day activity

Weekly Favorites 03/05/2017

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I can't believe it's May already. I know that this is very cliche but the year seems to be flying by. I'm just planning on enjoying the beautiful weather we have here in Rome until things really heat up for the summer and everyone stops working (July/August). After Monday, there are no more holidays in May and that feels kind of good.  April was such a crazy month with long weekends and lots of plans, but I'm looking forward to a productive month of work and with my best friend coming in 3 WEEKS!!

Looking forward...

What's new with Me:

All that said, there will be a lot of planning this month. I'm trying to expand my social outreach with the blog (with Facebook and Pinterest being priorities) and I would love to start making videos. I also really need to up my Italian grammar game and get cracking on the textbook I bought myself (nerd alert). Of course, day trips to the beach will be liberally sprinkled in throughout the month.

la vita roma

Around Rome in May:

There are plenty of food festivals in Rome this month, with a food truck festival in Trastevere on the 5-7 and a wine festival (!!!) at Eataly on the 11-13. There's also a famous electronic music festival the weekend of the 25th called the Spring Attitude Festival, hosted at the MAXXI Modern Art Museum that I'm very interested in. Open all month is the Rose Garden near the Orange Garden Park that I've been wanting to go to for years! All in all, there's a ton to do this month and I want to check a lot of new things out.

la vita roma

la vita roma

la vita roma

la vita roma

What to See in Rome: Castel Sant’ Angelo

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Walking down the bridge towards Castel Sant’ Angelo, you're greeted by 10 angels holding instruments from the Passion, designed by Bernini. The castle overlooks the Tiber River and Vatican City, with amazing views from the top of the fortress. Along with its beautiful views of the city, it’s located conveniently close to St. Peter's (a nice two for one deal, if you will) and is full of its own history as well. For a fun and easy sight to see in Rome, with some amazing pictures at the top, check out Castel Sant’ Angelo on the other side of the river. Castel Sant' Angelo

History

Originally commissioned by Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for his family, Hadrian’s Tomb was one of the many monuments he erected in Rome and outside the city (one being Villa d’Este). It was later converted by the popes into a castle and military fortress. During this time, the church also used it as a prison and it held many famous Roman prisoners and dissenters of the the Catholic Church. To this day, there’s a passageway from the Vatican to Castel Sant’ Angelo for the pope to escape by.

Castel Sant' Angelo

Now, the castle is open to the public as a museum and can be explored from within. The outside grounds, ramparts, libraries and art displays are all available for visitors.

Views

Castel Sant’ Angelo was once the tallest building In Rome and the views from the top of the tower are still amazing today. You can get a great look at St. Peter’s dome and the Vatican, as well as the Tiber river and across, into the center. It has a 360 degree view and walking around the circular structure gives you plenty of opportunity for photos.

Castel Sant' Angelo

There’s also a nice cafe at the top of the castle where you can grab a coffee with a view. The window tables go quickly though, so get there early to snag the best spot.

Castel Sant' Angelo

Itinerary

In my 72-hours in Rome Guide, I recommend fitting Castel Sant’ Angelo in with the Vatican for an afternoon in the neighborhood of Prati. It’s a lot to fit in, doing St. Peter’s and the castle in one afternoon, but some shopping on Via Cola di Rienzo and snacking in the area at Mondo Arancina, Gelateria La Romana, or a full lunch at Arc Angelo make it more manageable.

Castel Sant' Angelo

However you want to fit it in, Castel Sant’ Angelo is located close enough to the center to combine it with a wide variety of activities.

While it’s not the most beautiful monument in Rome, this castle has collected loads of history and stories over the centuries, making it an intriguing place to visit. The photos at the top are also worth the price of admission.

Is Castel Sant’ Angelo a must-see for you? Or are other monuments taking precedence over this one?


Castel Sant’ Angelo

Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma

Ticket office: +39 06 6896003

Ticket price: €10, €5 for reduced

Hours: Monday-Sunday 9:00-7:30

Day Activities in Rome: Villa Torlonia Park

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Villa Torlonia Going to the park is a Roman tradition. Because getting to the beach from the city isn't the easiest, even in the summer people tend to head to one of the many parks for the afternoon. With the warm weather we've been having this February in Rome, we've been checking out different parks each Sunday and it's become a really nice weekend tradition. Villa Torlonia is a beautiful park in Rome, with multiple museums, a restaurants, fountains and areas to sit in the beautifully landscaped park. 

Villa Torlonia

An easy trip from the center of the city, Villa Torlonia is located off of Via Nomentana and is accessible by bus from Termini Station (bus #90). The entrance to the park has marble walls and many palm trees, differentiating it from the city directly outside those walls. As you walk along its paths, you come across the villa's many museums and cultural centers. On nice days, we give those a pass and continue on, past the fountains, ponds, and green areas that make up the rest of the park.

Villa Torlonia

Villa Torlonia would be a great place for a large group, family outings or even a solo trip where you bring a book and lay in the sun. We've been bringing lunch inside, usually some kind of pre-made sandwiches or salad (but pizza to go would work just as well) and small bottles of wine/beer to enjoy a few hours outside the craziness of Rome. With a blanket, drinks, food and friends, it's the perfect weekend activity.

Villa Torlonia

If you want to visit Villa Torlonia, it's open to the public all throughout the week, while there are also museums and a restaurant/bar inside the park.

For a special treat, I can highly recommend Guttilla, a gelato store across from the park on Via Nomentana for its amazing gelato and large cone size. There's nothing better than taking a gelato into the park for a walk on a nice day.

Villa Torlonia