Category Archives: Rome

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 […]

Enjoying the Sunshine in Piazza Navona

Rome’s Piazza Navona is perhaps the most famous and beautiful among the city’s many piazzas. You will truly enjoy the beautiful Roman sunshine as you walk along this scenic and historic baroque masterpiece. The place is also one of the city’s liveliest places, with its outdoor cafes, elegant restaurants, night clubs and local art market. The Piazza was built on the long ruins of the Stadium of Domitian or Circus Domitianus, where the ancient Romans watched games or agones. Part of the remains of the stadium can be seen when you exit the piazza on the northern part and by turning left. Subsequently, upon the transfer of the city market from Campidoglio the piazza was declared a public space in the latter part of the 15th century. The Piazza holds important architectural and artistic treasure. Right at the piazza’s heart is the Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s 17th century masterpiece the legendary […]

Pantheon: Where Art and Religion Meet

The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most fascinating landmarks. The temple was built by Marcus Agrippa in 27 BC, dedicated to the gods of the Ancient Romans and to remember Actium’s victory over Antony and Cleopatra. The temple was burned down in 80 AD. It was subsequently rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD and was thereafter maintained and renovated under the rule of Emperors Septimus Severus and Caracalla. In 346 pagan worship was banned and most temples were closed by 356. A decree in 408 made the temples like the Pantheon a secular building. It remained unused until the 7th century when the Byzantine Emperor Phocas gave the temple to Pope Boniface who transformed it to a Roman Catholic Church and consecrated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs. The Pantheon also known as Santa Maria Rotunda is one of the best conserved Roman structures. As such, one can […]

The Famous Trevi Fountain – Fontana di Trevi

The Eternal city of Rome is home to antiquated churches, piazzas, palaces and statues. Countless works of art and artefacts can be seen in the city’s old buildings and museums. The cobbled streets, beautiful plazas and fascinating fountains of its neighborhoods are truly inspirational. Most famous among the city’s fountains, is the Trevi Fountain. Known by italians as Fontana di Trevi, the Trevi Fountain is the most beautiful fountain in the city of Rome. Located in Trevi Square within the Quirinale district, its inviting and soothing sounds will reach you even as you walk through nearby streets. Simply breathtaking, it is sure to captivate your senses. The story of the fountain is depicted in its baroque art and structure. The smooth and natural lines of the marble structures complement the nearby palace and the plaza itself. The fountain traces its origin from ancient Roman times. Trevi Fountain is at the […]