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Rome - Around Town : Beyond the City Walls (part 2) - Daytrips from Rome, Places to Eat

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A Morning Walk on the Appia Antica

Start at the Porta San Sebastiano, the grandest city gate of them all, where you can visit the Museo delle Mura . Climb the stairs for great views. From here, continue straight on along the Via Appia Antica . One of the first sights you’ll come to, on the left at a crossroads, is the small church of Domine Quo Vadis? – this marks the spot where Peter, fleeing persecution, encountered Christ and decided to return to Rome and face his martyrdom like a saint. The church contains a replica of footprints in stone, said to be those of Christ, but it is actually an ancient pagan ex voto.

Quite a bit further ahead, you’ll come to the Catacombs of San Sebastiano. Take the guided tour, and don’t miss the curious fresco of a bowl of fruit and a partridge, which, according to some ancient writers, was the most lascivious of all creatures. Continuing on, past a mobile bar where you can buy snacks and drinks, visit the Circus of Maxentius, an ancient racetrack. Note how amphorae were embedded in the bricks to lighten the construction of the upper grandstands. Last stop will be the 1st-century BC Tomb of Cecilia Metella. The frieze of bulls’ skulls and garlands is beautiful and the cone-shaped sanctum is peaceful.

For lunch, walk back to the Ristorante l’Archeologia . After lunch, backtrack a few hundred metres to the bus stop to catch the No. 118 into town.

Daytrips from Rome

  1. Tivoli

    This hilltown is renowned for its gardens and the villa of Cardinal d’Este, built in the 16th century and boasting 100 fountains.

    • COTRAL bus from Ponte Mammolo

    Villa d’Este

    • piazza Trento

    • 07 7433 2920

    • Open 8:30am–1hr before sunset Tue–Sun

    • Closed 25 Dec, 1 Jan

    • Adm

    • DA

  2. Hadrian’s Villa

    Built as the emperor’s summer retreat between AD 118–134, the area was a vast open-air museum of reproductions of Hadrian’s favourite buildings.

    • Via Tiburtina, 6 km (4 miles) southwest of Tivoli

    • COTRAL bus from Ponte Mammolo

    • 06 3996 7900

    • Open 9am–1hr before sunset daily

    • Adm

    • DA

    Mosaic pavement, Hadrian’s Villa

    Ionic columns, Hadrian’s Villa
  3. Tarquinia

    A museum of Etruscan artifacts famous for its 4th-century BC terracotta horses.

    • Train from Termini or Ostiense or COTRAL bus from Lepanto

    • 07 6685 6036

    • Open 8:30am–1 hr before sunset Tue–Sun

    • Adm

  4. Cerveteri

    The necropolis of this 6th-century BC city is quite intact, with streets, houses and frescoes.

    • Train from Termini to Cerveteri-Ladispoli

    • 06 994 0001

    • Open 8:30am–1 hr before sunset Tue–Sun

    • Adm

  5. Castelli Romani

    There is much to attract in this area of the Alban Hills. Swim in Lago di Albano, or visit Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia, a Baroque complex designed by Bernini in the 17th century.

    • Metro Anagnina, then COTRAL buses

    Palazzo Chigi

    • 06 933 0053

    • Open 10am–7pm daily – tours at 11am, 4pm, 5:30pm Mon–Fri & all day on weekends (gardens open Apr–Sep)

    • Adm

  6. Frascati

    From the 16th-century Villa Aldobrandini you can take in magnificent panoramas of Rome.

    • Metro Anagnina, then COTRAL bus

    • Villa Aldobrandini

    • 06 678 7864

    • Open 9am–1pm, 3–6pm Mon–Fri (until 5pm in winter)

  7. Palestrina

    This town boasts the greatest Hellenistic temple in Italy. Among the treasures unearthed here is a 2nd-century BC mosaic.

    • Metro Anagnina, then COTRAL bus

    • Museum: Open 9am–7pm daily, Adm

  8. Rome’s Beaches

    The Ostia sea strip to the city’s south is dotted with beach clubs and free beaches (spiaggia libera).

    • Trains depart from Porta San Paolo; ATAC bus or metro ticket required.

  9. Viterbo

    Within this medieval town’s walls, visit the Papal Palace, the Archaeological Museum and the Fontana Grande.

    • Most sights: Open 8:30am–7pm Tue–Sat,

    • Adm

  10. Pompeii

    In AD 79 the volcano Vesuvius erupted, and this city was buried and preserved forever.

    • Train from Termini to Naples, then “Circumvesuviana” train

    • Open 9am–1.5hrs before sunset daily

    • Adm

    • DA

Places to Eat

  1. Allo Sbarco di Enea, Ostia Antica

    Kitsch, but fun. The waiters dress up in Roman gear and the decor is like a low-budget epic movie. The speciality is fish try the spaghetti alle vongole (clams).

    • Via dei Romagnoli 675

    • Metro Piramide then local train

    • 06 565 0034

    • Closed Mon

  2. Jet Set, EUR

    A pleasant surprise in rather flavourless EUR. Huge picture windows right on the lake make lunch a visual treat. The menu offers light fare and the fish dishes are nicely presented.

    • Piazza U. E. Terracini

    • Metro EUR Palasport

    • 06 591 3743

    • Closed Sun L

  3. Ristorante l’Archeologia, Via Appia Antica

    An elegant converted farmhouse, where you dine around the fire­place in winter and in the garden in summer. Rustic regional fare, such as roast lamb and homemade pasta.

    • Via Appia Antica 139

    • Bus 118

    • 06 788 0494

    • Closed Tue

  4. La Villetta dal 1940, Piramide

    The favourite hangout of 20th-century Surrealist painter Giorgio De Chirico and his crowd of passionately avant-garde artists. The food is hearty and traditional Roman fare, such as saltimbocca alla romana (veal and ham).

    • Viale della Piramide Cestia 53

    • Buses 23, 30, 75, 95, 280, 716, 719

    • 06 575 0597

  5. Arancia Blu

    A seasonably varied menu, which includes exquisite desserts, sets this vegetarian restaurant apart.

    • Via Prenestina 396a

    • 06 445 4105

    • Closed for L

  6. La Sibilla, Tivoli

    The most spectacular spot in town, overlooking Villa Gregoriana.

    • Via della Sibilla 50

    • COTRAL bus from Ponte Mammolo

    • 0774 335 281

    • Closed Mon

  7. San Marco, Tarquinia

    An old converted monastery. Game and funghi selvaggi (wild mushrooms) in season are good.

    • Piazza Cavour 18

    • Train from Termini or Ostiense or COTRAL bus from Cornelia

    • 0766 842 234

    • Closed Mon L

  8. Pinocchio, Frascati

    Pinocchio (also a hotel) specializes, as does this entire area, in the celebrated porchetta (pork roast).

    • Piazza del Mercato 21

    • Metro Anagnina, then COTRAL bus

    • 06 941 7883

    • Closed Tue L

  9. Scylla, Sperlonga

    On the beach and great for seafood.

    • Via San Rocco 26

    • Train from Termini to Fondi, then bus

    • 0771 549 652

    • Closed Tue (winter)

  10. Enoteca La Torre, Viterbo

    This bar-restaurant offers local dishes, with an emphasis on fish. Great wines too.

    • Via della Torre 5

    • COTRAL bus from Saxa Rubra or train from Roma Ostiense

    • 0 761 226 467

    • Closed Mon, Tue, Wed L

Unless otherwise stated, all restaurants accept credit cards and serve vegetarian meals

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