Yes! Please send me my FREE Insider Italy Vacation Checklist with all the insider travel secrets I'll need for a perfect Italy vacation.

[Close]

Category Archives: Rome

How It Came to Be: The Origins of the Vatican City

Ask anyone what they know about the Vatican City, and you’re probably going to get some very familiar answers: “It’s the home of the pope,” “it’s the world’s smallest country,” or “it’s where Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Catholic Church’s mother church, is located.” True enough, the origins of the Vatican City, a walled compound within Rome, is where the pope lives, and it is indeed the world’s smallest sovereign state, being only 44 hectares in size – that’s about one-eighth the size of Central Park in New York! But did you know that Saint Peter’s Basilica is not actually the official ecclesiastical seat of the pope, hence it is not the ecumenical mother church of the Catholic hierarchy? This honor belongs to the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, which is one of the four major basilicas of the Catholic Church, the others being the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the [...]

The Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Rome

The Italian capital of Rome is one of the world’s premiere tourist destinations for good reason: it’s full of ancient ruins, baroque treasure and a world-renowned brand of cuisine that will satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. It’s not called the Eternal City for nothing, too. Rome offers the perfect blend of Western civilization’s storied past and the modern world’s celebrated comforts. With everything there is to do in this city, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and use up all your vacation time without getting a taste of everything Rome has to offer. We’re here to help you set your Italian touring priorities right and with our list of the 10 things you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Rome. Here we go: 1. The Coliseum This ancient structure is one of the most recognized landmarks in the world. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Coliseum was built over [...]

Rome with Kids

The eternal city can turn infernal if you have cranky children traveling with you.  Here are some of our best tips for enjoying Rome with kids and keeping everyone from the littlest tike to the too cool for school teenager, entertained. Roma Estate – Summer in the City The Miracle players Fun for the whole family.  Every Friday evening from late June to the beginning of August this hilarious troupe performs a family friendly romp through Roman history. The backdrop of the Roman forum is spectacular on a warm summer evening.  Sit on the church steps and be prepared to laugh and learn. Lungo il Tevere From June 15 until September 1, all along the Tevere river bank and Tiber Island (Isole de Tevere)  there are restaurants and market stalls that come alive after sunset..  You can have a sit down meal or take-away snacks and walk along the river. After dinner, there [...]

Alternative Things to Do in Rome

You have seen the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and the Vatican museums, Now what?  The Team at Tour Italy Now would like to share our picks for alternative things to do in Rome. Aventine Hill – Knights of Malta Keyhole High up on the Aventine hill a short walk from the Circo Massimo is a secret view that few get too see. Head to the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta and find the door with a small keyhole too peek through. The view, designed by the famous Italian architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi in 1765, will take your breath away. Who are the knights of Malta? Officially named the The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, but known as Knights of Malta, was created in the middle ages and eventually settled in Rome in 1834. In February 2013 the 900th anniversary of [...]

An Excursion to Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome

Mausoleum – Prison  – Palace – Museum: An Excursion to Castel Sant’ Angelo in Rome Through the centuries Castel Sant’Angelo has been all of these things. The approach to the Castel Sant’Angelo is one of the most striking in Rome.  The second century pedestrian bridge that was constructed in 134AD is dramatically lined with ten statues of angles.  The most famous Angel -Angel with a Crown of Thorns -  is actually a copy by Paolo Naldini.  The original angel was commissioned by Pope Clement IX and sculpted by Bernini, but was deemed too beautiful for the bridge and is now housed in the church Sant’Andrea delle Frate near the Spanish Steps. The circular monument now known as the Castel Sant’Angelo has had many functions over the centuries.  It was originally constructed as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian in the middle of the second century.  Once covered in bronze and [...]

To Rome With Love Highlights Movies As Travel Muse

To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s latest movie, is slated to come out later this year and we’re excited for all sorts of reasons, including the facts that a.) the film is set in Rome and b.) Roberto Benigni is one of the film’s stars. The title tipped us off that this would be a cinematic valentine to the Eternal City. But now that we’ve watched the trailer, we think the movie is going to be more than a fun flick. We literally think it will inspire multitudes of folks who’ve been contemplating taking a trip to Italy to get cracking. What’s especially exciting about a movie like To Rome With Love, at least judging from the trailer, is it showcases Rome at every level, from its monuments and historic buildings (the Colosseum!) to its private homes. It’s been awhile since a wide-release U.S. movie was set in Italy. Movies [...]

Rome By Night Adds a New Dimension to Your Roman Holiday

Many of the world’s most beautiful cities are even more stunning at night — whether it’s New York, Paris or, one of our personal favorites, Rome. Visiting Rome by night is a time-honored tradition. We were reminded of this recently while reading a New York Times travel article, “Rome at Night.” In her 1965 guidebook, “Companion Guide to Rome,” Georgina Masson advises first-time visitors to explore Rome at night. As the Times’ article relayed: The first of her book’s walking tours starts where Rome began, the Capitoline Hill — where Michelangelo designed a piazza, she said, like a “stage set” — overlooking the nubby ruins of the Forum. “Seen by day it requires something of the knowledge of the archeologist and the imagination of a poet,” she wrote. “But at night … it is not nearly so difficult to picture the stately ranks of colonnaded temples crowned with the gilded [...]

Join Rome Week, A Social Media Bonanza!

Here’s a great idea from a delightful travel writer/blogger/tweeter, one Karen Byran, who writes the blog Europe a la Carte Travel Blog: Rome Week, a week devoted to suggestions from folks passionate about all travel, this time with a focus on Rome. You can follow the comments at her blog. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow the tweets under the hashtag #romeweek. If you’re not on Twitter, leave a comment below or on Tour Italy Now’s Facebook page and we’ll make sure we pass it along, one either Twitter and on her blog. In the meantime, we wanted to pass along this calendar from Baltimore’s Little Italy, one of our favorites, for this summer. A great resource to check while researching Italy vacation options. Here’s a calendar with dates for St. Anthony’s Festival later this month and the Cinema al Fresca schedule, outdoor movies that run through the summer, [...]

The Roman Forum

Among the world’s famous ancient ruins is the Roman Forum. Ancient Roman civilization is among the most advanced and most admired societies in the world. In school we learned about it mainly through pictures of dwellings, temples, roads and forts which span across hundreds of kilometers of the Italian countryside. In fact, ancient ruins all over the world also have their fair share of tourists who explore and appreciate the ingenuity of the Romans. Considered to be the oldest section of the eternal city of Rome, the Roman Forum is found between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills. The valley holds a wide area of ancient building ruins and roads. While in Rome, you can re-live your school book texts about the ancient Roman civilization by visiting and experiencing firsthand the grandeur and the genius of the ancient Romans. The Roman Forum illustrates the life and times of the ancient Romans. [...]

Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The church is located within the Vatican City, west of Tiber River and next to the Hadrian’s Mausoleum and Janiculum Hill. Visitors can approach the Basilica through the St. Peter’s Piazza. It is officially called Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and considered to be the largest Catholic Church in the world. It covers an area of 2.3 hectares and the interior can hold 60,000 people simultaneously. According to the Catholic tradition, St. Peter is the first Bishop of Rome and the first Pope, the Basilica is named after him. Also, based from historical evidence, the remains of the Saint can be found underneath the altar. The Basilica is also a famous pilgrimage site and host for liturgical functions. As such, it holds a special place in the hearts of Catholics, being one of the holiest [...]