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.

 

 

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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.

The best tours to visit Rome (and skip the lines)

It’s love at first sight. Yes, we know how it happens: Rome is one of the most courted cities in the world. It’s easy to understand why: it’s beautiful, bright and offers a lot of things to do. But sometimes it’s not easy to choose where to start and what to see, because it can be crowded. And time never seems to be enough.

Here you find the three city tours we highly recommend for an exclusive visit of the Eternal City. The tours are organized by The Roman Guy, booking in advance is a must and can be done on their website.

  • Vatican Privileged Entrance Express Tour

Skip the line and get the opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums and st. Peter’s Basilica with an expert tour guide. This tour will cover the main highlights of these two symbolic attractions, from a privileged point of view, which will leave you speechless. Would you say yes to the Sistine Chapel and other priceless masterpieces without the confusing crowd? Are you willing to see “La Pietà” by Michelangelo and the Papal Tombs Crypts? Wear  a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready for this adventure.

  • Arena Floor Colosseum Tour with Roman Forum

It’s the symbol of Rome and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern world. You can see the Colosseum from the outside, but it is definitely worth a visit on the inside. This “Gladiator’s Experience” tour will take you on a journey  into history: you skip the line and enter a restricted area as well, the reconstructed Arena Floor, which has special access requirements to the public. If you want to live a unique experience in a unique place, this is the right tour for you. Open your eyes and your heart!

  • Trastevere “Local” Food Tour

Monuments, museums, fountains are great, but food is another absolute must to add to your bucket list when in Rome. In order to avoid “tourist traps” and enjoy the real Roman cuisine, a guide will choose for you the best places in one of the most authentic neighbourhoods in Rome: Trastevere. You must be in shape and arrive with an empty stomach, because this tour will begin with an “Italian aperitivo” and finish with an artisanal ice-cream. 6 stops and 8 tastings are planned. Can you think about a better way to connect with locals?

If you don’t have enough time to try them all, there’s only one solution: visit Rome again soon!

Rome’s most visited sites in 2016

Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill: these are Italy’s most visited sites in 2016, according to the top 30 list issued by Mibact (the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism). But they are not the only ones in Rome. On the same list we also find Castel St.Angelo, the Borghese Gallery, the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, the villa D’Este in Tivoli and two sites which are probably not so popular: the National Roman Museum and the Baths of Caracalla.

The National Roman Museum

The National Roman Museum is really peculiar, because it is composed of four different buildings throughout the city: Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme and Baths of Diocletian.

  • Crypta Balbi is situated between Piazza Venezia and Largo di Torre Argentina. It houses the archaeological remains of the Theatre of Lucius Cornelius Balbus and other objects from various collections.
  • Palazzo Altemps is located in Campo Marzo, close to Piazza Navona and hosts amazing collections of antiquities, like Greek and Roman sculptures, that in the 16th and 17th centuries belonged  to some families of the Roman nobility.
  • Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is close to the Termini train station: four floors of beautiful sculptures, mosaics, jewels, coins and grave ornaments.
  • Baths of Diocletian is a 13 hectar thermal complex, the biggest one ever built in Rome. It had a gymnasia, some libaries and a large swimming pool. Some rooms have been converted by Michelangelo into the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and the Christian Martyrs; there is also a Carthusian Monastery.
Baths of Diocletian (Photo credit: @eli2323-Instagram)

Baths of Diocletian (Photo credit: @eli2323-Instagram)

Baths of Caracalla

Baths of Caracalla (Terme di caracalla in Italian) is one of the largest and also well preserved ancient termal complex. Today it is possible to visit the ruins and have a walk sourronded by history: it’s definitely a place not to be missed. During the summer its central part hosts the Roma Opera company and it becomes even more captivating.

