As there are a ton of stranieri descending on Guardia Sanframondi with the sun warming up the worn marble steps and streets, and as many of them will be arriving via Rome, I wanted to share this:
Over the past month or two, I had several whole days between B&Bs and my treno regionale for Telese Terme, in which I spent exploring and then revelling in all the delicious sites, tastes, sounds and atmosphere of this zone:hidden treasures behind the tourist tat!
Here are my 7 Insider Tips to occupy
a few hours by Termini:
1.Caffé Paranà is under the large arches as you exit Termini station to your left, from the top of the building (where the shopping arcade is, and away from the tracks). Warning – it’s expensive! It’ll cost at least 3 euros for a cappuccino – but it’s a wonderful piece of history, and worth splashing out on, for the atmosphere.
Head round the corner from that bar, and westwards along the Via Gioberti, beyond the tourist tat.
Follow as the Via curves to the left (south) after a couple of blocks.
Here you find the lovely Piazza Di Santa Maria Maggiore, which is a beautiful place to stop for a breather. Ogle at the Basilica for a moment: it’s delizioso.
Take the street exiting south-west of the Piazza, called Via Merulana…
2.The Oriental Museum …at 248 Via Merulana you’ll find this glorious, somewhat inconspicuous collection of incredible artefacts – note: best visited mornings! – photos are encouraged even, and it is often very quiet. It really is my favourite place to wander for an hour or three, letting my eyes be immersed in sacred imagery and my mind and energy to soak up the profound atmosphere..
3.Just down the same street is the glorious Panella restaurant, bakery and delicatessen – oh my word – you have never seen such a delicious establishment – they have seasonal foods, bread art in the windows, the most magnificently crafted cakes, and utterly divine flower displays by the outdoor seating. I was in heaven there, with my arancino and fave beans dish, after a month with a sore tummy in Africa! It is the HEIGHT of Italian culinary perfection, and it is a must for any foodie.
Head out of Panella to the south-east, and follow the pedestrian Largo Leopardi, which will take you to the Via Leopardi where, if you head back towards Termini, to the east, you’ll find a lovely park on your right:
4.These are the Giardini Nicola Calipari – on a warm day, this is the most beautiful of parks, where you can sit on the daisy-dotted lawns and enjoy a picnic. A real haven, if you get city overwhelm, as I do! It’s frequented by a biodiverse group of Romans and stranieri, and is a real haven among the chaos.
5.International Food Market – Along this street you’ll find the covered Nuovo Mercato Esquilino (Via Principe Amedeo) – great for stocking up on spices and unusual veggies which you won’t find out here in the Italian hinterland!
6.Himalaya’s Kashmir (Ristorante Indiano) is a lovely restaurant at 325, Via Principe Amedeo, just opposite the market, and down the street to the south. It does a delicious aromatic meal (my favourite being the prawn korma), are sweet people, and do a rapid takeway service. Grab a bag and go and picnic in the park (see tip number 4).
From the market, circle back up to Termini to the north-east:
7.Vyta Bar – it’s the last bar on the right in Termini, just before you exit the station to the top-east (right, as you come away from the tracks). It is fab; dark and cosy, great service, affordable, and with lovely pastries, biscuits, sandwiches and salads – and a great glass of spumanti. You can use wifi there, too: my favourite spot is on the high seats in the back, where you can settle in for a while, and watch all the interesting folks passing through.
There are also a VERITABLE TON of sights and sounds, tastes and smells, all within walking distance of Rome’s central station – these are just my starter 7, which will make sure you get fed, coffee-ed, spumanti-ed, and relaxed, all within a few blocks of Termini!
PS If you want THE INSIDER view of Guardia Sanframondi, look up my Insider’s Guide to the town. AND if you want to pick my brain even more about Guardia, there are still a couple of places on the $10 patron package on Patreon, to do precisely that!
Tante belle cose, Clare xx