by Liz Dowling


My daughter is spending her spring semester in Rome, which was all the excuse I needed to throw some things in a bag and jump on a plane to visit her.

I had two days alone with Emily before my husband joined us, so we threw on our Adidas and hit the streets!

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Our tour started in Trastevere with our favorite guide, Giovanni Tanoni.

The tiny, winding streets make Rome’s “Greenwich Village” absolutely charming.

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We went to the beautiful Santa Maria church, Santa Cecilia Basilica, Villa Farnesino and Emily’s FAVORITE pizza place, Dar Poeta.

After lunch, we headed across the 62 BC Ponte Fabricio bridge to Isola Tiberina, a tiny island in the middle of the Tiber River.

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Gelato was next on the agenda.  Where to go?

Frigidarium Gelato

Frigidarium Gelato

Giolitti or Frigidarium….  Frigidarium was closer and we needed sustenance.  Dipped in chocolate and topped with a cookie.  YUM.

Emily knew the city so well now, she took me everywhere!  Piazza del Popolo…

Capitoline Hill and the Forum.

Piazza Navona.

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Off to the Campo di Fiori market…

Campo Market

Campo Market



We found some fabulous wine bars: Gusto and Antica Enoteca.  This is where I discovered my new favorite drink, the Aperol spritz!

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Restaurants: Etabli in Piazza Navona has a DJ during dinner Thurs-Sun nights.  Di Qua near the Spanish Steps has divine pasta.

Il Caffe Saint Estachio near the Pantheon for a delicious “Gran Capucchino.”

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The freshly cleaned and gorgeous Fontana de Trevi.

Around every corner in Rome is another spectacular site.

We were logging in over 20,000 steps a day (according to our iPhone health app) meandering from one stunning place to the next.  It was a good thing too, because all we ate was pasta, pizza and gelato!

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Lets not forget, the Pope declared this the “Jubilee of Mercy” year, so St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican were definite stops on our list.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

The three of us walked through the Holy Door and the next two photos are courtesy of Emily who actually saw the Pope about a week ago!



Living Room at the Gran Melia

Living Room at the Gran Melia

Last, but not least, our hotel.

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We stayed at the Gran Melia, which sits up on a hill looking over the city.  It is surrounded by scenery of the historic Villa di Agrippina that belonged to the mother of Emperor Nero.  It is a little oasis in the middle of the city that we LOVED.

View of the pool from my room at the Gran Melia

View of the hotel pool from our room

After a long day on our feet, coming back here was heaven.

Gran Melia at sunset

Gran Melia at sunset

Get ready Rome, we are coming back!

the wry home

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Anonymous April 8, 2016 - 8:33 am

Dear Mrs. Dowling, it was so good to see you and you beautiful daughter again in Rome. It was a real pleasure to be your personal tour guide while in Rome. Happy to know you both had a wonderful time. Hope to meet the two of you again in the nearest future. Take care of yourselves. Sincerely, Giovanni Tanoni ([email protected])

Elizabeth Dowling April 8, 2016 - 10:42 am

You are the best tour guide EVER!

Kathy April 8, 2016 - 9:53 am


Laura Breitenbach April 11, 2016 - 8:56 pm

The Fontana de Trevi looks spectacular all cleaned up! I now need to go back to see the new sparkly version.

Amy Harden April 14, 2016 - 7:41 pm

Looks like a great trip full of memory making times! What a treat for all! Save Giovanni’s info! Hopefully I will need it!

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