Touring Rome Italy - Prati

What should we visit in Rome's Prati district and its environs?...

We hope that you are enjoying our series of articles and guest articles on Italian tourist attractions, covering the entire country except for its major cities. In a sense we have left the best for last. We will describe what to see in Italy’s great cities neighborhood by neighborhood. You may not realize it, but Rome is divided into 20 districts. And each and every one of these districts boasts its own sightseeing attractions. If you have time, visit them all. In any case, read these articles to help plan your trip to The Eternal City. You may be in for some real surprises. Roma, Non Basta una Vita (Rome, a Lifetime is not Enough) .

The Prati district of northwestern Rome lies across the Tiber River. Many people are drawn to the Via Cola di Rienzo, an upscale shopping street whose major focus is clothing and fashion. Other items sold on the Via include housewares, gourmet foods, books, shoes, purses and even coins, there are also some street corner stands. This street, the southernmost in the district, runs from the Piazza del Populo to the Vatican City.

The huge Foro Italico sports centre was created by the fascist government in 1928, inspired by the forums of the Roman Empire. In those days it was known as Mussolini’s Forum, but I don’t think many people call it that today. Its most important facilities are the Olympic Stadium, the Marble Stadium, the Swimming Stadium, and the Tennis Stadium. This site hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Monte Mario Prati Rome

Monte Mario Prati Rome

At 139 meters (about 400 feet) Monte Mario is the highest hill in Rome. However, because it’s outside the limits of the ancient city, Monte Mario is not among those famous seven hills. You might enjoy its beauty and calm anyway. The Monte Mario Observatory is located here. Next door is the Museo Astronomico Copernicano, quite a change from most Italian museums. Make sure to see Rome from the Belvedere Zodiaco Monte Mario, especially at night.

Casina di Macchia Madama Prati Rome

Casina di Macchia Madama Prati Rome

In between the hill and the sport center is the beautiful Renaissance Casina di Macchia Madama built in the early Sixteenth Century by Cardinal de ‘Medici to plans by Raphael, but actually completed by another. The villa was restored in the mid 1920s and has been used by the Italian government to entertain foreign guests. I have the sinking feeling that my invitation was lost in the mail.

And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Latium or other Italian wines.

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About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.

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