Sleep in the Heart of Rome, Italy

Posted May 17, 2010 by Jaclyn Liechti

Rome-PonteStAngelo Rome is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and with so much to do there it might be difficult to squeeze it all into one trip. The jaw-dropping elegance of the Colosseum, the immense holdings of the Vatican Museum, and the delicate splendor of Trevi Fountain are well-known attractions, but in a city like this, it's easy to get off the beaten path, too. Tiny ristorantes and gelaterias can be found around every corner, and the gardens of Villa Borghese offer a welcome respite from the tourist strip.

Hotel Boccaccio: The Hotel Boccaccio is a charming apartment-turned-hotel in the heart of Rome, near the Trevi Fountain. From here, you can walk to most of the popular attractions in the city, or jump on the metro right around the corner. The 1937 building is also the living quarters of its proprietor, Pati, and guests will feel right at home in one of the eight spacious guest rooms. The hotel is a member of the first group of environmentally friendly establishments in Italy. Double bedrooms with a private bathroom start at €100 (about $124, see for current conversion rates).

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(Photo: courtesy of APT - Rome)

Live it Up Like a Local in Rome for Less

Posted July 8, 2009 by Jamie Moore

Wine-Rack-DEF You know what they say: When in Rome.... I just couldn't resist tracking down some favorito local hangouts in this great city—two of which are actually in revamped garages. While you're here, savor a carefully crafted vegetarian meal. Drink to Italian style at a trendy wine bar. And rummage for bargains at a Roman "garage" sale.

Arancia Blu (in Italian only): At this elegant vegetarian restaurant, Chef Fabio Passan whips together unusual combinations for a big splendido! factor. Here you get unforgettable meals at reasonable prices. Order lasagna flavored with ginger. Or, try ravioli stuffed with potatoes and mint, served with Sardinian sheep cheese. With a seasonal menu and 250 different bottles of wine, you can try something new each visit … although you may need to sample the dark chocolate cake with warm orange sauce again and again and again.

Freni e Frizioni (in Italian only): Head to this mechanics-garage-turned-trendy-wine-bar to rub shoulders with the who's who of Rome. Hip locals who want to see and be seen do it here among romantic candles, grand chandeliers, modern art, and funky music. Savor one of the famous mojitos and gawk at beautiful people from the bar. Take five on the open-air terrace where views of the Tiber River ("Tevere" for those in the know) are as fabulous as the ones inside. 

Borghetto Flaminio Market: Pick up an authentic souvenir at this Roman market housed in a funky old bus garage. You'll find bargains galore on everything from lampshades to designer clothes, but be sure to sharpen your wheelin'-and-dealin' skills before you arrive. This popular weekend market attracts Romans of all ages who have mastered the art of snapping up great deals. Who can blame them? Rumor has it one of Gucci's top designers sometimes books a table to sell off surplus goods at rock-bottom prices.

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(Photo: iStockphoto/Andrew Johnson)

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