cheap accomodation in rome

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

The ABCs about Rome

Tips: All roads conduct to Rome. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Rome wasn’t bulupailt in one day.

1. Rome’s would-be founders, Romulus & Remus, were conceived by Rhea Silvia from god Mars or demi-god Hericules. They were abondoned in the Tiber River by Amulius to die, saved by miracles and suckled by a female-wolf.

2. Pantheon means ‘of all gods’. Legend tells, an eagle took the carcass of Romulus (founder of Rome) to heaven from this area.

3. Rome is made up of seven hills east of the Tiber river with in the ancient city. The hills are: Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal.

4. Augustus established the first Roman Empire in 44 B.C. and Romulus Augustulus was the last emperor.

5. Rome is located on the banks of the Tiber river, which is an important outlet to the sea through Ostia port.

6. Ancient and modern Rome have one important thing in common, large number of gods or modern day saints.

7. Rome is a seat to Roman Catholic church and Vatican city.

8. Vatican city, might mean ‘the hill of prophecy’.

9. SPQR: stands for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus  (literally meaning “The Senate and People of Rome“).

10. Rome is full of beautiful architectures, sculptures and paintings.



Adu K

Piazza Del Popolo

images1People’s Square, located between the Pincio hill and Tiber River is embellished with churches, monuments and fountains. The Via Flaminia highway constructed in 220 BC to connect Rome to the north starts from this square. In 1562 Pope Pius IV made enhancements to the old gate in order to improve the look and impress visitors.

Piazza del Popolo is featured by twin churches (St Mary of Miracles and St Mary in Montesanto), an Egyptian obelisk and three streets projecting from the square into the city center.

The similar churches, that lead to the heart of the city past Via del Corso, were commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1658. Though they look identical, one is slightly bigger than the other.

In 1589, Pope Sixtus V erected 23,2m high obelisk at the center of the square which was originally brought to Rome from the sun temple in Heliopolis (Egypt); by Emperor Augustus around 10 BC.

Giuseppe Valadier (1811-1822) once more did the necessary restyling of the old square made in 1572. Bernini again redesigned the massive gate to the north (opening to Via Flaminia), as a sign of gratitude by Pope Alexander VII to Queen Christina’s of Sweden conversion to Roman Catholicism.

The square is close to Villa Borghese, easily accessible by metro, walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso (not-cheap shopping street).


Adu K

Our Lady Of The Snows

smm‘Virgin Mary’ – as the legend goes – indicated a rich couple to build a temple for her memory by covering an acre of land with snow in the middle of summer. The area indicated by the alleged miracle is on the Esquillian Hill. But the alleged miracle is only reported 1000 years late. The fall of snow is celebrated by throwing white petals atop of the church on August 5.

Led by Pope Liberius (350’s), the couple agreed to finance a temple in Mary’s honour. The couple then dedicated all their fortune to ‘Our Lady of the Snows’ – aka Santa Maria Maggiore/Santa Maria Liberiana or Liberian Basilica (after Pope Liberius).

In 431 the Council of Ephesus proclaimed Mary ‘Mother of God’ and Pope Sixtus III commissioned to make church on the site where ‘Our Lady of the Snows’ had already ordered a temple in her glory.

Since its first start by Liberius in 350’s, Santa Maria Maggiore went through various remodeling works. The apse was restored in 1200. The bell tower was built in the 1300’s. The back was replaced in 1600 and the facade in 1700.

There are many Santa Maria temples in Rome but the largest and important of all is Santa Maria Maggiore . This is one of the four Roman basilicas (St Paul outside the wall, St Peter’s and St John Laterine).



Adu K

St Paul Outside The Walls

st paulOnce upon a time, Saul (desired) who was born in Tarsus went to live in Israel. He was trained to be a hardliner, who would defend Jewish religion at any cost.

In the early ministry of Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem, Saul unconsciously became anti-Christ. He persecuted those who believed on Jesus.

Saul decided to go to Damascus (Syria) to persecute disciples of Jesus. On the way to Damascus Jesus revealed himself to Saul, Saul fell on the earth.

Saul was led to Damascus – for the Splendor of Christ blinded him. Jesus used Hananiah to baptize and give his sight back.

Saul humbled himself before God, testified the death and Resurrection of Jesus for forgiveness of sins to everyone without favor (Jews, Greeks or Gentiles). In the years to follow, Saul was persecuted for his firm faith on Lord Jesus Christ.

