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A little gem frozen in time: Calcata

Time seems to stand still in Calcata, a mediaeval village perched on a tufa mountain.  This magical place will awaken your imagination and transport you to a world of fairy tales. And it’s only about 40 kilometers from Rome.

Calcata 1

The historical centre of the village, surrounded by defensive walls – mentioned in some documents of the 8th century, even if human presence in this area can be traced back to prehistoric times- remained abandoned for many years from the beginning of the 20th century, because it was considered unsafe, and its inhabitants went to live outside. From the 70’s the situation changed and the small village returned to life, thanks to Italian and international artists who restored the houses and opened art galleries and cafès.

calcata 2

Once you pass the gate to the heart of Calcata, you find yourself catapulted into a differents world, made by narrow alleys, beautiful views over the Treja Valley, nice restaurants, artisan shops and even a Museum (Museo della Civiltà Contadina). The Palazzo Baronale degli Anguillara, which is situated at the entrance of the village,  used to be the most important building of Calcata and now it is the headquarter of the Parco del Valle Treja.

calcata 3

Calcata is a gem full of mistery, a place frozen in time where you can find a unique atmosphere. In this ancient village is easy to start believing in magic and witches, in romantic stories and legends. You can reach it by walk- it is not possible to go there by car, you have to park in sepcific areas- and you’ll be surprised by its beauty and appeal.

calcata 4

Calcata is a perfect place for a day trip from Rome and it’s stunning during the night: it has that charm of the ancient times and the halo of a candle that continues shining.

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“Paint & Wine”, come diventare artisti per una sera

Colori, pennelli, una tela bianca e un pizzico di talento. Il tutto accompagnato da un calice di vino in un ambiente davvero particolare, quello dell’Alembic Ak Bar nel cuore di Trastevere.  Sono questi gli ingredienti di “Paint&Wine”, i corsi di pittura con aperitivo di Lauren Lombardo, a cui è possibile partecipare il lunedì dalle 19 alle 21.

Lauren, newyorkese laureata in arte in Italia da poco più di quattro anni, ha iniziato con gli incontri di “Paint&Wine” quando viveva ancora negli States. Non serve avere alcuna esperienza per lanciarsi in questa avventura: Lauren spiega passo dopo passo (in italiano e inglese) i trucchi per realizzare il dipinto, come ottenere determinate sfumature di colore e anche in che modo correggere eventuali errori. Con della buona musica in sottofondo, un drink e tanti sorrisi, piano piano l’opera prende vita. E il risultato è straordinario: i dipinti sembrano davvero dei piccoli capolavori, da regalare oppure da appendere in casa e mostrare orgogliosi a parenti e amici.  L’Alembic Ak Bar è poi una Galleria d’arte-Cocktail Bar con un’atmosfera quasi magica, dove ci si può lasciar trasportare dall’immaginazione e dalla bellezza. E dove è possibile fermarsi per un aperitivo o per una serata diversa, lontani dalla folla e dal rumore.

L’arte diventa l’occasione per conoscere persone nuove, ma non solo. Lauren infatti sostiene anche “Save the School Exhibition in Rome”, la campagna di fundraising lanciata a favore di Real Pearl, un’organizzazione no-profit ungherese che si occupa dal 1999 dello sviluppo e dell’integrazione di bambini e famiglie in condizioni di estrema povertà residenti nelle zone più remote dell’Ungheria. L’obiettivo è di organizzare a Roma una mostra delle opere realizzate proprio dai bambini e un concerto che possa aiutare l’organizzazione a raccogliere fondi per i vari progetti educativi del prossimo anno.

Foto Pagina Facebook “Art with Lauren”

Arte, solidarietà e un buon aperitivo: per vievere questa straordinaria esperienza basta prenotarsi attraverso il sito di Lauren. Per maggiori informazioni  si possono visitare anche le pagine Facebook  Art with Lauren e Alembic #ak Bar.

A day trip to Bracciano from Rome

A nice historical centre, surrounded by a volcanic lake and dominated by a splendid castle: Bracciano is a perfect day trip from Rome. You can reach it by car or train (the FM3 railway which runs between Rome and Viterbo).

