QUIRINAL PALACE: THE LARGEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD OPENS TO PUBLIC EVERY DAY

QUIRINAL PALACE: THE LARGEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD OPENS TO PUBLIC EVERY DAY

The largest building in the world will be soon open to public every day: this is one of the first disposals by the newly elected President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella with reference to his institutional abode, i.e. the Quirinal Palace in the heart of Rome. Dating back to Renaissance age, its 1200 rooms on a surface of more than 110,000 m² are like a sounding board of a great part of Italian history, as it was inhabited by the Popes since its foundation in the Sixteenth century, then by the kings of Italy from the country’s unification to 1946, and ultimately by the Presidents of the Republic. Its treasures consists of rare books, tapestries, furnitures, paintings, sculptures, porcelain services, historic carriages, chandeliers, not to mention the gardens and greenhouses.
To make it accessibile to public as much as possible, the new President aims at reorganising the current allocation of offices and spaces deputed to institutional purposes.
The Quirinal Palace stands on the highest hill in Rome, which ensures a full overview of the city center.
Until the new arrangement is completed, the Quirinal Palace is now open to public on Sundays only, 8:30 am – 12 pm. For what concerns the remaining part of 2015, it will be closed on 5 April – 31 May – 1 November – 20, 27 December and during summer time (28 June – 6 September).
From Hotel Des Artistes you can easily reach the Quirinal Hill by several bus lines: just ask our staff for more details!

TWO HEARTS AT THE MUSEUM!

TWO HEARTS AT THE MUSEUM!

On the occasion of St. Valentine’s day either if you are with your better half or alone fall in love with art: take the chance to visit one of the many museums of the Eternal City.
Rome offers a huge variety of options to enjoy, so to begin with check from the following selection of State museums:

Colosseum 
Piazza del Colosseo (metro line B, stop Colosseo)
Villa Adriana (in Tivoli)
Largo Marguerite Yourcenar,1 00010 – TIVOLI (ROMA)
Crypta Balbi
Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31 (bus #40 from Termini)
Roman Forum
Largo Romolo e Remo (nearby the Colosseum)
National Gallery of Ancient Art at Palazzo Barberini
Via Quattro Fontane (metro line A, stop Repubblica)
National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art
Viale delle Belle Arti, 131 (opposite Villa Borghese)
Borghese Gallery
Piazzale Scipione Borghese (metro line A, stop Flaminio)
National Museum of Oriental Art “G. Tucci”
Via Merulana, 248 (metro line A, stop Vittorio Emanuele)
Castel Sant’Angelo
Lungotevere Castello, 5 (Vatican area)
National Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia
Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9 (nearby Villa Borghese)
National Roman Museum at Palazzo Massimo 
Via di Villa Peretti (metro line A, stop Termini or Repubblica)
National Roman Museum at Terme di Diocleziano
Vie E. De Nicola, 79 (metro line A, stop Termini or Repubblica)
Palatine Hill 
Via di San Gregorio 00185 (nearby the Colosseum)
Palazzo Altemps
Via di S. Apollinare, 44 (nearby Piazza Navona)
Ancient Ostia and Arcaheological Museum
Viale dei Romagnoli, 717
Terme di Caracalla 
Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 52
Villa d’Este (in Tivoli)
Piazza Trento, 1 00019 – TIVOLI (ROMA)
Our staff at Hotel Des Artistes will be glad to provide you with more information!

 

BAROQUE FIREWOKS AND PARADES AT ROMAN CARNIVAL

BAROQUE FIREWOKS AND PARADES AT ROMAN CARNIVAL

Carnival in Rome gives the chance for a trip back to Renaissance and Baroque age. Celebrations of this yearly event in the Eternal City take visitors into colors, customs and atmospheres which were in vogue five hundred years ago: masquerades, horse parades and even fireworks have been set up in the style of an accuarate and joyful historical reenactment. This year many events will be specifically dedicated to Christina Queen of Sweden, who dwelled in Rome for many years after converting to Catholic religion. Rome owes a lot to her: she was arts and science lover, and used to sponsor several public events, including Carnival celebrations.
Of the several happenings all around the city center for one week, we wish to highlight two definitely attracting for either kids and adults. Both of them are planned for Tuesday 17 (Shrove Tuesday):
– at 4 pm: an impressive horse parade from Piazza del Popolo down to Piazza Venezia will invade via del Corso. Acrobats, musicians, Roman typical masks will march under an explosion of waving halberds, ancient flags and coats of arms;
– at 6 pm: Baroque fireworks from Pincio (the terrace facing on Piazza del Popolo from Villa Borghese). They are designed on the same patterns in use during the 16th and 17th centuries by Bernini and other great artists.
Beyond these, puppet shows will be there for kids at Piazza Navona, while theatre performances, conferences and private parties will be the adults’ entertainment: ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes for the full programme!