Baths of Caracalla (Photo credit: @alexbaccaro-Instagram)

Baths of Caracalla (Photo credit: @alexbaccaro-Instagram)

It’s not on the list, but we suggest trying something different after the most famous tourist sites in Rome: the Criminology Museum. It’s situated on via del Gonfalone (close to via Giulia) and houses a large collection of a lot of things crime-related. This museum has three section: the first one displays instruments of capital punishment (and it’s very impressive!); the second one is devoted to 19th century studies and police techniques; the third one is devoted to 20th century crime. If you are a thrill seeker, this place is right for you!

The Criminology Museum (Photo credit: @mrssparkles2020)

The Criminology Museum (Photo credit: @mrssparkles2020)

Rome is always a big surprise…Don’t you think?

 

Galleria Borghese: 5 reasons you should visit this awesome museum

The Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery in English) is one of Rome’s must-see museums: it is inside the Villa Borghese park and surrounded by the greenery and beauty of its gardens. The villa used to be the summer and party mansion of the Borghese family and now it belongs to the Italian state.

galleria-borghese-treasureromeFollowing are 5 reasons you won’t want to miss it out!

  1. Famous paintings and sculptures of all time. You can admire some of the most famous works by Caravaggio, Bernini and Canova. The Boghese Gallery has two floors and a basement, where you cand find the ticket office, the Museum shop and a cafè. The main floor is mostly devoted to great sculptures like Bernini’s “Apollo and Daphne” and Canova’s “Pauline Bonaparte” and some of the major artworks by Caravaggio like “Boy with a basket of fruit”; the other one hosts 16th, 17th and 18th centuries paintings by Rubens, Raphael and Titian, among others.
  2. You can find different kinds of artworks: from Ancient Roman sculptures to the Egyptian art; from the Mannerist paintings of the 16th century to the breathtaking sculptures of 17th century. The villa itself is a piece of art: walls and ceilings are magnificently adorned.
  3. The museum is never really crowded, because they only allow 360 people at once. You must reserve in advance (booking requires for all ticket types) and choose the time you’ll be there: you have two hours to complete your visit.
  4. The museum is in the Villa Borghese park and you can have a walk before (or after) your visit, which is always a nice experience. 
  5. You can nourish your soul and spend a lovely morning or afternoon in one of the most beautiful places in the Eternal city, just a few steps away from its most famous monuments and piazzas.
bernini

Bernini’s “Rape of Proserpina “

The Borghese Gallery is open Tuesday-sunday from 9 am to 7 pm. It is closed Mondays, December 25, January 1 and May 1. It is free the first Sunday of the month (but you need to book anyway). The Borghese Gallery is one of the sites available to visit with the Roma Pass. Audio guides are available for hire in Italian English, Spanish and German. For more information you can visit the website www.gebart.it.

Rome with kids, a great adventure

The little ones will love Rome, just like their parents, because there are many attractions for them. They’ll probably be seduced by the splendor of the Eternal City- we are sure they will never forget anything- but there’s even something more if they want to have fun. You only have to choose what you want to do first: be prepared to check an exciting to-do list.

Ready to start?

LUNEUR PARK

Once it was one of the most famous park in Italy. It has been closed for a while, but the Luneur Park in Rome’s southern EUR suburb reopened on 27 October. There are 25 attractions at the seven-hectare park, including the original 23m-high ferris wheel- the Brucomela roller coaster-, carousel horses and teacups, as well as new attractions such as the bamboo tunnel, the giant swing and the Wizard of Oz-style farm. Moreover, you can also find shows, events and workshops for children.  

Rome for kids

Luneur (Photo credit: @emanu_ela75-Instagram)

THE ZOO OF VILLA BORGHESE

Kids love animals, so why don’t you plan a visit to the “Bioparco” of Rome? 200 different species of animals from 5 continents: it offers families a rich calendar of events all year round and it is surrounded by the beauty and greenery of Villa Borghese.

EXPLORA, THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

It is the first non-profit and privately owned permanent museum conceived for children, schools and families. Explora consists of the museum’s exhibit pavilion, a free-access green area with a  well-equipped playground, a kitchen dedicated to food education workshops, a bookshop, a gift shop, a restaurant, a cafeteria and a parking area. This museum ensures unforgettable moments to your kids.

