Italy Travel Notes presents: By Levi Reiss
The Spanish Steps area is close to the center of Rome. This is a great place to meet old and new friends and then go shopping or hit the cafes. Take lots of photos. Please note that the Spanish Steps themselves were built with French funds early in the Eighteenth Century. But the Spanish Embassy is nearby. The natives call these famous steps La Scalinata (the staircase). Other neighborhood sights to see include the Fifteenth Century Trinita dei Monti Church at the top of the steps and the Keats-Shelly Memorial House where the English poet Keats died. Don’t miss the Palazzetto Zuccari that resembles a monster’s face. Via dei Condotti is a famous shopping street. In spite of a lawsuit, there’s a MacDonald’s in the neighborhood. Make sure to visit Via del Babuino, the street of antiques, and Via Margutta, the street of artists. For your convenience we have listed neighborhood hotels in approximate order of cost, starting with the least expensive. We have personally verified all website addresses making sure that they include English-language pages.
The Panda Hotel is located on a major shopping street near the Spanish Steps. The money that you might save by staying here can easily be spent in this upscale neighborhood. Unlike many other hotels, the Panda defines only two seasons price-wise. Most of the year is high season. There are 20 rooms, 14 of which have a private bath. The rooms have no television. Did you come to the heart of Rome to watch TV? The hotel address is Via della Croce 35 – 00187, Rome.
The B&B Rhona’s Rooms is a four room bed and breakfast in a typical old building serviced by elevator. All rooms have a luxury private bathroom with a 13-jet hydro-massage shower, Turkish steam bath, alternating hot/cold (Scottish) shower, aromatherapy and radio. There is a panoramic terrace. Try to rent the room that overlooks the Via dei Condotti and has views of the Spanish Steps. The address is Via dei Condotti, 23 – 00187 – Rome.
The Hotel San Carlo is situated in a renovated Seventeenth Century mansion. There is a rooftop terrace and the rooms have flat-screen TVs and sometimes their own terrace. If I had to choose between the best TV and a tiny view… The hotel has 50 rooms ranging from singles to quads and 2 suites. The address is Via delle Carrozze 92-93 – 00187, Rome.
The Hotel Hassler is really hot stuff. It has often been named as Rome’s top hotel. The rooms are a living definition of luxury, especially if you go for the Grand Deluxe ones. Even the single occupancy rooms directed toward business travelers have marble bathrooms. There are 5 on-site bars and restaurants. The list goes on; I think you get the general idea. Expect to pay big bucks. Expect to see big shots. The address is Piazza Trinita dei Monti 6, Spagna.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian, French, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and spend time with his wife and family. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Among his many web sites he is particularly proud of his Italian travel site with a special focus on regional food and wine at http://www.travelitalytravel.com. Check out his global wine website at http://www.theworldwidewine.com with his weekly column reviewing $10 wines and his new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines, and now upscale wines.
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