
Legend says if you throw a coin in Trevi Fountain, you’ll return to Rome someday. It worked for me – I did the first time I visited Rome in 1987, and I came back 22 years later. Just to be sure, I tossed another coin in the fountain this time. With any luck, I won’t have to wait 22 years before my next visit.
Have any of you seen the wonderful movie, Roman Holiday? Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, it’s the story of a princess who sees the city through the eyes of a newspaper reporter. One of the places they visit is The Mouth Of Truth, a marble disc with a face carved into it. According to legend (the Romans love their legends), if you stick your hand into the mouth and tell a lie, it will be bitten off. I’m pleased to tell you that we returned from Rome with all our limbs intact.
|The Pollock family recreates another great movie moment.|
Where to stay:
Finding a reasonably-priced hotel in any big European city can be difficult. We were lucky to stay at the Caesar House Residenze Romane, which offered a family room at a great rate. This centrally-located hotel is a couple of minutes’ walk to the Forum and the Colosseum and, like many European hotels, includes breakfast in the price.
Where to eat:
When in Rome, you must try the gelato. Gelato is like super-creamy ice cream, and we sampled our way through any number of gelaterias in Rome. San Crispino is reputed to serve the best, although we loved Tre Scalini in Piazza Navona. Really, it’s splitting hairs. It’s all delicious.