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Annual Events in Rome

“New Year’s Day

Following the previous evening’s revelry, children’s activity unfolds on New Year’s Day in the Piazza del Popola, with clowns and other performers on stilts, papier-mache masks, fire-eaters, and more. Call +914 669 5378 or more information.

Underground Market

Unfolding in a subterranean parking lot near the Via Sistina, this monthly antiques market caters to collectors. Call +39 0636 004399 for more information.

Roman Purim

This Roman Jewish holiday, the Mo’ed di Piombo, stems from 1793 AD (5553 in the Hebrew calendar). Rome’s Jewish Temple is illuminated at night as the rabbi explains the meaning underscoring the celebration. Call +39 0636 004399 for more information.

February

Rome Independent Film Festival

As Rome’s foremost cinema event, the Independent Film Festival showcases more than 40 artists from some 25 countries. Screenings are in theaters at Cinema Pasquino, Cinema Roma and the Ripa Hotel. Call 0039 0636 004399 for more information.

March

Eurochocolate

During Eurochocolate week everything revolves around the seductive sweet stuff with some 500 participating stands, a Chocobookshop, a Chocofarm and a chocolate-flavored film competition. For added flair, the famed Trinita dei Monti staircase gets plastered with 3,000 pure chocolate eggs. Call + 39 06 36 00 4399 for more information.

April

Rome’s Good Friday Procession

On Good Friday, a torchlit procession moves from the Via Crucis, from the Colosseum and up the Monte Palatino, re-enacting the 14 station of the cross from the death of Jesus to placement of his body in the tomb. Call +39 06 3600 4 399 for more information.

Monthly Bargain Market

La Soffitta Sotto I Portici is a monthly bargain market taking place on the third Sunday with collectibles, memorabilia and more up for grabs. Call +39 06 3600 4399 for more information.

May

May Day Musical

On May 1, Rome celebrates spring’s arrival with a world-class music festival in Piazza San Giovanni. Call +39 06 3600 4399 for more information.

Spring Antiques Market

The Grande Mercato di Primavera (Great Spring Market) offers memorabilia for all tastes. Call +39 06 3600 4399 for more information.

Tennis Masters Series

Great tennis arrives in Rome with the Masters Series where 120 players compete for the top prizes. Call +39 06 3600 4399 for more information.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

This breast cancer awareness fund-raiser involves a mini-marathon at the Stadio delle Terme di Caracalla.

Things To Do On Holiday In Italy

Italy is a very popular family holiday destination for families staying in self catering apartments and holiday villas. It is also popular with couples on romantic short city breaks. They can choose to stay in a holiday cottage or a luxurious holiday villa with a swimming pool.

Rome is now one of the most popular cities in Europe. While here you can choose to stay in one of the many holiday apartments or luxury villas available to rent direct from the holiday home owner in the capital. The prime attraction of Rome is the Colosseum. Emperor Vespasiano built this in 80 A.D. and gladiator fights were performed here. This is a huge monumental structure.

The Vatican City has many hot spots like St. Peter’s square, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Gardens, the Sistine chapel and the Vatican museums. Another popular tourist spot is Fontana di Trevi. There is a belief that if a person throws a coin into the water here, the person would return to Rome at least once again.

Tuscany is an enticing tourist destination and one of the most popular in the world. Tuscany is home to Siena, Lucca, Pisa and Florence. Here, you will find the great works of Renaissance architects, sculptors and painters. Some examples are Filippo Brunelleschi, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci. The Cathedral of Pisa has a bell tower called as the Tower of Pisa. You will find the visit here is physically challenging. There are more than three hundred steps that wind up a narrow staircase. Tourists come from all over the world to visit here; they stay in self catering apartments or holiday villas that they rent from the home owner.

In Tuscany, you can enjoy horse riding from Centro Ippicol Agrifoglio. The horses are extremely obedient, soft and gentle and the inspiring countryside can be seen along with a relaxing ride. At the Circolo Golf Ugolino, a round of golf can be played.

