The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Your New Favorite Coffee Table Book

The Atlas of Ancient Rome, a gorgeous, new two-volume set edited by Andrea Carandini, promises to be an “authoritative archeological survey of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period.” The slip-cased set is available now. Continue reading The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Your New Favorite Coffee Table Book

A Little Greek / Yogurt in Paestum

If you tell a Roman that you are going Paestum for the weekend, invariably he or she will tell you: “Make sure you pick up some mozzarella di bufala.”

Paestum is a sight to see without the culinary pit stop. A city known as “Poseidonia” when it was part of Magna Grecia, Paestum is home to three extraordinarily preserved Greek (Doric) temples that date from 600 to 450BC. The two temples to Hera and the temple to Athena sit on a wide, grassy plot of land that is much easier to navigate than the not-too-distant Pompeii, the more famous ruins an hour north of here. Continue reading A Little Greek / Yogurt in Paestum

Roman Forum: No Longer Free

Well, it was fun while it lasted. According to the folks at Dream of Italy and Tony Polzer from 3 Milennia Tours, the Roman Forum will begin to charge admission as of March 9th. Tony lays out the facts, including admission and access, on the Slow Travel forum.

We have not been able to independently confirm this development from a press release. But we hope to find info about this on the Comune di Roma or Romaturismo sites soon. In the meantime, you can read our post Saving Money with Combined Tickets, which has details about the Roma Archeologia card.

Dining Near the Forum


I recently received an e-mail from an Unofficial Guide reader asking about the best places to dine near the Roman Forum. The Forum “complex,” which includes the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, and Trajan’s Market (and, to a lesser extent, the Capitoline and the Vittoriano) is ultimately a tourist area. So, as like in other cities, the best restaurants are rarely concentrated where tourists tread.

However, exploring the lanes around the Forum can yield some fine food. The very first restaurant I thought of when she mentioned she was looking for a nice place to celebrate near the Forum is San Teodoro. It is listed in the UGCI and is just sandwiched in the area between the Forum and the Circus Maximus. It doesn’t overlook the Forum per se, but it does have an elegant atmosphere. Two other recommendations in that area are Ai Tre Scalini (via SS. Quattro 30 (near Colosseum); 06-709-6309; Closed Mon.) and Alvaro al Circo Massimo (via dei Cerchi 53; 06-678-6112; Closed Mon.).

Ancient Rome admirers may also want to consider L’Archeologia, a restaurant on the Appian Way that DOES provide views of ruins. Please note that I’ve never eaten here – it’s on my list! – but I’ve heard good things.

I would love to hear from others with tips on Forum-area dining. Please add your comments below.

Photo © Ramiro Sànchez-Crespo