Program 342: Rome After Dark; Underground NYC

Release Date: 10-26-2013

On Air Description

When in Rome, one of the timeless ways to enjoy the city is people-watching and enjoying the night air in one of the city's picturesque public squares.  On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, we'll find out how to experience a more intimate side of Rome, after dark. 

And a guide to New York City tells us about the un-touristy corners of his city, where you can get in touch with New York's forgotten history, and explore the city's multicultural character.

Get to know Rome and New York from a whole new angle, on the next Travel with Rick Steves.


  • Francesca Caruso, tour guide based in Rome
  • Gene Openshaw, art and history specialist, co-author of "Rick Steves' Europe 101"
  • Moses Gates, NYC tour guide and author of "Hidden Cities:  A Memoir of Urban Exploration"  (Tarcher-Penguin)

Related Links


  • Caller recommends Trastevere at night "to experience true Italy while in Rome. When I studied abroad in Roma my friends and I would have girls night progressive dinners around Trastevere. We would get appetizer, dinner, and dessert at 3 different restaurants. We could find a whole pizza for 3 euros for the main course and sit down at a restaurant to eat it."   (Rebekah in Chicago)
  • "Where can a solo woman traveler go to enjoy the evening activities and still be safe?"  Asks advice for dos and don'ts (in terms of body language) for a solo woman traveler in Rome's bars and nightlife venues.   (Aldora in Oakland, California)
  • "Alone with the wife for the first time in 9 years (kids with in-laws), first time to Rome.  Where can we be alone and swept away?"  (e-mail from Kevin in Wilmington, Delaware)  
  • "Taxis in Rome seem well organized.  However, I am not sure I am making the best choices.  On one trip I took a taxi late at night from the airport and it was a harrowing high-speed ride into the center of town and my hotel.  On another trip from a downtown hotel, we actually went on a dirt road through a junk yard in order to get back on the highway to the airport. That made me very nervous for a couple minutes.  Are these experiences common or worrisome?" (in extra - Bob in Huntley, Illinois)
  • "One of my favorite places in New York is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.   It is fascinating to see the apartments of actual families and hear their diverse stories."  It's also fun to stop at Katz's afterward for a pastrami sandwich and an egg cream!   (Monique in Haverhill, Massachusetts)
  • "I think Manhattan is best viewed from Hoboken, New Jersey, where I live."  Describes bike route to NYC from New Jersey over the George Washington Bridge.  (Eric in Hoboken, New Jersey)

Incidental Music

  • Christophe Beck, "Bramasole," Under the Tuscan Sun (soundtrack) / Hollywood Records
  • I Solisti Veneti, Claudio Scimone, cond., "'Largo' from 'Violin Concerto in D, Op. 11 No. 1 (Vivaldi)," Relax with the Classics, vol. 2 / LIND Institute
  • Adriano Valle and Gabriela Piccini, "Chitarra Romana," Le Canzoni dei Ricordi anni '40, CD 2 (collection) / Duck Record (Italy)
  • Randy Crawford, "Give Me The Night,"  The Best of Randy Crawford / Warner Bros.
  • * Bob James and Earl Klugh, "Fugitive," Cool / Warner Bros.
  • I Giullari di Piazza, "Danza Dei Siculi (Dance of the Moon)," Earth Sun & Moon / Lyrichord
  • Placido Domingo, with the Philharmonia Orchestra, cond. by James Levine, "'E lucevan le stelle' from 'Tosca, act 3,'" Aria (collection) / EMI Classics
  • I Musici, "String Concerto in G Minor:  Andanta molto (Vivaldi)," Vivaldi for Valentines (collection) / Philips
  • London Symphony Orchestra, Yan-Pascal Tortelier, cond., "Boléro, Ballet for Orchestra (Ravel),"  The Kiss:  Music for Love and Passion (collection) / Interchord
  • Kiri Te Kanawa, "Vissi d'arte (from the Puccini opera 'Tosca')," The #1 Opera Album, disc 1 (collection) / Decca
  • Miles Davis, with Bill Evans, piano, "So What," Kind of Blue / Columbia
  • * Orchestra Alec Medina, "On the Beat," Pops of the 80s / Pro Media
  • Lemongrass, "La Mer," Nikki Beach, vol. 1 (collection) / Loungism Recordings
  • Stevie Wonder, "Living for the City," The Definitive Collection / Motown
  • Orchestra del Teatro la Fenice, Ion Marin, cond., "'Serena i vaghi rai' from 'Semiramide' (Rossini)," Cecilia Bartoli: Rossini Heriones / London
  • Frank Sinatra, "Autumn in New York," Come Fly With Me / Capitol
  • Miles Davis, "All Blues,"  Kind of Blue / Columbia
  • Nina Simone, "Good Bait," The Very Best of Nina Simone, disc 1 / Disconforme

Dated References

  • At 42:16, Moses says the #7 train is a designated National Heritage Trail, and goes to Jackson Heights in Queens, which he calls one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods.  At 43:34, he notes in the winter he likes to take people to 89th and 90th Streets for elaborate Christmas displays in the heart of Brooklyn. 
  • At 48:24, Moses recommends NYC follow the lead of Sydney, Australia, which has an officially-sanctioned bridge climb tour.
  • Rick asks Moses at 54:55 to tell about an observation he had of an area of Bangladeshi residents in Brooklyn's Kensington neighborhood, a few weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, which he compares to the Passover story. 

Program Extras

Program 342 Extra - Caller Bob from Huntley, Illinois describes taxi rides he had to and from the Rome airport that made him think twice. (runs 3:58)