Rome sightseeing and popular attractions

April 3, 2018 - Rome

Another archeological find was again accidentally unearthed in Rome.

The Metro C construction work on the Amba Aradam station which was originally carried out to expand the subway line of Rome has temporarily turned into an archeological site when the workers accidentally unearthed a sprawling 300-sqm 2nd-century residence which was believed to be owned by an ancient Roman military commander. The Amba Aradam station is located in the neighborhood of S. Giovanni.

The marble floors, intricate geometric black and white design mosaic, and frescoed walls of the archeological relic are all well-preserved and are still complete. It has no less than 14 rooms, a central courtyard, and a fountain.

According to the archaeologists, this discovery is the first of its kind in the capital. The ancient residence or dome was situated just around 40 feet below Viale Ipponi. It is said to be connected to the military barracks which were used as a dormitory by the Praetorian guards of Emperor Hadrian around 2,000 years ago. The said military barracks were discovered in 2016 in the same location.

The archeologists carefully dismantled and removed the relics from the site and transferred them to another area to allow the subway construction works to continue. The ruins will then be placed back to their original position once the works are all done.

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Trams in Rome
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Villa Borghese
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March 15, 2018 - Rome

Rome is undeniably a beautiful and majestic city. With so much to see, do, and try in Rome, you will surely have a great time roaming around the city and taking a peek at its grandiose beauty, rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, and amazing sightseeing spots and landmarks like the over 2,000 years old Colosseum, the iconic Trevi Fountain, the papal residence the Vatican City, the famous Saint Peter’s Basilica and its dome, and Michelangelo’s most notable work of art in Sistine Chapel

But with so much to enjoy in the city comes also many things that can ruin your holiday vacation. Here are a few travel mistakes that are committed by many tourists in Rome most especially by first-time travelers. Avoid these travel mistakes and you will surely have a wonderful time in the Eternal City.

Focusing only on the sightseeing sites located at the historic center

Rome’s historic center is jampacked with must-see historical sightseeing sites. But if you only focus on what you can see in the city center, you are missing a huge part of Rome. There are so many interesting things that you can see and do outside the city center. If you want to experience the authentic Roman culture, try exploring the different neighborhoods of the city.

Some of the nice neighborhoods are Testaccio (where you can see the Pyramid of Cestius, Museum of Via Ostiense, and Porta San Paolo), Trastevere (where you can see Villa Farnesina and its majestic gardens, Flea market Porta Portese, and Rome’s oldest Marian church known as Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere), and Trevi District (where you can find the famous Trevi Fountain, the Fontana del Tritone, and lots of churches, squares, and palaces).

Going around the city by public transport, rent a car, or taxis

The best way to enjoy the city is by foot. Not only will you experience more of what the city can offer, you can as well save a huge amount of money for fare or rental fee, and you’ll also have an instant exercise while enjoying the beautiful sceneries around. Instead of riding a taxi, private vehicle, or public transport, get yourself a comfortable pair of walking shoes and be ready for a day of walking. There are also a lot of bikes you can rent around Rome.

Visiting the city’s famous landmarks in rush hours

Most, if not all, of the famous landmarks and sightseeing spots in Rome are busy during midday. While it is alright to go with the crowd, it is still better to see these spots when you can enjoy them most especially those that you can access without passes like the fountains. That is, as much as possible avoid going to these spots in rush hours. Instead, visit them before the shops are open and before they get too crowded. For instance, you can visit Trevi Fountain or Fontana del Tritone before 6 in the morning.

Traveling to Rome without some Italian words in your pocket

Where ever you go, or whatever tourist destination you want to visit, it is best to pack some basic words spoken by the locals. This will make your trip more pleasant and less stressful. Try to learn some basic Italian words before going to Rome. It will greatly help you, especially when buying some things at the shops, ordering at the restaurants or cafes, and asking for directions.

