Piazza Di Spagna The Spanish

The favourite flirting ground of Roman teenagers, Piazza di Spagna and the famous Spanish Steps (Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti) have been a magnet for foreigners since the 18th century. In the late 1700s the area was much loved by English on the Grand Tour and was known to locals as er ghetto de I'inglesi (the English ghetto). It's still a hugely popular hang-out and is busy from early morning until the small hours. Officially you're not supposed to eat (or defecate, according to a sign) on...

Piazza Navna Around

With its ornate fountains, baroque palazzi and pavement cafes, Piazza Navona is central Rome's showcase square. A busy, buzzing place, it has long been a hive of Roman activity - for 300 years it was the city's main market area and still today it attracts a colourful crowd of street artists, pickpockets, tourists and pigeons. Like many of Rome's great landmarks, it sits on the site of an ancient monument, in this case, the 1st-century-AD Stadiodi Domiziano (94,06 671 03 819 hi by appointment...

Baroque Rivalry

No two architects did more to fashion the face of central Rome than the two undisputed maestros of Roman baroque Francesco Borromini (1599-1667) and his chief adversary Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). Two starkly different characters - Naples-born Bernini was smooth and charismatic, while Borromini, from Lombardy, was difficult and depressive - they led the transition from Counter-Reformation rigour to baroque exuberance. Bernini is perhaps best known for his work in the Vatican. He designed...

Villa Torlonia Map PP

Via Nomentana 70 h 9am-7pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep, 9am-5pm Tue-Sun Oct-Mar g Via Nomentana Less than 1km from Porta Pia, this splendid 19th-century park once belonged to the family of Prince Giovanni Torlonia (1756-1829), a banker and landowner. His large neoclassical villa, the Casino dei Principi, later became the Mussolini family home (1925-43) and, towards the end of WWII, Allied headquarters (1944-47). These days it's used to stage temporary exhibitions. The park's most eye-catching building is...

Esquilino Monti

Although the Esquilino hill covers a large chunk of east-central Rome, the term Esquilino is popularly used to describe the scruffy area around Stazione Termini and Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. The district has long had a reputation as the capital's most multicultural (you'll get the best curries in town here) and is today the nearest thing Rome has to a Chinatown. In ancient times the Suburra, the lower slope of the Esquilmos western summit (originally there were four), was occupied by crowded...

Duncan Garwood

Duncan has been living in Italy since 1997 in Rome since 1999. After two years in the city centre he moved out to the Alban Hills just before the 2002 intr oduction of the euro sent house prices through the roof. When not travelling up and down Italy for Lonely Planet, he enjoys following the madcap soap opera that is Italian politics and the equally gripping world of Serie A football. Duncan has worked on the past two editions of this book and various other Italian guides, including Italy,...

Associazione Musicale Romana

06 393 66 322 www.assmusrom.it in Italian Via Gregorio VII gViaGregorioVII Founded to promote baroque and Renaissance music, the associazione organises recitals and concerts in various locations throughout the year. Its two most prestigious annual events are an international organ festival in September in the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini, p82 and a harpsichord festival in spring, but both have been hit by funding crises in recent years and so are in jeopardy - check the...

Insalata Ricca Map pp Ristorante Largo dei Chiavari salads g Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Tapping into a taste for salad among all that pizza and pasta, Insalata Ricca is reliable and popular, with numerous branches. It offers a huge choice of meal-sized salads ranging from traditional tomato and mozzarella to out-there apple and walnut. You'll find branches at Piazza Pasquino 72 Map pp74-5 9 gt 06 683 07 881 , Via Giulio Cesare Santini 12 Map ppl 22-3 and Via FP Calboli 50 Map ppl30-1 06 37513 941 , and handily near the Vatican at Piazza del Risorgimento 4 Map ppl30-1 06 397 30 387...

