Rome, April 2015. Contributed by F. Jobard.
We landed at the Airport “Internationale Leonardo da Vinci di Fiumicio”.
Our destination is the Sheraton, located between the historical city center and the airport.
The hotel offers shuttle services to both locations.
We took a quick shuttle and surprisingly we arrived in only 20 minutes after landing in the hotel lobby.
Wow, that was quick.
In the heart of Rome’s business center, the Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center is a good choice when traveling on business or for leisure.
A statement of veritable retro style and perfect spot for events. We checked in at room 5083 and had acces to the Sheraton lounge with 24/7 food (pasta, light soups, pannini) and all kind of nice drinks.
We enjoyed our snacks on the roof of the hotel with a view to the green areas of Rome.
The Sheraton hotel is an unsual residence, lets start to tell some facts about this location:
It is surrounded by the lush greenery of the EUR district.
The Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center lets you immerse yourself in the best of Italian living in its 640 guest rooms and suites featuring a comfortable stay.
Redesigned in 2012, AQVI Restaurant and Bar boasts a modern atmosphere and offers classic Mediterranean flavors. The bar hosts the newly conceived Sheraton Social Hour, a wine-tasting event featuring premium wines selected in partnership with wine enthusiast, which was really pleasant.
We spend the days in strolling around. Things to do:
From its vast stockpile of antiquities along the Via dei Fori Imperiali to the buzzy contemporary-art-meets-performing-arts zone around the Auditorium on the northern Viale Flaminio, Rome’s various districts are a catalogue in stone of two millennia of vibrant city life with glimpses between the Michelangelos into the living, breathing capital of today.
On the Tiber’s eastern bank, the Tridente area houses antique shops and top-name designer stores, plus high street fashion along via del Corso. Nestling in the alleyways of the great ‘Baroque’ bulge in the river are innumerable glorious churches and piazze, such as Campo de’ Fiori with its colourful morning food market, or piazza Mattei in the Ghetto with its graceful turtle fountain.
My tip #1 The Colosseum, a monument of epic proportions and stories of battles between gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals have emerged from this Flavian amphitheatre. A vast arena of entertainment, with a seating capacity of over 50,000 people, it could fill up in 10 minutes. Nowhere in the world was there a larger or more glorious setting for mass slaughter. Today, the only gladiators that you will see are the ones parked outside for the tourist shutterbugs.
But this is a necessary pilgrimage for history buffs and different to the EUR area.
Like no other city, Rome can be overwhelming. When the Colosseum starts to weigh down on you, find serenity in the gardens of the Villa Borghese, the city’s most central public park. It’s popular with joggers, dog-walkers and pleasure seekers. In recent years, it has grown a contemporary art museum in the Orangerie: the Museo Carlo Bilotti. To escape the crowds, climb the steep hill behind Trastevere and the Gianicolo, where you’ll discover the green tree-filled expanse of the Villa Pamphili Park in the suburb of Monteverde.
Take a coffee:
#3 The special one – meet the Pope at the Vatican
Audience yes or no? Well, you probably won’t, but you can join an audience with him on Wednesday mornings, if you are in the mood to queue up.
If the weather is fine, then he’ll hold this general audience in St Peter’s Square; otherwise it takes place in the Sala Nervi audience hall. Expect to join clusters of Catholic devotees, and flocks of camera-waving tourists. Afterwards, you can take the opportunity to wander through St Peter’s Basilica, admire Michelangelo’s stunning frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and visit the famous ‘Belvedere Apollo’ and ‘Laocoön’ at the Museo Pio-Clementino among the Vatican Museums
#4 Put a coin into the Trevi Fountain (at the moment April 2015 under construction)
These Trevi Fountain is also a Red Cross piggy bank, thanks to all the loose change that tourists fling into the water as they make a wish.
Tucked away in a tiny piazza and surrounded by jostling crowds, the fountains’ creamy travertine gleams beneath torrents of water and camera flashes. It’s a rococo extravaganza of rearing sea horses, conch-blowing Tritons and craggy rocks, erupting in front of the Palazzo Poli.
Quite touristic, but we liked it. Bella Italia.
Our fine dining resto tip: “Pergola” in Rome:
Pergola is within the impressive Hilton Cavalieri hotel, which is perched at the top of a hill overlooking the city. The dining room in on the 9th floor, has fine views out over the city, and is lavishly decorated. The owner has a reputedly vast art collection, and the dining room has several pieces on display, including paintings, glassware and furniture. The room has a blue/gold patterned carpet, picture windows and generously spaced tables.
Pergola is laid out along one side of the hotel in which it is situated, the dining room snaking along the top of a hillside overlooking Rome; this layout means that most tables have at least some part of the view, and a spectacular view it is. All of Rome sprawls beneath you, with St Peter’s Basilica just one of the clearly visible landmarks. The dining room itself is lavishly decorated, with mirrors along the rear wall and lovely pieces of art dotted around the room.
Bread is made in the kitchens, Italian rolls with top class olive oil for dipping, with the flatbread being my favourite of those tried. There was even a salt trolley to complement the olive oil, with a wide array of salts from around the world, from Japan, Hawaii and France amongst others; truly the salt of the earth. Perhaps the most intriguing was a Norwegian salt that tasted slightly of pepper, a sort of all in one condiment. I generally prefer French bread to Italian, but this was certainly well made. The wine cellar here is immense, with 3,000 separate wines available and 60,000 bottles.
Salmon with a little fennel salad and tangerine sauce was the introductory taste, and although the combination is perfectly sensible and the fennel was even better.
The meal got into its stride with zucchini flower with caviar on shellfish and saffron sauce.
A pretty unusual dish, the courgette flower arranged in a star, the sauce having clean flavours.
First of a trio of pasta dishes was Mezza lune with broccoli, squid and clams. This was delicate, and mix of shellfish and broccoli worked well Fagotelli “La Pergola” is a feature of the menu here, and has remarkably light pasta. Tangerine risotto with scampi carpaccio and mint was technically skilled and had lovely langoustines.
Following the pasta was a Cannolo of scampi and vegetables, olive sauce and tapioca with Campari.
The langoustines were extremely good, though they are a delicate taste that for us got a little lost amongst the powerful flavour of the olive sauce and the Campari.
A trolley contained an entirely Italian cheese selection, the cheeses were lovely. The well known cheeses such as Taleggi, Gorgonzola were all delicious.
Thats was more than enough.
Finally orange jelly with ice cream, it was a very pretty dessert. Perfect.
The wine list is immense, two large tomes, one for Italian wines, one for the rest of the world. A proper 3 star restaurant.
We had a lovely Endrizzi red wine.