Angela Corrias

Correspondent

  • Rome, Italy, EUR

Angela Corrias is a freelance travel journalist and photographer who lives in Rome, Italy and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Born in Italy, she left her home country after college and since then she has lived in Dublin, London and Shanghai. Among the others, her work has appeared in Chinese newspaper Global Times, Literary Traveler, GoNomad and Matador Network. She’s happiest when on the road in the perpetual quest for the unknown, capturing colors and flavors around the world for her blog Chasing The Unexpected.

  • On May 31, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What are the best places for opera in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias Opera shows in Rome usually take place at Teatro dell'Opera, also called Teatro Costanzi after its founder Domenico Costanzi. The Teatro dell'Opera was designed by architect Achille Sfondrini from Milan, who gave prominence to a good sound result. The original building comprised of three stage levels, an amphitheater and a gallery, it boasted a dome-shaped ceiling with a series of frescoes and could seat 2212 spectators.

    Teatro dell'Opera was inaugurated on November 27th 1888 with “Semiramide” by Rossini on stage and Italy's former royal family among the public. Renovated in 1958, in more than a century of activity it has shown the performances of some of the greatest Italian and international artists, from Luciano Pavarotti to Maria Callas to Renata Tebaldi to Domingo and Carreras. Among its directors, it can boast names of the likes of Eric Kleiber, Toscanini, Klemperer, De Sabata and, since 2008, Maestro Riccardo Muti.

    Summertime, Rome has another exceptional open-air place for opera, the arena of the Caracalla Baths, the spectacular ruins of the majestic imperial baths, where from May to September opera, ballet and other types of shows are on stage.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What are the best places for opera in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias Opera shows in Rome usually take place at Teatro dell'Opera, also called Teatro Costanzi after its founder Domenico Costanzi. The Teatro dell'Opera was designed by architect Achille Sfondrini from Milan, who gave prominence to a good sound result. The original building comprised of three stage levels, an amphitheater and a gallery, it boasted a dome-shaped ceiling with a series of frescoes and could seat 2212 spectators.

    Teatro dell'Opera was inaugurated on November 27th 1888 with “Semiramide” by Rossini on stage and Italy's former royal family among the public. Renovated in 1958, in more than a century of activity it has shown the performances of some of the greatest Italian and international artists, from Luciano Pavarotti to Maria Callas to Renata Tebaldi to Domingo and Carreras. Among its directors, it can boast names of the likes of Eric Kleiber, Toscanini, Klemperer, De Sabata and, since 2008, Maestro Riccardo Muti.

    Summertime, Rome has another exceptional open-air place for opera, the arena of Caracalla Baths, the spectacular ruins of the majestic imperial baths, where from May to September opera, ballet and other types of shows are on stage.
  • On May 29, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias Ideally, the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome is when it's quiet, but alas this is easier said than done. The mighty Amphitheatrum Flavium is possibly one of the most visited attractions in all of Rome, which makes it also one of the busiest places and longest queues. Going early morning might help find less tourists and, apart from having to stand in a shorter line, without the crowd you will also be able to better enjoy the inside of the theater.

    The Colosseum, in fact, is not only a majestic building to be admired from the Fori Imperiali, the long street where Emperors' fora are lined up, but getting in and visiting the underground reveals much of its glory (and gory) past, as this is the area where animals and gladiators used to wait before engaging in cruel games and fights against each other in front of thousands of spectators.

    Moreover, when the warm season starts, from May to beginning of November the Colosseum can be visited also at night, every Thursday and Saturday from about 8pm to midnight. Booking is required and includes the entry ticket and the guided tour. Visitors must arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of their tour because in case of delay the ticket office will sell their tickets to other customers and bookings will be lost.

    If day time the Colosseum is awe-inspiring, in the moonlight its shape becomes one of the most suggestive sights of Ancient Rome, and guided by an archaeologist you will be able to visit the amphitheater's permanent exhibitions that display relics found during the diggings and the space devoted to the history of the area where the Colosseum lies along with the most recent findings.

    The evening tour also includes topics such as its architecture, luxurious decoration, the technical system used for lifting men and animals up to the arena where shows took place, and the activities the audience used to indulge in during the break.
  • On May 29, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias Ideally, the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome is when it's quiet, but alas this is easier said than done. The mighty Amphitheatrum Flavium is possibly one of the most visited attractions in all of Rome, which makes it also one of the busiest places and longest queues. Going early morning might help find less tourists and, apart from having to stand in a shorter line, without the crowd you will also be able to better enjoy the inside of the theater.

