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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.

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.

Italy Vacation Rentals

Italy is a country of remarkable beauty and breathtaking architecture that should be viewed by every visitor to this rich and diverse country. No matter which part you plan to visit, you are bound to find a wealth of attractions that take you on a historical journey and call out to you with their detail and beauty. Make your way to the Italian region of your choice for your next vacation and enjoy all the fine comforts of home when you stay in a conveniently located vacation rental.

There are vacation rentals located throughout the country that have all the amenities of home while surrounding you with the very best Italian scenery this country has to offer. Whether you are planning on spending the duration of your trip in Florence or heading over to the capital of Rome after a few days, you don’t have to give up a moment of luxury when you stay in a house, villa, or apartment that provides the most breathtaking views of Italy that you could ever imagine.

Florence is a city of stunning architecture as the enormous white, green, and pink marble Duomo on top of the Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori punctuates the skyline. For those who want to soak in the wondrous beauty of Florence’s architecture, consider staying in an apartment rental that has remarkable views of the magnificent dome of Brunelleschi, the grandiose bell tower of Giotto, and the gorgeous frescos of Vasari while providing all the modern comforts of home. From the balcony, you can soak in the Florence skyline and feel as if you can reach out and touch the marble façade of the Duomo.

If you plan on heading to Naples or the Amalfi Coast, the very best accommodations will take advantage of the stunning Bay of Naples so you can enjoy this glorious expanse of water. There are numerous house and apartment rentals perched atop the bay, allowing you to relax on balconies while soaking in the one-of-a-kind views and forgetting all of the stresses you have left behind. Sip your fresh espresso or simply breathe in the fresh air before heading down to explore the shops and churches that populate the Spaccanapoli.

Countryside homes are available throughout Italy and are a great option for anyone who wants to experience the slow-paced, charming way of life of those who prefer to stay away from the bustling city centers. Enjoy the lush rolling hills of the Italian countryside while overlooking all the action that lies below your perch without having to deal with the noise and commotion. Surrounded by a vibrant garden and a private swimming pool, you can experience Italy at your own pace by making your way into the city at your own leisure.

For those who want a luxurious retreat away where they can unwind after a busy day of viewing art galleries and strolling the busy Italian squares, there are fine accommodations in many of the popular regions that take you back to another world. Take advantage of the two level terrace that is surrounded by fine architectural details while enjoying a comfortable lunch, or relax inside on the massive lounge couches. For those times when you simply want to kick back and rest your feet after a long day of walking around, open up the glass roof and gaze up the clear skies as you slowly re-energize your body for an exciting evening.

Italy is a country of many pleasures and delights that allows visitors to live and breathe its historical significance by simply strolling its stunning streets. Stay as close to the many museums, art galleries, and attractions as you desire with Italy vacation rentals that are located throughout the country. Whether you prefer rolling hills with expansive views or a city center location that puts you in the middle of all the architecture and worthwhile sights, everything you love about Italy can be at your fingertips when you stay in a vacation rental that meets all your needs and exceeds all your expectations.

Forget Paris, Discover The Romance Of Rome

Rome is considered by many to be the heart of Europe. This city was once the centre of the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Even today, remnants of that greatness are everywhere in Rome, with some of the most breathtaking art and architecture you will ever see. Rome was the home of the greatest artists and sculptors and even if you may have seen these pieces in books, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself up close and personal.

The biggest attraction in Rome is the Coliseum. This colossal structure still baffled engineers today as to how it was built using what we still think was primitive methods. However, the Roman Empire was centuries ahead of its time in terms of building structures, dams and canals which irrigated the fertile lands surrounding the capital.

Many organized tours start from the Coliseum and wind their way through the city, stopping at every breathtaking cathedral and museum. Rome is a city of immense culture and historical significance, so if you are at all interested in art and culture then Rome is one place you have to go.

On the other side of the spectrum, Rome is a modern city alive with dynamism and a great vibe. Rome is home to some of the best bars and nightclubs so if this is what you are looking for then you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for a place to stay, then look for a place within the main parts of the city. You will not struggle to find something to do just by stepping out of your hotel.

If hotel life is not what you are after then there are plenty of self-catering apartments and holiday rentals available. Hotel package tours will allow you to see most of Rome within a solid structure. This is a good way of ticking off all the places you will discuss at dinner parties. Holiday rentals will give you more freedom to explore on your own terms and you will more than likely stumble upon a few places that ordinarily you would not have been able to find.

Rome rarely experiences terrible weather but the best time for a visit is in summer. This, however, is the most expensive time to travel so booking in the milder off season may be better. The weather is still great and the city is not as full of bustling tourists. If you book early you should be able to get a place in the better hotels or in a self-catering apartment.

If you want to try something different, then you should try Rome. Hire a Vespa and head out to the countryside or flit around the narrow streets. Rome is a place that begs for adventure.

The Ancient Modern Rome

Most people choose summer for their holiday adventures. But when it comes to Rome, a winter trip, when the city rests from its clammy, exhausting heat, is even more advisable. Sightseeing is calm and leisurely, and an evening in one of local cafes, like Tazza d’Oro by the Pantheon, is even more pleasant.

Having read a couple of guides on Rome you might feel a bit confused: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Saint Peter’s Square… Experienced travelers say that excursions around main attractions, when you see them one by one in the order they are mentioned in travel guides, are useless. Leisurely idle walks – that is the best way to make friends with Rome.

First thing a tourist is advised to do in Rome is to get the city map and find the nearest stop for trams 3 and 8, which go around the city demonstrating a great amount of attractions. They will of course take you to the Colosseum. It might sometimes be difficult to get inside, but after your visit you can go further to Via dei Fori Imperiali – a road rich in archaeological and historic attractions: the ancient market, Forum of Trajan, Basilica Ulpia etc. Various events often take place here.

You are then free to go anywhere you want – Rome is rich in churches, fountains, squares, museums, cosy streets and shops. On your way from the Pantheon to Piazza Navona (by the way, the famous Fountain of the four Rivers is located here) you will encounter a modern house standing on piles right above the ancient ruins. This is what true Rome is – full understanding between the ancient history and modern life.

Squares are almost at every turn in Rome. The best known of them, like Piazza di Spagna, Campo de’ Fiori, Piazza Venezia and Piazza Navona, are always crowded with people. However, there are also spots that are rarely mentioned in standard guides. Piazza Mincio in the Quartiere Coppede is one of those – fountain, arches and art-nouveau roofs are definitely worth seeing.

A historic district concentrated around Campo de’ Fiori also deserves one’s attention. The place is full of narrow lanes, endless stores selling various goods, small shops selling vintage clothes standing side by side with Renaissance palaces and ancient ruins. Another district (or “rione” like they call them here) pleasant to walk around is the bohemian Trastevere, which greatly differs from other Roman districts. Time runs more slowly, and colours are unlike anywhere else in the city. Trastevere has some churches (basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Cecilia in Trastevere) and museums (Museo di Roma). The district is rich in cafes and restaurants serving wine and food. Trastevere still keeps its historic traditions.

As for spiritual traditions, one place that will remind you of those is the Vatican City. However, to enter it you will have to join a guided tour. And don’t forget to observe Rome from the Janiculum Hill and Piazzale Garibaldi. An unmounted trip is the best way to get there – on your way you will see some beautiful houses and fountains. On the hilltop there is a green park. One of the most important local landmarks is the monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi

For the romantic persons I would recommend seeing the sunset from Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus), when the sun throws rays of light on the opposite Palatine.