Bed and Rome and Breakfast - 3 B&B in Rome: 2018

domenica 18 novembre 2018

lunedì 12 novembre 2018


Aurelian Walls

Just walk few minutes from the St. John Villa and you will find, at Porta San Sebastiano at the beginning of the Appian Way, a small and free museum, the Museum of the Aurelian Walls.

Just walk over the wall, the largest and best preserved monument from ancient Rome, and look at the green landscape south of Rome.

Do you want to discover the hidden Rome? Just reserve your room at the St. John Villa Bed & Breakfast


martedì 6 novembre 2018


Torna anche quest'anno l'offerta per di fine autunno del St. John Villa, il parcheggio gratuito per tutto il mese di novembre e fino al 20 dicembre 2018.
L'offerta è valida per coloro che prenoteranno tramite il nostro sito o direttamente per telefono, su prenotazione e secondo disponibilità.

Il St. John Villa si trova in posizione ideale per coloro che raggiungono Roma in auto. In posizione centrale, dietro alla Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, a 5 minuti dalla fermata San Giovanni della linea A della metropolitana e a 15 minuti a piedi dal Colosseo, si raggiunge facilmente dalle uscite autostradali di Roma Est e Roma Sud ed è al di fuori della ZTL.

Cosa aspettate a prenotare la vostra stanza?

venerdì 2 novembre 2018


Rome is a city full of great history and art, but also of places having their small history. Also, some works of great artists are often hidden and unknowm.
Here below we have listed some of those.

Michelangelo Buonarroti Works


The most famous works of Michelangelo in Rome are the Basiilica of St. Peter and its dome, the Sistin Chapel and the statue Pietà ithat is located in St. Peter. But there are several other works that we can admire around the city
  1. Piazza del Campidoglio
  2. Porta Pia
  3. Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli 
  4. Statue of Moses and all the composition od the grave for Pope Julius II, located in the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli

Monte dei Cocci - Monte Testaccio

The area of  theTestaccio, neighborhood was, at the time of ancient Rome, the area of the river port, where the goods that were necessary for a citi havin one and half million inhabitants were arriving.
The broken amphorae
Among those goods there were olive oil and wine. They were transported using clay (testaceus in Latin language) vessels, amphorae. The pieces (cocci in italian language) of the broken amphorae were stacked, so forming an artificial hill, having a height of approximately 40 meters. Hence the names Monte dei Cocci and Monte Testaccio. The neighborhood is one of the most popular in Rome, home of the best fans of the football team A.S. Roma, that hade its stadium here in the Thirties. It is full of restaurants, cafè and discos. Discos are moslty located around the hill. 
In one of the cafe-restauraunts that is located on the side of the hill along Via Galvani, it is possible to see the stacked pieces of amphorae through a glass wall on the back of the dining room.

Pyramid of Caestius

The Pyramid of Caius Castius is one of the most famous landmarks of the city for Romans. People living close to it are saying that they live "a Piramide". But not all the people form other countries know about it and its funny story. 
Its height is 37 meters and it is made of brick-faced concrete covered with slabs of white marble.
It is the burial place of a rich man, Caius Caestius, died approximately 18--12 BC, that, in his last will, wroted that he wanted to be buried in a pyramid like a pharao, asking to his heirs to build it.
Bet he was not so confident that the heirs were going to respect his last wishes.. So he stated that the pyramid had to be completed in no more than 330 days, otherwise the heirs would have lost their onheritance. Obviously the pyramid, wit such a strong motivation, was completed in less than 330 days. And incription at the bottom of the pyramid is mentioning that fact.

Milvian Bridge

Milvian Bridge

Milvian bridge is for sure worth a visit. It is one of the most ancient Roman bridges. The first construction occurred in 206 BC but then it was completely reconstructed in 109 BC. The central portion is still mostly the original one, while the two sides have been reconstructed. 
Apart from that, it was the site of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge among the armies of Constantine and Maxentius. That battle has been one of the turning points of the history. Had Maxentius won, probably the Christian religion would now be considered a form of worship developed in the Middle East in the initial period of the empire and which, after enjoying some popularity, had subsequently disappeared. But Constantine won and the effects are still alive. 

Four Sovereign Entities

To my knowledge there is no city in the world that is home to two different sovereign entities.
Well, Rome is the home of four!
  • Italian Republic
  • Vatican City State
  • Holy See
  • Sovereign Military Order of Malta
It may sound strange that Vatican and Holy See are different entities, but that is the truth. Actually, the Vatican City is a dominion of the Holy See. Does it sound complicate? Yes it is, but we are in the Eternal City!


