Our second home. We have had so many visits to Rome it is like our second home. We simply love the city.
This year we had the opportunity to stay at the Hotel Columbia, at via del Viminale, 15 when we were in Rome.
This was our fist visit to this hotel and it will not be our last. We usually stay over closer to the Vatican. The Columbia is half way between the Termini and Repubblica Metro stops. That we found to be handy. The staff and the rooms were great. We found the roof-top patio be such a plus and so nice to go up and have a coffee or a drink. The Columbia is now part of our Great Places to Stay when in Rome.
Having been to Rome many times, we had a few of our regular places to visit that include the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and that area. This year we only had a day and a half before we would fly back to Canada.
Our travel partners, well they spent a week in Rome before we arrived at the beginning of the trip so they had a few places to see but had done much at the start of the trip.
Despite all the visits to Rome, he had never been to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, this is the cathedral of Rome. The cathedral was originally established by Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome. The facade on the eastern side dates back to 1736 and has large stone saints, all gleaming white. The north side is more subtle and dates back to 1586. The heads of St. Peter and St. Paul are supposed to be in the alter.
The Cloisters, are open to the public with an admission fee. They have spiral columns and cosmatesque mosaics. We have a dedicated web site to the cloisters that we have visited.
Rome is a hard city on the feed. So when something is on the metro line, well that is a real plus.
The San Giovanni is close to the Metro station of the same name and can be walked from the Colosseum, along Via San Giovanni in Laterano, or take a bus (numbers 85, 87, 850, 117). The baptistery is closed at lunchtime.
As always, I have a good visit with my friend Marco and a look at what is new in pens. Somehow, despite all the pens I have, there is always something new.
This year, I bought the Visconti Ragtime. We had seen the pen on the visit at the Visconti factory when we were in Florence. It has quickly become one of my Pens of Note. While in Novelli, we bumped into an old friend - yes pen stores are real social hubs.
On our last night in Rome, we met Chris and Carmen at the Piazza Navona — we call this our piazza, and then we headed off to the roof-top patio of the Hotel Raphael.
Chris had read about the the roof-top patio in an article, 100 Things to Do In Rome articles in a previous issue of Gourmet Magazine. It was a very pleasant way to end the day, and to start to put the wraps on our vacation. Wonderful, but expensive. From the patio one looks out over the skyline of Rome.
For our last meal in Rome we ate at the restaurant COTTO which is located right around the corner from our hotel. Good meal with a up and casual atmosphere.