We’ve chosen a cozy little hostaria with good friendly service. Hostaria Farnese is a tiny, family-run restaurant hidden away on a small street, the Via Baullari, named after Rome’s chest-makers, running between the Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Farnese. The street has medieval origins and was remodeled in 1517 by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, the future Pope Paul III.

This traditional restaurant is a favorite with visitors and locals alike and boasts of a small interior dining area, and, when weather allows, a few tables outside. It was rather chilly outside, so we couldn’t sit outdoors when I visited the restaurant with Fr. McLean from the Vatican and Fr. Tommy, a Scripture professor in a seminary in the States. We were shown to our seats by Luca, the son of the owner, Francesco, and his wife, Maddalena.

We started off with antipasti and bruschette and passed on to our main courses. For Fr. Tommy this was saltimbocca alla romana, tender veal with fresh sage and a light white wine sauce. Fr. McLean had abbacchio scottadito, roast lamb with potatoes, and I had spaghetti alla carbonara. When it came to dessert time, Fr. McLean decided to go for coffee and Fr. Tommy for a tiramisù, while I had one of their specialties, pears cooked in red wine.

While my two dining companions drank only Ferrarelle mineral water, I had a quartino (a quarter of a liter) of opened red wine from the Castelli neighborhood of Rome. Our conversation revolved around theology publications, as both of my dining companions are authors, Fr. McLean in moral theology and Fr. Tommy in Scripture. Our check came to a decent 25 Euro each to which we added a gratuity for pleasant and helpful service. This hostaria is highly to be recommended for its cuisine, its service, its tradition and its location: this means that you must always reserve a table if you want to be sure of dining.

The luxury five-star hotel St. George Roma is a superb base from which to explore all the marvels the Eternal City has to offer. Located in Via Giulia, in the historic center of Rome, it is just a short walk from Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori, Castel Sant’Angelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

The year 1508 saw the beginning of the history that marked Via Giulia, which played a pivotal role in the plans of Pope Julius II. The pontiff entrusted Donato Bramante with the task of building a huge palace that was to comprise within it all the law courts and notaries’ offices, thus rendering Via Giulia the sole commercial center of importance in the city. Among what remains of the project initially envisaged by Julius II is the Sofà di Via Giulia: layers of rough-hewn Travertine stone that resemble sofas and bear witness to this day to the project that was to be undertaken by Bramante in 1508.

The St. George Roma offers superior, deluxe and junior suites totalling 64 bedrooms.

With a cozy, inviting atmosphere, the hotel is reminiscent of an elegant, stylish private home. In the library, guests can choose a book and relax and unwind by the fireside, while the wine bar, which boasts over 120 labels, offers guests the chance to enjoy a leisurely glass of fine wine or a sublime aged liqueur, basking in the rays of the sun that filter through the skylight window. During the summer, a great experience awaits guests in the Rooftop Lounge Bar & Restaurant.

All the superior rooms are provided with the following: security door with spyhole, double glazing; key card system to ensure privacy and safety; individually-controlled air conditioning to guarantee exactly the temperature you prefer; telephone with voice mail and a telephone in the bathroom; comfortable, practical desk so you can continue working from the hotel, as well as an electronic safe to store your laptop; minibar with a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks; cable, TV and Wi-Fi internet connection with keyboard so you can stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues; flat-screen TV, satellite channels; hair dryer, make-up mirror and set of courtesy items in the bathroom; soft bathrobe and slippers.

The 25-square-meter deluxe rooms and all the junior suites have a welcome surprise and a 10% discount on all treatments in the St. George Spa.

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