St. Mark’s square is located in the midst of Venice. Families on vacation rental a luxury villa with a swimming pool or a holiday apartment and use this as a base to explore the local sites and culture. There are many museums here. Basilica is a church that has golden mosaics. Also, there is a 10th century altarpiece. Doge’s Palace has a museum inside it. Close to the basilica, there is a Porta della Carta. From the palace, there are pleasant views of the island San Giorgio Maggiore.

Towards the east is the Ponte della Paglia. From this spot, you can see the Bridge of Sighs which proves very popular with tourists. Towards the north of St. Mark’s square, there is a Rialto bridge. While walking from St. Mark’s square to this bridge, you will find many shops selling sweets, handbags, and designer clothing and glass souvenirs. Another major attraction for families staying in self catering apartments or villas is Aberoni golf course, it is the most popular.

Tourist can also enjoy fun filled recreational activities such as sailing in San Giorgio del Maggiore Island, swimming can be done down on the beach, in-line skating at the rink in Castello, tennis and rowing in Canottieri Bucintoro.

A Walk in the Park – Touring Rome by the Day

It’s undeniable that there are so many beautiful places that you can lay your eyes on once you get in Rome. But when is the best time to enjoy it? Of course! in the morning, especially when the weather’s just right for some strolling.

Rome Day Tours Is All about Choices

When it comes to Rome day tours, everything will be according to your choice, and it will never be that hard as you’re provided with lots of them. First of all, you can have the option of enjoying this historical city all on your own. If you have a car, then you can simply get away from the usual places of interest of Rome and proceed to the countryside and nearby villages. Certainly, these locations are not covered by professional and commercial day tours. This will surely be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Besides, travel doesn’t have to be super-expensive as there are trains that you can ride going from one point to another.

For those who are visiting Rome for the first time, however, it’s advisable to take on Rome day tours provided by local Official Tour Guides. They would cover numerous places that you can probably miss out if you’re only doing the touring alone. Besides, it’s great to have a private Official Tour guide with you, explaining the rich history of each monument and building that you’re going to pass through.

Normally, Rome day tours are referred to as the walking tours. This is because majority of world-renowned establishments are found close to one another. You can basically start your tour at 10:00 a.m. at the Roman Forum, where imposing buildings used to stand. While you’re there, why don’t you listen to the tales and anecdotes that will be shared by your tour guide? They can give you a glimpse of the political and social life of the Romans, which have been known for their philosophies and theories.

You can then proceed to the Colosseum where gladiators used to reign. They speak so much on the form of entertainment during the days of the emperors. But more than that, your Rome private day tours will provide you on the technicalities of the venue. After all, isn’t everyone always left in awe as to how the Colosseum came to be? Nevertheless, it’s ideal to bring in some cash with you, as you will likely get to pay an entrance fee. Besides, this will help you skip a very long line.

After lunch, you can then proceed to other magnificent edifices, even including those that are found at the back streets. These include the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Pizza Navona, and Trevi Fountain, among others. A fountain that has been the fruit of the collaboration of great Italian artists, such as Borromini and Bernini, is found within the area too.

Rome private day tours can be a lot of fun. However, it’s not only you who share the same opinion. So if you don’t want to have anyone taking on your spot, it’s always best to book your private tour days ahead, especially if it’s going to last for some

Tips for visiting Rome – Part 7

I have to go to Rome 2 or 3 times every year, send by The Italian Customs Agency for which I work, to attend to refresher courses, normally for 3-4 days.

After 17:00, I’m free to walk about Rome to visit the many interesting places over there.

Time available for me is not many and those hours are not the best because there’s the top of traffic, just since 17:00 to about 20:30, the Imperial Forum and other public parks and museums are going to close, except for some exceptions with particular expositions.

So, the best (relatively) is moving in the middle of the afternoon, since 14:00 to 17:30, if you don’t suffer the hot in summer, otherwise, in the middle of the morning (10:00 – 13:00) and then, in the evening, after 20:30 – 21:00 to have dinner (in Rome, rather late hours for dinner are usual) and visit Rome in the evening, very nice and pleasant.

If you walk in the evening, stay always in the centre, where, normally, there’s many people and the “movida”, because to circulate in the other areas can be more dangerous for crime and robbings.

Rome is beautiful, but, surely, is NOT a paradise.