Lateran Obelisk

Still wondering why Caius Caestius wanted to be buried in a pyramid? Once you go around Rome and look at the obelisks that are standing all over the city you will realize that Romans were absolutely crazy about everything that was arriving from Egypt. Among all other things, ancient Romans brought to Rome, and to other cities of the empire, several Egyptian obelisks, leaving very few in Egypt. And they did also copies. But we, in Rome, have continued to build obelisks even on recent times, the last one celebrating the new millennium.

Do you want to know more curiosities, to discover something off the beaten tracks, to get ouur recommendations for your stay in Rome?
What you have to do is to reserve your room at Villa Borghese Guest House or in one of our other properties.

venerdì 26 ottobre 2018


Nowadays every traveler wants to "live as a local". In my opinion, at the very end, because of their choices that are strongly influenced by the hype that is created by strong marketing campaigns, they end up knowing very little of the place they visit, especially in a city like Rome.
Staying in some specific areas of the historical center means not seeing some of those things that made Rome what it is and not really knowing a key element of the local culture, that is the cuisine.
In every city of the world, eating in the center means having "touristic food" or spending a lot of money.

As we wrote here, Rome has a long tradition for the street food. Even if pizza is the most common stree food, in Rome there is only one king


What is supplì? They are balls of rice cooked in tomato sauce, filled with a small piece of mozzarella chees and then deep fried in olive oil. Here it is possible to find a possible recipe.I would recommend a small variation, as taken by an Italian recipe. After cooking the rice and before it cools down, add some butter and beaten eggs; the rice will stick together even better.
The nice thing of home made supplì is that one can prepare 20, 30, 40 of them in the same time, more or less, that is required to prepare few ot them. Then, they can be frozen and cooked according to the needs in few minutes. So they can be a great resource for those having young kids coming back home very hungry.
And now, where to eat the best supplì in Rome. Next map shows one the latest recommendations found on the web. As it happens for all those recommendations, it is not the Truth and the ranking might change every day.
Anyhow most of the best places are out of the center. And that is the same for any type of food you are looking for in Rome 
By the way, supplì is my favourite street food and my son, that is a professional cook, prepares some of the best home made ones. But he is going to take a long vacation starting next week.

giovedì 4 ottobre 2018


The articles of the series Urbem Fecisti are dedicated to the way Rome has shaped the modern world, to its modernity. It's a fact that Roman Empire is still living inside each of us in the western world and not only.

I haven't written too much about the Colosseum till now, even if it is the symbol of Rome, one of the most famous landmarks in the world and one of the New Seven Wonders.

Indeed, it is too famous amd there are plenti of ariticles and books about it, so I can't add too much

I decided to write something after one of my last posts, URBEM FECISTI - REFOUNDING THE EMPIRE, somehow to complete it, because the Colosseum marks a turning point of the empire.

martedì 25 settembre 2018


Lateran Obelisk

Roman walk - Ancient but still alive

The walk of today covers the East side of the historical center leaving from San Lorenzo Guest House. 

The itinerary includes 4 of the Seven Pilgrim Churches, all of them being originally erected in the IV century AD.
Here are the stops of the tour.

  1. Porta Maggiore, the entry point of most of the aqueducts delivering water to anci
    Santa Maria Maggiore - View of the backside
    ent Rome
  2. Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, erected in the IV century AD, where the relics of the Holy Cross are preserved. It was built around a room of Palazzo Sessoriano, the palace that was the house of St. helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine I
  3. Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, mother of all the chirches of the world, Holy See and cathedral of Rome
  4. Scala Sancta - Holy Stairs, the stairs originally located in the palace of the Roman governor in Jerusalem and which were ascended by Jesus Christ to go to trial before Pontius Pilate
  5. Lateran Obelisk, the tallest and most ancient Egyptian obelisks in Rome
  6. Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the only of the four Major Papal Basilicas still maintaining its original palochristian structure. It is located on the site where, according to a legend, snow fell during the summer, on August 5, 352 AD. Every year the miracle is remembered with a cascade of white petals from the ceiling during the morning and evening mass
  7. Baths of Diocletian, the biggest imperial baths of the ancient Rome, inaugurated in the year 305 AD. They are now one of the locations of the National roman Museum
  8. Castra Praetoria, the barracks of the Praetorian Guard. The area is still used for the same purpose, so being the most ancient barracks in the world
  9. Houses in the Walls
  10. Castra Praetoria today
  11. Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Papal Basilica, also originally erected during the IV century AD.

Discover Rome with us


martedì 18 settembre 2018


The articles of the series Urbem Fecisti are dedicated to the way Rome has shaped the modern world, to its modernity. It's a fact that Roman Empire is still living inside each of us in the western world and not only.

