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Introduction - Rome

Published: 4.8.2009
Let's read the first part about Rome, Italian capital.

If you decide to get acquiantance with Italy, you will be probably speaking about towns, such as, Milan, Pisa, Venice, but, first of all, about Rome. Rome is, for weightly reasons, not only Italian capital, but also one of most important European and world´s metropolis, from three reasons. The first one is that we find here State of Vatican. It is main seat of Catholic Church, represented by Pope, extended on surface of several square kilometres, just in a heart of Rome. It is, similarly as Jerusalem, one of most importan centres of Catholic Church.

The second reason: there are to be found here, most complex and most preserved rests of antique Rome, first real European Empire. Its architectonical heritage could be met even in McDonald's fast food, where there is - in hermetic closed glassed covering- preserved antique rest of column, just nearby waste-basket of this restaurant. Frankly speaking, so great cultural shock could be big surprise not only for European traveller.

Nevertheless, on the other hand, these remarkable, and, of course, interesting moments from visit of this respectable town,could become by unpleasant fact that those archaeological findings would bring complication for whatever future construction in city centre. Anyway, underground-construction could serve as a classical example Despite the fact that there exist plans for building of seven tube lines, only two of them were effected up to now.

And finally, the third reason: Rome is quite important political centre, seat of international institutions of, such as IFAD (Food and Agricultural Organization), one of United Nation divisions. So. town´s character is influenced with tourists from all over the world visiting Rome not only for tourists´purposes. So, from that reasons, the story about Rome will be divided into 13 parts. Nevertheless, let´s have a stop at several characteristic signs which are substantial for each visitor of this extraordinary town.

Point No. 1: Italian kitchen: This expression is generally known, but in case of Rome, there is necessary to specify some specialities, regarding kitchen.

So, Roman kitchen comes, comprehensibly, from Mediterranean grounds, which is, making comparison to those of Central Europa, of quite diet character. Each course is simple, and it is formed, first of all, with pasta. To those typical belong cacio e pepe, all´ amatriciana, alla griglia or pomodoro. If we speak about kitchen with accent to meat, in local restaurants there is an offer of roasted lamb, beef or chicken, being roasted or grilled. Last but not least, there is quite wide offer of sea-fruits and big quantity of cooked or fresh saison vegetables, including salads.  In this case, it is typical addition (contorno), being served together with meat as a second course.

Anyway, Rome is not only food but also wine! To most popular variety-assortments belong those from Piemont Region and Tuscany (these are now preferred with wine-varieties from LazioRegion, represented with those of very good quality stages).

In general, Rome offers restaurants of top quality, following latest trends in kitchen art (gastronomy), as well as classical Italian kitchen, where you can follow the influences from all main parts of Italy (North, Central part and South).

As far as the other point, (more practical, but also quite important), is concerned, it is those of accommodation. Provided you have the intention to stay in Rome for more than one afternoon, you have to look after this fact, of course. The town offers really wide palette of possibilities, how and where to spend a couple of days. Anyway, the situation in this area is quite different, depending on places you are looking for, on price-level and time-period you wish to stay in Rome. So, as a result: there are two categories to be chosen: hotels, boarding houses and hostels and accommodation of „B and B“ category, offered by families.

Whereas hotels have their standard offer (Hotel Navona, Pension Rosetta, Albergo della Lunetta - all could be found on internet, representing various price-level), the hostels are worth to be found by means of internet pages, as hostels can offer much more wider nest as the hotels of each price-level category could offer. Hostels are more specialized for certain Clients´ category (students) and are also more flexible.

In case of Bed and Breakfast accommodation, you could find this type on internet only, or, eventually directly on spot, but it is not mentioned that this could be an accommodation of some worse quality level. It is true that the prices differ, depending on distance from city centre, quality and arrangement of rooms, etc.

And finally, last, but very important point: it is transport (transfer): It could be, in case of Rome, quite unpleasant reality. On one part: reality of historical importance leads into antique and modern town at the same time, more and more visitors, and, however, the same fact makes certain limitations of Roman public transport. Anyway, the whole situation is rather complicated with Italian temperament. This fact is clear not noly on football grounds but also in streets of towns. You are surprised that motorcycles, small or bigger bicycles, or cars cross into a whirlpool of public transport.

So, it would be useful (in case of any Italian town, not only Rome) to be informed about several essential facts, before you start your excursion there. In the town, you can use public bus, tube (underground) or tram, also a taxi, of course. It is a problem that as second (metro) and third (tram) possibilities are not covered with dense nest. So, you have to rely on bus or underground connection. This could be quite unpleasant, especially within summer months, as city centre is completely full and overcrowded every day with vehicles and people. So, a ticket for public transport costs EUR 1,-, is valid for 75 minutes (including change possibilities), if you use city train, you can use a ticket for one way only. You can buy a ticket for EUR 4,- (valid for 24 hours) or for EUR 16,- (valid for one week). The tickets could be obtained on every place, in general. In case of tube (provided you do not take into consideration a train, connection Fiumicino Airport with city centre), you can use two lines (A or B) only.

First train has a departure just at 5,30 a.m., last one at 11,30 p.m. (this is nearly the same case as in Prague). As far as the night traffic is concerned, it is secured by buses, in another cases you have to rely on taxi-transfer.

Text: Filip Štrobich

Photo: Filip Štrobich, Jan Lidmaňský a Jan Tichovský

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