GETTING READY FOR ROME’S INTERNAZIONALI DI TENNIS…

GETTING READY FOR ROME’S INTERNAZIONALI DI TENNIS…

Qualification tennis tournaments have started all over Italy to give any tennis players the chance to take actively part to the prestigious “Internazionali d’Italia” competition which will be held from 9 to 17 May, 2015.
According to a tradition initiated in 2011, a few months before the beginning of the major tournament, any tennis player having FIT card (i.e. being member of Italian Tennis Federation), regardless of level or rank position, can be selected for playing shoulder to shoulder with the most renowned tennis players competing for the cup. This project took inspiration from a similar qualification tournament which occurs every year some months before the famous American Slam.
Foro Italico in Rome offers as usual the most suggestive backdrop to this worldwide recognized sport event.
Ticket prices range from about €20 up, depending on the match.
Visit Rome in May and watch live your favourite tennis players: Hotel Des Artistes will provide you with any comfort to let you fully enjoy Rome in spring time!

CARNIVAL: A STORY OF MASKS, PARADES, BATTLES AND FOOD!

CARNIVAL: A STORY OF MASKS, PARADES, BATTLES AND FOOD!

One of the most typical Italian festivity has just begun: Carnival. For about two weeks this ancient tradition, which has likely its roots in pagan and pre-Christian cults, will live again all over Italy with more or less emphasis according to the region. Some cities gained popularity far beyond national borders due to the particular celebrations taking place at Carnival, attracting visitors with their highly refined masks, hilarious chart parades or fierce “battles of oranges”: Venice, Viareggio (in Tuscany), Ivrea (nearby Turin), Acireale (in Sicily) are among the best known.
Carnival is strictly associated to Catholic lithurgy: it is indeed a period of street parties and abundant celebrations even in terms of food, that prelude to the restrictions to be observed during the fourty days before Easter. It happens that the very last day of Carnival (the so called “martedì grasso” i.e. Shrove Tuesday), the peak of fun, is meant to leave room to the abstinence time of Lent (beginning the day after, on the so called “mercoledì delle Ceneri”, i.e. Ash Wednesday). Carnival and Easter days are not fixed holidays, they do change every year, so to better plan your stay in Italy in 2015 mind these dates:
– today, Sunday 1 February: beginning of Carnival
12 February: Fat Thursday (major celebrations)
17 February: Shrove Tuesday (major celebrations and end of Carnival)
18 February: Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent)
5 April: Easter
Don’t forget to taste the typical Carnival sweets, such as the castagnole (‘Carnival dough balls’, ‘Carnival fritter’) and the crostoli (‘angel wings’, which in fact are called differently depending on the region… you might find frappe, chiacchiere etc as well).
Hotel Des Artistes will be happy to provide you with info on the best Carnival parties & events in Rome!

THE POPE’S SWISS GUARD: FIVE CENTURY OLD TRADITION

THE POPE’S SWISS GUARD: FIVE CENTURY OLD TRADITION

Swiss Guard’s birthday was celebrated just few days ago in the Vatican City: 22 January traditionally marks the official recruitment of this corp by the Holy Seat in order to guarantee the Pope’s safety.
A fascinating story is at the origin of these guards’ proverbial loyalty to the chief of Roman Catholic Church: Swiss soldiers were first hired by Pope Julius II in 1506 for his personal safeguard, in a time characterized by basic political unrest. The choice fell upon men-at-arms from the region corresponding to modern Switzerland as since 13th Century they had developed a strong attitude towards military art, which was offering the only alternative to poverty in those ages. Since then statesmes from all over Europe used to count on these well trained soldiers for their own safety. Despite political status of the whole continent deeply changed, the Church did not renounce to this five century old tradition.
Interestingly enough, the Swiss Guards’ colorful attire is not as ancient as their service at the Holy Seat: the current uniform was indeed designed no more than one century ago and is based on drawings by Raffaello.
Hotel Des Artistes will be happy to provide you with any information and suggestions to let you enjoy at the best your visit to the Vatican!

EVEN ROME HAS GOT HER PYRAMID!

EVEN ROME HAS GOT HER PYRAMID!

Did you know Rome has a pyramid? Pyramid of Cestius is actually one of the most intriguing and still less known monuments in the Eternal City, standing at the crossroad between via Ostiensis and another fundamental lane in ancient times.
Its story is kind of unusual: it was built in just 330 days by Caio Cestio’s heirs under the threat of losing their rights on the inheritance, as prescribed by Caio Cestio himself. It’s one of the few monuments dating back to I Cent. BC survived for us, and it’s particularly remarkable because it testifies the spread of Egyptian customs in Rome as a consequence of the conquest of Egypt by Roman army in 30 BC.
The reason why time passing spared the pyramis major damages (despite it was covered in marbles, which were commonly reused in the antiquity to build new constructions) has probably to do with the fact that since III Cent. AD it was included in the Aurelian walls as a stronghold, which thing prevented both abandon and devastation.
Restoration works of the Pyramid of Cestius have been recently completed, the monument being now open to public with guided tour upon reservation.
Getting there is very easy: just catch metro line B (2 minutes walk from Hotel des Artistes) and get off at the namesake stop Piramide. Ask our staff about other sites in the area, such as the suggestive Protestant Cimitery. And whenever you want to take a rest, Eataly is just beyond the corner… your boutique for Made in Italy food!