    The Colosseum, in fact, is not only a majestic building to be admired from the Fori Imperiali, the long street where Emperors' fora are lined up, but getting in and visiting the underground reveals much of its glory (and gory) past, as this is the area where animals and gladiators used to wait before engaging in cruel games and fights against each other in front of thousands of spectators.

    Moreover, when the warm season starts, from May to beginning of November the Colosseum can be visited also at night, every Thursday and Saturday from about 8pm to midnight. Booking is required and includes the entry ticket and the guided tour. Visitors must arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of their tour because in case of delay the ticket office will sell their tickets to other customers and bookings will be lost.

    If day time the Colosseum is awe-inspiring, in the moonlight its shape becomes one of the most suggestive sights of Ancient Rome, and guided by an archaeologist you will be able to visit the amphitheater's permanent exhibitions that display relics found during the diggings and the space devoted to the history of the area where the Colosseum lies along with the most recent findings.

    The evening tour also includes topics such as its architecture, luxurious decoration, the technical system used for lifting men and animals up to the arena where shows took place, and the activities the audience used to indulge in during the break.
  • On May 28, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is the best way to experience Ancient Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias By all means, the best way you can think of to experience Ancient Rome is simply to walk the streets where daily life in Imperial times took place.

    Every day tourists from all over the world walk along the famed Fori Imperiali, ancient road connecting Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum, probably the most photographed attraction in the Eternal City. But how many of them stop and think about what those columns, fora, arches and sanctuaries actually meant back in the day?

    Walk along the majestic ancient road, hire a tour guide, better if from Rome, if you want those insights only locals can give you, because even though thousands of years have gone past, Romans are still very much proud of their imperial past, and if you are still in doubt, enter the Foro Romano just beyond Titus Arch, and you will see that they still bring flowers where Julius Ceasar was cremated.

    Passing by the columns and the arches of the different fora, you will see where the Senate was, where the public courts were set, where prominent figures such as Cicero used to give their speeches and from where, as a matter of fact, Emperors promoted their policies and informed their citizens, in a sort of primordial propaganda effort.

    Of course life in Ancient Rome was not always so serious, in fact, just beside the places where politics was discussed lies the mighty Colosseum, symbol of Roman triviality and taste of horror. Going a bit further though, on the way towards the Circus Maximus, built to host horse races and naval battles for which the whole arena was filled with water from the Tevere river, you can have a glimpse also on another kind of ancient leisure activity, the very much adored spa and beauty center of majestic Baths of Caracalla.
  • On May 28, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is the best way to experience Ancient Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias By all means, the best way you can think of to experience Ancient Rome is simply to walk the streets where daily life in Imperial times took place.

    Every day tourists from all over the world walk along the famed Fori Imperiali, ancient road connecting Piazza Venezia with the Colosseum, probably the most photographed attraction in the Eternal City. But how many of them stop and think about what those columns, fora, arches and sanctuaries actually meant back in the day?

    Walk along the majestic ancient road, hire a tour guide, better if from Rome, if you want those insights only locals can give you, because even though thousands of years have gone past, Romans are still very much proud of their imperial past, and if you are still in doubt, enter the Foro Romano just beyond Titus Arch, and you will see that they still bring flowers where Julius Ceasar was cremated.

    Passing by the columns and the arches of the different fora, you will see where the Senate was, where the public courts were set, where prominent figures such as Cicero used to give their speeches and from where, as a matter of fact, Emperors promoted their policies and informed their citizens, in a sort of primordial propaganda.

    Of course life in Ancient Rome was not always so serious, in fact, just beside the places where politics was discussed lies the mighty Colosseum, symbol of Roman triviality and taste of horror. Going a bit further though, on the way towards the Circus Maximus, built to host horse races and naval battles for which the whole arena was filled with water from the Tevere river, you can have a glimpse also on another kind of ancient leisure activity, the very much adored spa and beauty center of majestic Baths of Caracalla.
  • On May 27, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is the tipping etiquette in Rome?

    In Italy tipping is not mandatory, and you don't you have to feel compelled to tip a waiter or a taxi driver.