Inside Guide

A well-known journalist and author, Leonetta Bentivoglio has been writing on music, dance and theatre since the early 1980s. 'The most important event in recent years has been the opening of the Auditorium. Before that it was a real problem finding a good concert venue in Rome. The Auditorium, with its three halls and open-air arena, has really inspired the music scene, not just in classical music but also rock, pop and ethnic music. Run by the Associazione Santa Cecilia and the Fondazione...

Forno La Renella

Map pp122-3 Pizza al taglio 06 581 72 65 Via del Moro 15-16 pizza slices from 2 h9am-1am g Piazza Trilussa The wood-fired ovens at this historic Traste-vere bakery have been firing for decades, producing a delicious daily batch of pizza, bread and biscuits. The bread's made first but when the embers die down the white-tops turn their hands to pizza. Toppings and fillings vary seasonally. Popular with everyone from skinheads with big dogs to elderly ladies with little dogs.

Trattoria Da Bucatino

06 574 68 86 Via Luca della Robbia 84 meals 35 hTue-Sun g or J Via Marmorata Popularity has seen this long-standing neighbourhood place expand down into the basement. Ask for a table upstairs with wood panels, empty chianti bottles and a mounted boar's head or outside, as downstairs has less atmosphere. Of the antipasti, try the terrific insalata di mare seafood salad , while afterwards a bowl of steaming pasta is where it's at the signature dish is bucatini all'amatriciana. PIZZERIA REMO Map...

Galleria Dei Candelabri Galleria Degli Arazzi

By the time you reach these two galleries you're in the home straight, well on the way to the Stanze di Raffaello and, beyond that, the Sistine Chapel. Originally an open loggia, the Galleria dei Candelabri is packed with classical sculpture, including several elegantly carved marble candelabras that give the gallery its name. The corridor continues through to the Galleria degli Arazzi Tapestry Gallery and its 10 huge tapestries. The tapestries opposite the windows were designed by students of...

East Of Viale Di Trastevere

ASINOCOTTO Mappp122-3 Ristorante 06 589 89 85 Via dei Vascellari 48 meals 55 h dinner Tue-Sun g or J Viale di Trastevere a Asinocotto means 'cooked donkey' but don't let that put you off. The cooking here is creative, with imaginative, balanced, harmonious dishes such as loin of lamb stuffed with foie gras and caramelised figs, or swordfish with capers. The interior is invitingly hung with grapevine lighting, and it's one of Rome's few self-proclaimed gay-friendly restaurants. LA GENSOLA Map...

Passion For Marble

'If we want our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to see Rome's ancient monuments we need to close them. They simply can't take the wear or tear any more. But to do so would require a lot of courage as it would be a highly controversial move.' The suggestion comes from Simone Colalucci, an expert art restorer of more than 20 years' experience. 'The problem with the monuments is that the marble they're made of becomes very fragile if it loses its equilibrium. Inside, in the right conditions,...

Vatican City Borgo

SHOPPING Angelo di Nepi. . tumi Arco di Dru Art Studio Battelli di Roma see 15 Centro Servizi Pellegrini e Turisti 3 B5 Farmacia Ospedale Bambino Ges 5 C6 Ospedale Santo Prefettura del la Casa Pontificia 7 C5 Roma Tourist Information Point 9 D5 Vatican Post Castel Entrance to Vatican Mu seu ms 12 B4 11.1 ai s.m hetm 13 c gt I'c Kite S.IIlt Allgel 14 I ' St I' 'tel S j.1 gt llk.1 15 l ' gt V.itk .m Vatican 111Jst.i 1 l.i 1 'I ''1 l.i Mm .r 1 -III SHOPPING Angelo di Nepi. . tumi Auditorium...

Romulus Remus

Romulus and Remus were born to the vestal virgin Rhea Silva after she'd been seduced, some say raped, by Mars. At their birth they were immediately sentenced to death by their great-uncle Amulius, who had previously stolen the throne of Alba Longa from his brother, and Rhea Silva's father, Numitor. Fortunately, though, the sentence was never carried out. A royal servant took pity on the twins and instead of killing them abandoned them in a basket on the banks of the River Tiber. In the floods...