Rome is my place for food and the Vatican is my place for maps. It’s that simpel and ill tell you why !
Luckily that involves going out for dinner at your local Hosteria. And this is where the good friends come in to play.
A real Italian restaurant treats you as good friends – yes maybe even as family !
One of the most friendly and local Hosterias is “I Buoni Amici” in the San Giovanni quarter.
The food is good – but not over the top – but the authenticy is what drives this place.
I’m sure the locals just find it homely – i find it Italian at its best. Small tables with chequred cloth, no pretentions and you can peek into the the kitchen …
It has reasonable ratings on most sites – including Tripadvisor – but go there to take everything in – not only the food !
When it comes to food its your classic hosteria menu. Primo, Secondo and dolce … nothing mentioned. Nothing forgotten .. ahh maybe i should mention the lamb chops … and their cabinet with lots of cake !
The area where Bueno amici is located is not a typical tourist areas.
But we enjoy staying at Eurostars Saint Johns. Its close to the Metrostation Manzanilla – so basically its close to everything in Rome.
And Bueno Amici is the local restaurant !
An evening stroll from Saint Johns can easily take you down to the Colosseum of Rome and back – just enough to justify a little Italian ice cream on the way !
And as an added treat – Colosseum is especially beautiful in the evenening when its flood lit …
Just as Bueno Amici is my food temple – Saint Peters Basilica is at its best days – read when almost empty of tourist – a quiet and well tempered tempel of slowing down. I love the way people lowers there voice, walks around with piousness and relaxes. Whether you are a believer or not – the inner peace you can experience if you just sit down
and suck in the athmosphere – and cool of from the world outside is amazing. Appreciate it !
The Vatican is a place you should visit. The beauty is amazing.
As a traveler the most amazing gem of the Vatican is the Gallery of the maps. Overlooked – or maybe rather rushed by – on the way to Michelangelos Sistine Chapel. But go explore the closest thing to Google Earth of the 16th century.
The Galleria delle Carte Geografiche is a beautiful collection of maps of most parts of modern day Italy. It was a trend at that time to have maps painted, the Medicis in Palacchio Vecchio in Florence did it – and the ruling Pope decided – we need that in Rome asweel. I always find it a paradox that the lust for power and powerful mens jealousy can bring beauty !
The history is a simple one about envy and power – and therefore a wish to show off – and maybe show that the earth really was flat.
So he commissioned Egnazio Danti to paint 120 meters of maps. And so he did between 1580 and 1585.
I usually spend a lot of time in the gallery. Diving into the fantastic deep blue and green colors of the maps. These color almost makes you dive into the map. Its magic.
If you are a Google maps dreamer like me who can spend a couple of hours just wandering around on new and familiar locations in Google maps you will feel at home – finding familiar places in Italy, diving into the detail and wanting to go explore places you haven’t visited – yet.
You should also stop and look at the perspective of the maps – and maybe you will realize that it is really the Google maps of the 16th century ! It actually creates the “Birds Eye” view – but without help of satellites and photo planes.
As a traveler you will not only enjoy it .. you will love it.