The view from the castle

If you love history and nature, you’ll appreciate this town at about 40 km from the Eternal City. The Orsini-Odescalchi Castle, which you can immediately see from the road while reaching this place, is one of the most beautiful and impressive castles in Europe. Its costruction, commissioned by Napoleon Orsini, was completed in 1485. In 1696 the Castle was sold to the Odescalchi family and was opened to the public in 1952. Its decorated rooms tell the history of the well-known noble families of Italy- Orsini, Medici, Borgia and Odescalchi- and it’s really well preserved. You feel like you are in a movie, its atmosphere is really unique. That’s why many famous people- like Tom Cruise and Eros Ramazzotti, for example- chose this castle for their weddings. It also can be reserved for exclusive events.

After the guided tour to the Castle- which lasts one hour- you can go to the lake for a relaxing walk. It’s one of the cleanest ones in Italy- it’s famous also because it’s the drinking water reservoir of Rome- and in the Summer you can swim and sunbathe on its beach. The lake is inside the Parco Naturale di Bracciano-Martignano, which is an excellent area for sports activities as exursions, cycling and trekking.

When in Bracciano, you must taste its traditional dishes with Bracciano lake freshwater fish– like eel, pike, tench-or, if you prefer meat and depending on the season, pasta with boar meat or porcino mushrooms. You can find many restaurants and pizzerias both in the downtown and in the lakeside.

Your experience in Bracciano can give you anything you are looking for: history and art, nature and relax, good food and outdoor activities.

 

Rome in October

Summer is over and the weather has changed, but it’s still sunny and temperatures are warm. In October Rome is full of nice colours and smells good. Romans call it “Ottobrate romane”, which refers to the Sunday trips out to the countryside, that people used to go on until the first decades of the 20thcentury to celebrate the end of harvest.  So it is a really good period to visit the Eternal city, even if it’s a bit crowded. You won’t be missing the summertime, because skies are often blue and you’ll probably get awesome sunsets.

Credits: @darksekretlove-Instagram

You can still enjoy the outdoor sites and you can even have dinner or a drink outside: you only need to wear a light jacket, because nights are obviously colder than days. You can combine with a visit to the surroundings- The “Castelli romani or Bomarzo, for example- or attend one of the many events that take place in the city. Through the end of October you can visit the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Forums by night. It’s not so hot to go sunbathe at the beach- even if it’s nice to have a walk there- but it’s perfect for your seightseeing.

Credits: @lsvetlanka-Instagram

There are many things going on during the whole autumn in Rome, like exhibits, music events, concerts and food festivals. You’ll be spoilt for choice and Rome will be even more magical and charming.  Plan your visit!

Credits: @blu.font-Instagram

Halloween in Rome

Halloween is not a typical Italian holiday, but in the last few years it’s becoming more and more popular. You’ll see decorations in shops; discos and bar will organize dress parties and there are many events for children. The first of November is a bit more cherished: schools are closed and it’s a day dedicated to family and relax.

Credits: @annefifanne-Instagram

Celebrate the “Ottobrata romana” and experience the city like a Roman!

 

Top 5 reasons to visit Rome

“Yes, I have finally arrived to this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life… Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This is what Goethe said about Rome and we totally agree. You can only appreciate and understand the Eternal city if you see it through your own eyes. So, if you are looking for some more reasons to visit Rome, here you find our list.

 

  • ART AND HISTORY

Rome is an open air museum and a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can admire incredible archtectural feats like the Pantheon; ruins from the Roman Empire like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum; monuments and churches from different historical periods. There are plenty of things to see and museums to visit (like the Capitoline Museums, the Ara Pacis and the MAXXI) and they are all great!

Roman Forum (credits: @kwon_yongsoo-Instagram)

 

  • STUNNING PIAZZAS AND FOUNTAINS

Fountains are almost everywhere in the center of Rome, surrounded by beautiful piazzas, the heart of the Roman (and Italian) life. The Trevi Fountain is one of the most beautiful in the world. And then we have the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, designed by Bernini; La Barcaccia Fountain at the bottom of the Spanish Steps; The Fountain of the Turtles in the Jewish Ghetto…and many more. Why don’t you count them all?

