Holidays in Rome

A Sumer Along the Tiber River

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Every year during August  a small market is set on both sides of the Tiber river: there you can eat the very Roman porchetta, buy the products of many local artisans, attend a street-theatre performance and have dinner too!

All in all a very good option to spend an evening in Rome after a long (and hot) day of sightseeing. The manifestation takes place along the river, beetwen the Sisto and Garibaldi bridges; the area can be easily reached from Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel Rome taking the bus H from the station Termini (get off the first stop after the bridge).

Rome Welcomes Pope Francis

Il nuovo Papa Jorge Mario Bergoglio con il nome di Francesco I

So, we finally have a Pope.

The world was surprised to learn the election was so quick, but was even more surprised to learn that the new pope – who will go under the name Francesco, or Francis in English- was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, who wasn’t included in any of the preliminary lists made by Vatican experts and probability whizzes at the gambling companies around the world. As the  Roman saying  goes, whoever enters the conclave as a pope, leaves as a cardinal.

With hindsight, the election of archbishop Bergoglio, who will become the first pope to arrive from outside Europe, is a smart one. An austere man who chose his papal name inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi, he is sure to bring warmth and vigour to the church he is called to lead, that without mentioning the immense reserve of devotion and support he will find in Latin America, where the majority of the population is catholic.

Next Sunday, Pope Francis will offer his first Angelus, the public blessing the pope offers every week at noon. It will be a great opportunity to be part of a historical event! If you need help with your accomodation in Rome, don’t hesitate to contact us, or check our website to get the  best rates in the Eternal City!

Christmas cakes: Panettone and Pandoro

Christmas indexis approaching and preparations for the Christmas dinner or lunch is important to every Italian family.

Typical cakes Panettone and Pandoro are Very important on Italian tables.

For Italians, the Cakes symbolize Christmas and this special day with out such cakes is like thanksgiving day with out Turkey.

The legend tells both were first made hundreds of years ago: Panettone in MilanPandoro_g

and Pandoro in Verona, but today you can not find a single Italian family, north to south, which does not end lunch or dinner festivities with these delicacies.

But what is the difference between Panettone and Pandoro?

The difference is mainly in the ingredients (in panettone there are more eggs and especially there are candied fruit and raisins) but also in the type of machining and rising time. Panettone is done strictly with the yeast base while the Pandoro can be maid also with the brewer’s yeast. Panettone must also rise for about 2-3 days while the Pandoro for 18 up to 36 hours.


Our Blogger: Rhodora

Appian Way (Appia Antica)

Appia AnticaThe Romans wanted to defeat every enemy that stood on their path hindering the empire’s growth and roads were built to achieve the end. Roads played significant role in moving armies, supplies, reinforcement, trade, power and wealth.

Appian way, which connects Rome to south Italy, was one of the main roads Romans desperately needed.

Appius Claudius, Roman censor, constructed dirt road with stones and mortar stretching from Rome to Capua for 200km. Part of the road was started and finished in 312 BC. The Appian to date has the longest straight road in Europe (64 km).

To mention few of the important historical events that happened on this road:

In the 71 BC, 6000 slaves were slain by the Romans after their revolt ended in defeat at the hands of the Roman Army. In the WWII, Allied Forces landed at Nettuno to capture Rome penetrating through Appian way but the Germans resisted until their defeat in 1944. And Abebe Bekila won 1960 summer olympics, that passed through this way.

Long kilometers of the Appian way are now open to the public for walking, jogging, bicycling etc.

The following monuments are found along the Appian way: Baths of Caracalla (at the start), catacomb of San Callisto and a small church (chiesa del Domine Quo Vadis) on Via Ardeatina a street that branches off Appian Way.




Adu K

Villa D’Este Tivoli

Villa D'Este TivoliPopes or their families were involved in making expensive and impressive villas, arts or monuments for power and family prestige, now these structures account to a great deal of income.

Villa D’Este is no different story, in-fact this is byproduct of Roman Catholic priests’ luxurious and competitive life style.

Pope Julius III elevated Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI, to governor of Tivoli (north east of Rome) in 1550.

As a result of his new assignment, the cardinal was given an old monastery. Not satisfied with the new office, Ippolito, called famous architects, engineers and painters of that time to change an unknown monastery to ‘gardening and water-play model’ across Europe.

In the process, Villa Adriana marbles and statues were dismantled by the orders of the cardinal to making his own villa better.

The late-Renaissance villa stayed on D’Este family until the 18th C. when Maria Beatrice (daughter of Ercole II D’Este) married Duke Ferdinand of Habsburg, and automatically the villa became a Habsburg property.

As other Roman villas fate, the D’Este fell in disrepair and was neglected till the Italian State bought and restored it after the end of first world war. It is now open to the public

Villa D’Este became UNESCO world Heritage Site in 2001.




Adu K

Villa Adriana Tivoli

villa AdrianaVilla Adriana, a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1999, continues to marvel generations that come to pass 20 centuries after it was built. On return from Egypt & Greece, Emperor Hadrian decided to make a retreat villa (from the chaotic city of Rome) similar to the architecture and worship that he learnt in the eastern section of his empire.

At the end of his reign, Hadrian had his quarters in this impressive villa of 1 sq km. There were various edifices including theatres, Greek and Latin libraries, two bathhouses, formal gardens with fountains, statues, pools, underground for servants, extensive housing for guests and the palace staff.

Today, the villa located 25 km north east of Rome, is nothing but ruins of what was once the glamour of its time.

Little remains of the original villa, because materials were reused to make Villa D’Este in the area, looted by barbarians or civilians and neglected for centuries. Though,16th century excavations brought to life parts of the villa, still large section remains unearthed.

