Food and Accommodation in Rome

Hotels in Rome offer a lot of services from renaissance palaces to guest houses. The hotels in the centre are more expensive thanks to their position and the services often do not respond the price. It is better to book your accommodation in advance and stay where you can simply walk out your door into the heart of the city. The most vibrant area to stay is the half-mile stretch between Piazza Navona and Piazza Barberini. Some of the rooms are pricey but you can also find a lot of small guest houses nearby.

Being hungry is a problem for no traveller as the city is overrun with good places to eat. The busiest are is between Via del Corso and Piazza Navona. Most of them have outdoor seating and offer similar menus which include pasta, pizza, veal, chicken and a sew seafood dishes. The food is simple, fresh and delicious. If you are not sure where to go for eating, then choose according to what you would like to look at while enjoying the food. For instance, the Piazza della Rotonda contains several cafés which face the Pantheon and Piazza Navona is completely circled by restaurants which offer vies of its numerous fountains.

Remember that Rome is one of the cities where a restaurant´s house wine is usually excellent. It is also strongly recommended to learn at least a few phrases in Italian language although waiters usually speak English. Secondly, during summer Roman restaurants are open also after ten in the evening.

You should also have in mind that there is no one-scoop, two-scoop nonsense in real Italian gelaterias, just small, medium, Lartet and very large cones and tubs. Therefore do what Romans do – order the smallest and ask for two or three flavours. One of the best Roman gelato emporiums right now is Gelateria del Teatro where all ingredients are natural and the ciaccolato puro is dark chocolate heaven.

Perfect Dinner in Istanbul

There are a lot of perfect restaurants where you can enjoy delicious and modern cuisine that fuses east and west. Beside them there are cafes or just bistros where you can enjoy a break during your sightseeing tour.

La Mouette is a restaurant with unique view over the old city. However, the more important information is that there are two chefs who are doing stellar work using locally- sourced ingredients..

Lokanta Maya is actually a casual neighbourhood bistro where the mucver and zucchini frifters are so popular that the chef has written the recipe of them on a mirror in the dining room so customers stop asking for it.

If you fancy for kebap, then the best choice is the Siirt Seref Buryan Kebap Salonu which specialises in buryan kebab. A side of a small lamb is slowly cooked over coals in a deep hole in the ground which results in exceptionally tender meat covered in a thin layer of crackling, crunchy fat.

Tarihi Karakoy Balikcisi is excellent restaurant with a long history as it has been opened since 1923 which is a reliable supply of extremely fresh fish. It is a place for gourmands from all over Istanbul.

In case you want to just stop for a coffee and watch the city to by, then visit Eminonu ferry docks. The main draw here is the fried fish sandwich which is prepared on colourful illuminated boats that rock steadily on the water.

Galata Konak Café has a great view of the Bosporus and Golden Horn on one side and the marvellous medieval Galata Tower on the other. It is on the top floor of a three-storey historic building where you will find velvet armchairs, chandeliers and gramophones or simple terrace with wooden tables and wicker chairs.

Warsaw – The Palace on Water

This is the second name for the Lazienki Palace. In the past in was a bathhouse which was built on an islet in the middle of a lake for powerful aristocrat Stanislaw Hraklisz Lubomirski. I was fully remodelled between 1764 and 1795 to fulfil need of Stanislaw August Poniatowski for a private residence where he wanted to relax. He was a patron of the arts, so the interior of the palace hides a really great collection of arts which luckily survived.

As the palace is in the middle of a lake, the lake is divided into two parts, northern lake and southern lake connected by two Ionic colonnaded bridges to the rest of the park.

On the ground floor there is the Bacchus Room which is decorated with 17th century Dutch blue tiles and paintings from Jacob Jordaens. There is also the Dining Room where the famous Thursday dinners took place where the most important and notable members from the era of Enlightenment in Poland were invited. In the central part of the palace, the Rotunda can be find that was designed by Domenico Merlini and shows figures of the Polish kings. This part is one of the most important examples of neoclassical decoration in the palace. From this place you can come to the Bath Room where the Dutch blue tiles from 17th century can be found as well as China vases and the stucco ornaments from the Baroque era.