Art lover? Don’t just depend on museums

One mistake often committed by first-time visitors, especially those art fanatics is focusing only on museums. The city itself is a large open museum. Everywhere you look you will work of art of the ancient talents.
Apart from the museums, you can also see a lot of remarkable masterpieces and artworks in different ancient structures and buildings around the city. For one, you have Sistine Chapel where you can find one of the most amazing works of art, the masterpiece of Michaelangelo known as the “story of creation”.

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The Fountain of the Four Rivers
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Lucius Antonius Saturninus
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February 13, 2018 - Rome

Love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day getting closer and closer, many people are now busy checking out what’s the best place to celebrate the heart’s day with their loved ones.

There’s more to Rome than just artworks, rich historical collections, old ruins, ancient structures, and shopping. The Italian capital is likewise among the most romantic destinations for couples who want to savor and share sweet moments together.

If you are planning to have a short vacation together with your special someone, friends, or family in the Eternal City for Valentine’s Day, we have here some suggestions for you. These activities and romantic spots will surely make your Valentine’s Day celebration one of the most memorable time in your life.

Catch the Tiber River tour

There is nothing more romantic than having dinner with your special someone in a candlelit setup, together with great music while watching the sunset and while on board of the Tiber River boat tour. The Tiber River boat tour is not just any typical tour. Aside from the romantic ambiance, you can likewise see, enjoy, and discover the most picturesque masterpieces, fascinating history, and amazing sightseeing spots of the Eternal City from the waters like the Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Janiculum Hill.

If you are planning to propose to your girlfriend, this is the best place to pop the most important question of your life.

The Tiber River tour typically begins from Ponte Duca s’Aosta and ends in Isola Tiberina and vice versa.

Stroll by the river

Tiber river features one of the most breathtaking landscapes in and around the city most especially at night. If joining the boat tour is not your thing, you can instead try to take a walk by the river at twilight and enjoy the heartwarming drama of nature.

See some exhibitions

Whether you are an avid fan of arts and culture or just hanging around, you will surely find visiting some exhibitions in Rome really enjoyable and exciting. Among the exhibitions with a romantic atmosphere that are presently open are The Klimt Experience in Piazza S. Giovanni, Bernini at Galleria Borghese, Monet at the Vittoriano, and Artisti all’Opera at Palazza Braschi.

Visit the Aventine Hill

Another nice place to enjoy walking and to share an intimate moment with your partner is at the Aventine Hill. This beautiful, atmospheric, and tranquil place is pretty secluded from the city, which makes it one of the best spot for lovers.

Have a stroll at the Giardino degli Aranci

Just a few steps from the Aventine Hill you can find the Giardino degli Aranci, also popularly referred to as Parco Savello. Giardino degli Aranci is best known for its Orange and Rose Gardens. There, you can take a breath of the relaxing natural aroma of orange while enjoying the scenic landscape around.

Try some romantic Valentine’s aperitivos

Do you want to try some romantic Valentine’s aperitivos? Well, you can find them in places like Ciampini at the Spanish Steps, Etablì near Piazza Navona, Tre Scalini in Monti, and Casa Bleve near the Pantheon.

Dining on a Valentine’s Day

If you are looking for a cozy place in Rome for Valentine’s Day dinner, you can find many restaurants in the historic center and the neighbourhood of the city that offer special Valentine’s Day promotions. Among the famous restaurants with an air of love all around are the São Brazilian-Sushi on Viale Aventino, Enoteca Ferrara in Trastevere, and L’Archeologia on the Appia Antica.

Secure your love padlocks in Ponte Milvio

In Rome, if you want to ensures a come-back trip to Rome, pay a visit to the iconic Trevi Fountain and toss a coin or two over its basin. In Ponte Milvio, if you want to have a fortified relationship with your partner, make sure that you firmly secure your love padlocks and then throw the key to the river. Securing love padlocks in Ponte Milvio signifies the shatterproof bond of couples. How about doing such tradition yourself?