La Barcaccia

 

  • FOOD

The Roman cusine is an experience into taste and history. Have you ever heard about the famous “pasta alla carbonara” or “amatriciana”? Only in Rome you can find the authentic recipe. Not to mention gelato, pizza and wine: you’ll be spoilt for choice for every kind of food and wine tours.

Bucatini all’amatriciana (Credits: @silvia.massetti85-Instagram)

 

  • LAKES, BEACHES AND OTHER CITIES

Not everybody knows that Rome is really close to the sea. Ostia is the nearest beach to the city, at about 30 kilometers, but other famous places -like Nettuno or Anzio- are at 60 kilometers. The town of Castelgandolfo, on the “castelli romani”, also has a beautiful lake. But all round the Eternal City you can find small and pretty towns to visit. Using Rome as a base, you can easily reach Naples, Florence or Orvieto, for example.

Castelgandolfo

 

  • GOOD CLIMATE

The best season for a trip to Rome? Any time! From March to May the city is colourful and smells nice. Rome in Summer is quite hot, but you still can find places where to stay cool. From September to November it’s a bit rainy, but has a lot of beautiful and mild days. October is a great month for a Roman holiday. In the winter it’s less crowded and it’s not very cold. Rome’s magic atmosphere is always there.

The Trevi Fountain

 

Ready to book your unforgettable holiday in Rome?

 

Villa D’Este, magnificenza e splendore a due passi da Roma

Patrimonio Unesco e vero e proprio capolavoro del Rinascimento italiano: visitare Villa D’Este a Tivoli, comune a circa 30 chilometri da Roma,  è un piacevole percorso tra stanze finemente affrescate, bellissimi giardini e giochi d’acqua.

Panorama dall’appartamento nobile al primo piano del Palazzo

La villa fu voluta dal cardinale di Ferrara Ippolito II d’Este che iniziò, a partire dal 1550, la ristrutturazione della tradizionale sede dei governatori della città, costruita su un’antica villa romana (di cui sono venuti alla luce dei resti nel 1983, durante lavori di rifacimento di alcune sale). L’intenzione del cardinale era quella di ricreare i fasti delle corti ferraresi e di Villa Adriana: le stanze furono decorate da un nutrito gruppo di pittori, esponenti del tardo manierismo romano come Livo Agresti e Federico Zuccari, mentre i lavori della villa e dei giardini vennero affidati a Pirro Ligorio e Alberto Galvani.

Dell’antico splendore delle sale del palazzo, che si estende su più piani, oggi rimangono affreschi e stucchi, realizzati principalmente per celebrare la vita del suo proprietario: in ogni stanza, salone o cappella si respirano magnificenza e opulenza.

Ciò che conquista e affascina di Villa D’Este sono senza dubbio i suoi giardini. Tra scalinate e terrazze che si affacciano su panorami unici- da un parte Roma, fino ad arrivare a scorgere il Cupolone; dall’altra la città di Tivoli- si susseguono giochi d’acqua, piccole grotte e maestose fontane, circondati da alberi secolari, piante e aiuole.

Le suggestive Cento Fontane costeggiano il vialone d’ingresso, che porta alla Fontana dell’Ovato, arricchita di rocce e massi ornamentali. Alla  fine di questo vialone, con un’incredibile vista sulle pianure romane, si erge il belvedere della Rometta, ossia la rappresentazione di Roma in Trono, con accanto la lupa che allatta Romolo e Remo, cirocondata di vasche e zampilli.

Le Cento Fontane

La Fontana dell’Organo– così chiamata perché ha al suo interno un particolare meccanismo, che ricrea motivi proprio di questo strumento- è situata in uno spazio che sembra quasi magico: dalla sua terrazza si possono ammirare le “peschiere” e i giardini della villa, mentre passeggiando fino alla fine della piazza che la circonda, si trova un romantico arco ricoperto di rincosperno.

La Fontana dell’Organo

Imponente e scenografica è poi la Fontana del Nettuno, che risulta anche la più recente, creata nel XX secolo trasformando la cascata realizzata da Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a cui furono affidati alcuni lavori nei giardini.

La Fontana del Nettuno

A Villa D’Este si vivono molteplici emozioni. Tra i suoi angoli si possono quasi scorgere i protagonisti di quei tempi ormai andati, mentre passeggiano dolcemente, discutendo di arti e politica. Basta chiudere gli occhi, ascoltare il rumore dell’acqua che scorre e lasciarsi accarezzare dalla sua bellezza.