There were a lot of balls, formal dinners and masquerades which were held in the Ballroom.

The first floor is where the royal apartments, upper picture gallery, the balcony room, the king’s cabinet, the royal bed chambers, the cloakroom and the officer’s room can be found.

Sightseeing in Istanbul

Aya Sofya is called the Church of the Divine Wisdom in English. This is the most famous monument which has long and fascinating history. It was built by Emperor Justinian. The dome which is 30 m in diameter is supported by 40 massive ribs constructed of special hollow bricks made in Rhodes from a unique light and porous clay, resting on four huge pillars concealed in the interior walls.

In the side aisle to the northeast of the imperial door is the weeping column with a worn copper facing pierced by a hole. Legend says that the pillar is that of St. Gregory the Miracle Worker and that putting one´s finger in the hole can lead to ailments being healed if the finger emerges moist.

Topkapi Palace – this palace is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world´s museums put together. It was the home of Selim the Sot who drowned in the bath after drinking too much champagne, Ibrahim the Crazy who lost his reason after being locked up for four years in the infamous palace kafes and Roxelana beautiful and malevolent consort of Suleiman the Magnificent. One hour tour is done in large groups, so you need to negotiate if you want to take the tour in a small group or by yourself. A collection of lush green courtyards and delicate kiosk, the Topkapi boasts and treasury to put the crown jewels in the shade, as well as views to die for over the Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and Golden Horn. The secretive harem – really just the family quarters – is a warren of lushly-tiled rooms wrapped round a gem of a Turkish bath.

The city´s most romantic attraction, the Basilica cistern, offers an insight into the complicated system which brought drinking water into Istanbul from Thrace. It was constructed in the sixth century and then forgotten for centuries. Do not miss the upside-down head of Medusa which forms the bottom of one column. The cistern that once stored the water has been fitted with lights and music. Fish flitter around the bases of the 336 columns which support the ceiling.

Istanbul archaeology museums – if you do not have so much time then go straight to the large porticoed building housing the glorious sarcophagus of Alexander which depicts scenes from the life of Alexander the Great. Children will for sure love the model of Trojan Horse in the children´s section. Afterwards go into the lovely tiled Pavilion which is beautifully restored to show off its finest ceramics.

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is housed in what originally was the palace of Ibrahim Pasha, a favourite grand vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent, and overlooking the Hippodrome where Byzantine lovers of chariot racing once brought the same passion to their sport as modern Turks do to football. This museum houses a great collection of gigantic carpets from all over the country. Do not go away without trying a thick black Turkish coffee in the pretty café in the grounds.

This is Istanbul

Istanbul belongs to the largest cities and it is divided into a European side and an Asian side. The best time to visit this beautiful city is in spring or autumn when the city is filled with festivals. However, if you like hot weather and sun then summer time is better for you. On the other side if you want to experience something unique, then winter is also great as it is enlivened by magical snow falls.

During the golden days of the Ottoman Empire, extravagant celebrations were held on every possible occasion, with the sultan providing most of the excuses. For the circumcision of the three sons of the sultan Suleiman, tents sewn with tulips were raised on gold-plated poles at the Hippodrome. People were entertained by tightrope walkers on a cord stretched from the Egyptian Obelisk at its centre.

Within the 20th century new holidays were added, mostly those heavily marketed like Valentine´s Day, Mother´s Day or even Christmas which naturally tends to get confused with New Year´s Day which is given by the fact that more than 95 per cent of the population is Muslim.

The recent years have brought the full –blown festive spirit back. At present, except winter, there is a festival of some kind every month. The city´s youthful population gives these events dynamism. Many of these events are superbly managed and promoted by the Istanbul Foundation for Arts and Cultures which consistently attracts a roster of international big names.