In a previous post we discussed about to founding myth of the Roman Empire. It was connecting the founders of Rme to the refugees from Troy and, even more important, it was connecting tehm, and their leader Aeneas, to the gens Julia, the one to which Octavianus August was belonging.
The Julia-Claudia dinastty ended with Nero. Nero was the last emperor belonging to the old Roman aristocracy. After him, the emperor had mostly Italic origins or from the provinces.
At the same time the Senate, still having a great power in the I century AD (Nero was deposed by the Senate and then committed suicide), progressively lost power and, at the time of Septimius Severus at the beginning of the III century AD, its power became only symbolic.
When the son of Septimius Severus, Anoninus Severus better know as Caracalla, extended the Roman citizenship to all the people living in the empire, the switch of power was completed. It went in the hands of the army. For over 70 years military anarchy reigned over the empire. No emperor after Septimius Severus died naturally till the advent of Diocletian.
To reestablish the orde in the empire Diocletian started sharing the power instituting the tetrarchy.
Diocletian resigned in the year 305 AD to spend his last years in his magnificent palace in Split in the modern Croatia. After his resignetion the tetrarchy survived for a very short period.
The one the emerged after the civil war that followed, was Constantine. First, after the battle at the Milvian Bridge in the year 312 AD, he took the control of the western part of the empire. In 324 AD he succeeded to become the only emperor.
Constantine understood that the empire had to be refounded.

A New Myth

The new foundation needed a new myth and Constantine found that in the christian religion. That occurred also with the suggestion of his Mother, Helen, that was christian and that is now celebrated as Saint Helen. The chistina community was relatively small, more or less 10 % of all the inhabitants of the empire,  but it was cohesive and transversal to social classes.
According to the ancient tradition, before the battle at the Milvian Bridge, Constantine had a vision, In hoc signo vinces (In this sign you will conquer) that convinced him to paint the cross on the shields of his soldiers.
In Hoc Signo Vinces
In  the year 313 AD the christian religion, that was persecuted under Diocletian, was fully legalized with the Edict of Milan.
Constantine donated the area formerly known as Horti Laterani to the bishop of Rome, i.e. to the Pope. At that time the area was know as Domus Faustae, because it belonged to the wife of Constantine, Fausta.
The palace became the residence of the Pope and a church, the first in Rome, was erected. That church is St. John Lateran, Holy See, cathedral of Rome and mother of all the churches of the world.
Two of the other maiin basilicas of Rome were erected under Constantine, St. Paul and St. Peter.

St. John Lateran
It may sound strange that the main and first basilica of Rome is dedicated to St. John (by the way, which one? Baptist or Evangelist?). Actually speaking is dedicated to both of them but mainly to Christ, the Most Holy Savior, and its official name is something extremely long - Major Papal, Patriarchal and Roman Archbasilica Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in Lateran, Mother and Head of All Churches in Rome and in the World. Because of that, its name, over the centuries, has been semplified to St. John Lateram.
Rather obvioulsy the christian community strongly supported Constantine. Anyhow Constantine, after getting the full control of the empire, reaffirmed its imperial role with the organization of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, that was presided by him, and which purpose was to settle all theological issues in the church and to define a unique guideline.


Indeed Constantine succeded in its purpose to refound the empire that, before him, looked close to collapse. In the western side the empire survived for other 150 years, in the eastern side for over 11 centuries till the Ottoman conquer of Constantinopole (Istanbul). 
Nevertheless his actions had, and still have, several consequences. 
Since the foundation of the empire, the emperor was considered a semi-divine figure. That was obvioulsy in contrast with the figure of the Pope, vicar of Chist God.
To avoid any contrast with the emerging power of the Church, Constantine moved the capital city of the empire to Constantinople, the New Rome
After the death of Constantine, the empire was divided again into Western and Eatern. Only Theodosius, at the end of the IV century, reigned over both parts and made the christian religion the official religion of the empire. After Theodosius the separation became definitive and, along with the barbarian invasions, the progressive influence of the ecclesiastical hierarchy weakened the position of the emperor till the final collapse in 476 AD.
The Church and the Pope increased their power over the centuries, The new empire, initially created by Charlemagne, took officially the name of Holy Roman Empire in 962 AD. 
Their influence is evident also nowadays, both beacause of the strong Roman imprint on the western civilization and because of the hidden power made up of financial power and intelligence.
A clear evidence of that is the fact that the Catholic Church is the world's largest non-governmental provider of education and healthcare services
Even because of that Rome is named the Eternal City. There is nothing eternal among the human things but for sure the legacy of Rome is what closer to eternal you might find in history.
Every person who wants to be well aware of what is happening in the world and wants to use the critical spirit, should know this piece of history.
Even the centuries-long disputes among Turks and Russians find their origin in the Roman legacy.
A recent book by Massimo Franco, Parallel Empires (Imperi Paralleli in
Italian) describes the often conflictual relationship among USA and the Vatican. It is worth reading it.