To move in Rome, try to use as much as possible the two lines (A and B) of the Underground, although very little thing, if compared to that of Paris, London, or New York and it’s often crowded; by the way, this is the fastest way to move across the town.

Be careful that, if I remember well, at 23:00 it closes the service.

Avoid absolutely taxis, because they’re too expensive and not fast for the traffic, if you don’t have too much money.

Then, where the underground can’t get, take a bus or walk, being careful to cross roads, because Romans are rather fast, nevrotic and few patient with pedestrians.

My advice is that of buying a daily ticket for 4.00 Eur to circulate freely the whole day by bus and underground.

There’re also other tickets for 3 or 7 days, really convenient and comfortable.

Buy cumulative tickets to visit more museums with the same ticket; you will spend less and save time.

If you have time and will to walk, start from the underground stop of Terme di Caracalla, pass through the Viale delle Terme di Caracalla and then,

continue along Via di Porta S. Sebastiano, the beginning of Via Appia Antica (the first of the great roads built by the ancient Romans, pass Porta S. Sebastiano (a door of the Aurelian Walls) and then walk also for 5, 7, or 10 km along the Via Appia Antica.

The landscape of the “Campagna Romana” is very nice and green, with many ancient imponent ruins and the S. Callisto Catacombe, (the ancient Christian underground cemetery).

The area is today a great natural park, saved from the assaults of modern cements after many years of environmental battles.

I made this long walk in a beautiful free sunny Saturday of October; wonderful!

Great books about traveling to Rome

This is a selection of books from different genres that make for a good read in the eternal city.

Italo Svevo – ‘A Life’, 1999. Novel, translated.

Anthony Barrett – ‘Agrippina’, 1996. Historical.

David Yallop – ‘In God’s Name’, 1997. Finely researched nvel about papal intrigue.

Irving Stone – ‘Agony and Ectasy. 1989, Fictional novel based on facts about Michelangelo.

John Cornwell – ‘Hitler’s Pope’. 1999. Historical.

Steven Saylor – ‘The House of the Vestals. 1999. Accurately documented fiction set in Ancient Rome.

Edward Gibbon – ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’. 1982. Historical literature.

Elizabeth David – ‘Italian Food’. 1998. Cookery book from the English-language doyenne of European cuisine.

Richard, Francis and Robert Graves – ‘I Claudius, Carcanet Press. 1998. Accurately documented fiction in Ancient Rome.

Alberto Moravia – ‘Racconti Romani’, 1997; ‘The Confromist, 1999. Contemorary fiction, translated.

Colleen McCullough – ‘The First Man in Rome, 1992; ‘The Grass Crown, 1992; ‘Caeser’s Women, 1997. Finely researched fiction set in Ancient Rome.

Agustus Hare – ‘Agustus Hare in Italy’, 1997 (19th century text, re-published)

Italy By Bike: Bike Hotels Near Rome

Open stretches of land and sweet hills make up the scenario that Lazio, the ancient home of the Romans, offers bike enthusiasts who would like to enjoy their favourite sport while on holidays.

Cycling tourism, which has become increasingly popular over the last few years, offers the possibility of a healthy holiday based upon cycling trails, typical products and wellness treatments.

In response to the need to maintain a healthy mind in a healthy body also while on holiday, the bike hotels on the hills of Lazio provide an all-inclusive holiday for cyclists.

Expert guides take guests along the most famous routes between Rome and Naples and bike hotels provide unique bike services, from bike deposits to sportswear, cycling maps and energy food.

Fiuggi is one of the best places for all those who love cycling holidays and would like to combine the fun of a ride with body treatment by the therapeutic properties of the water of Fiuggi spa.

Many bike hotels are equipped with sports and wellness centres for their guests. Others offer cycling holidays, trekking routes and fully-equipped golf centres to live a real active holiday.

The hotel propose many itineraries for cyclists and just as many golf competitions for green enthusiasts also available in the Fiuggi Golf Club and golf calendar full of events.

In addition…. Fiuggi Spa offer curative water treatments and therapeutic paths in the wellness centres: beauty care and tailor made diet for all needs.

Fiuggi and its hotels are a perfect alternative for all those who wish to spend a holiday between sport and wellness to live a special holiday of nature and relax.