The main event in the Islamic calendar is Kurban Bayrami which can be translated as the Feast of the Sacrifice. It marks Abraham´s near sacrifice of Isaac. Traditionally, families buy a kurban which could be a sheep, bull goat or came and they sacrifice it on the first or second day of the feast. Afterwards they share this meat with relatives, neighbours and the poor.

The Old Town of Warsaw

It is one of the best tourist attractions in Warsaw. It is because of its beauty and unforgettable atmosphere. A lot of families use this place for a walk on Sunday and young people like it as a dating spot. There are a lot of great restaurants, art galleries as well as street artists or crown pleasers, so you can be sure you will enjoy your time spent here. The restaurants might be a little bit more expensive but take a snack or just have a rest there will allow you to take its atmosphere.

The whole square was reconstructed after the World War II, but the Renaissance – era look can still be seen there. Each building shows something about its history or significance, so have a look closely at the architectural details when you are there.

The mermaid is a symbol of the city and it can be found in the middle of the square. However, the statue was not always situated there. It is the legend of her that connects her with the city heart. The legend says that in the past this place was just a forest where a fisherman lived. He liked fishing at night as at that time the river was very peaceful. Once he caught a beautiful mermaid. Her name was Sawa. She was scared, but she started singing and her voice was so beautiful that he released her. The both fell in love with each other, so they got married and lived very long. The place where they met was later founded as a city and called Warszawa.

There are a lot of interesting legends connected with Old Town. So, for sure this place deserves to be explored when you are there.

Accommondation in Warsaw

Warsaw offers a lot of hotels and forms of accommodation which offer single, double or triple rooms. They can suit all budgets. If you want to save your money, there is a large selection of discounted and budget accommodation to choose from including hostels or Bed & Breakfast.

If you do not mind to pay more, you will find a fantastic selection of 5 star hotels and apartments to choose from.

The most beautiful is Rialto. This is the first boutique hotel that was finished in art deco style. Most of the furniture is antique and it was selected at auction houses across Europe.

The most prestigious is Le Meridien Bristol. This one is already 110 years old. It used to be a top address in the decadent Warsaw in 1920s and 1930s. The most famous visitors include Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Kennedy.

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina is a three floor historical building that has its own character. It is a really peaceful spot where the customers can relax. The rooms are spacious with hand-made frescos with floral motives and elegant furniture.

Hotel Marriott has been opened since 1989 and it has already been visited by many important businessmen, famous film stars and even royal families who always really enjoy their time here. It is unique with its equipment for wellness, big centre for health and business centre which combines modern and classical style with excellent services.

Hotel Sheraton is situated in the south-east part of the historical square Trzech Krzyzy. It has nice magnificent atmosphere that is combined with the highest hotel standards. The rooms are equipped with modern furniture in light brown colours. The hotel has well equipped conference room which can be found in the highest floor.

Beautiful Warsaw Sights

Royal Castle

This castle was built in the 15th century and it used to be residence of Mazovian princes.. The castle was completely destroyed during the World War II, but between 1971-1988 it was rebuilt. The museum offers attractions such as original Rembrandt paintings or works by Bernard Bellotto.

On there Vistula side there are arcades which support the foundation and the cliffs. The also give the structure to its shape. The arcades were not destroyed during the war, so they are original. At present there are archaeological exhibits and pension.


This castle was designed by Jakub Kubicki and formerly it was just a villa. After the World War I it was used as a seat of the President. At present it is mostly used for ceremonial military events and diplomatic meetings with leaders of foreign countries.

Cathedral Basilica of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

Before the 14th century, it was just a wooden chapel. This basilica has witnessed many historic events, for example the coronation of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, or weddings, coronations and royal funerals which were held here. It is a very important fact that the first European Constitution was sworn here in 1791. During the past years, the church became an important centre where sacred music is promoted and organ concerts are held in the summer.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

This basilica is one of the most impressive buildings which can be found in Warsaw. The erection was initiated by Princess Maria Radziwillowa. The founder got the blessing of Pope Pius X as well as the hand-written document by the Holy Father which is carefully kept int he archives of the parish. The wish of the Princess was that the centre would also be an educational centre for children, so in 1931 the church was taken by the Salesians. At present there are many charity activities. It is also a Catholic Guidance and Couseling Centre where volunteers help those ones in need.

