Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (II)

Tag: Italy

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (II)

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Daphne Inn – Budget B&B near Veneto and Trevi


Daphne Inn’s two locations, near the Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto, are both stylish small B&B’s that are affordable and friendly. Cheerfully decorated rooms are each designed with individual touches, and are warm and cozy. There is free Wi-Fi and laptops available for use and guests receive pay-as-you-go mobile phones if they need them. Even though this is a budget hotel, the breakfast is pretty good, with fresh fruit, cold cuts, yogurt and muesli. A great choice for a budget hotel in the center of Rome. Friendly service, and most of the staff (and the owners) speak English.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Forty Seven – Modern Hotel near Circo Massimo


Modernity is juxtaposed with antiquity at Hotel Forty Seven. Forty Seven’s location—adjacent to the Forum and far from the chaos of the shopping district—and more affordable rates make this a good choice. Near the quaint neighborhoods of Trastevere and The Ghetto, which are filled with restaurants, wine bars and bakeries, just a block from Campidoglio Hill, the hotel has sixty-one rooms, including some suites with private balconies. There’s also a rooftop terrace that overlooks the piazza below, with the Temple of Vesta. And while guests have access to the hotel’s gym, the nearby Circo Massimo is perfect for a morning run.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Hotel Apollo – Affordable family-run hotel, great location 


I’m hesitant to include The Apollo in this guide, since I consider it my little secret. This small, clean, affordable hotel in one of Rome’s best neighborhoods is where I put my friends and family when there is overflow from my own home. 


This 3-star hotel has been run by the Pontecorvi family since 1935, with great warmth and charm. All of the rooms have been refurbished and are clean, elegant and comfortable. They aren’t huge, but did I mention how affordable they are? Breakfast is served on the top floor, with a view out over Rome’s rooftops. Step out of the front door and you are in the Monti neighborhood, with a wealth of restaurants and a view of the Coliseum. There are only 24 rooms, so it is often booked solid.

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy (I)

Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Arco del Lauro B&B – Cozy B&B in the heart of Trastevere


This charming B&B is located in the quite part of Trastevere, far from the chaos of the bars and clubs, but close enough to cafes and restaurants to make it the perfect location. All four rooms are located on the ground floor of a 18th-century palazzo and are sleek, modern and clean. A common area has a wifi point. The hostess, Lorenza, is always happy to help with suggestions. 


Breakfast is served in the form a voucher which you cash in at the lovely café around the corner. The perfect place to sip your cappuccino as your plan your day. 



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Casa Howard – Boutique Design Hotel


This small boutique B&B is as heavy on style as service. Each room has a different theme which can play out in anything from plaid to zebra. You’re as likely to find antiques as satin covered modernity.


The hotel actually has two locations, both near the Spanish steps. Each take up floors of historic palaces, and each has five rooms. Some rooms are small, some are quite large. The feel is more akin to being in a private apartment than a hotel. Although most rooms have their own bath, not all do (so make sure which you are getting). But it’s not a youth hostel situation: you’ll get a kimono and slippers to make your way around. Breakfast is served in room, and there is always a maid on duty.



Best Places to Stay in Rome, Italy: Caesar House – Boutique luxury hotel


This small boutique hotel feels like a private home. Located on a top floor of a palazzo on Via Cavour, it’s right near the Colliseum, the Roman Forum and the trendy Monti neighbourhood.


Each room is spacious and individually decorated. There is always someone on staff willing to help with anything from museum tickets to dry cleaning.

Dining in Rome, Italy (I)

Dining in Rome, Italy: Angolo DiVino – Hours will go by in a flash as you drink wine in this enoteca


In Italian, "Angolo diVino" is a play on words: it can mean "Corner of Wine" or "Divine Corner".


This tiny enoteca (wine bar and wine shop) between Piazza Farnese & Campo dé Fiori will make you feel like you've left the bustling metropolis of Rome, and have entered into a sleepy village. Opened in 1946, the same family still owns it. Good wine runs in their blood.


Angolo diVino is lined with wooden shelves that are stacked with wine bottles from floor to ceiling. Fans circle overhead as clusters of people sit, chat, and drink the fabulous wine that Massimo, the owner, has sourced from all over the country.


Massimo, a third-generation sommelier, has an incredible wine selection and he does not stock a single wine that he himself has not tasted and liked. He won’t sell a wine because it has a famous name, label or producer. He only stocks quality.