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Botanical Garden of Rome is one of the Museums of the Department of Environmental Biology of the Sapienza University of Rome. It covers an area of about 30 acres in the heart of the city, close to Colle del Gianicolo, and it is full of many kinds of plants and trees. It’s a place which can teach a lot to your children and where they can admire the strength and beauty of Nature.

Botanical Garden (Photo credit: @fede_fo-Instagram)

Botanical Garden (Photo credit: @fede_fo-Instagram)

RAINBOW MAGICLAND

It’s the biggest amusement park of Rome, situated outside the city (Valmontone area) with connections from Termini station. It has 38 attractions and a wide range of shows and events, as well as restaurants, bars, gift shops and picnic areas. Close to the fun park you can find a nice outlet (Valmontone outlet). It’s a good solution to spend a whole day all together outside the city.

CINECITTA’ WORLD

Cinecittà World is also situated outside the city and has been conceived inside real film studios that have hosted international productions. On its website this park is described as “A blockbuster based on few ingredients, all successful: stunning rides, oscar-winning theming, themed dining experiences”. Events, shows and animations are also planned every day.

Monti neighborhood (Photo credit: @alessandra.bedendo-Instagram)

Monti neighborhood (Photo credit: @alessandra.bedendo-Instagram)

And after a pleasant day, Monti neighborhood will welcome you for your dinner: a truly Roman atmosphere and nice restaurants for families.

 

Roma da vivere: Villa Borghese

Un luogo da visitare, scoprire e vivere fino in fondo. Villa Borghese non è solo un (bellissimo) parco nel cuore di Roma, che si affaccia su piazza del Popolo e si raggiunge facilmente anche da Piazza di Spagna, ma anche una cornice verde che racchiude mille esperienze diverse per tutta la famiglia: arte, cinema, teatro, relax e divertimento.

L'ingresso da Piazzale Flaminio (Photo credit: @maurobenci da Instagram)

L’ingresso da Piazzale Flaminio (Photo credit: @maurobenci da Instagram)

Il Giardino zoologico. Villa Borghese ospita il bioparco della città: più di 200 specie di animali provenienti da cinque continenti e un’area dedicata completamente ai bambini. L’ingresso è da via Aldrovandi (a pochi passi, tra l’altro, dalla Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea).

Alcuni animali ospitati nel Bioparco di Roma (Photo credit: ale_andflo da Instagram)

Alcuni animali ospitati nel Bioparco di Roma (Photo credit: @ale_andflo da Instagram)

Galleria Borghese, il Globe e la Casa del Cinema: l’arte è la grande protagonista. Continuando a passeggiare nel parco, dove è possibile anche trovare i romani che fanno jogging o si rilassano leggendo un libro, si raggiunge Galleria Borghese, uno splendido museo che conserva capolavori di Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Raffaello, Tiziano, Correggio, Caravaggio e meravigliose sculture di Gian Lorenzo Bernini e del Canova. Che dire poi del Silvano Toti Globe Theatre? Non molto distante dal Museo, si trova il bellissimo teatro che, realizzato interamente in legno, ospita in estate le opere di William Shakespeare, in una sorta di gemellaggio con l’originale Globe di Londra. La Casa del Cinema, a poca distanza dal teatro, è lo spazio in cui, oltre a rilassarsi bevendo un caffè o un drink, vengono organizzati eventi, festival o corsi dedicato alla “settima arte”.

Galleria Borghese (Photo credit: @v.i.v.chin da Instagram)

Galleria Borghese (Photo credit: @v.i.v.chin da Instagram)

 Il Laghetto e il Pincio. Dopo una bella scorpacciata d’arte e di cultura, è il momento di altre emozioni: una passeggiata sul rive del laghetto di Villa Borghese, o sulle sue acque noleggiando una barchetta, riserva piacevoli sorprese. Ci si sente come sospesi nel tempo e immersi in un microcosmo. Penserà poi il Pincio, una delle terrazze più straordinarie di Roma, a lasciare tutti definitivamente senza fiato.

