when in rome . . .
what to do & see
chieftains museum: 501 riverside parkway. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., wednesday to saturday. the former home of cherokee leader major ridge and his family, the home displays the history and traditions of the cherokee indians and the clash of cultures in the southeaster united states, which culminated in the 'trail of tears.' a national historic landmark. www.chieftainsmuseum.org
oak hill and the martha berry museum: on the campus of berry college in mount berry, georgia. monday - saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the museum serves as the visitors center and hold a collection of berry memorabilia and art. oak hill was the home of martha berry, founder of berry college. admission fee.
myrtle hill cemetery: broad and mrytle streets. daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. located at the confluence of the etowah and oostanaula rivers atop one of the seven hills of rome, the cemetery covers 32 acres on six terraces. listed in the national register of historic places. resting place of 368 civil war soldiers (union and confederate), plus first lady of the united states - ellen axson wilson. one of the most unique tour guides - your cell phone - try this app as you walk the paths: www.myrtlehill.mobi. free for iphones, ipads, and androids.
historic district: join historian anne culpepper, rome's official historian, on a walking tour through the historic district as well as through myrtle hill cemetery. www.visitromega.org
clocktower: downtown. climb 107 steps for a spectacular view of the city and neighboring states. a museum which tells the history of rome. open the first saturday of summer months or by special appointment. free.
rome braves: the romans love their class a affiliate of the atlanta braves, the rome braves. catch a game at state mutual stadium. play continues through the first week in september. www.romebraves.com
where to stay
claremont house: an 1882 victorian gothic home listed on the national register of historic places. four beautifully decorated rooms with private baths, plus a cottage. serves a gourmet breakfast as well as complimentary snacks and beverages. www.theclaremonthouse.com
where to eat
partridge restaurant: 330 broad street. the third oldest restaurant in georgia (serving for over 78 years), the partridge cafe - once a theatre - serves generous down home family-style southern foods like fried chicken, pinto beans, cornbread in a skillet, slaw and that's only the beginning. top off the meal (if you have room) with pear cobbler, banana pudding or cake. partridgerestaurant.com
harvest moon cafe: 234 broad street. open daily. a trendy southern style restaurant that has ingredients delivered three times a week to ensure freshness. manager patrick, along with two chefs, put menus together to delight romans and travelers. here's my suggestion: try the sweet potato chips with bacon gorgonzola dip (they sell in quantities too) and catfish fingers. don't miss the jammin' tomato sandwich - fried green tomato, wicked chipotle pimina cheese and bacon jam on grilled focaccia. YUM. www.myharvestmooncafe.com
when to go
october 19 - myrtle hill cemetery: spirits of the civil war: where roman rest. learn about the residents of the cemetery, heroes and heroines of rome's past. includes 400 civil war graves. strenuous walk including steep steps. $8, adults; $5 children under 12.
the clock tower, rome's official symbol. its story begins years before the civil war when james noble and his family moved to rome from pennsylvania, and he purchased land and built a foundry and machine works. he built manufactured steam engines and during the war, built cannons for the confederacy. when the federal forces occupied rome in 1864, sherman ordered the foundry destroyed which included most of the downtown area. afterwards, rome was in need of water, so in 1870, the noble family led the movement to build a water tower (now the clocktower). the clock's nine foot face was ordered by noble and was made in massachusetts. today, the tower's 'tank' is a museum to its history. there's 107 steps to the clock face and is open for tour by appointment.