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Tag Archives: Rome

Tour Italy Now’s Rome Photo Blog Contest Winners Announcement!

Recently, we at Tour Italy Now have launched a contest asking our fans and readers to send us their best photos of the Eternal City, Rome. All the entries we received for the Rome Photo Blog Contest were absolutely stunning, and we would like to thank everyone who participated. So without further ado, here are the winners! Each of our winners will be receiving a batch of goodies from us as a thank you for their efforts, so to all of our winning contestants, just hang tight and please wait for the email we will be sending you regarding your prize. Once again, congratulations, everyone! In the meantime, watch out for more contests and giveaways from us here at Tour Italy Now!

What You Should Know about Holy Week Traditions in Italy

Any visitor in Italy during Holy Week would do well to know a bit about the rich traditions that surround this occasion. With Roman Catholicism being considered as the largest religion in the country in which the Vatican can also be found, a number of Holy Week traditions in Italy, from practices to rituals still prevail, particularly in the southern regions. The beginning of Holy Week is on Palm Sunday, and it lasts for the rest of the week up until Black Saturday, before ending in joyous Easter, or “Pasqua”, celebrations. Take note that the Monday right after Easter (“Pasquetta”) is also a holiday, so plan your trips accordingly. On Palm Sunday, the faithful normally flock to the churches where a mass and possibly processions are held. There are also baskets of olive branches and palms which are then blessed by the priest and are handed out to the congregation. [...]

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 [...]

10 Best Springtime Festivals in Italy

For a lot of people, spring is the best among the four seasons of the year. It’s when we shake off the winter freeze and embrace the freshness of rebirth. Across the world’s temperate regions, there’s not a single place that doesn’t look good at this time of year. Few places, however, are as much fun to be in as Italy is from March to May. With crisp weather, nature in full bloom and a renewed energy in the air, spring is ideal for visiting this lovely European nation. Seeing archaeological sites, appreciating works of art and tasting the wonderful cuisine is standard faire when visiting any Italian city, but what can make your stay even more memorable is participating in awesome festivals during the springtime months. Taking part in the celebrations is the fastest way to immerse yourself in Italian culture; it helps you appreciate the country and its [...]

Seven Dishes You Have to Taste in Rome

Roman food is a hearty, rustic affair with bold flavors and inexpensive ingredients that have their history in a less prosperous time. Despite its meager roots, signature Roman cuisine is renowned the world over for its great taste, filling nature and classy aroma. These are our picks for the seven dishes you have to taste in Rome. Pasta is Italy’s staple food. Estimates are that the average Italian eats roughly 60 pounds of pasta per year. Each region has its own typical shapes and sauces. Pasta in Italy is cooked al dente, which is slightly firmer than you might be used to. 1. Buccatini Amatriciana. Buccatini is a long, hollow spaghetti-like noodle and is usually served with an Amatriciana sauce. This classic Roman pasta sauce is made with tomatoes, onions, pecorino cheese and crispy guanciale, which is similar to bacon. 2. Cacio e Pepe. Cacio e pepe means cheese and [...]

The Traveler’s Guide to Touring Italy by Train

Whenever the name Italy is mentioned, most people would automatically think of Rome and the sovereign Vatican City within it. To a certain degree, it can’t be helped. The Eternal City and the Holy See are some of the world’s greatest travel destinations. However, Italy has a lot of other great locales that you shouldn’t miss when you’re there for a Vacation. Places like Florence, Venice, Tuscany and Milan all have their unique charms, culture, food and art that are distinct from the rest of Italy.

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 [...]

Shopping in Rome

The eternal city of Rome is a shopping mecca.  From world famous designers like Prada and Gucci on grand boulevards to independent boutiques in hip neighborhoods to busy weekend markets, there is something for every shopping taste and budget.  Here is a brief guide to our favorite neighborhoods for shopping in Rome. Tridente This elegant area beginning at the Piazza del Popolo gets it’s name from the three main streets; via Ripetta, via Babuina and via del Corso. This is where you will find the big name designers like Valentino and Bulgari and smaller boutiques like Gente, a collection of elegant smaller designer clothing and shoes and Gallo for colorful striped socks, tights and scarves on via Frattina.  Don’t miss the via grand Condotti that ends at the Spanish Steps and the many small streets that criss cross the main avenues. Monti Rome first neighborhood, located a stones throw form [...]

Optical Illusions in Rome

The incredible city of Rome is a feast for your eyes, but can you always trust what you are seeing?  Here are some of very favorite optical illusions in Rome. Galleria Spada   In the Piazza Capo di Ferro, near the Piazza Farnese and Campo di Fiori is the Palazzo Spada which houses the private art collection of Bernardino Spada.  The real treasure, however is hidden in a quiet corner of the courtyard. Designed by Francesco Boromini, one of Rome’s most important Baroque architects. Find the amazing example of forced perspective that makes the length of the corridor look much longer than it actually is. Piazza San Pietro – Saint Peters Square The magnificent Basilica di San Pietro dominates the vast Piazza San Pietro. Under the patronage of Pope Alexander VII, who was behind many streets and buildings in Rome during his papacy in the mid 1600’s. He commissioned his good [...]

How to Tour Italy on a Budget

Even with the Euro crisis, the European currency is strong against the U.S. Dollar.  Here are some of Tour Italy Now’s best tips on how to tour Italy on a budget. Eating and drinking Picnics are a great way to practice some Italian, eat like the locals and relax in a pretty, green space. Find a local market, or alimentari – grocery store and stock up on cold meats and cheese sliced to order and fresh bread and local fruits and head to a park for your foraged feast. Pizza and gelato are both delicious and inexpensive.  A pizza is rarely more than 10 euros a person and even the smallest scoop of gelato is a pretty generous serving size.  During the day look for pizza a taglia, pizza by the slice or tramazzini filled triangle shaped sandwiches. At restaurants, look for the Menu de Giorno.  This is often a [...]