 

 

A day in Monti

It’s cool thanks to its picturesque alleys, small shops and ancient buidings. It’s trendy thanks to its bars, restaurants and pubs. The Monti neighborhood is one of the most beautiful districts of Rome. It’s close to Colosseum and Piazza Venezia, it contains within itself an authentic atmosphere and that brightness of the Eternal City, it’s perfect to explore the Roman nightlife. This is why some of our holiday apartments are located here.

Rione Monti-TreasureRome

(Credits: @alessiacarosi)

Rione Monti is full of life, both during the day and at night. You can go shopping in via Cavour or via Nazionale, where you can find many kinds of shops.  The famous Mercato Urbano di Monti -on Saturdays&Sundays, for vintage clothes and accessories-is located there. You can have a walk in the tiny and lovely via Urbana and try one of Grezzo’s delicacies. And then you can take a picture at the nice Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, where a lot of people use to sit and chat, before having dinner in one of the restaurants or pizzerias located in the heart of this district: via dei Serpenti, via Panisperna or via del Boschetto.

Rione Monti TreasureRome

Piazza della Madonna dei Monti (Credits: @bonjourwhite-Instagram)

The Monti neighborhood has beautiful churches and artworks. Santa Maria Maggiore is at the end of via Panisperna and is one of the most stunning basilicas in Rome, that you can admire starting from its facade. You can’t miss San Pietro in Vincoli, the church which since 1545 has hosted a masterpiece: Michelangelo’s Moses. We suggest to reach this church climbing the “Salita dei Borgia” staircase, which connects via Cavour to San Pietro in Vincoli and it’s really peculiar.

Rione Monti TreasureRome

Salita dei Borgia (Credits: @sasiyx-Instagram)

Breath the essence of the Eternal City, take a lot of photos and discover how wonderful holidays can be is when you are surrounded by beauty, history, culture and Italian lifestyle!

5 tips for food and drink in Rome

If you chose Rome and Italy for your holidays, you probably did it also for its food and drink. Roman cuisine can seduce your palate and even your heart.

Here you find 5 top tips to enjoy Rome’s foodie scene at its most.

 

Try the famous gelato

Italy has the best gelato in the world and Rome has a lot of famous and good gelaterie (ice-cream parlours) like Giolitti (close to via del Corso) and Gelateria del Teatro (close to Castel Sant’Angelo). Walking around the Eternal City with a good artisanal ice-cream is a must.

Giolitti gelato TreasureRome

 

Go to a “panetteria”

When in Rome, search for a “panetteria” or “forno” (bakery). You can find them almost everywhere. Don’t miss the great opportunity to try some of its delicacies: different kinds of bread, pizza, cakes and biscuits. You will be spoilt for choice and you will eat something that Italians bring to their table everyday.

Pizza bianca TreasureRome blog

 

Don’t miss the fabolous aperitivo

Have you ever heard about the Italian aperitivo? It’s the event not to be missed when in Rome. In many bars and pubs you can have a drink -cocktails, wine or beer-  together with pasta, pizza, sandwiches or finger food starting from 6 pm until about 9 pm. It’s trendy and really cool.

Aperitivo Roma Treasurerome blog

Credits: @route66barroma

 

Cappuccino and cornetto for breakfast

Forget eggs and bacon. If you want to feel like a local, ask for a cappuccino and a cornetto for breakfast. Ask for an espresso after lunch and taste a good liquor at the end of your dinner. Please don’t have a cappuccino during your lunch: Romans never do it!

Credits: @azzurra_ciba-Instagram

 

Eat like a local

Roman cuisine is known as “the food of people”: all its dishes tell a story and they’re delicious. You must try them because their flavours are simply unique. Starters, First and second courses, desserts: get ready for a food experience you’ll probably miss!

Cacio e pepe (Credits:@paulinevergara-Instagram)

 

The Garden of Ninfa, where history meets nature

The Garden of Ninfa is a place that looks like it’s been taken out of a fairy-tale. An amazing park that tells the story of a ghost city and a noble family who decided to bring it to life.