Il laghetto (Photo credit: fiori_di_cannella da Instagram)

Il laghetto (Photo credit: fiori_di_cannella da Instagram)

Villa Borghese raccoglie tanti pezzettini di cuore, tanti ricordi di chi l’ha visitata e non ha potuto che amarla. Forse è anche per questo che è così speciale.

Summer heat? Go to the beach! The best ones near Rome revealed

Rome can be really hot in July and August. But don’t panic: the Eternal City  is also near to many beautiful beaches that you can’t miss. You can reach them by bus, by train or by car.

Ready to discover the best ones with us?

ANZIO 

The best-known beach in this beautiful city is called “Grotte di Nerone” because it is dominated by the ruins of the famous Roman emperor’s villa. Nero used to spend his holidays there. The water is clean and you can also sunbathe looking at a piece of history. During the night the amazing historical center of Nettuno (which is very close to Anzio)  will give you nice moments of pleasure: it is full of reasturants, bars and pubs.

SABAUDIA

We are sure you have already heard about Sabaudia. Wide beaches, very clean water, cool bars? Yes, that’s it! It is a very famous place because a lot of Italian celebrities go there for their holidays. From this wonderful (and long) beach you can also see the Circe’s Mountain. Probably one of the most beautiful place in the Lazio region. It takes one hour and a half by car to get there, but it is completely worth it.

SABAUDIAjpg

Sabaudia

OSTIA

It’s the nearest beach to Rome: even it’s not the nicest one, it has at least two qualities. You can visit the archeological site of Ostia Antica before going to the beach and there are a lot of lovely bars and restaurants on the seafront. Maybe there’s nothing compares to a frozen beer while loooking at the sea. Just try!

Ostia Beach (Photo credit: atreboroby-Instagram)

Ostia Beach (Photo credit: atreboroby-Instagram)

FREGENE

It’s a bit farther than Ostia, but don’t care about the distance, because it is also the coolest place of this area. It’s easy to understand why: the Roman movida is always here. At the Singita Miracle Beach you can experience real ‘Summer parties’ and live unforgivable moments. Sun, relax and fun: what else?

Fregene Beach (Photo credit: givirebel-Instagram),

Fregene Beach (Photo credit: givirebel-Instagram),

Your stay in Rome from another point of view. You’ll love it even more.

Following the music in Rome

Do you love music and you can’t live without it, even if you are on holiday?

No problem. Rome is full of places where you can enjoy live concerts, musicals and music shows…You’ll be only requested to choose what you prefer!

The Auditorium Parco della Musica is the most famous in town: it is a multi-functional complex dedicated to music. You can always find exhibitions, concerts, festivals, ballet and different events. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit its museums dedicated to musical instruments and archeological remains, discovered during the preliminary excavation stages of the area reserved for the new Auditorium.

Auditorium fede_marchetti__

Auditorium Parco della Musica (Photo credit: fede_marchetti__-Instagram)

Summer is the best season to listen to music in the Eternal City: a lot of concerts are held in places surrounded by stunning backdrops.

Villa Ada is a beautiful park which every year hosts live performances: but it is not the only one. The Terme di Caracalla, the well-known archeological site, becomes an open air theatre live shows and operas. Music and Rome’s history under the moonlight: a dream that comes true.

Terme di Caracalla (Photo credit: Roberta Bernabei-Instagram)

Terme di Caracalla (Photo credit: Roberta Bernabei-Instagram)

 Rock in Roma is one of the major rock music festival not to be missed: many concerts of Italian and International artists and a location – inside the Hippodrome- where you can also spend some nice time before or after the shows.

The Olympic Stadium and Foro Italico hold major international sporting events but even live concerts. During the year it is common to go to the Palalottomatica to see indoor concerts of different kind (from Italian singers and bands to International performances).

