New and interesting in Rome and Venice?
April 10, 2015 8:39 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are going to Italy in three weeks. We both love Rome, but neither of us has been in a while. I am a "foodie" (sigh) and am fluent in Italian, if rusty. Some things we're seeing: Palazzo Altemps, S. Luigi dei Francesi for the Caravaggios, Villa Borghese, MAXXI, the Quirinale. Is there anything new, or newly open, that we should be aware of? Any musical happenings in early May we shouldn't miss?

We're going to Venice for just a couple of days. I'd like to visit printing-related things, as a fan of Aldus, so there's the Marciana. Any other don't-miss sort of things?
posted by lackutrol to Travel & Transportation around Rome, Italy (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I haven't been to Rome yet, but I was in Venice last November. We purchased a copy of Secret Venice, which was handy for finding some off the beaten path, eclectic sorts of landmarks. One of them that we never were able to find (despite looking for quite a while) was a marker for the former home of the man who invented italics, whom I believe is the Aldus you mention. It supposedly was in Campo Manin, if I remember correctly. YMMV.

When we were in Venice, there was a great exhibit of ancient manuscripts at the Museo Correr (which is right in Piazza San Marco). I don't recall if that was a permanent exhibition or not.

It's not related to printing, but if you can, arrange for a tour of the clock tower (the big one in Piazza San Marco) at the Museo Correr, assuming acqua alta doesn't prevent entrance. The clock tower is really neat, though the topmost part was closed for restoration while we were there.

As for good foodie options, you can't (or shouldn't, at least) go to Venice and not have some cichetti. Osteria Bancogiro was recommended to us by some locals and didn't disappoint. There are lots of other options nearby, though. Also, a local specialty is cuttlefish, so if you can, find a good restaurant and order pasta al nero di seppia (pasta with cuttlefish in its own ink -- it is black). I ordered that several times while in Venice and it was delicious every time. The best place I had it was at Osteria da Alberto, but I'm sure there are plenty of other (possibly even better) options.
posted by tempestuoso at 9:45 AM on April 10, 2015

Best answer: If you're a fan of Caravaggio, try the Palazzo Doria Pamphilij in Rome - we booked a combination tour/concert there, but missed it due to illness.
For food, try La Ciambella - I had a delightfull meal there recently. You may have better luck than we did with Obica (also in Rome), the service was horrible (not slow, just...incomplete - as in "forgot that glass of wine").
In Venice, try Muro (in San Stae neighborhood) - best pizza I had during our recent trip.
posted by dbmcd at 12:02 PM on April 10, 2015

If you haven't seen Rome's official tourist site, it lists lots of exhibits that look great. Take your pick, from Chagall to Sophia Loren to Tutankhanem. It's also the 'bilellenario' of the Emperor Augustus, and the site says there is a 'rich program of events' around this.

This year is la biennale in Venice, an international art exhibit that runs from May 9 through November. You might want to read up on this for some context; per NPR there's something sketchy at this year's Venice Biennale.
posted by kanewai at 12:44 PM on April 10, 2015

My favorite thing in Venice was taking the Water Taxi to Murano and watching the Glass Makers.
posted by nickggully at 2:05 PM on April 10, 2015

Per usual, they have yet to announce who will be playing at the free Primo Maggio concert at San Giovanni. I would check to see what might tickle your ear while you're here. I think I've seen ads for Mario Biondi and Gianna Nannini (though after her minor debacle at San Remo this year, I might think twice :P)

Not sure when your last visit to rome was, but they now offer nocturnal visits to both the Vatican museums and the colosseum (reservations required).

Foodie wise I am a bit out of touch what with two wee ones, but Eataly at Piramide is fun to wander around and nosh at the ristorantini dedicated to various gastronomic themes (fritti, gelato, meat, fish, pizza, pasta etc). Visiting family and friends have also have been enthusiastic about the Katie Parla app/blog suggestions.

At the Scuderie del Quirinale there's a Matisse exhibit that I am wanting to hit.

And if perchance you felt the need for a pit stop between Rome and Venice, the World Expo 2015 opens May 1st in Milan, with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life."
posted by romakimmy at 4:35 AM on April 11, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks all, I couldn't get enough, I'll be back in November, stopping in Palermo for a couple days as well.
posted by lackutrol at 11:11 PM on October 5, 2015

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