Angolo diVino is not just an enoteca. While the restaurant menu is short, every item is superb: the Danish filet, the marinated salmon, and the chocolate torte (paired with a sweet red wine like recioto, of course).


I often go here for a glass of wine (or a bottle or two!) with friends before dinner and Massimo will usually bring out a small plate of cheeses. He will help you choose a wine and I have never had a wine here that I didn't enjoy.


You also can buy a bottle to go or get some shipped back home.


Nearby, you can shop at DaDaDa and David Mayer, or visit Palazzo Spada.



Dining in Rome, Italy: Armando al Pantheon – Traditional Roman food with great prices


It's hard to find good traditional Roman food right in the center by all the touristy sites. Armando hits the mark, though. They've been around since 1961, so they know what they're doing: tasty Roman dishes in a casual environment without breaking the bank.


Daily specials rotate, and I especially love the spaghettini alla cernia (thin spaghetti with a simple sea bass sauce) on Tuesdays (12€). On Wednesday they serve ossobuco with peas and mushrooms (18€). If you're tired of eating carbonara, they even have dishes like duck with plums (19€).


Waiters are courteous, which is rare in Rome.


Be sure to book if you want to eat here: they don't have that many tables.


This place is easy to find: stand right in front of the Pantheon, facing the Pantheon, and make a right down that alley. You should see Armando's sign right away.



Things to See in Florence, Italy

If you haven’t been to the Tuscan capital lately, we have news: You no longer risk death by high-speed Fiat when you troll to the Duomo. In fact, pedestrian-friendly plazas, the brainchild of Mayor Matteo Renzi, are only one recent upgrade. You might even call this a neo-Renaissance for visitors.


Things to See in Florence, Italy: LA BELLA VISTA

Looking for a room with a view? The Westin Excelsior’s new sixth-floor SE•STO on Arno restaurant and bar is about as high-rise as it gets in the historic centro. The good news is you don’t actually have to stay at the hotel to enjoy the rooftop terrace. We suggest ordering some salt cod tripe pici pasta to keep your wine company.


Things to See in Florence, Italy: WHERE’S THE BEEF?

The same Chianina cattle that have made bistecca alla Fiorentina a local menu fixture are now on the casual end of the dining spectrum. In the trendy Oltrarno district, Lungarno 23 specializes in all things Chianina, including burgers, melt-in-your-mouth carpaccio, and tangy steak tartare.


Things to See in Florence, Italy: MUSEUM MAKEOVER

The throngs of patrons have long been a problem at the Uffizi Gallery, home to Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. But traffic is lighter now, thanks to a recent expansion: eight new galleries dedicated to foreign artists (like Velázquez and Rembrandt), and nine others showcasing Greek marble sculptures and 16th-century Florentine painters.


Things to See in Florence, Italy: FASHION FIXTURE

Opened last fall in the Piazza della Signoria, the Gucci Museum showcases the Florentine house’s contributions to design, from bicycles to Oscar evening gowns. Order an espresso at the café-cum-library, or refill your water bottle for free at the new Publiacqua fountain, dispensing still or sparkling H2O at the Palazzo Vecchio.


Things to See in Florence, Italy: DOOR RESTORE

Designed for the Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s 15th-century bronze relief doors have a new home. After a 27-year restoration, the “Gates of Paradise” are now safe from the effects of pollution and weather in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. So what’s in their place at the Baptistery? Exact replicas.

Best Hotels in Milan, Italy (I)

A city like Milan offers hundreds of accommodations, ranging from hotels to hostels. Normally it should be no problem to find a place, except when a big fair is going on. In this series of the best hotels in Milan, Italy, we carefully selected a range of accommodations to meet your needs, and in general the not too expensive ones. We chose those that are rated by clients to be good value for money.


1. Antares Accademia (Best Hotels in Milan)

Located in front of the Portello shopping mall, not far from Monte Stella, Hotel Accademia offers 66 quiet rooms and a panoramic rooftop restaurant. The staff is helpful and multilingual. 

Each room offers a direct dial telephone, mini bar, working desk, flat screen TV, parquet anti allergic floor, satellite and pay TV, autonomous air conditioning, Internet Wi-Fi and a safety deposit box.

Other services and facilities at Antares Academia include: restaurant and wine bar open till late at night, room service, garage with valet service, free use of fitness room, business center, laundry with fast delivery, limo service, car rental, baby sitting and ticket reservation for museums and football stadium.