In the heart of Ciociaria, one can also taste the typical dishes of Lazio cuisine and visit the historical sites between Rome and Naples to live the ancient tradition.

Best vacation destinations – Part 1

What is better than relaxing in the beautiful Mediterranean in the best possible weather and seeing some of the greatest relics of times past? I’m not quite sure. How about a vacation to exotic places like Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Athens, and Santorini? This may sound like a fantasy, but I’ll be headed to all these places this spring. Yes, lucky me.

Warm days that aren’t sweltering, at a time when tourists will be few and far between sounds so inviting I want to pack my bags immediately. On my vacation, I will be there about two weeks, submerging myself in the culture and oh, the food! I will eat everything in sight, considering I am basically going for the food and the atmosphere. Italian accents are wonderful. I’m currently learning Italian but to be surrounded by the language and the people will be awesome. Highlights like seeing the Colosseum or the fashionable city of Milan are as enticing as the Tuscan cuisine.

On the other hand, Greece is so incredibly picturesque! That deep blue water, and the stark white buildings are captivating. You know how you always see the same few buildings in pictures or on calendars and it seems like Greece is made up of the same three houses, and single blue gate? I can’t wait to stand next to that very blue gate or gaze out at the boats lined up by the dock. Who could not fall in love with the view?

I will probably stand out like a sore thumb, but I have wanted to go to both Italy and Greece for a number of years. I cannot wait to plan this and travel for two weeks. My camera will probably break from all the pictures I will take there.

These are all expectations but when you begin planning a trip like this how can you refrain from letting yourself dream?

I just felt like sharing what, in my opinion, is the best vacation destination ever.

Rome: Influential Empire, Great Tourist Aim

Rome was originate as distant back 753 BC by the clone, Romulus and Remus. It grew substantially until it became the Roman kingdom which was control by an Emperor from the year 27 BC.

The Roman Empire became a following and economic center for the Western World. Its influence stretched far and wide and it was said that “all transportation lead to Rome.” This most powerful Empire, however, fell in 476 AD. It had a uneven history next its fall. The city preserve its rank as the capital of the Papal States and later on it became a center of culture and imaginative activity which it has somewhat retained to this day.

Over its turbulent history, the inhabitant in the area has risen and fallen depending on the style of the time. In modern times, Rome seems to once again be on an upward scale in terms of its permanent population.

It is a very popular tourist destination seeing around ten million tourists through its city every year. The city is a city of contrasts. On the one hand, tourists will find busy thoroughfares and expensive prices. On the other hand, it is full of small sheltered parks, fountains and piazzas. It is full of ancient ruins, famous monuments and fascinating museums. You can view the remains of ancient times, see the extraordinary architecture from the Renaissance period, enjoy a gastronomical treat in a traditional Italian restaurant or relax in the gardens of European sovereign.

Due to the huge number of tourists that visit Rome per annum there are a vast number of holiday accommodation options to choose from. From the traditional to the unique, visitors can choose the place that appeals to them most. Hotels are a popular accommodation choice in Rome. They range greatly in price and quality. You can choose to stay in luxury hotel or you can easily find a budget hotel often in the area surrounding Termini Station.

Holiday apartments or villas can be found to rent. These are a good option for small groups or families as they provide more space and soltitude than a hotel. Bed and breakfasts are fast becoming popular in Rome. If you go for this option be prepared that they may simply be a room in some-one’s house.

Rome If You Want To – A Traveler’s Guide To Rome

Rome is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The very cradle of human civilization, its many landmarks are a joy for the eyes to behold. The Eternal City remains unrivaled when it comes to the sheer aesthetic supremacy of its antique structures and its impressive, widely-venerated history. It doesnt come as a surprise then that Rome has claimed the #2 spot on the top travel destinations in the world.

1. Rome

With a climate mild and rainy in winter rather than full of snow, many find Rome the perfect place to vacation during any time of year. You do not need a Visa if youre only staying for 90 days or less. Experts recommend visiting Rome in the off-peak months between October and March to avoid the summer rush. If you can, try to book a hotel near or within the centro storico or historic district.