The history of Rome

There is almost nobody who never heard the legend about Romulus and Remus. They were born to Princess Rhea Silvia who did not want them to be killed by their uncle Amulio. Therefore they were laid in wicker basket which was put into the Tiber River where they were found by the wolf who raised them well. After Romulus killed Remus, Rome was founded by him in 753 BC by combining several settlements. The name was given to the city after its founder, so Rome means “Romulus city”. In 6th century AD Rome was commanded by Etruscan kings. Later they were forced to leave and Rome became a republic which meant it started to be governed by the senate, not the King. The real power was in the hands of a few rich people – patricians. Consequently, Rome grew steadily until it conquered the whole Middle East countries and North Africa, including Spain. During the times of expansion, the Roman Empire stretched over the length of 4 thousands kilometres from the Red Sea to Scotland. Rome was the most politically important, richest and largest city in the Western World. Within 284-286 the empire was split into east and west. Under the rule of Emperor Constantine in 306-337, Rome was united again on the ground of the legalization of Christianity. The last Emperor of Rome was Romulus Augustus.

In 1527 Rome was plundered by the German and Spanish military units of the Emperor Charles V and later in 1797 it was occupied by Napoleon until 1814 when the religious state was restored again. The following years include unsuccessful attempt to create the Roman republic again. However, Italia became united in 1861 and in 1870 Rome was joined. Early after World War I., Rome was a witness of Italian Fascism which was guided by Benito Mussolini. In World War II, due to its status of an open city, Rome escaped the tragic destiny of other cities, but it was occupied until 1944 by the Germans.

After those wars, the city grew momentously during the post-war reconstruction and modernisation. It became a fashionable city in 1950s and 1960s which were the years of “the sweet life”. Due to its rich history Rome is a unique city where over 16% of the world´s cultural treasures are located.

Sightseeing in Rome

The Colosseum (built 70 AD – 80 AD) is an elliptical amphitheatre which is at the same time the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.

With a seating capacity estimated at 50,000 to 70,000, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. It was in use for around 500 years with the last recorded games being held there as late as the 6th century.

Today, the Colosseum is a ruin, but is the symbol of Rome worldwide and is a major tourist attraction that is a must to see.

Saint Peter’s Basilica is the largest church building in Christendom and is one of the holiest sites of Christianity in the Catholic tradition. It is located in Vatican City.Construction on the current basilica began in 1506 and was completed in 1626.

There are over 100 tombs located within this magnificent building, which include 91 popes. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.

Highlights inside the basilica include Michelangelo’s Pietŕ; and a 29 metres tall baldachin held by four immense pillars, designed by Bernini between 1624 and 1632.

You can walk up the massive dome (design started by Michelangelo, finished by Giacomo della Porta), for great views of the city.

Directly to the east of the church is the impressive St Peter’s Square (Piazza di San Pietro), built by Gianlorenzo Bernini between 1656 and 1667. The measurements of the square are 320m deep, its diameter is 240m and it is surrounded by 284 columns, set out in rows of four, and 88 pilasters. Papal blessings take place every Sunday at noon, except in summer.

The Trevi Fountain is the largest of the Baroque fountains of Rome.Work began in 1732, and was completed in 1762. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi, and finished by Giuseppe Pannini, following Salvi’s death in 1751. A traditional legend says that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome.

The fountain can be seen in several films including a scene in the 1953 comedy “Roman Holiday” with Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, and Eddie Albert; “Three Coins in the Fountain” and a scene of drenching Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s “La dolce vita”.

The Pantheon was built by the Roman’s in 125 AD as a pagan temple. It is the best-preserved and most beautifully proportioned of Rome´s ancient monuments. The circular building has been in continuous use throughout its history. Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church.