You can take a virtual tour of the hotel on their website.


2. Ariosto Hotel (Best Hotels in Milan – Sleeping in Libery Land)

This hotel is located within a Liberty-style building in the heart of the refined Magenta neighborhood, only 200 meters from the Santa Maria delle Grazie church (Last Supper).

The 49 rooms are comfortable, quiet and well equipped and overlook either the quiet inner garden or the floral facades of the art nouveau palaces on Via Ariosto. The rooms include satellite TV, adjustable air conditioning and a Wi-Fi connection.

Other services and facilities at Ariosto Hotel include: 24h reception, daily newspapers, fax service, transfer to / from airport / station (on request), limousine service, valuables storage and left-luggage office, elevator, ironing and laundry service, discounted parking (nearby) and bar. Pets are also welcome.


3. Astoria Hotel (Best Hotels in Milan – A Fairy Tale)

This is a Best Western hotel north west of city center, near the Fieramilanocity area (the old expo). It is a modern and recently expanded and refurbished hotel offering lodging in 69 soundproofed rooms. 

Facilities include: 24h reception, Wi-Fi, Fax service, Newspapers, Tourist information, Valuables storage, Baggage porter, Baggage storage, Ironing service, Laundry service, Room service, Elevator, Currency exchange, Reserved parking garage, TV room and Bar.

With the MilanoCard you get a 10% discount.


4. Hotel Aurora (Best Hotels in Milan)

Aurora is a convenient and comfortable hotel, conveniently located close to the railway station of Pavia and to Piazza Minerva, just a stroll away from city center.

The hotel is entirely non-smoking. If you come by car you'll have to park on-street (paid) or in the parking garage at 50 meters (paid).

Services and facilities at Hotel Aurora include: telephone, LCD TV, air conditioning, Wi-Fi Internet and bar.

Places to Visit Before It’s Too Late (II)

Climate changes and the increased number of tourists could lead to the disappearance of some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Let's continue our series of the places to visit before it's too late:


4. Macchu Picchu

Continuous urban development and constant flow of tourists (about 2,500 daily) endanger this last bastion of Inca civilization, located in Peru. The popularity of the "Lost City" among the tourists proves to be a fearsome enemy. The stone groundwork has been affected by erosion and parts of the buildings already collapsed due to landslides. Tourist facilities developing closer and closer to this ancient city endanger its very existence. So if you wanted to know which places to visit before it’s too late, you can start with Macchu Picchu.


5. Kilimanjaro

Few places in the world are as picturesque as this impressive volcanic mountain, nicknamed "Snowy Mountain" by the locals. Since it’s the highest mountain peak in Africa, Kilimanjaro is a true magnet for travelers and climbers all over the world. A recent study made by the National Academy of Science revealed that the snow on the peak of the mountain would disappear in the next 20 years. Taking into account that 85% of its layer melted in the last century, we do believe them, and add Kilimanjaro to our places to visit before it’s too late list.


6. The Great Barrier Reef

Known as one of the best diving destinations in the world, this underwater paradise from Australia is in danger of extinction due to the rising temperature of the ocean and pollution. According to a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the 7.000 years old ancient reef is rapidly disintegrating and may not exist for more than 40 years.


7. The Dead Sea Scrolls

Located at the border between Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea could dry up in the next 40 years. The sea has lost one-third of its volume in the last 20 years and the process continues. With the desire to stop this phenomenon, Israeli Authorities proposed building a canal to bring water from the Red Sea. However, specialists warned that the environmental risks are extremely high and that the project could permanently compromise the ecosystem of the Dead Sea. For example, the project could lead to algae multiplying in the Dead Sea, where nothing survives due to the high salinity of over 30%. As sad as it is, The Dead Sea is one of the most amazing places to visit before it’s too late.


8. Venice

The floating city of love might share the fate of Atlantis and be swallowed by waters in the near future. Sea level rises each year with up to 6 mm, which is a great threat to the integrity of the beautiful Italian town. Architects warned the authorities that the groundwork is increasingly battered due to the frequent floods. Unfortunately, the armies of millions of tourists only hasten the end of Venice. Locals have put a lot of faith in the "Mose Project”, which involves building 79 steel barriers on the Adriatic seabed, which will activate during big waves. The overall cost of the project was estimated at 4.7 billion euros. Venice is definitely one of the best places to visit before it’s too late.