Aventine Hill and its hidden gems: a place to discover

Gardens, extraordinary churches and a secret held in a keyhole: the Aventine hill– Colle Aventino in italian- is one of the famous seven hills on which ancient Rome was built.

Garden of Oranges

Garden of Oranges

The first stop is at the Savello Park- its name comes from the Savelli family that had their castle in this area in the fourteenth century- that is also known as Garden of Oranges. It’s a small but very famous park because it affords a spectacular view of monuments and roof tops of the Eternal City. You can also see the “Cupolone” of St. Peter’s Basilica. All the orange trees you find in the Garden were planted in homage to St. Dominic, who founded his monastery here.

Panorama Garden of oranges

The view from the Garden of Oranges

Close to the Garden of Oranges there’s Santa Sabina, which is considered the best example of an early Christian church in Rome and it was given to the Dominican Order during the thirteenth century.

Santa Sabina

Santa Sabina

The Basilica dei Santi Bonifacio e Alessio and the Basilica di Sant’Anselmo are the other two churches you can visit before entering the well-known Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, a beautiful square which keeps a secret.

Villa del Priorato di Malta

Villa del Priorato di Malta

Put your eye to the keyhole of Villa del Priorato di Malta, which hosts the Grand Priory in Rome of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and  the embassy of the Order of Malta to Italy: you’ll see three sovereign states: Italy, Malta and the Vatican City State, because the Cupolone is just in front of you.

The keyhole

The keyhole

There’s no place like…Rome. Definitely.

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Grezzo, a very special pastry shop in the heart of Rome

A small but bright place in via Urbana, a street full of restaurants, bars and pubs in the heart of Rome, close to via Cavour and not so far from the Colosseum. Grezzo is an extraordinary pastry shop: all its products are vegan, raw, organic and free of gluten, soy and animal products, dairy included. Even the packaging they use is “earth friendly”.

grezzo

Grezzo is cozy and smells good. You can choose among ice-creams, smoothies (with almond milk) and different kinds of biscuits, chocolate bars and desserts. Moreover, they offer free Wi-fi to all their customers.
dolci grezzo

We make our products with love, positive energy and human hands in our own pastry laboratory in Rome, where quality control is one of our highest priority. We closely ensure that, without exception, anything and everything we bring to you will always be as pure as possible” they wrote on their website. And you can see the passion they have for this project: Grezzo’s staff is really professional and kind.

grezzo 3

We had a relaxing and pleasant time before a nice walk in Rione Monti.

PS. The donut was superb!

Grezzo-Raw Chocolate, via Urbana 130. Open Monday to Friday from 11 am to 11 pm. Saturdays&Sundays from 11 am to 12 pm.  

The Protestant Cemetery in Rome, one of the most impressive in the world

The Protestant Cemetery, called “The Testaccio” or “The british”, is also known as  “The Cemetery of poets and artists“. In Italian we call it “Cimitero acattolico di Roma” and it is considered by lots of people to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

cimitero acattolico 3

It is located just under the famous “Piramide”, the ancient Pyramid which was built as a tomb for Gaius Cestius about 18 BC-12 BC and it can easily reached by tube (Piramide stop) or by bus.

The famous English poets John Keats and Percy Shelley and the Italian philosophy Antonio Gramsci lie here. It’s a really peaceful place, an oasis in the downtown, where people rest surrounded by trees, plants, flowers and…cats. They are the “guardians” of the departed and very friendly to the visitors.

cimitero acattolico tomba keats

cimitero acattolico tomba gramsci

Nearly four thousand persons have gone to their last rest in this cemetery.They are mainly English and Germans, but there are also Italians, Americans, Scandinavians, Russians, Greeks and of other nationalities. It is not completely barred to Roman Catholics, even if the regulations for the governance of this burial ground state that it is reserved to citizens of Protestant or Ortodox faith: they can be buried in a grave belonging to a non-Catholic member of the family.

cimitero acattolico gatto

You can have a walk in the ancient part, a really nice garden, where you can sit and admire the Pyramid, thinking about the greatness of life.

Cimitero acattolico 1

Check the Protestant Cemetery website for all the informations you may need:  http://www.cemeteryrome.it/visit/visit.html   

Aperitivo, or experiencing real Roman atmosphere

Roman atmosphere. Yes, that’s it. That’s the deep emotion you feel when you discover the fairy corners, the great monuments and the excellent food of Rome. But if you want to experience a true Roman (and also Italian) way of life you must have an “aperitivo“.

Romans love aperitivo, when you can relax after a whole day of work, drinking and eating somenthing just before dinner. Sometimes this “aperitivo” turns into a full dinner, because you can find many things to eat: chips, sandwiches, snacks, pizza, pasta, vegetables,meat and even fish. You can drink Italian wine, beer or a good cocktail.

We often enjoy our “Aperitivo time” at these three places…You could find us there!

MECCANISMO, piazza Trilussa 34

Aperitivo from 6:30 pm until 9 pm.

Meccanismo

In the central Piazza Trilussa, which is the heart of Trastevere, this bistrot can offer you a good cappuccino, a quick lunch or a delicious aperitivo if you like a cozy and calm place. You also have wi-fi to continue planning your holiday…or your next step!

aperitivo meccanismo

COFFEE POT,  via Michele di Lando 20 or via del Politeama 12

Aperitivo from 7 pm. 

coffee pot

We went to the Coffee Pot in piazza Bologna, but there’s another one in Trastevere.  You can drink and eat according to its concept: “sushi, tapas y mezcal”. Music and relax. After your aperitivo, you can stay there to eat or drink somenthing more. Poshy.

MOMART, viale XXI aprile 19

Aperitivo from 6 pm until 10:30 pm.  

momart

Near to Piazza Bologna, this restaurant has a big space outside and it’s famous among young Romans. It won’t be easy to choose what to eat at its buffet…but you can try anyway. You can spend a nice afternoon or a special night losing yourself in Roman flavours.

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