Garden on Ninfa TR

Ninfa was once a prosperous town on the Appian Way, property of the Caetani family: in the XIV century it was probably populated by 2000 people. Its names comes from the little temple dedicated to the nymphs during the Roman period built in this area, at the foot of the Lepini Hills. There were various churches-Santa Maria Maggiore was the primary one- mills and bridges, a castle and a town hall. It was defended by a double-walled fortification. The town was destroyed in 1382 due to politics and family events. It remained abandoned until the 20th century, when the estate was renovated and the garden was transformed by Gelasio Caetani.

Ninfa is now an English-style romantic garden with a river and a lake, where ruins and nature coexist harmoniously. There are trees and plants, which come from all over the world, together with ancient contrunctions, that show how the city used to be. It’s an open-air museum and a magic place surrounded by mountains and at about 20 kilometers from the sea.

Garden of Ninfa

Ninfa is located in the province of Latina, at 80 kilometers from Rome, and it is definitely worth a visit: it’s an experience you won’t forget. There’s a really strange atmosphere there: you can listen to nature and enjoy its beauty and sounds. If you have time, you can also visit the 17th-century “Hortus conclusus”, an Italian- style garden a the end of the Garden of Ninfa route, and the nearby towns Norma and Sermoneta.

Garden of Ninfa

The site is run by the Italian Foundation Roffredo Caetani and it is open to the public at set times from April to November.  Visitors are accompanied by a guide and entrance tickets must be purchased online. Don’t miss this jewel of Italy’s history and magnificence.

Meraviglia e terrore: è il Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo

Un luogo suggestivo, che racchiude volti spaventosi e animali mitologici, e che racconta una storia di terrore e meraviglia. Il Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo, conosciuto anche come Parco dei Mostri, si trova a circa un’ora di macchina da Roma, nella provincia di Viterbo, ed è assolutamente unico nel suo genere.

Creato nel 1552 dal Principe Vicino Orsini e dall’architetto Pirro Ligorio, questo giardino incantato è un labirinto di simboli che non segue un ordine logico, ma intende sorprendere, stupire o spaventare i suoi visitatori. Fortemente voluto dal Principe- che decise di dedicarlo a sua moglie Giulia Farnese- divenne uno dei più importanti e apprezzati dell’epoca. Dopo la sua morte fu però abbandonato: riscoperto dopo secoli e rivalutato da intellettuali del calibro di Goethe, Salvador Dalì e Mario Praz, nella seconda metà del Novecento venne restaurato e poi aperto al pubblico.

Circondati da alberi e piante, le sculture si ergono maestose: all’ingresso del parco, e probabilmente a custodirlo, troviamo due sfingi di ispirazione classica ed egizia. A poca distanza il primo “mostro”: un mascherone con la bocca aperta. È Proteo Glauco.

Proteo Glauco

Il percorso continua tra i due giganti– la statua più grande del Bosco Sacro-, la tartaruga e la balena che affiora dalla terra, la fontana da cui emerge Pegaso. E poi ancora la casa pendente– straordinaria-, l’elefante che porta su di sé una torre e un legionario, un drago impegnato in una lotta. E che dire poi di Echidna, la donna con due code di serpente al posto delle gambe e Furia, la donna con ali e coda di drago?

La casa pendente

 

L’orrore è sempre in agguato e qui prende le sembianze di un orco con la bocca spalancata, la figura più famosa dell’intero Giardino, che sembra quasi voler divorare le sue prede.  Grazie ad alcuni scalini è possibile entrare al suo interno (risulta in realtà una piccola stanza scavata nel tufo): un’esperienza sicuramente da provare.

Park of Monsters TreasureRome

L’orco

Probabilmente nel corso degli anni alcune sculture sono andate perse e ancora oggi alcune hanno delle parti poco riconoscibili: misteriosi sono rimasti anche i criteri di realizzazione dell’intero giardino, che gli studiosi non sono riusciti a spiegare. Tutti questi particolari, uniti alle originali statue, fanno del Parco dei Mostri un piccolo gioiello che emoziona e colpisce. Un posto da visitare per trascorrere qualche ora circondati dalla natura, immaginando che le sculture possano prendere vita al calare della notte, rendendo onore a chi le ha ideate e tramandate.   

La tartaruga