Saul ministered in Asia minor, Greece and Rome. He wrote many powerfull books in the New Testament. He spoke fluent Greek and Hebrew. Eventually he was called Paul (small/little).

Paul was beheaded by Nero (67 A.D.) in Rome. It is said Paul’s pupils erected a memorial for him. This memorial eventually became a church (St Paul Outside The Walls) for it is outside the Aurelian walls.

St Paul complex is one of the four main basilicas in Rome: St John Lateran, St Maria Maggiore and St Peter. Paul’s tomb is believed to be right below the altar in the church.



Adu K

Trevi Fountain

imagesThe 26 meters high and 20 meters wide fountain is one of the most admired fountains in the world. Numerous attempts have been made to make the present fountain as magnificent as it is today.

All started in 19 B.C. when Marqus Agrippa built an aqueduct -Acqua Vergine- that provides pure drinking-water to the city of Rome. The Acqua Vergine acqueduct comes from Alban Hill, 13 km to the east of Rome, ending in the Quirinal Hill.

In 1453, Leon Battista Alberti financed by Pope Nicholas V, made a basin at the end of the Acqua Vergine (now called Trevi Fountain).

In 1629 Pope Clement XII appointed Gian Lorenzo Bernini to make necessary improvements to the works started by Leon Battista, unfortunately the works came to an end after the pope died.

Hundred years after the second attempt, Alessandro Galilei won a bid to make a better fountain but his opponent -Nicola Salvi- was awarded the mission because Romans murmured against Galilei (Florentine) who won away-commission.

Salvi died in 1751, leaving the work unfinished. The fountain was finished in 1762 by Guiseppe Pannini when Oceanus (god of all water) was fitted in place.



Adu K

Colosseum

imagesàThe Colosseum is oval shaped arena measuring 187 by 155 meters and 50 meters high. This is the most important and biggest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, capable of seating up to 50,000 spectators at a time. Originally it was called Amphitheater Flavio, but with time this structure came to be known as Colosseum.

The name derives from the bronze statua colossale di Nerone ( literally: colosal statue of Nerone) and also to the colosal dimention of the building (Amphitheater Flavio).

Construction of the Amphitheater began by Emperor Vespasian in 70 A.D.  Seven year in to the construction Vespasian died and his son Titus completed and inaugurated the Amphitheater in 80 A.D. The opening ceremony is said to have lasted 100 days and a number of animals ranging from 5000 to 10,000 were believed to have been slayed for this special occasion alone.

The main motive to construct the Amphitheater was to divert attention of people from the political quagmires which were fomenting the seat of the Roman Empire in the second half of the first century A.D. The arena hosted professional and deadly (gladiatorial) fights, sea battles, animal hunts, executions and dramas.

The Colosseum has 3 rows. The first row was for first class (senators, government representatives, military officials). The second row was for the middle class and the last row to the lower class. Colosseum was connected to other training facilities like the Ludus Magnus (the Great Gladiator school) by underground passageways.

The Colosseum was out of service since the Middle Ages and parts of the monument was destroyed by earthquakes, stone robbers, unawarenes, negligence. In the 21st century, this is one of the main sources of income in the Italian economy.



Adu K


Catacombs in Rome

Inside A Catacomb

Catacombs are believed to have been used as burial chambers, worship area and refuge by persecuted Christians/Jews starting from the second century A.D. Jewish catacombs, discovered in 1918, make part of the belowground graves enriched by frescoes.

The Catacombs in Rome cover many kilometers and some are four storeys below ground zero. They contain slots carved into walls, carvings, passageways, worship halls and/or frescoes. Paintings found in this below ground complex narrate biblical stories of both old and new testaments or simply religious symbols.

Catacombs of Domitilla, for example, spread over 15 kilometers of underground caves and are Rome’s oldest underground burial complex still containing bones.

Some of the catacombs in Rome are: Marcellinus and Peter, Commodilla, Generosa, Praetextatus, Priscilla, San Callisto, San Lorenzo, San Pancrazio, San Sebastiano, San Valentino, Sant’Agnese, Jewish and so on.

To visit the San Callisto, the most famous of all catacombs, take bus 218 from San Giovanni Metro A.

For the Jewish Catacomb, get off at Metro B Policlinico and walk to Villa Torlonia.

For more detailed info about catacombs or elsewhere in Rome please stay in Hotel Des Artistes and you will enjoy complete instructions at reception.


Adu K