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Pantheon: Pantheon View B&B

Via del Seminario, 87

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Reviewed by: stella from NY, review #1141

When: November 2004

A friendly and lovely little B&B just around the corner from the Pantheon.

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I had a wonderful stay at this little B&B. Ida, who runs the B&B was very kind and helpful. I stayed in one of the two rooms adjoining the breakfast room, and at first I worried that it would be noisy, but breakfast here is rather low-key. There are only 4 rooms and most people take their breakfast to their rooms. Speaking of breakfast, it is not sumptuous. Packaged croissants, fruit, cheeses and a few other items. Not to worry, though - go right around the corner to Tazza D'Oro, have the best cappuccino in Rome and a fluffy cornetti and you are off for the day.

The rooms are basic, but clean and lovely. The best part was the fabulous terrace that offered a slice of a view of the roof of the Pantheon off to the side, but overlooked the aparment building on the other side of Via del Seminario. An older lady that lives in the apartment would wave to me in the morning! It was November, and everything was still green and vibrant. There was a warm spell in Rome that week, and I wore short sleeves all day. In the early evening, I kept the glass terrace doors open as I got ready for dinner, and while I slept, I kept them closed to the evening chill.

The bed was large and comfortable, there were two antique tables with lamps and an old armoire. The ceiling was draped with white fabric and a pretty chandelier. I loved the terrace and had wine and snacks on there. There is also a TV, which has CNN international at night.

The bathroom was tiny, basic, functional, clean. There are some plumbing issues, which I understand completely coming from an old building in NY. Ida explains them to you and all is well. There was plenty of hot water. The shower is tiny, tiny, but works just fine.

There is no management presence to speak of, but you can contact someone if there is a serious problem. Only on two occasions did I see Ida when she was cleaning. I never even saw the other guests, even though I knew the B&B was full. I did hear my neighbors checking in and getting settled. I needed to get a hair dryer and adapter for the rest of my trip and Ida guided me to the right store nearby for both.

One of the most charming aspects of this B&B, which is on the fourth or fifth (can't remember) floor of a very old buidling of private apartments and a music school, is the tiny, tiny elevator. It closes with a glass door followed by a sliding cage, and in it, you fit yourself and a suitcase and not much more. The big doors of the building have convient buzzer to get you outside, and you receive a set of keys to get you in. I remember when I arrived there was an older man on the first floor who showed me the elevator to get to the Pantheon View. You could tell he must have done this a thousand times - he seemed tired of it but resigned nonetheless.

I have seen some not-so-great reviews of the Pantheon View on TripAdvisor. My impression is that these people are expecting a romantic, flowery, highly kitschy type of establishment with lots of attention. The Pantheon View is not that kind of place For me, the charm comes from the little quirks and low-key atmosphere. It's like the opposite of an American ideal of a B&B. You feel like you are in the bedroom of an old apartment building in Rome, plain and simple. I loved my stay and would stay there again without hesitation, and even request the room I had once again.

As for dining, you have it all nearby. I walked to restaurants near Piazza Navona, the Campo dei Fiori, towards the Spanish Steps, and had late afternoon snacks and drinks at the cafes around the Pantheon. There is a salumeria across the Piazza della Rotunda where I bought cheese and cured meats. There are numerous Tabacchi and newstands nearby; one of them carries all the international papers. Not far from the Piazza della Rotunda is Largo Argentina, which is a super-convenient transportation hub with a huge taxi stand, the trams to Trastevere, and you can catch the major buses to all parts of Rome, including the Vatican.

Around the corner from the Pantheon is Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, which is a beautiful church conatining Bernini sculptures, Filippo Lippi frescoes and the body of St. Catherine. And, of course, the Pantheon is yours.

Reviewed by: colleenk from MA, review #990

When: April 2005

Charming, budget B&B in a fabulous location. {3 stars}

Located around the corner from the fancy and expensive Del Senato hotel, this charming B&B was the perfect budget spot for our last 2 nights in Italy.

As Piazza Rotunda is one of my favorite piazzas in Rome and the Pantheon my most favorite building, this was a dream location for me. That it was 135 per night for a double room and had received generally high marks from eurocheapo.com and tripadvisor.com made it irresistable.

This B&B only has 4 rooms so it books up far in advance. It is run by a very lovely and friendly Indian woman and her family who reside there. It is on the 4th floor but does have a tiny working elevator. The room was moderate in size but the mirrored ceiling and the lovely little terrace with wisteria made if feel much larger. The beds were very comfortable and the windows were double paned so it was relatively quiet, despite being so close the lively Piazza Rotunda. You have to really lean over the balcony to get a view of the Pantheon but just having a terrace to relax on with an early evening drink was wonderful; Pantheon view or not. Only 2 of the rooms have a balcony, another reason to book in advance.

The bathroom was very small but functioned well with plenty of hot water. The room was very clean and had some lovely antiques.

The breakfast was very unappealing: packaged croissants, coffee and juice, so we never ate there. As Tasso D'Oro was around the corner with some of the best cappuccino in Rome, we were not very deprived!

This is not a place to stay if you need a lot of assistance with tourist information, reservations, etc. After being shown around on check-in, we barely saw our hosts. This was fine for us as we were familiar with Rome and knew our way around the area but may not suit a first time vistor.

I really liked this B&B and would stay there again but find it hard to believe that it is rated 4 stars according to their brochure. It must be because they have an elevator, serve breakfast and have color TVs - because it does not compare to a 4 star hotel in the US. But for the price and location, I think it is a real find. Prices range from 80 (single) to 190 for the suite. The suite does not have a balcony. Rooms can be reserved with a credit card but the balance is due in cash.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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