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January 29, 2018 - Rome

After 13 long years in the dark, there is finally light on the Palatine Hill.

Rome has recently illuminated the archaeological monuments on the Palatine Hill, finally putting an end to the over a decade of darkness.

Because of the new permanent lighting system initiative of ACEA and the city, the Palatine monuments are now floodlit at night not only on the outside but also on the inside. The Azienda Comunale Elettricità e Acque, now known as ACEA, is an Italian energy and water supply company that supplies the electricity and water needs of Rome.

With the permanent lighting system, the already impressive historical monuments are made more stunning. But the most stunning of them all is the exterior area that faces the famous Circus Maximus.

The Palatine Hill is one of the oldest part of Rome as well as the centermost hill and the frontrunner of the Seven Hills of Rome. This majestic hill was once the home of some of the most notable Roman emperors in the history. It is where you can see most of the remarkable ancient temples in the city.

Apart from the archaeological monuments on the Palatine Hill, Rome and ACEA also illuminated the other iconic Roman monuments including the Piramide Cestia, the Porta S. Paolo, and the archaeological area of the Circus Maximus.

 

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December 19, 2017 - Rome

You can’t really deny that Rome is not only the best destination for people who are fond of history, art, ancient architecture, and culture but also for people who want to enjoy a uniquely memorable Christmas holiday.

Christmas is indeed in the air especially in the historic center of the Eternal City. Everywhere you look, where ever you go around the city, you can definitely feel the spirit of Christmas. But apart from the number of vibrant lights, gigantic, beautifully ornamented, and colorful Christmas trees as well as the remarkable life-size nativity scenes which are being displayed in different parts of the city, both tourists and locals are also looking forward to visiting and shopping at the most popular Christmas markets in Rome.

From handmade creations to vintage products, from gift items to home design products, from mouthwatering delicacies to fashion, and everything in between, you will surely find Rome’s markets the best places for Christmas shopping.

Listed below are some of the alternative traditional markets in and nearby the historic center that help make up a festive atmosphere in Rome this December.

Mercato Monti

Monti is known for its hipster funk and vintage charm characteristics. And you can find this special characteristic in its urban market called the Mercato Monti. You can find a wide selection of old fashion and vintage-style accessories, illustrations, clothing, books, and other artisanal treasures in this trendy shopping venue. This year’s Mercato Monti is made better and bigger to promote the works of over 50 young and competitive talents.

If you are looking for high-quality yet affordable vintage items especially those brands that are exclusively made in Italy, then Mercato Monti is the best place to be. You can visit Mercato Monti at Via Leonina 46 (Metro B Cavour) on December 16 to 24 from 10:00 o’clock in the morning until 8:00 o’clock in the evening. Entrance is free.

Arts and Craft Market

The Arts and Craft Market is usually hosted in Piazza Cinecittà. This year marks the market’s 16th edition and it is now under the organization and management of cultural association Prenti l’Arte. If you want to see a favorable amount of handmade artworks created by over 40 artisans, visit the Arts and Craft Market for free on December 8 to 24 at around 9:00 o’clock in the morning until 8:00 o’clock in the evening.

Car Boot Market

Are you looking for a specific place where you can purchase pre-loved items like vintage jewelry, clothes, and Bric-à-Brac? Then, why not visit the Car Boot Market in the Città dell’Altra Economia complex grounds in Largo Dino Frisullo, Testaccio. The Car Boot Market is open on December 27 from 10:00 o’clock until sunset. Entrance is free.

Auditorium Parco Della Musica

Known as a winter wonderland oasis, the Auditorium Parco Della Musica is not only a place for enjoying Christmas shopping but also for showing off your skills and expertise on the ice rink. Whether you are looking for hand-made gifts and artisan works or food items and delicacies from different Italian regions you will surely find the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones at one of the over 30 stands in its traditional Christmas market.