    While there seems to be a “rule” that suggests to leave 10% of the bill on the table before leaving the restaurant, this is usually already included in the bill and it's precisely devoted to the service. When you receive it, check your receipt, and if it's written 10% has already been charged for the service, don't feel compelled to leave also a tip. If service is not included, then it's good to leave something, but it's entirely up to you.

    If you do leave a tip, it really doesn't have to be 10% of the bill, because if the bill is 100 euro, a 10-euro tip is quite high. In general, 1 or 2 euro is what most people leave. Obviously, this only if you are happy with the service and the food in case of a restaurant, because if you were not treated as you would have liked, nobody will judge you if you don't leave a tip.

    When it comes to taxi drivers, also here the tip is appreciated but not mandatory. Usually, you can leave the change, when it's not too much. If your change is 20 euro, you can't leave all of it, so also here you can give him 1 euro or 2.

    In Rome, and in Italy in general, tipping is really up to the customer and very much a sign of appreciation for the service received.
  • On May 27, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is the tipping etiquette in Rome?

    In Italy tipping is not mandatory, and you don't you have to feel compelled to tip a waiter or a taxi driver.

    While there seems to be a “rule” that suggests to leave 10% of the bill on the table before leaving the restaurant, this is usually already included in the bill and it's precisely devoted to the service. When you receive it, check your receipt, and if it's written 10% has already been charged for the service, don't feel compelled to leave also a tip. If service is not included, then it's good to leave something, but it's entirely up to you.

    If you do leave a tip, it really doesn't have to be 10% of the bill, because if the bill is 100 euro, a 10-euro tip is quite high. In general, 1 or 2 euro is what most people leave. Obviously, this only if you are happy with the service and the food in case of a restaurant, because if you were not treated as you would have liked, nobody will judge you if you don't leave a tip.

    When it comes to taxi drivers, also here the tip is appreciated but not mandatory. Usually, you can leave the change, when it's not too much. If your change is 20 euro, you can't leave all of it, so also here you can give 1 euro or 2.

    In Rome, and in Italy in general, tipping is really up to the customer and very much a sign of appreciation for the service received.
  • On May 26, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What should I pack for a trip to Rome?

    Depending on what season you decide to travel to Rome, you will need a different luggage. The very first thing I (and probably most visitors) would pack for a trip to the Italian capital is my camera, essential to make sure I catch moments, colors and immortal relics.

    Luggage-wise, the best season is summer, as with such hot temperatures you need to bring the lightest clothing you have in your wardrobe. As it's recommended to walk all around the city center, comfortable shoes, trousers and a t-shirt would be your best bet. Nighttime, pubs and clubs usually don't require a specific dress code, but probably you won't be at ease wearing runners, so maybe bringing a fancy clothing option is a good idea. The blazing sun will require you a sunscreen and probably also a hat and sunglasses.

    Autumn and springtime are pretty easy, too. You might need some jumpers and a jacket, especially for the evening, and in autumn definitely waterproof shoes and an umbrella, as November and December can be pretty rainy, but usually it's not very cold, so no need for heavy clothing.

    During winter we can have cold temperatures, so if you come between January and March/April, make sure you bring warm clothes, a winter coat, waterproof shoes and all you normally need to face the cold.

    If you are a very far-sighted traveler, you can bring with you also a guidebook and a map, although in Rome you can find both in every language at the airport, at Termini train station and at most newsagents around the city center.

    One last tip, make sure you leave some empty space in your bags, as for sure you will want to buy some gifts for yourself and for your friends and family. 
  • On May 23, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    Should visitors rent a car in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias Choosing to rent a car (and drive) in Rome is one big step to take, and before making any decision, there are some pros and cons you should consider.

    First of all, Romans, and Italians in general, when on the car, whether they are going to work or just to hang out with friends, are always in a hurry, so don't be surprised if you get honked and shouted at if you don't fly away within two seconds after the traffic lights goes green.

    Among the pros there is the obvious, precious chance to avoid public transportation and its common delays, and reach the places in the city that are not well served by buses, trains and metro.

    Also among the pros, especially if you are looking at having an authentic local experience, is that by sharing streets, wheels and traffic laws with Romans you'll also get to learn some of the most colorful Italian and Roman dialectal expressions: the image of drivers cursing each other, for as picturesque as it might seem, is not just a movie scene, it's daily reality.

    Obviously, there are also the cons. First and foremost, you risk to get lost in the tangled maze of the city center and get stuck in traffic, not unusual in Rome, especially during rush hour in the morning until about 9-10am and in the evening from 5 until about 7pm.