DIVINE AUGUSTUS… 2000 YEARS AFTER

DIVINE AUGUSTUS… 2000 YEARS AFTER

Two thousands years are in between us and Augustus, Julius Caesar’s great nephew, one of the most charismatic personalities of the Ancient Rome, the first to be named Emperor.
The year 2014 precisely marked two millennia after his death (he expired in Nola, not far from Neaples, on 19 August 14 AD), and two great exhbitions in Rome are still open to public to commemorate him and his revolutionary impact on Roman politics.
Both the exhibits take advantage of the ultimate high technologies and go far beyond a mere display of pieces from the past: they allow visitors a true interactive experience where they feel like walking in the Imperial Fora shoulder to shoulder with other big personalities of the time.
The set-up at Mercati di Traiano is mostly a digital expo, the fruit of a majestic joint project involving at the same time 4 cities from the former Roman Empire: Amsterdam, Sarajevo, Alexandria of Egypt and Rome of course. Each of the four museums (Allard Pierson Museum, City Hall Museum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Imperial Fora Museum respectively) offers a different perspective on the Roman Empire during Augustus age.
The exhibit at Palazzo Massimo is rather focused on one of the most important cultural revolutions by Augustus: the changes he introduced within the Roman calendar, marking new days with festivities and events as tools for propaganda.
Here a short compedium of the two venues:
MERCATI DI TRAIANO, “Keys to Rome – The City of Augustus”, 9 am- 7 pm (Mon closed)
ROMAN NATIONAL MUSEUM AT PALAZZO MASSIMO: “Augustus Revolution”, 9 am – 7.45 pm (Mon closed)
Hotel Des Artistes is at walking distance from the latter and at 10 minutes bus journey from the former!

SUPERMAGIC ROME

SUPERMAGIC ROME

At the edge between dream and reality, material world and illusion stands “Supermagic”, the festival of magic which will be held in Rome from January 29 to February 8.
For one week people of any country and age will have the chance to be talked to via a universal language which doesn’t need any words to marvel and amaze. The best magicians, illusionists, conjurers and manipulators of our time will be gathering in Rome to offer their astonishing skills to public, challenging the laws of physics and time.
To protect their tricks’ secrecy, the backstage will be rigorously locked, only the illusionists being admitted behind the stage, to the point that they themselves will look after every technical and logistical step of the performance which otherwise would be up to technical staff.
Several shows are scheduled: to know them in detail you just need to contact “Supermagic” venue, that is to say Teatro Olimpico, or alternatively get any info you need from our staff at Hotel Des Artistes: “Supermagic” is the perfect way to spend an enchanting night in Rome even with kids!

CINECITTÁ SHOWS OFF

CINECITTÁ SHOWS OFF

From this week a brand new exhibition will put on display splendor and glory of Cinecittà, the City of Cinema in Rome which was home to some of the greatest film industry productions around the middle of the past century. “Shooting in Cinecittà, 1937-1989” guides visitors on an itinerary across film genres such as Hollywood on the Tiber, Italian comedy, Neorealism and Spaghetti Western, and in so doing it celebrates the immortal artists who contributed to the greatness of Italian film industry production worldwide.
Among the historical and propaganda movies on show: The Siege of the Alcazar, 1940; The Iron Crown, 1941. Then excerpts from Neorealistic films like Miracle in Milan, 1951; Bellissima, 1951; Umberto D, 1952, as well as a large section dedicated to stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Jayne Mansfield, Ava Gardner and Italian Loren, Lollobrigida, Mangano. On display costumes evoking unforgettable actors and films: Alida Valli and Farley Granger in Senso, 1954, by Luchino Visconti; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in The Tame of the Shrew, 1967, by Franco Zeffirelli; the costume of character Don Saverio Petrillo, “O pazzariello”, interpreted by Totò in L’oro di Napoli, 1954, by Vittorio De Sica, or the outfit worn by Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, 1964, by Sergio Leone.
When: from 24 January, permanently.
Where: Cinecittà Studios, Via Tuscolana, 1055.
How to reach it: metro line A, get off at Cinecittà.
Time: Mon-Wed-Thur-Fri-Sat-Sun 9.30 am – 7 pm. Guided tours provided.
Hotel Des Artistes is at your disposal for any further info!