Visit the Auditorium Parco Della Musica at Viale De Coubertin Pietro, 30 (Parioli) on December 15, 2017, to January 7, 2018, from 10:00 o’clock in the morning until 9:00 o’clock in the evening.

Piazza Mazzini Christmas Fair Market

Although the Piazza Mazzini Market in Prati is an all around the year vintage shopping destination, it instantly transforms into a Piazza Mazzini Christmas Fair Market every December. The Christmas Fair is open from 8:00 o’clock in the morning until 8:00 o’clock in the evening. Here you can find a wide selection of uniquely designed vintage Christmas decorations, gifts, crafts, and many more.

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December 8, 2017 - Rome

Pope Francis is expected to pay a visit to Piazza Mignanelli located just a stone throw away from the world famous ancient Spanish Steps on December 8, Friday at around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon during the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Making a pilgrimage to the square is an important part of paying homage to the Virgin Mary. As part of the ceremony, the pontiff will kneel in prayer and then leave a floral wreath afterward. The wreath will be taken by the firemen and will then be placed into the right hand of the statue of the Madonna situated in Piazza Mignanelli during the ceremony which is typically attended by the mayor of the Italian capital.

Due to the pontiff’s visit, there will be all-day street closures as well as bus detours in the historic center specifically in the surrounding areas of the Spanish Steps.

This annual religious tradition has been observed since 1958. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is regarded as both a national public holiday in Italy and a significant Catholic holy day. And since its a non-working national holiday, all government agencies, banks, post office, public offices, schools (both public and private) from primary to college levels, and other and will be closed.

Most of the shopping centers in the historic center and in the entire country will remain open during the event, though. Since it is a non-working holiday, many people are expected to flock to different shopping centers not only to witness the event or to enjoy the festivity but also to do early Christmas shopping. The feast is regarded as the onset of the Christmas shopping season in Rome.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception is a celebration of the belief of Christians in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is celebrated every 8th of December, exactly 9 months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary on the 8th of September.

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December 6, 2017 - Rome

It has been a tradition for the Vatican to build a gigantic Christmas tree and a life-size crib scene at the center of Saint Peter’s Square. This year, the Vatican will officially unveil and light its colossal Christmas tree and nativity scene on December 7 at around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

The giant red fir Christmas tree stands 28 meters high and is ornamented with clay baubles and stars. This year’s design is created by the children from the areas in Central Italy that were hit by the earthquake as well as by the young cancer patients from various hospitals in the country.

The Christmas tree is a gift from the Archdiocese of Elk in Poland. It took nearly 1,245 miles and 12-days before the Polish Christmas tree arrived in the Vatican. This is the second time Poland donated a Christmas tree to the city. Twenty years ago, Pope John Paul II also requested to place a Polish tree in St. Peter’s Square.

The nativity scene was donated by the ancient Abbey of Montevergine in the southern Italian region of Campania. Whilst the crib backdrop as well as the terracotta figures that stand 2 meters high and designed with 18th-century Neapolitan costumes were products of the local artisans.

If you want to witness both the monumental Christmas tree and the nativity scene, you can see them standing at the center of St Peter’s Square until January 7, 2018.

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November 15, 2017 - Rome

Out of the more than 4,400 cities in the world, Rome ranks as the 12th most popular destination. In the result of the latest “2017 Top 100 City Destinations” survey done by Euromonitor International which was presented on November 7 during the World Travel Market event in London, the Italian capital got the 12th place.

A total of approximately 9.6 million tourists from all the around the world are expected to visit the Eternal City by the end of 2017. As compared to last year, there will be an increase of 1.8% number of tourist who will be visiting the city this year.

Hong Kong still got the number 1 spot with expected 25.7 million expected international tourists. Hong Kong has been marked as the most visited city destination in the world for nine consecutive years already. Following Hong Kong is Bangkok with 23.27 million expected international tourists. The third placer is London with 19.8 million expected international tourists.