2. Take The Tour

Be sure to make a list of locations you intend to visit within Rome beforehand to save you time and money. Private tours are a great way to get around and at the same time soak up the local culture. Another great way to economize is by taking the TramBus system, that goes around the city and provides a fascinating tour of Romes neighborhoods.

3. Don’t Miss These Locations

The Coliseum is probably, next to the Vatican, the best structure to visit in the city. You can tour the premises on your own or join those conducted every hour by guides dressed as Gladiators. Operating hours vary throughout the year, so you will want to call in advance if at all possible.

4. The Roman Forum

Check out the civic center of Ancient Rome where political, religious, and economic activities took place. Many of its columns remain standing among the ruins even after 2000 years, displaying the intricacies of Roman architecture. Admission is free, opens at 9 am and closes an hour before sunset. If you want, you can spend a little more to get a personalized guided tour complete with audio pedestals where you can learn more.

5. The Vatican

One of the most popular spots to visit in Rome is, of course, the Vatican. In addition to its religious importance, the Vatican has a fine collection of sculptures, paintings, books, and many other artifacts that chronicle the Catholic Churchs history. You can view St. Peters Basilica, marvel at Michelangelos Pieta, its detailed masonry, or the papal catacombs. Move on to the Vatican Museum where even more magnificent antiquities are housed, not the least of that are Egyptian mummies from B.C. era.

6. The Sistine Chapel

If pressed for time, skip everything else and proceed to the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo, primarily, was known as an excellent sculptor so when Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint the Bible on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he thought it was a ploy by his rivals who thought Michelangelo, not being a full-on painter, would yield mediocrity and eMBArrass himself. Of course, we all know it didnt quite turn out that way. In fact, the Sistine Chapel is probably the most recognized piece of work from the Renaissance period.

Tips for visiting Rome – Part 9

We arrived in Rome at a time of great celebration and high spirits. It was the evening when the Italian team returned to the city, to hold up the shiny, coveted World Cup on an open top double decker, waving at streets lined with revelers. This joyful occasion set the tone for our visit to the Italian capital, as we enthusiastically joined in with the million spectators at the Ancient Circus Maximus.

Over the next six days, we aimed to see all the top tourist sites, and immerse ourselves in the culture and history of Rome. We found that most of these were accessible on foot, and within a fifteen – twenty minute walk of our Via Veneto based hotel. Later, when the July heat finally sapped up our early enthusiasm, we discovered the Metro, which is a very convenient method of travel. It only costs one euro for an hour’s travel, and is easy to navigate around. We used this for areas which were further afield, such as the Vatican.

Of all the amazing sights which we packed into our six day city break, some of my favourites included the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel.

Wonderful, ornate fountains are dotted across the city, and the Trevi is to me the most magnificent of all. This monumental fountain was completed in 1762, and the area around it is now bustling with tourists, throwing in coins, or admiring the ‘sea-horse’ sculptures ascending from the water. On the day we visited, we had to fight the temptation of jumping into the giant pool surrounding it, to cool off from the blistering thirty five degree, mid day sun heat!

When visiting the colosseum, it is advisable to take a tour with one of the many tour guides standing at the front of this ancient gladiator arena. It was worth paying to find out the history of such a building, and imagine the atmosphere that once infused the white marble interior, as Caesars and slaves cheered in unison, whilst wild animals were released from the cellars below. It is also worthwhile to view the colosseum in the evening, when it is lit up, and stands out in the backdrop of the Roman Forum.

The Sistine chapel can be found at the end of a long tour down the many corridors of the Vatican museum. The museum itself is decorated with mosaics, sculptures, tapestries and paintings in every corner. There are so many, that at times it is hard to take everything in. The Sistine chapel, which is the last part of the museum, is covered in paintings by Michaelangelo, which are worth studying in detail. We bought headphone sets from the reception at the Vatican museum, which will tell you detailed information about each exhibit, and are much cheaper than an actual tour guide. As we looked at each painting in the Sistine chapel, a vivid description of each painting, from the Last Judgement to the Old and New Testament scenes depicted on the ceiling, could be listened to on the headset. One detail to remember however, is that flash photography is not permitted due to the effects of fading the paintings.

These are just some of the main attractions we enjoyed when visiting this historic city. We hope you fall in love with Rome as much as we did.