Often ignored by tourists on the trek between the Coliseum and the Forum and Bocca della Verita this delightful little neighborhood is filled with ecclesiastic treasure and scandal, great food, yoga and shopping.
Once the home to gladiators and Emperor Vespasian’s cavalry troops, the neighborhood is now filled with theatre actors and artists.
Ludus Magnus - This main training ground for gladiators heading for their showdowns, was built by the emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) in the valley between the Esquilino and the Celian hills. Corner, piazza del colosseo and via san Giovanni in Laterano
Basilica di San Clemente - Do not miss the palimpsest wonder of this church. With a Mithraeum temple, 4th century frescos and 11th century mosaics, here are almost 2000 years of roman history in one spot. Corner, Via di san Giovanni in Laterano and via dei Querceti
Pope Joan - at the corner of via dei Querceti and via Santi Quattro there is a shrine to the controversial and mysterious Pope Joan who is said to have occupied the throne of St. Peter from 855-858 disguised as a man.
Café Café – if you need a break from pasta and coffee, stop here and have tea and a plate of vegetable couscous or soups and a salad. Via dei SS Quatro 44 06 700 8743
DiVin Ostillio – meet the McDreamy look-alike Stefano and let him guide you to a wonderful glass of wine and a snack…this place is always open via ostillio 4
Agadez – handmade silver jewelry and handicrafts designed in italy and manufactured on the edge of the sahara desert in the west African country of Niger. Via san Giovanni in Laterano 52
Hosteria Isidoro – if you are on this side of town around dinner time…this reastaurant is a treat…you get a plate that looks like one you had in a grade school cafeteria and the chef send out dish after dish of whatever pasta he is cooking (we have had prawn and tomato linguini, pea risotto, walnut ravioli, sorrento gnocchi…)…you say basta when you can’t fit in another bite! Via san Giovanni in laterano 59/a
Scuola di Ashtanga Yoga - the directors of this studio are some of the few westerners to have studied with the ashtanga creator Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. There are beginners’ introductory classes, led classes and classic mysore practice available. www.astanga.it Via Annia 54 - ROMA 00179 Tel. +39 0670497980