04 July 2011

A Neighborhood in Rome

This week my husband and I swapped homes with friends in Rome. They're at our house with access to the beach and National Parks and we're in the middle of Rome able to walk to sights we want to see. But what I wanted to tell you about is Monti, the neighborhood in Rome where we're staying. Not the tourist spots, although they're all around, but a neighborhood where folks live, work, shop, eat and hang out. This neighborhood, between Via Nationale and Via Cavour, and our street, running between the Colosseum and the Quirinale. It's tucked in among major tourist attractions which we've taken advantage of, but we've been especially exploring and enjoying this neighborhood.

There are small local eateries with  tables inside and outside serving delicious local dishes.

Little stores and markets abound (rather than souvenir shops) to pick up necessities: the Alimentari for fruits, vegetables  and drinks, the specialty market for meats, cheeses, breads and all kinds of typical Italian foods, the Forno for focacia pizza and the best fresh baked breads, many caffés but one with Rome's best coffee and, of course, many gelaterias but one with the best gelato in the neighborhood.

Some of their breads.

Best coffee in Rome at Caffé Brasile.

One of four cases of home made gelato with unusual flavors (like lemon and basil) and each decorated.

The casalinghi with truly a little bit of everything. I found somethings I needed - with so many choices it's hard to miss. Is this place a trip or what?

Our local church, Church of the Madonna dei Monti, built in the 16th century.

Many streets have an outdoor shrine and this is the one on ours. The lights in the halo light up and someone keeps the flowers fresh.

At the very end of the street is the Colosseum which is amazing to look up and see while out strolling around.

The apartment buildings have such lovely colors.

With some quaint touches on some. See the grapes? Right in the middle of Rome!

And hanging vines, a final delight right around the corner.

My camera ran out of battery power before I could get a photo of our local piazza, the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, but it's always filled with people, mostly locals, sitting, chatting, visiting, eating and playing. The energy is evident and contagious. What a great way to vacation.

Happy Fourth of July. Hope your vacation surprises and delights you too.


  1. Happy Fourth to you, enjoying yourself in Rome. Absolutely lovely pictures! I love the grape arbor in the middle of town! And the gelato looks inviting, too...

  2. DJan, Thanks. The gelato is fabulous and I've made a serious study of such things!

  3. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm longing!

  4. Rosaria, Isn't it cool? I'm loving it. Come on over, I have a guest room.

  5. What a charming looking neighborhood. You'd never know you were in a big city. I find it interesting that "the best coffee in Rome" is Brazilian. Interesting, but not surprising. After having coffee in Rio, my taste in coffee was changed forever.

  6. Patti, It's the best find to have this neighborhood in the big city. It feels like a world apart. Yep, this coffee is excellent.

  7. I think having this neighborhood as a homebase would make Rome twice as appealing as it already is. What a great opportunity for you.

  8. Nancy, This was a wonderful and appealing way to see Rome. I'm grateful.

  9. This is just amazing. You have really been able to have a true experience of living in Rome. I loved it all! The shop was a little crazy. I can't imagine working there with all that stuff everywhere.

  10. Sally, The shop was a trip! The woman who ran it looked like she's been there 40 years. She knows where everything is and she has everything you could need. Very fun place but I can't imagine working there either. I keep my drawers and closets neat.

  11. A great glimpse of real life in Rome, not just the tourist-y things. That church is beautiful!

  12. So wonderful! Now I miss Rome! We have stayed in out of the tourist way places when we have visited Rome and also enjoyed strolling through the neighborhoods. One time we stayed close to the Vatican in the Trastevere, and another time near the Jewish quarter where we had the most delicious fried baccala I've ever tasted. Rome is definitely a walkable, beautiful, city.

  13. I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this post!!
    I'm living vicariously through you!! Thank you!! I'm having fun!! :)

  14. Lisa, That's what I liked about it too- homey.

    Pat, A good way to do it. I love the Jewish quarter as well.

    Gabriele, Glad you're enjoying yourself! You have to come here.

  15. I love Rome. I love the piazzas where one can sip a coffee or a beer and watch the people. Love Rome, just love it. You are so lucky to have a house swap! Have you been to the Vatican? We only had a day there and it just was not enough. The art work is unbelievable. One of the many things I like about Italy is color. There's color on the buildings, there is art work, there is stuff to look at and enjoy. Have a great time.

  16. AM, Lucky indeed! Yes, I've been to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel twice but it's so full I'll go back. So much to see...


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