    But let's say you got your way around Rome's streets, you avoided rush hour and you ignored the curses. When you think you have the key to a successful drive in the Italian capital, you'll find yourself in the need to come to terms with another big burden that will cause you further stress: looking for a parking space. Romans notoriously park anywhere they can, whether seizing the tiniest space between two cars where seemingly only a motorbike could fit, directly on the pedestrian crossing or simply double parking, but if you want to avoid a fine, you might drive for a good while before finding a legitimate parking space. 

    My wholehearted advice is that you avoid renting a car and rely on the public transport, especially if you are in Rome for a vacation and you don't wish to get stressed. Public transportation might not be punctual nor comprehensive of all corners of the city, but they cover the historical center pretty well, so tourists who are in Rome to see its most important sites can get around without problems.
  • On May 23, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    Should visitors rent a car in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias Choosing to rent a car (and drive) in Rome is one big step to take, and before making any decision, there are some pros and cons you should consider.

    First of all, Romans, and Italians in general, when on the car, whether they are going to work or just to hang out with friends, are always in a hurry, so don't be surprised if you get honked and shouted at if you don't fly away within two seconds after the traffic lights goes green.

    Among the pros there is the obvious, precious chance to avoid public transportation and its common delays, and reach the places in the city that are not well served by buses, trains and metro.

    Also among the pros, especially if you are looking at having an authentic local experience, is that by sharing streets, wheels and traffic laws with Romans you'll also get to learn some of the most colorful Italian and Roman dialectal expressions: the image of drivers cursing each other, for as picturesque as it might seem, is not just a movie scene, it's daily reality.

    Obviously, there are also the cons. First and foremost, you risk to get lost in the tangled maze of the city center and get stuck in traffic, not unusual in Rome, especially during rush hour in the morning until about 9-10am and in the evening from 5 until about 7pm.

    But let's say you got your way around Rome's streets, you avoided rush hour and you ignored the curses. When you think you have the key to a successful drive in the Italian capital, you'll find yourself in the need to come to terms with another big burden that will cause you further stress: looking for a parking space. Romans notoriously park anywhere they can, whether seizing the tiniest space between two cars where seemingly only a motorbike could fit, directly on the pedestrian crossing or simply double parking, but if you want to avoid a fine, you might drive for a good while before finding a legitimate parking space. 

    My wholehearted advice is that you avoid renting a car and rely on the public transport, especially if you are in Rome for a vacation and you don't wish to get stressed. Public transportation might not be punctual nor comprehensive of all corners of the city, but they cover the historical center pretty well, so tourists who are in Rome to see its most important sites can get around without problems.
  • On May 18, 2013
    Angela Corrias is now following Quia Querisma
  • On May 17, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What are the best vegetarian restaurants in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias With always more people in Italy becoming vegetarian, meat-free eateries are springing up all over the city.

    Among the most famous are luxurious Margutta RistorArte, one of the oldest, in 118 Via Margutta, right beside Piazza del Popolo, and La Taverna Vegetariana, not very expensive and boasting a delicious menu with some dishes suitable for vegetarians and some also for vegans, in 94 Via Trionfale, about ten minutes walk from Ottaviano metro station near the Vatican.

    Margutta offers a sumptuous choice of dishes using only fresh and natural products, hence changing its menu according to the season. Owners seek to blend their love for nature with their passion for the arts, and this shows in the colorful variety of their dish selection, some meat-free adaptation of delicacies from Mediterranean cuisine, some in-house creations.

    La Taverna Vegetariana is a pretty inexpensive option and offers quite a rich menu, too. Also here you can find vegetarian adaptations of Italian dishes and more personal combinations. They propose a daily lunch deal, and for 12€ you will have a first course (primo), the main course (secondo), the dessert and half a liter of water. Whenever I'm in the area, I never miss the occasion of a lunch here, and while I often take the lunch deal, I never manage to order the dessert as portions are quite copious.

    Another great vegetarian restaurant is Ops, near Piazza Fiume, in 56 Via Bergamo. It offers a wide range of dishes, and since it's a buffet-style eatery, it's possible to sample many different food options, of both cold and warm dishes. As dressing, a plethora of veg sauces, flavored oils and different seeds such as flax seeds, sesame and sunflower is available.