We, at San Lorenzo Gu,est House, Villa Borghese Guest House and St. John Villa, take care of this blog to help our guests to enjoy at the best their stay in Rome.


lunedì 17 settembre 2018


Quartiere delle Valli

Nel nostro giro delle vie della Roma di tutti i giorni che sono stati usate come set cinematografico, questa volta sono andato a ritrovare le vie della mia infanzia. In effetti è più corretto dire che sono loro che hanno trovato me visto che stavo cercando altre.
Si tratta di un episodio, Il Vigile Ignoto, di uno dei tanti film di Totò, il principe della risata, e precisamente Le Motorizzate..
Il Vigile Ignoto rappresenta al meglio l'Italia dei primi anni '60 del XX secolo, un paese in pieno boom economico dove la motorizzazione di massa era il simbolo del benessere appena conquistato.
Nel film Totò interpretata un disoccupato per poca voglia di lavorare e che invece campa di espedienti. L'espediente che mette in atto è quello di fingersi vigile urbano in modo da ricevere sia i regali che a quel tempo gli automobilisti romani erano usi a fare ai vigili in occasione dell'Epifania, sia delle mance per chiudere un occhio di fronte ad alcune presunte infrazioni da lui contestate agli automobilisti, anzi soprattutto alle automobiliste.
Molte delle scene di questo film sono state girate nel Quartiere delle Valli, così denominato perché la maggior parte delle strade portano il nome di valli. La zona fa parte della più ampia Monte Sacro, ed è facilmente raggiungibile con la line B1 della metropolitana, fermata Conca d'Oro.
La salsamenteria ieri

La salsamenteria oggi
Quando fu girato il film ci eravamo trasferiti da un anno in Via Val di Lanzo. Ed è proprio all'angolo tra questa via e Via valle Vermigliio sono state girate molte scene. La salsamenteria (per i non romani si tratta di un negozio di alimentari) che viene spesso inquadrata è ancora oggi esistente con la stessa insegna. Lì mi sono recato tantissime volte, abitavamo nel palazzo a fianco, a prendere qualche cosa su indicazione di mia madre. E tante volte sono andato alla frutteria Fruttidoro, oggi non più esistente.

Altre scene sono state poi girate nella strada parallela a Via di Lanzo e cioè Viale Val Padana. I pini, allora appena piantati, sono oggi altissimi.

Come scriviamo spesso, Roma non è solo il Colosseo, San Pietro e Fontana di Trevi. E' una città che ha oltre 2500 anni di storia, tutto sommato portati bene checché se ne dica, e che presenta in ogni suo angolo degli spunti interessanti.
La frutteria

Intrappolandosi nel centro storico si perde l'opportunità della continua scoperta, o riscoperta.


Cliccare qui per vedere il video.

Cliccare qui per vedere tutti i post con argomento il cinema

Viale Val Padana

mercoledì 12 settembre 2018


Cat in the window

The posts of this series are dedicated to the way I see my city, Rome, and to the way I live it, All the photos of this series have been taken by me or by people that were with me. Sometime the quality is not so good, I hope readers will excuse me for that.


The direction of the brewery
In each city there is a district where the soul of the city is located. The soul of rome is in San Lorenzo, the district of La Sapienza University.
It is the district whose bombing, on July 19, 1943, during World War II, started the end of the fascism. The building and the chimney located at the end of Via degli Apuli, are what nowadays remains of a brewery that was destroyed by the bombs. The building is now used by the University.

Casa dei bambini
Maria Montessori founded here her first Casa dei Bambini. The original building was also destroyed by the bombs.

The presence of the University may be seen also looking at the names of some cafe, like the one named 110 e lode, like the maximum points one can get at the degree.

The graffinti on the walls always remember that this is a district for students and artists.
110 e lode

You will also find unusal shops, like the Aviolibri library, one of the only two in Rome that is specialized in books about aviation.

Houses in the Walls
Probably the stangest thing you may see in San Lorenzo are the Houses in the Walls. People are living inside the Auelian Walls; some of those apartments are also offered to tourists.

Not far from those houses, it is curious to observe, looking at the towers of the Aurelian Walls and those of the Termini railway station, the contrast among ancient and modern
Evening in San Lorenzo

Even if San Lorenzo has a vivid nightlife,  during the day it is a quiet area, very dufferent from other parts of Rome
By day
By day

Cat on the roof

And a cat can stand quiets on a roof!


P.S. In Sanlorenzo you will also find a lot of excellent restaunts that will not dry your credit card