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Rome In Spring Attavanti's Recent Trip to the Eternal City

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One of the best things of running Attavanti is that we have to travel all over Italy to find new artisan leather designers and visit Expo's. I know it's tough but someone's got to do it. 

Our most recent trip was to Rome and on our time off we got to see some of the famous sights, eat fabulous food and take lots of photo's for upcoming new handbags on Attavanti's website. Here are a few tips on travelling to Rome, the Eternal City. Directly below are some posts from Attavanti's Instagram account @Attavantihandbags

We travelled from Heathrow to Fiumicino Airport and caught a shuttle bus into Rome. Tickets can be pre-bought but there are kiosks outside the airport and the driver will also take payment. A return ticket is cheaper but we decided not to do this and have the option to choose how we travelled back. The shuttle bus drops you by the main railway station, the Termini and right outside one of my favourite places to eat, the Mercato Centrale. This is a central food hall, next to the market with local vendors and food producers and is famous for it's fresh food and drinks. Hungry after an early start we found a seat and stopped for lunch. The vast amount of choice is staggering from fresh pasta, pizzas, aranchini, steaks, sushi, food to take away plus a restaurant on the upper floor. We started with a delicious salad of local cheeses, meats and truffle followed by deep fried seafood with local beer and Prosecco. It is busy, obviously because the food is excellent and the prices are very good too. 

A visit to the Borghese Gallery situated in the Borghese gardens and the largest park in Rome is well worth a visit. Tickets can be pre-booked but only a certain amount are allocated and do sell out. We arrived mid-morning and bought last minute tickets from the office downstairs which allows for 2 hours in the museum, luckily there were no queues and was actually cheaper. We found that 2 hours was plenty of time to explore the beautiful Bernini sculptures and paintings by Raphael and Caravaggio, it is busy and there are a lot of guided tours, which we cheekily listened in on. Afterwards, stroll through the beautiful park, it is very large, 226 acres and you can hire bikes if you want to explore and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. We found a small cafe on the outskirts and had nibbles with Franciacorta, Italian champagne. Bellisimo. 

The newly opened Rinascente Via del Tritone, a luxury Italian department store with roof top terrace and ruins of the aqueduct foundations in the basement is a shoppers paradise for fashion lovers. The top floor houses the food hall with plenty of restaurants and an upper roof top bar. The roof top Sunset bar has spectacular views over the city but was so busy when we visited and not very well planned out, as the outside seating had been grouped for larger parties and many were taken up by only 2 or 4 people. It was also looking a little scruffy as the newly laid grass lawn had now turned brown. Do use the escalators to get to the top floor so you can see the spectacular central atrium. Perhaps we should have gone back later as the store stays open until 11 pm.


After visiting the must sees, the Trevi Fountain, Colessuem, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, St Peter's Basilica do go off the beaten track away from the crowds. There are many hidden gems to be found when you get a bit lost. Not far from the Trevi Fountain is the Galleria Sciarra a glazed covered courtyard beautiful decorated with frescos in art nouveau style. Built in the 19th century, it was meant to be a shopping centre, if it had, it would have been one of the most beautiful in Rome. Painted by Cellini the frescos on four floors show stages of a woman's life from youth to marriage surrounded by curling floral designs and geo patterns. At night it is lit up by a warm yellow glow and stays open until 8 pm.


We also on the way to the Forum, as they say, happened upon one of the most beautiful decorated churches I have ever seen. An unassuming building, The Santi Apostoli a 6th century Roman Catholic basilica, also known as the The Church of the Holy Apostles is dedicated to the apostles and the remains of James and Philip are housed in an ornate crypt.  The spectacular gold baroque interior and Renaissance art is outshone by a dramatic ceiling fresco, The Fallen Angels by Odazzi that has the most incredible 3D effect and looks like bodies are actually falling from above.

Gosh there are too many things to write about..... I will have to include these in part 2. 

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