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Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

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Hot Sulphur...
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Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

Rome - end of July/beginning of August


Casa Navona Apartment #4.

As advertised, Casa Navona is half block off Piazza Navona. We arrived very early (9:30 am) We were able to leave our luggage and go out to explore a little bit while they finished preparing our apartment. The apartment was located on the fifth (top) floor. 69 old, uneven, stone steps from the street to the apartment. The charm and ambiance was fabulous and worth every step. After the first few trips up the steps became routine. The apartment was very spacious and was quite comfortable.

The A.C. worked perfectly - keeping the apartment at a very comfortable temperature. Rome was hot and humid as usual in July - but the hot stayed outside. There were two A.C. units, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.

The kitchen was well equipped with utensils, pans, and dishes needed to prepare simple meals. There was a two burner electric cooktop (no oven), a very nice sized refrigerator (no freezer), and a Panini maker. The sink was big enough to wash dishes and included dish soap.

The bathroom was large. Basic shampoo was provided. The towels were plentiful and included two "bath sheet" size as well as normal bath and hand towels. Bring your own bar soap! A hair dryer was also provided.

The living room included a pull out sofa we didn't need to use it as a bed so can't comment on whether it would be comfortable. It was a very comfy sofa though! Lighting was good. There are two windows, both open and have good shutters. There was a dining table with two chairs.

The bedroom had a window with shutter. The bed was larger than queen size yet not quite a king size. Very comfortable. A large closet included dresser drawers and plenty of hangers.

We had no problem with street noise. We never heard any neighbors downstairs. Being on the top floor we had nobody above us.


We filled our water bottles each day from the fountain at the Piazza - north end. We had enough bottles to keep two in the fridge and carry two with us. We always had plenty of cool, good water.

There is a pizzeria on the ground floor of Casa Navona. Very good pizza by the slice, cold drinks and a good wine selection. He gave us a discount after we told him we were upstairs!! I am addicted to Diet Coke and it was nice to find cold Coke Light so close. We kept a bit of a supply of his pizza in our fridge for simple lunches and dinner. I took a few zip lock baggies along so keeping things fresh was easy.

We went to the market at Campo de Fiori each morning for fruit. We never did actually cook. But it was great to have the fridge for storing drinks, fruit, and pizza (to be heated in the Panini maker!) There was also a small neighborhood market on the street that goes out of the middle of the west side of Piazza Navona.

We ate at Navona Notte two nights. INCREDIBLE food and wine - at a most reasonable price! Our second night we were treated to complimentary Lemoncello after our meal. Navona Notte is a very popular spot and was very busy both nights. I heard very little English being spoken, so know some Italian for this spot!

Scavi Tour at the Vatican:

About all I can say is WOW. This was an incredible experience - even for this non-catholic. I was intrigued by the history and archeology. Our guide is very knowledgeable, and is obviously a professor. We learned an amazing amount of history during our 1 1/2 hours with him. After the tour we spent a bit of time looking at the tombs of the Popes. Then we went up into the Basilica where we spent another hour wandering. But then sensory overload kicked in and we needed to head back to our quiet neighborhood!

Other stuff:

As we've been to Rome many times we didn't really do the "sites". We did go to St. Peter in Chains church early one morning. We took a taxi from Piazza Navona (6,50 E) to the church and walked back. While this church itself is not the most spectacular, Michelangelo's Mosses is amazing. The chains that bound St. Peter are well displayed. We were there early enough to beat the tours and had the church to ourselves for a good half hour of exploring.

Walking back to Piazza Navona, we took the route along Via del Fori Imperiali from the Coliseum, along the forum, past the Vittorio Emanuele monument and the Piazza Venezia . We had to visit the cats at Argo Argentina, checked out our favorite neighborhood church (Basilica S. Andrea Della Valle), and a quick stop at Campo De Fiori for a fruit cup.

Piazza Navona was in its full glory. All the fountains were clean and gorgeous - Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain really sparkled at night evidence of its recent restoration. The night life was fun. Our favorite performer this year was a mime. He did a simple routine but it was well done and kept the crowd captivated. We purchased a toy (the lighted flying disk that shoots up in the air) for our Grandsons. It's so much fun to play with that they may have to visit us to use it!

We had our traditional dinner on the Piazza our last night at Don Chrisciotte. Their food is so-so - but the front row seat on the Piazza is where we want to be. Sergio is still there and we had fun reconnecting with him.

We did have to check out the Pantheon - to see how much was covered with the scaffolding. Only half of the front was covered. We walked all the way around and enjoyed the evening. We did not continue on to the Trevi - but we know that even though we didn't throw in our coins, we will return to Rome!

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1. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

Thank you for taking the time to post a report and review of the apartment. Navona Notte's menu looks great and affordable.

Washington, DC
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2. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

Thank you, HSS Traveller, for the good information. Sounds like you had a nice, relaxing stay in Rome. Do you mind saying how much you paid for the apartment and also who your guide was on the Scavi tour?

Treasure Island...
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3. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

Sounds great, you guys had it figured out it sounds like. Wish our trip was that smooth, but still had fun. Great. Hubie

Hot Sulphur...
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4. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome


You are welcome. Navona Notte is a great place. Even though it was very busy we felt welcome and they were very attentive to everyone.

JackRussellTerrier -

We paid 140 E per night for the apartment. We booked it through Venere.com

I beleive our Scavi Tour guide's name is Robert. I don't know if there are others who lead the English speaking tour or if he is the only one.

HubieDaMan -

As we've been to Rome several times - it's easy to be relaxed. No need for the running around to see everything. It's amazing how many new things you see when you aren't looking!!!

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5. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

It is Trip Reports like these that I really enjoy -- there is some gem offered that everyone can take away for their trip, whether a first-timer or repeat traveler!

N of Toronto
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6. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

HSSTRAVELER, I really enjoyed your trip report!

Would you recommend St Peter in Chains to a 1st time visitor to Rome? We'll be there 5 days. We are going to the Vatican but were rejected for the Scavi Tour. Other than seeing Colosseum, we have no must-do plans. Is there an entrance fee for St Peter in Chains? Thanks :)


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7. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

Great trip report, HSS. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, found a wonderful apartment and had some really good food. Just the type of trip I love.

Thanks for sharing, Donna

tampa fl
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8. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

No fee.Be aware it is closed from noon to 3pm

Hot Sulphur...
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9. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

St. Peter in Chains is open at 7 am. That is the perfect time as there will be nobody else there. (except the lady at the door checking to be sure shoulders and knees are covered!)

With 5 days , yes it would be a good place for a first timer. It's a lovely, short walk to the coliseum, forum, etc.

Moses is a wonderful bit of sculpture and well worth a visit!

Thanks all for your nice comments! We did have a wonderful visit this year! Very different from the busy busy busy trips!

10. Re: Trip Report - Nice and leisurely adventure in Rome

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