Foro Italico (Photo credit: ludovicacimmino-Instagram)

Foro Italico (Photo credit: ludovicacimmino-Instagram)

It is easy to nourish your soul in Rome: don’t you think?

Lì dove tutto ebbe inizio: alla scoperta della nascita di Roma

“Roma non è una città come le altre. È un grande museo, un salotto da attraversare in punta di piedi”. È così che Alberto Sordi parlava di Roma. Una definizione che si addice perfettamente a una città in cui ogni angolo ha qualcosa da raccontare: un aneddoto, un particolare storico o una leggenda.

Probabilmente tutti conoscono la storia della sua nascita: Romolo e Remo, i due gemelli figli del Dio Marte e di Rea Silvia, vengono abbandonati in una cesta e affidati al fiume Tevere. Salvati da una lupa che li allatta o, come raccontano altre versioni, da un pastore e dalla moglie Larenza, soprannominata “Lupa” perché dedita alla prostituzione, decidono di fondare una nuova città una volta scoperta la loro vera identità. Una scelta che porta alla morte di Remo- ucciso dal fratello in seguito a una lite scoppiata proprio per chi dovesse avere il diritto alla fondazione- e alla nascita di Roma. Ma qual è il punto preciso in cui tutto ebbe inizio?

Piazza della Bocca della Verità

Piazza della Bocca della Verità

Roma è nata grazie al Tevere, sul colle Palatino, in una piazza dove ritroviamo secoli e secoli di storia e dove sorgeva il primo porto della città, il Portus Tiberinus: Piazza della Bocca della Verità. La Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, conosciuta perché sotto il suo portico accoglie ciò che non era altro che un tombino, custodisce anche il suo punto più antico: l’Ara Massima di Ercole invitto, costruita nel 495 a.c., i cui resti sono visibili nella cripta.

Attraversando la strada e ponendosi di fronte alla Basilica, si può osservare il Tempio di Ercole Vincitore, erroneamente conosciuto anche come Tempio di Vesta, risalente al 120 a.c. Il nome deriva dal fatto che Ercole fosse il protettore dei commercianti. Proprio lì infatti, a ridosso del porto, si svolgevano le attività commerciali della città.

Nel Medioevo, com’era usanza dell’epoca, questo tempio divenne una chiesa dedicata a Santo Stefano delle carrozze. C’era probabilmente un punto di ritrovo nei paraggi.

Tempio Ercole

Tempio di Ercole Vincitore

Accanto a questo tempio di forma circolare, sorge il Tempio di Portuno, risalente a epoca repubblicana in quello che era il Foro Boario, ossia il mercato delle carni. Sempre nel Medioevo non venne risparmiato e diventò una chiesa: Santa Maria Egiziaca. Il motivo di questo nome è curioso: Santa Maria Egiziaca era la protettrice delle prostitute e in quel luogo molte di loro svolgevano la loro attività.

Tempio Portuno

Tempio di Portuno

La Fontana al centro della Piazza è l’elemento più recente: omaggio di Papa Clemente XI ai romani, risale al 1700. Fino a qualche anno fa comprendeva anche un abbeveratoio, poi spostato in un’altra zona.

Superando la piazza e attraversando nuovamente la strada, si arriva al Velabro: la zona in cui vissero Romolo e Remo e dove Mastro Titta, celebre boia di Roma, eseguì gran parte delle 514 esecuzioni della sua carriera. Ora qui è possibile visitare la Chiesa di San Giorgio al Velabro e l’Arco di Giano.

San Giorgio al Velabro (Photo credit: parmenide2014 da Instagram)

San Giorgio al Velabro (Photo credit: parmenide2014 da Instagram)

Più di duemila anni di storia racchiusi in pochi passi. Mettetevi al centro della piazza, chiudete gli occhi e iniziate a immaginare: non avvertite quella grandezza, quel brivido che solo Roma riesce a trasmettere?

Ringraziamo l’associazione Roma Sparita che ci ha accompagnato in questo meraviglioso viaggio in un pomeriggio di maggio.