    In the very city center, 4 Via Celsa, is Bibliothè, unconventional vegetarian place inspired by Indian philosophy, Ayurveda diet and love for the arts. Apart from many Indian dishes, they serve a great choice of herbal teas, always according to Ayurveda principles.

    Not in the immediate city center, in Marconi area, 105 Via Gerolamo Cardano, is GecoBiondo, vegetarian trattoria that uses only organic and fresh ingredients, entirely season produce and preferably from local farmers.

    Also many restaurants are now including in their menu more meat-free options. One I particularly like is in Monti area, near Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, in 134 Via Urbana. Aromaticus is actually a shop selling herbs, seeds, gardening tools, sprouts, salts and peppers from all over the world, so seats are very limited. Their choice is not huge but truly homemade, and most dishes are available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions.
  • On May 17, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What are the best vegetarian restaurants in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias With always more people in Italy becoming vegetarian, meat-free eateries are springing up all over the city.

    Among the most famous are luxurious Margutta RistorArte, one of the oldest, in 118 Via Margutta, right beside Piazza del Popolo, and La Taverna Vegetariana, not very expensive and boasting a delicious menu with some dishes suitable for vegetarians and some also for vegans, in 94 Via Trionfale, about ten minutes walk from Ottaviano metro station near the Vatican.

    Margutta offers a sumptuous choice of dishes using only fresh and natural products, hence changing its menu according to the season. Owners seek to blend their love for nature with their passion for the arts, and this shows in the colorful variety of their dish selection, some meat-free adaptation of delicacies from Mediterranean cuisine, some in-house creations.

    La Taverna Vegetariana is a pretty inexpensive option and offers quite a rich menu, too. Also here you can find vegetarian adaptations of Italian dishes and more personal combinations. They propose a daily lunch deal, and for 12€ you will have a first course (primo), the main course (secondo), the dessert and half a liter of water. Whenever I'm in the area, I never miss the occasion of a lunch here, and while I often take the lunch deal, I never manage to order the dessert as portions are quite copious.

    Another great vegetarian restaurant is Ops, near Piazza Fiume, in 56 Via Bergamo. It offers a wide range of dishes, and since it's a buffet-style eatery, it's possible to sample many different food options, of both cold and warm dishes. As dressing, a plethora of veg sauces, flavored oils and different seeds such as flax seeds, sesame and sunflower is available.

    In the very city center, 4 Via Celsa, is Bibliothè, unconventional vegetarian place inspired by Indian philosophy, Ayurveda diet and love for the arts. Apart from many Indian dishes, they serve a great choice of herbal teas, always according to Ayurveda principles.

    Not in the immediate city center, in Marconi area, 105 Via Gerolamo Cardano, is GecoBiondo, vegetarian trattoria that uses only organic and fresh ingredients, entirely season produce and preferably from local farmers.

    Also many restaurants are now including in their menu more meat-free options. One I particularly like is in Monti area, near Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, in 134 Via Urbana. Aromaticus is actually a shop selling herbs, seeds, gardening tools, sprouts, salts and peppers from all over the world, so seats are very limited. Their choice is not huge but truly homemade, and most dishes are available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions.
  • On May 13, 2013
    Angela Corrias answered the question: Angela Corrias

    What is there to do at Villa Borghese in Rome?

    Photo by Angela Corrias True green oasis in the hectic heart of Rome, Villa Borghese is one of the city's most famous parks, although not the biggest one. Popular among locals and tourists alike, there are plenty of activities Villa Borghese offers to its visitors.

    Being a huge public garden, apart from long walks immersed in nature, many people go there for running, walking their dogs and picnics, both during week days and weekends.

    Located in Rome's city center, Villa Borghese is also in line with the beauty of the area, so if you are a photographer, an art lover or simply an esthete, you will enjoy the marble fountains, monuments and sculptures scattered all around the park along with its many gardens and palaces.

    Apart from its outdoor activities, Villa Borghese also houses Rome's zoo, the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, the beautiful National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (GNAM) in 131 Via delle Belle Arti and Galleria Borghese, in 5 Piazzale del Museo Borghese, showcasing masterpieces by artists of the likes of Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Canova and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

    From the Pincio Terrace, easy to reach from Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo, you can stare at a gorgeous view of Piazza del Popolo and a wider one into Rome.

    Due to its size, Villa Borghese has many entrances, the easiest to find being from Piazza del Popolo, Piazzale Flaminio, Piazzale San Paolo del Brasile and Piazza di Spagna.