Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring is a great time for "Roman" Italy

Dusk at the Colosseum in Rome symbolizes the Eternal City  (wikipedia)
ROME  Thanks to the Italians the world was civilized not once but twice with a few Dark Ages mixed in between. The first time around it was the magnificent Roman Empire and even to this day spring is special in the "Eternal City."

In Rome in spring, the air is warm, the sun is bright, gardens blossom and one of the great walking cities in the world beckons to be explored. But that occurs every spring. This year something is different thanks to a great exchange rate and some hotel bargains that are tough to beat.
Victor Emmanuelle  Monument
The Bettoja Hotel group features three properties that are among the oldest family owned hotel groups in Italy. Nestled on top of the " Monti" on Esquilino Hill, the highest of Rome's seven hills (yes, there are seven), the Bettoja Hotels are just a block and a half from the main railway station and a brief walk to all the major sites of the ancient city.
Piazza della Republicca is always busy  (Wikipedia)
 Hotel Mediterraneo, Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio and Hotel Atlantico have grown through five generations of family ownership with some exciting renovations for 2017 that make family and group travel even more affordable.

Veteran travelers to Europe know all too well that room sizes are often designed for Lilliputians rather than  American visitors with their highly developed fast food personas. Consequently, Bettoja Hotels have adapted to a "large room" which will accommodate up to four people or up to six with a connecting configuration. With a 10% discount for any three night stay or up 25% for a non-refundable or early booking (30 days in advance), it is not difficult to see that a room for about $300 a night is a bargain when divided by several couples.
Baths of Caracalla were once
a gathering place (Taylor)

In addition, each Bettoja Hotel property is offering a free pass to guests to visit either the Scuderie del Quirinale or the Palazzo delle  Esposizioni.

The very term alfresco or "outdoor dining" was invented in Italy, and why not, for there is no better place in the world to sit at a cafe or restaurant on  the street and simply watch the pageant that passes by. It is a cyclorama of humanity and you can be part of it or be totally anonymous. It's your choice.
The world gathers at Piazza Navona  (Wikipedia)
As with most major European cities, Rome is for walking. The 
Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Basilica of Santa 
Maria Maggiore and Piazza Della Repubblica are all with easy walking
distance of a Bettoja hotel.
Where gladiators once fought to the death inside the Colosseum  (Wikipedia)
The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Via Condotti and 
Piazza Navona are not much further for adventurous types, but taxis 
are readily available for less active visitors.

Shoppers are always beguiled by Via Condiotti which is the Rodeo
 Drive of Rome. Still there is plenty for shopaholics to purchase on 
Via dei Boschetto, Via dei Serpentini, Via Leonina and Vis Panisperna
 and their connecting side streets near the hotels.
Michelangelo's Pieta at St Peter's
The Monti District of Rome is 
the largest district in the city.
Romans living in the are are 
justifiably proud of their heritage
and often claim to be "more 
genuinely Roman" than the 
citizens of other areas of the 

Travelers wishing to get a stunning view, particularly at night, can 
have a drink or eat dinner on the rooftop patio atop Hotel 
Mediterraneo. Built by Mussolini, who ignored all the codes of 
construction, Mediterraneo is the tallest building on the highest hill in 
Rome, thus creating magnificent views of the Victor Emmanuelle 
Monument and the dome of St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

As natives of Rome, the Bettoja family created walking tours (Roma a 
Piedi) years ago in order to share their knowledge and love of the 
place they call home. Maps for the walking tours can be obtained at the front desk of each hotel and they will guide you through the Byzantine, Christian and Jewish sections of the city.
The Sistine Chapel is one of most awe inspiring attractions in
Rome  (Wikipedia)
Two tips: Be sure to go across the Tiber River to Trastevere to 
explore the quaint quiet streets of that part of Rome. It is an area that 
often goes unnoticed and unvisited by travelers.

The second is not to miss the museum at Villa Borghese. If you skip 
it, you will miss some of Bernini's finest work as a sculptor.
Massive St. Peter's Square looks toward Rome from above
Rome has been a work in progress for thousands of years and there is
 no better time to visit than spring. You see, as long as spring remains 
eternal, so, too, with the city of Rome