Hipmunk’s “Off the Beaten Path” Guide to Rome

Although attractions like the Coliseum and the Vatican top must-see lists for a reason, don’t let your trip to Rome stop there. We’ve compiled a list of five of the best lesser-known Rome attractions to help you see all this beautiful ancient city has to offer. Enjoy your trip off the beaten path!

Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla were named for Emperor Caracalla, a Roman ruler who reigned from AD 211-217. The vast ruins that stand today are an incredible monument to Roman architecture and culture, featuring many of the Baths’ original mosaics, tiling and marble walls. The sheer size of the ruins speaks to the scale of Roman construction! This is a great spot to check out incredible Roman ruins without dealing with the crowds that pack more famous destinations. A don’t miss experience: during the summertime, the Baths become a venue for operas and other cultural events.

Palazzo Altemps

Housed in a Renaissance palace, the Palazzo Altemps is a recent addition to the Roman art scene after opening in 1997. Its relative youth makes it one of the city’s best-kept secrets, housing a beautiful collection of classical sculptures without the staggering lines found at other museums. The collection features works from ancient Greece and Rome, most notably a 3rd-century sarcophagus, picturing the Romans fighting the Ostrogoths, carved from a single block of stone.

Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter (or Ghetto) is a historic destination dating back to 1555, when Pope John Paul IV pushed all Jews into a small, restricted walled-off area of the city. Today, while the walls have come down, the area retains the flavor and culture of its early inhabitants. It is the home of the Synagogue of Rome, and a small piece of the original Ghetto wall remains in the area. Take a stroll through to sample kosher food and experience incredible lived history.

Tiber Island

This small island in the middle of the Tiber River has been linked to the Roman mainland by bridge since antiquity. Once called the Insula Inter-Duos-Pontes, or “island between the two bridges”, its bridges are the Ponte Fabricio, the only original bridge in Rome, and the Ponte Cestio. In 239 BC, the Temple of Aesculapius was built on the island to worship the Greek god of healing. Although the temple is now gone, legend still holds that the island is a place of healing.

Aurelian Walls

The Aurelian Walls, a line of city walls built around 271 AD, remain standing after nearly 1400 years of Roman life, creating both a testament to Rome’s history and a line between antiquity and modern Italy. Created to provide fortification against invasion, the walls cover 12 miles in a circuit that includes 383 towers and 2,066 external windows. The walls continued to serve as a military defense for the city until the late 19th century, when the Bersaglieri of the Kingdom of Italy captured Rome.

Ready to stop reading and start sightseeing? Check out http://www.hipmunk.com to book your flights and find your perfect hotel.

 

 

Guide to El Nido in the Philippines

Jodi Ettenberg Legal nomads

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads.

El Nido, Palawan

 

This is the view from my guesthouse in El Nido, the Philippines. Located on Palawan, a long slice of land reaching northward to Mindoro and southward toward Malaysian Borneo, and bordered by the South China Sea to the west and the Sulu Sea to the east. It’s also stunningly beautiful. El Nido was always a stop on the route for those heading to Palawan, but given that it was fairly isolated (when I visited in 2009 the only way there was via cargo ferry, private chartered flight – too expensive!, or bus on muddy roads), it was not as touristed as elsewhere in the country. That’s changing, so we thought we would provide some info for those looking to visit.

Enter Paul, a Filipino running Walk Fly Pinoy who has provided a handy guide for getting there and away, where to stay and what to do, and more. His full guide to El Nido is here.

Safe travels!

-Jodi

The Hipmunk Guide to Airport Dunkin’ Donuts

America Runs On Dunkin’, and when traveling the world for meetings, so do some of us at Hipmunk. After spending the equivalent of two months in airports over the past year, I happen to know the location of most airport Dunkin’ Donuts—even the one at Singapore’s Changi Airport. With the help of our live chat intern, Michael, we’re taking the agony out of your bleary red-eye or weather delayed flights this holiday season by providing you with a list of Dunkin’ Donuts locations in airports around the US. Now you’ll know where to gas-up while flying to visit the family, celebrate with friends, or going to see Buddy The Elf up North!

In Singapore Airport

First off, some little known Dunkin’ Donuts facts:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts has over 9,800 locations in 31 countries and more than 6,700 are in the US;
  • Starbucks has over 17,000 stores for comparison;
  • Dunkin’ has $6 Billion in revenue annually, which is the equivalent of about 17M Coffee Combo #1‘s (Medium Coffee with Two Donuts);
  • The bad news (at least for us Californians)…there are only 75 Dunkin’ Donuts west of the Mississippi River, mostly in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas;
  • Logan International Airport (BOS), Dunkin Donuts hometown, has the most locations of any airport!

In Boston

Below is the full list of the Dunkin’ Donuts locations inside domestic airports. We called the airport information desks to confirm the locations, and if you don’t see an airport listed that means there is no Dunkin’ there:

O’Hare Airport

Go forth Hipmunkers and get pumped up with some caffeine goodness. Please tweet or leave a comment with any airport location we might’ve missed!

 

— Joe

 

 

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