We walked to Villa Farnesina in the Trastevere district to enjoy the frescoes. Of course, we took the long way around the grounds to find the entrance. The Arrow Sign meant to “go straight” not “turn left”, which we did. We enjoyed the tour. After the tour we needed food and a rest. We made our way to the center of Trastevere and saw the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere. We had visited this church on our previous visit to Rome. After a rest, we went in search of food. We found Cantina Dei Papi, prosiutteria, and both had porchetta sandwiches that were wonderful. The place was empty when we entered. As soon as we ordered our sandwiches, the shop filled with people. Timing is everything. After our lunch break we walked back to the vacation rental and collapsed.
We had dinner at Taverna Agape, between our condo and Piazza Navona, on a tiny square with a small fountain. When we arrived, the square with full, but it emptied out quickly. We enjoyed a quiet, Roman meal with modern touches. After dinner, we took a short walk to Piazza Navona to catch the action. Then, we called it a night.
Villa Farnesina (Historic Building) (Lonely Planet)
The interior of this gorgeous 16th-century villa is fantastically frescoed from top to bottom. Several paintings in the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche and the Loggia of Galatea, both on the ground floor, are attributed to Raphael. On the 1st floor, Peruzzi’s dazzling frescoes in the Salone delle Prospettive are a superb illusionary perspective of a colonnade and panorama of 16th-century Rome.
Prosciutteria – Cantina Dei Papi (Lonely Planet)
For a taste of Tuscany in Rome, consider a stop at this cheery Florentine prosciutteria (salami shop). Made-to-measure taglieri (wooden chopping boards) come loaded with cold cuts, cheeses, fruit and pickles and are best devoured over a glass of Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Classico. Dozens of hams and salami dangle above the smattering of stools.
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere (Lonely Planet)
Nestled in a quiet corner of Trastevere’s focal square, this is said to be the oldest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome. In its original form, it dates to the early 3rd century, but a major 12th-century makeover saw the addition of a Romanesque bell tower and glittering facade. The portico came later, added by Carlo Fontana in 1702. Inside, the 12th-century mosaics are the headline feature. In the apse, look out for Christ and his mother flanked by various saints and, on the far left, Pope Innocent II holding a model of the church. Beneath this are six mosaics by Pietro Cavallini illustrating the life of the Virgin (c 1291).
According to legend, the church stands on the spot where a fountain of oil miraculously sprang from the ground. It incorporates 21 ancient Roman columns, some plundered from the Terme di Caracalla, and boasts a 17th-century wooden ceiling.