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Trip List by saki

A Slackers Tour: May Sunday In Rome

May 31, 2006  Recent trip to Rome, Sunday was our first day in the city.
4.0 of 5 stars based on 26 votes

In May, on Sunday in Rome, many of the streets are closed to vehicles and they are crowded with tourists, street performers, muscians and vendors. We decided to forgo any serious touring and live in the moment.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Rome
  • Category: Perfect day
  • 1. Colosseum (Colosseo)
    Colosseum, Rome, Lazio

    On Sunday you would think that touring the Colosseum was free to residents or something because of the crowds. We decided to save our serious touring for another day and have fun amidst the crowd as we viewed the ruins. You will hear every language imaginable as you move through the crowd around the perimeter of the colosseum. We enjoyed trying to guess who would pose for a picture with the fake Roman guards and Caesar. Usually the people who needed to bum a light for their cigarette would win. Might as well record it on film, it's not everyday you get to bum a light off of Caesar. The tour hucksters out in front of the security entrance will approach you and ask "Speak English?" We practiced saying "No" in every language we could (along with some fake ones).

  • 2. Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
    Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Rome, Lazio

    The Forum, with its numerous ancient ruins of political, religious and mythical history is home to famous sights such as the Temple of the Vestal Virgins. While maneuvering around tour groups on a slacker Sunday tour, you can do as we did and challenge each other to a contest of who can take the coolest architectural photograph of a popular sight without the head of a tourist in frame. In front of the Forum, along the sidewalk are all of the street performers, muscians and vendors. It is amazing to watch the street performers, like mimes, dressed as the statue of liberty, a mummy, and an egyptian statue stand in perfect stillness in 80 degree heat. Looks like more of a form of public humiliation to me, so these guys deserve a couple of euro's for their effort. The muscians in front of the Forum are good. Many people stop to listen, and let their kids dance around. You can stand in the street and enjoy or you can do as we did and listen to the free music while sipping a cold beer in the courtyard of one of the pizzerias on Via Cavour.

  • 3. Massenzio's Pizzeria

    Massenzio's Pizzeria Restaurant is in the small Piazza on Via Cavour across from the Roman Forum. Dine al fresco in the courtyard and order one of their famous pizza's and of course, no slacker Sunday lunch would be perfect without a couple of ice cold italian beers. They also had a very tempting dessert menu, but we were saving up for gelato later. If Massenzio's is crowded try the place acroos the Piazza from Massenzio's, it's also a good pizzeria. We got there right before 1 PM., it's a good thing, the tables filled up fast and you need to beat the tour groups before they commandeer all of the wait staff. Be ready to order when your waiter comes to your table with his or her Prego! If not, you might be in for a bit of a wait. Un acqua, due birre media, un pizza e due insalata mista did the trick for us. The music from the performers in front of the Forum is a bonus as you sit and enjoy your lunch. In true slacker fashion, you are welcome to come and sit for as long as you like. Italian beer not only tastes better, it is artfully designed to allow you to drink more of it too without feeling like you are carrying a keg!

  • 4. Gelato, Gelato, Gelato

    Need I say more? It's hard not to find a good place to buy gelato in Rome. We picked a little place that advertised home made gelato on the sign out front. It is on Via Cavour just half a block up on the other side of the street from Massenzio's (going in the direction towards the Colosseum). Sit out front on the plastic chairs and watch the people go buy as you manage to try to eat faster than your cone can melt and run down your hand. Never one to miss a fair challenge, I managed. I think it's a sin to not sit outside and eat gelato on a May Sunday in Rome. On a slacker Sunday, it is a cardinal sin to miss this treat. By the looks of the crowd, it appeared to me that most people were in compliance with that law. I think that punishment for not eating gelato on Sunday is standing for hours in 80 degree weather dressed in a stretch fabric from head to toe and posing as a statue in front of the Forum. Could be, I don't know.

  • 5. Cleto Ristorante

    Cleto's Ristorante is tucked in a quiet, charming corner of Via Cavour down a little alley way on Via del Cardello. We chose a table outside in the garden court to enjoy our dinner. I practiced ordering in Italian as our gregarious waiter offered his support and made us laugh with his playful sparring, as you might expect in a family restaurant. In a few minutes, while we were waiting for our wine, a few other tables filled up with diners searching for a friendly place on a warm evening, I am certain none were disappointed. If Angelo is around, he will serenade you with his guitar and upbeat renditions of classic songs. It wasn't long before the courtyard was full, no doubt that our laughter and Angelo's music drew newcomers from busy Via Cavour. I am sure the regulars come for the homemade pasta dishes as well as the homespun entertainment from the hosts. The pasta and insalata caprese were so good we couldn't resist finishing every last bite. I felt like we had crashed a Sunday family evening picnic, we had so much fun with our hosts. With a clink! of our glasses of creamy limoncello, Salute! to our perfect day in Rome.