Aside from Rome, there are three other Italian cities that are listed in the top 100 city destinations in the world. Milan which has expected international tourists of 6.8 million got the 27th spot. Venice is in the 38th spot with 5.2 million expected international tourists. The third Italian city is Florence. With 4.9 million expected international tourists, Florence ranked as number 44 most visited city in the world.

Rome is such a majestic city. It has always something interesting and exciting to offer both to the locals and tourists alike: from rich history to ancient arts, from amazing architecture to nature parks, from spacious piazzas to theaters and museums, from shopping to gastronomy, and everything in between. No wonder why millions of people from different countries dream of visiting the city.

Among the most popular landmarks in Rome are the over 2,000 years old gigantic amphitheater known as the Colosseum which used to accommodate around 50,000 to 80,000 viewers at a time; the world-renowned Trevi Fountai which is known as the largest and most popular Baroque-style fountain in the city; the elaborately designed Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City which is famous for Michelangelo’s spectacular paintings of the story of “The Creation” and “The Last Judgment”; and the iconic Saint Peter’s Basilica and its impressive dome.

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October 31, 2017 - Rome

After a decade, the waters of Italian capital’s famous 18th-century fountain known as Trevi Fountain has turned to red again. It happened when the anarchic activist-artist Graziano Cecchini poured red dye into the landmark basin on the afternoon of October 26 in protest to the city’s 2017 film festival which was opened on Thursday.

According to reports, Cecchini was immediately arrested by the local police and is currently awaiting appropriate charges. Meanwhile, the local government is still assessing the Baroque monument for possible damage.

Cecchini has done the same ‘vandalism-art’ stunt as a protest against the cost of hosting an international film festival last 2007. Just like this year, the 64-year-old anarchic activist-artist also dyed the fountain in the historic center of Rome which gave him a spotlight in different international news portals.

Graziano Cecchini is also the same person who is responsible for the 500,000 plastic balls which were rolled down the Spanish Steps in 2008. According to the artist, each of the plastic balls represents the lie being told by a politician. Such act of protest also garnered Cecchini a lot of attention.

Trevi fountain is one of the most well-known fountains not only in Rome but also in the world. It is especially famous among tourists. As the legend tells, if you want a return visit to Rome, you will have to throw coins into the 18th-century marble fountain’s basin.

The Baroque masterpiece has recently gone through a €2 million restoration work which was sponsored by fashion house Fendi and was just reopened in 2015 after a long restoration work.

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October 24, 2017 - Rome

It was during the first months of 1917 when the notable Spanish poet, sculptor, playwright, printmaker, painter, ceramicist, and stage designer Pablo Picasso traveled to Italy in hope of finding an inspiration for the “Parade” ballet sets that he was designing.

This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Picasso’s journey in Italy. To commemorate his contribution to the history, Rome held a new exhibition called “Picasso between Cubism and Neo-Classicism: 1915-1925”. The exhibition displays 100 pieces of Picasso’s masterpieces including stage costumes, drawings, paintings, sketches, and watercolors.

Apart from the exhibition of the 100 masterpieces at the Quirinal Stables, there is also a separate event entitled the “Parade” at the Palazzo Barberini.

With a dimension of 52.5 feet by 33.8 feet or 16.5 meters by 10.5 meters, the “Parade” is considered as the most monumental work of Picasso. It also marks the end of the Spanish artist’s Cubist period and his return to figurative. The gigantic painting features a winged horse together with some street performers and a mammoth stage curtain.

For Picasso, his grand journey to Italy was one of the most memorable and important parts of his life. Initially, one of the main purposes, why he traveled to Italy in February 1917, is to meet the founder of the Ballets Russes named Serge de Diaghilev. After his arrival in Rome, he met the ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova who eventually became his wife.

Picasso, who was based in Paris, used to be really interested not only in Baroque painting and sculpture but also in artists like Bernini. He was also interested in classic monumental sculpture and popular shows. Picasso was one of the most inspiring, influential, and well-known artists of the 20th century.

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