Collected by Ned Baldwin
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
The Baths of Caracalla, a third century bathing complex located near the Circus Maximus, was the center of social life for tens of thousands of Romans who would gather there—around 10,000 at a time—to exercise, bathe, and relax. Admission was...
Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Comune di Roma RM, Italy
While a lot of people would go see the Sistine Chapel when visiting Rome, fewer travelers venture out to this grand church at the Piazza di San Ignacio near the Pantheon, which features an almost equally beautiful painted ceiling done by Andrea...
Viale della Marina, 41, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM, Italy
According to legend, Rome’s first orange tree—St. Dominic’s gift to the pope—was planted in Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Oranges) in the 13th century. The secluded park provides a panoramic view of the city, from...
Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Comune di Roma RM, Italy
Just behind the Pantheon hides the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a gem in its own right. The only Gothic church in Rome's center, it's a breath of fresh air from over-the-top Baroque opulence. Plus, it has gorgeous frescoes by Filippo Lippi...
Via Caio Cestio, 6, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
One of our family favorite activities on a Sunday afternoon in Rome is a wander in the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Testaccio. We particularly love it in winter. I know, it is more picturesque and colorful in the spring and early summer, but even on...
Largo di Villa Peretti, 2, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
Piazza di S. Luigi de' Francesi, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
In 1589, the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi became the official church of Rome’s French community, and with true Bourbon flair, the church's decorations are a celebration of France's power and wealth, with gilded stucco, lavish...
Via Ostiense, 106, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
Tired of the crowds? Go to the Centrale Montemartini in Ostiense. No lines. In fact, no other people. At all. Usually I am the only one there. Wander the ancient Roman sculptures and extraordinary mosaic floor set in the former power plant;...
Via della Caffarella, Roma RM, Italy
The Parco della Caffarella is part of the larger Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica, a vast public park that is protected from development. Just a short walk from the city center, and flanked by a dense neighborhood, the Parco della Caffarella...
Viale della Moschea, 85, 00199 Roma RM, Italy
Whenever I travel, I always try to seek out local mosques. There are spectacular odes to marble and calligraphy across the "Muslim" world and far beyond, ranging from the mammoth Hassan II mosque in Casablanca to a charming sea-green confection in...
Piazza Giovanni Agnelli, 10, 00144 Roma RM, Italy
The Museo Della Civiltà Romana (Museum of Roman Civilization) is a fascinating destination. Made up largely of replicas of Roman artwork and scale models of Roman buildings (including an impressive scale model of the city of Rome as it appeared...
Via di Santa Prassede, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The 8th century Saint Zeno Chapel in the Church of Santa Prassede was built by Pope Paschal to serve as a funeral chapel for his mother Theodora. The Pope employed talented artisans to bedazzle the chapel in gold and glass mosaics, which can still...
Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Most visitors to Piazza Bocca della Verità are enticed by the so-called Mouth of Truth, an ancient drain cover anchored to a wall inside the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The Mouth of Truth features a carved face with a gaping...
Lungotevere dei Mellini, 35, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Altar of Peace, also known by its ancient name, Ara Pacis, is a 1st century BC monument embellished with marble reliefs. The structure's carved stone surfaces depict religious processions and allegories, all of which glorify the family and...
Via Nazionale, 194, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Mussolini developed this residential and business district in southern Rome in the 1930s and 1940s for a pair of propagandistic motives. The first was to host the 1942 world's fair called the Esposizione Universale di Roma (abbreviated EUR), while...
Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Many believe the Basilica di Santa Maria was the first church built in Rome. While archaeologists can't definitively corroborate this claim, this landmark remains of supreme importance to locals who come to worship beneath its gilded ceiling. The...
Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/a, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
When Pope Julius II envisioned his tomb more than 500 years ago, he commissioned Michelangelo to build a monumental structure featuring dozens of marble sculptures. The over-the-top mausoleum was meant to stand in St Peter's Basilica, but plans...
Via di Villa Giulia, 9, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Though the Borghese Gallery is the best known museum in the Villa Borghese, there are a number of others, including the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, home to one of the world's most expansive collection of Etruscan relics. The building...
Via Catalana, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The history of Jews in Rome is an ancient and complex study spanning nearly twenty-two centuries. The community—today there are around 13,000 members—is a small but important facet of the city’s cultural fabric and, though you often have to go on...
Via Michelangelo da Caravaggio, 53, 80126 Napoli NA, Italy
New York, Tokyo, and other major cities are home to startling numbers of authentic Neapolitan pizzerias, many with ovens handmade by Neapolitan craftsmen. In those places, pizza making is definitely considered an elevated craft. Perhaps...
Via Pignasecca, 80134 Napoli NA, Italy
La Pignasecca is renowned for its abundance of cheese, pastry, and fresh fish stalls. As you shop, don’t miss snacking on the biscuits (tarrale) from Panificio Vincenzo Coppola. Open daily, Via Pignasecca. Read Tom Downey's "Tailor Made in Naples...
Riviera di Chiaia, 269, 80121 Napoli NA, Italy
Antonella Rossi and her husband, Corrado, offer seasonal locavore takes on traditional Neapolitan fare such as green zucchini with squid sauteed in olive oil with lavender. 39/081-552-2266. Read Tom Downey's "Tailor Made in Naples."
Via Cesare Sersale, 1, 80139 Napoli NA, Italy
A Naples legend well before Julia Roberts (in Eat, Pray, Love) gave it celebrity sheen, Da Michele was opened by the Condurro family in 1930. The only pizzas are marinara and margherita, and they are pure classics. 39/081-553-9204. Read Tom...
Via Galileo Galilei, 101, 84047 Capaccio SA, Italy
People often tread to the Salerno province in Central-South Italy to see the graceful ruins at Paestum (a Unesco World Heritage site, which houses some of the most wonderfully intact Greek ruins). While you’re down there, you should also go...
Parco Archeologico di Paestum, Via Magna Graecia, 919, 84047 Paestum NA, Italy
This is a stunning place with few tourists. You find yourself transported back in time and can feel the lives of the ancient civilisations that came before. The museum is excellent and houses the findings but nothing is so wonderful as walking the...
Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Capitoline Museums house a collection of ancient sculptures in a pair of buildings designed by Michelangelo in the mid-16th century. The architecture on its own is stunning, but add to that brilliant frescoes and museum halls decked out with...
00120, Vatican City
When I walked into the World's largest Church, I had two feelings : I felt lucky and exhilarated. But when I started walking under the epitome of Renaissance art, I had a feeling that has no defination or boundaries.The Biblical narration of...
Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This historic bakery in Campo de' Fiori serves good pizza bianca and excellent pizza rossa, as well as assorted slices, cookies, and pastries. The neighboring annex across the alley (Vicolo del Gallo 14) serves sandwiches and baked goods. Drop in...
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