About James Norman Re... D
Lives in Boston, Massachusetts
Since Mar 2009
65+ year old male
Retired, formerly editor in a publishing house. Musician. Live in Arezzo, Italy part of the year.
Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Art Museums, Historic Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites, Churches & Cathedrals
Churches & Cathedrals
Churches & Cathedrals, Sacred & Religious Sites
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Fountains
Churches & Cathedrals
Churches & Cathedrals
Sacred & Religious Sites, Churches & Cathedrals
This is probably my favorite Roman restaurant overall. Impeccably traditional Roman cuisine. It's in the Testaccio neighborhood, easily reachable by bus or taxi.
A must-go-to trattoria in the Trastevere. Everything is magnificent. If you are here in the spring, be sure to have artichokes alla romana or artichokes alla guidia.
Excellent tiny trattoria right in the heart of the most crowded tourist zone. Traditional simple food.
Do you like tripe? Here you will get the most hyper-traditional Roman food, including the innards. If you are squeamish go elsewhere, but if you want the real thing, this is it.
Just off the Campo dei Fiori, you might assume this place is going to be a tourist trap, but it isn't, even though a lot of tourists eat there. The staff are courteous and friendly.
Excellent Roman cuisine in an elegant setting near the opera house and the Termini train station. Extremely cordial staff.
Excellent traditional Roman cuisine on the Isola Tiberina. You may think it's a tourist trap, but it isn't.
An elegant small restaurant in Trastevere where the owners are really serious about food (Roman, of course) and wine. They often feature special ingredients and wines from the area.
More modern than traditional but still Roman in inspiration. A comfortable place to dine (a rarity in Rome) with friendly informal service.
This remnant of Ancient Rome seems somehow peaceful in the most congested and noisy district of the city. Pause in front of the tombs of Raphael and of Victor Emanuel II.
This large open piazza is a place to wander and explore, while reflecting on how the world has changed since Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake here in 1600. There are many good trattorias where you can have a good snack or lunch while planning your visits to the many attractions in the surrounding area (Piazza Farnese, Palazzo Spada, San Girolamo della Carità).
The two little churches that frame the Via del Corso contain minor works of the late 17th century. The main attraction in this piazza is the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which contains two Caravaggio masterpieces, The Conversion of Saint Paul and The Crucifixion of Saint Peter. Don't ignore the Pinturicchios and the architectural contributions of Bernini and Bramante.
Imagine how the bigwigs of Ancient Rome lived up here in their huge palaces. If possible, visit the House of Livia and the House of Augustus. A little more imagination may be required for the so-called House of Romulus (Iron Age remains discovered in the late 1940s) and the Lupercale (a grotto where Romulus and Remus were suckled by the wolf, discovered in 2007).
Trastevere has a little of everything: restaurants, picturesque alleys, little shops, and old churches. Don't miss the Church of San Crisogono with the Paleochristian church below it. Trastevere is a little less crowded than the central tourist area near the Trevi fountain, and the tram no. 8 is a convenient link to Largo Argentina and Piazza Venezia.
Just a short walk from Trastevere along the Via Lungara, this villa is a harmonious masterpiece of Italian Renaissance architecture and painting. The Loggia of Cupid and Psyche was painted by Raphael and his workshop, while the Loggia of Galatea contains Raphael's stunning fresco of Galatea.
One of the four major basilicas of Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore is notable for 13th century frescoes, by Cavallini in the transept and by Jacopo Torriti in the apse. The 5th-century mosaics on the triumphal arch and in the nave are among the earliest extant biblical cycles depicting New Testament events.
One of the four major basilicas of Rome (the others being Saint Peter's, Santa Maria Maggiore, and San Paolo Fuori le Mura), the Lateran has a lot to see. The beautiful tabernacle in the center is based on Arnolfo di Cambio. Poor Pope Martin V in his tomb nearby has to suffer the indignity of having coins thrown at him by visitors. The cloister is tranquil and exquisite, with (for music lovers) a manuscript by Palestrina. The attached Baptistery is known for its 5th century mosaics.
It could be argued that San Paolo Fuori le Mura is the most magnificent of the four major basilicas (except possibly Saint Peter's). The 13th century mosaics glow and illuminate the vast space. The ciborium (altar canopy) is attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio and Cavallini, and the nearby candelabrum dates from the 12th century. The cloister is peaceful and near it is an interesting little museum.
A huge park in the center of Rome, the Villa Borghese is the place for a long walk on a sunny day, and the adjoining Pincio, overlooking Piazza del Popolo, offers beautiful views of Rome. The Villa Borghese contains several important museums, including the Borghese, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Villa Giulia, but each one deserves a special visit.
This is a street you may find yourself on frequently, walking between the Stazione Termini area and the Quirinale or the Palazzo Barberini. There are several unpretentious places for a snack or quick lunch. The street is named after the intersection at the top of the hill, where the four fountains represent the Tiber, the Arno, Diana, and Juno. A short walk along Via del Quirinale takes you to two important examples of Baroque architecture, the church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (Borromini--don't miss the small cloister) and Sant'Andrea al Quirinale (Bernini).
San Clemente is a fascinating journey into the past. Underneath the street-level church, built in the 12th century, is an older church (4th or 5th century), and below that are remains of a 1st-century building containing a Mithraic temple. There are frescoes on every level, which deserve a leisurely study. An oddity is the supposed burial place of the Byzantine Saint Cyril, who spread Christianity to Russia. Don't ignore the street-level church; it contains impressive mosaics and a beautiful fresco cycle on St. Catherine of Alexandria by Masolino da Panicale.
This church, formerly called Santa Maria Nova, is now named for a 15th-century saint dear to the hearts of Romans. In the apse is a beautiful 12th-century mosaic of the Madonna and Child, but the real jewel is in the sacristy, and you will have to ask an attendant to let you in. This is the 5th-century Madonna Glykofilousa, the earliest icon of Mary in the world. Although it is covered with reflective glass, its beauty and spirit still shine through.
A favorite church for Roman weddings, Santi Giovanni e Paolo is named for two Roman soldiers who were martyred in c.e. 362. It contains a 13th century fresco, but you will have to find someone to open the door for you. The thing not to miss is the ancient Roman houses below the church (the entrance is in the street leading up to the church). They contain magnificent ancient pagan frescoes and there is an excellent museum.
A stroll through this cemetery is interesting for the funerary architecture and the suggestions of family history that you can piece together from the inscriptions. If you want to find a particular tomb, there are maps online, but a little serendipidty may be necessary too. We went to visit the tomb of the opera singer Claudia Muzio and found it (Muzio and Maria Callas bestride the world of 20th-century Italian opera). Italian families pay their respects regularly on November 1 and 2.