The various sections of the complex recovered in part are: Hall of Doric Pillars (basilica), Temple of Venus, Greek Theatre, Maritime Theatre (Hadrian’s small favorite island), Hall of Philosophers (library), Heliocaminus (baths), Nymphaeum Stadium, Poecile (large garden with swimming pool), Canopus (god Serapis sanctuary with 119 m long canal decorated with statues), Large and Small Thermae (hot & cold baths) and Piazza d’Oro (formal dinning room).



Adu K


Christmas Concert at the Vatican


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The Christmas concert, which began as the name of  “Christmas in the Vatican”, is a Christmas musical event created in 1993 to bring together every year several Italian and international singers at the invitation of the Church of Rome.

Born in the Vatican 20 years ago and then moved into different locations (Monte Carlo, Verona, Catania, Malta) is the most traditional Christmas event on Italian television that will be shown on St. Peter’s Basilica on December 15, 2012.

The originality of the event, which now has been repeated for 20 years, lies in the fact that this music “marathon”  with the presence of many artists from every nation, religion and culture, coming to Rome to sing Christmas Carols from different music genres ranging from opera to rock, through folk, gospel, classical music, world music and any other form of musical expression.

Constantly broadcast on television in prime time on Christmas Eve, the Concert  become every year the show with the highest number of viewers during the Christmas Dinner.
This twentieth edition of the Christmas Concert will be show on  December 24 2012 at 9.00 pm on RAIDUE.

To book your tickets click here.


Our Blogger:  Rhodora

St John in Lateran Basilica

sjl1A member of the Laterani family was said to have conspired against Emperor Nero, the emperor in retaliation confiscated and redistributed what belonged to the family. The Lateran Palace was among them. In the 4th century, Emperor Constantine, gave the palace to the Roman Catholics.

As it is officially called, Papal Archbasilica of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in Lateran, was restored from its original look by Pope Sixtus V in the 16th century. He demolished the existing building and made a completely new basilica.

In the 10th century, the basilica was first dedicated to St John the Baptist and in the 12th century to St John the Evangelist. These two saints are regarded as co-patrons. But the inscription on the facade shows, Christo Salvatori, Christ the Saviour.

At present, St John, is the oldest and number one of the main four basilicas in Rome. This is a seat to the bishop of Rome, which is the Pope. But due to the workload, this basilica is run by Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome.

Roman Catholics are convinced, this church is the mother of all churches, infact the inscription at the facade reads: Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head.

In St John square, stands the largest obelisk in the world, which is brought from the Karnak temple of Thebes in Egypt.

St Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine I, brought Scala Sancta to Rome. Roman Catholic church tradition tells, Jesus Christ walked the staircase before Pilate in the city of Jerusalem.



Adu K

Precautions In Rome

As any other city on earth, Rome has good and bad sides. Here are some precautions to avoid bad lucks.

pickpockets1. Get clear info of the areas you plan to visit either from the hotel you are staying or Tourist Information kiosks.

2. Ask your hotel reception where you can leave your valuables secure. In any case bring with you photocopy of your documents.

3. Get full info (telephone & address) or business card of the hotel you are staying. This info is helpful in case you get lost.

4. Be equipped with a map (preferably with your hotel indicated clearly).

5. Watch out where you leave your phones, notebooks or cameras.

6. Pull your backpack on the front, especially on public transportation.

7. Don’t, for any reason board a bus or train with out a ticket or unvalidated ticket. Anyone caught with unvalidated ticket is regarded as ‘with out a ticket’. If you don’t find the obliterator machine, either consult the bus driver or write the date & time (h,mm) of boarding with a pen.

8. Getting drunk in a city that you don’t know well might be a snare, and if one does it is friends’ responsibility to accompany him/her back to hotel.

9. Don’t put credit card, wallet, money, cell phones or else on side or back pockets. Advisable to keep’em in the front pocket. If your are pick-pocketed go to the nearest Police Station and they will release you a compliant paper. And call your bank.

10. Better not to leave your friend alone, especially girls, with some one you just met.

11. Late at night,  it is always advisable to roam the city in two or more.

12. To avoid long queues in museums or sites, buy Skip line tickets or reserve a visit via phone or internet.

13. Ask your hotel to order you a cab. If you got cheated by a driver or lost something on the car, your hotel knows who to contact.



Adu K

Disney on Ice – Let’s Party!

“Disney On Ice” will turn your day into an extraordinary adventure! ir_disneyoniceIs about to arrive in Italy “Disney On Ice – Let’s Party!”. The new production on ice of “Feld Entertainment”, with lots of Disney characters, over 50!

It’s an original Disney Show, with classic and modern Disney songs, a fabulous story with bright costumes on ice and with such infectious energy of Mickey Mouse and his friends for adults and children: these are the ingredients of the show that will take audiences to celebrate some of the most famous festivals in the world, all in one evening and in your own city – from “Halloween” with the “Disney Villains” to “Dance Royal Valentine’s Day” with the “Disney Princesses” to “Happy Birthday Do not” with Alice and the “Mad Hatter “.

A fun and exciting production that will accompany the audience in an ideal “world tour”, including exotic destinations like Brazil (with its Carnival parade) or Hawaii (for a “luau party”) and Japan (with the its “Festival of Flower”).

“Disney On Ice – Let’s Party! offers families a reason to celebrate at any time of the year, “says producer Kenneth Feld. “It ‘a wonderful show, unforgettable, and the audience will go home remembering to celebrate everyday joys and successes of life.” 

The tour will touch Rome from Novermber 29 to December 2 at “Palalottomatica”.

So hurry up, book your tickets and match it with the best accomodation in Rome!


Our Blogger: Rhodora