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.

A Roman food experience you must try

Rome seduces everyone, not only thanks to its wonderful places, but also with its great food.

Roman cuisine is the food of the people. It is also described as “poor kitchen” because the food was made with simple and available ingredients. It has always been full of flavors and perfumes. These dishes hold the history of Roman people and they are simply delicious: pasta, pig, lamb, artichokes, puntarelle, chicory. When in Rome, you must experience a traditional “osteria romana” and try this famous Roman cuisine, drinking wine or beer, as many Romans love to do.

These are the 6 Roman dishes not to be missed!

Amatriciana 

Tomatoes, guanciale (pig’s cheek), bucatini-thick spaghetti with a hole running through the center-and pecorino romano (a kind of salty and hard cheese): the “amatriciana” is one of those Roman dishes which always win. Don’t forget a large bib!

Credits: @azzurrawella

Cacio e Pepe

It’s a simple dish with spaghetti and three ingredients- pecorino romano cheese (cacio), black pepper (pepe) and leftover pasta water, that create a creamy sauce- but it is absolutely exquisite. Once you try it, you will always dream about it!

Carbonara

You can ask for different kinds of pasta- like mezze maniche, spaghetti or rigatoni- but the result is always great. Raw egg yolk, guanciale, pepper and greated pecorino romano: we bet you are already craving!

Trippa alla romana

Stewing tripe in a delicious tomato sauce with the addition of garlic, onions and various chopped herbs such as “menta romana”: a delicate taste that you can only find in this Roman recipe. A dish that you can only eat in the Eternal City, which is considered a real delicacy.

Credits: @noce_moscata_food_blog

Coda alla vaccinara

The butcher-style oxtail (coda) is one of the most famous of Roman variety meat-based recipes. It is made by stewing oxtail, onions, garlic, guanciale or lard, cinammon and other herbs. Eat it with your hands, you’ll enjoy it more.

Carciofi

The artichoke is the real star of the Roman cuisine. The two Roman ways to prepare it are “alla romana” (Roman-style, stuffed with bread crumbs, garlic, mint, and parsley) or “alla giudea” (Jewish-style, deep fried). Try both and decide which one you like more!

Get ready for this unique food experience!

 

The Seven Hills of Rome

Have you ever heard about the Seven hills of Rome? Probably you have, because they are related with the history of Rome’s foundation and development. Today it’s difficult to recognize them due to constructions and changes over the centuries, and they are more like land ridges than hills. But all of them have something special to tell.

Palatine

According to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill is where the city of Rome has been founded by Romulus. It is also the most ancient area of Rome: it stands above the Roman Forum on one side and upon the Circus Maximus on the other. Today the whole hill is an archaelogical site, with the ruins of ancient imperial palaces, a “hyppodrome” and landscaped gardens.

Palatine TreasureRome

Credits: @travelwith.anna-Instagram

Capitoline

In ancient times many important buildings were located here, like the Temple of Jupiter. Today the Capitoline Hill hosts Rome’s City Hall (Campidoglio) and it is dominated by the Altare della Patria and two staircases. One leads to the famous church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli; the other one was designed by Michelangelo and leads up to Piazza del Campidoglio, where also the Capitoline Museums are situated.

Aventine  

According to the legend, the Aventine Hill is where Remus chose to establish his empire while Romulus decided to stay on the Palatine hill. Today it is a famous and visited place thanks to its main attractions like the Garden of Oranges, the church of Santa Sabina and the keyhole of Villa del Priorato di Malta.

Garden of Oranges

Esquiline

It is the largest of the seven Hills of Rome and today it hosts the beautiful Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four Papal churches, as well as other churches, and it is close to Termini station.  

Quirinal

This hill is dominated by Palazzo del Quirinale, where the Presidente della Repubblica italiana lives and where it is also possible to admire an amazing panorama over the Eternal City. Close to Quirinale there are also important churches and monuments like Sant’Andrea al quirinale designed by Bernini; the baroque San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane designed by Borromini and the quattro Fontane, a crossroads between the ancient via Porta Pia and via Felice, characterized by a fountain on every angle. In the vicinity of the Quirinale there is also the Scuderie del Quirinale, where exhibitions and cultural events take place.

Piazza del Quirinale

Caelian

The Celian is probably the lesser known hill, but it hosts beautiful churches (like the Basilica of San Clemente, the Santo Stefano Rotondo and Basilica dei Quattro Coronati), a lovely park-villa Celimontana- and a military hospital.

Viminal

Situated between the Esquiline and the Quirinal Hills, the viminal is the smallest of the Seven Hills of Rome and it is famous because it is the location of the Termini station, the museum Palazzo Massimo, the Teatro dell’ Opera and the Baths of Diocletian, which worth a visit.

Baths of diocletian (Credits: @orchidearci_book-Instagram)

Which catacombs to visit in Rome

Not only is Rome a city full of beauty and wonders. It also keeps secret underground: kilometers of burial places of  Ancient times. They are the famous catacombs, subterranean burial chambers that they were built outside the walls, along main roads as the Ancient Appian Way, the via Ostiense, the via Labicana, the via Tiburtina and the via Nomentana.

From the 2nd century AD catacombs were carved through tufa, creating a network of tunnels and galleries; bodies were placed in graves in stone sarcophagi, with a slab closing the chamber. There are different kinds of tombs, which depended on the means of the family. They are the most representative monument of the Early Christian church, where also martyrs were buried. When Christianity became a state religion, the faithful begun to bury the dead in cemeteries, the relics were trasfered and catacombs remained abandoned.

catacoms of Rome TreasureRome They were forgotten and then rediscovered from the end of the XVI century. Today it is possible to visit some of them, for an experience you won’t forget.

The Catacombs of Domitilla are the best preserved ones: over 17 kilometers of underground caves, some of which are now inaccessible. The visit begins with the Basilica of the martyrs Nereus and Achilleus, that were built above their tomb, and the continues with the catacombs where it can still be seen symbols, paintings and frescoes.

The Catacombs of San Sebastiano are on the Ancient Appian Way. The martyred remains of Saint Sebastian were buried here and a basilica was built over the grounds to pray the saint in the early 4th century. The stucco decorations on the celilings and the frescoes on the burial chambers are well preserved.

Another option on the Appian Way are the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, the greatest of Rome. Popes and martyrs were buried here; the underground cemetery has several areas, a gallery full of loculi, small chambers and family tombs.

The catacombs are the place in Rome that you can’t miss to fully understand the ancient history of the Eternal City.

The best rooftops for your Summer in Rome

Summer is finally here and Rome is a great place if you are already dreaming of enjoying a drink with a stunning panorama. There are awesome rooftops where you can relax and discover how beautiful life can be surrounded by the beauty of the Eternal City!

Terrazzo Officine Farneto

An Italian aperitivo under the moonlight, listening to some good music: is there a better way to spend a Roman night? Terrazzo Officine Farneto is open from Thursday to Sunday form 7:30 pm. Don’t miss the magic atmosphere of this restaurant and cocktail bar close to the Foro Italico.

Feria

It’s the most relaxing rooftop in Rome. Feria, the “secret garden” of the club Lanificio 159, is open from 6:30 pm to 2am with different kinds of music, food, exhibitions and events every week. You can have a drink or dinner with your partner, friends or family in a fairy-tale location.

Terrazza Posh-Boscolo Exedra

Are you looking for something really exclusive? The Terrazza Posh on the rooftop of the Exedra Hotel has a pool and an amazing view over the city. You can have a drink or a delicious dinner with fish-based dishes, thanks to the chef Niko Sinisgalli. It’s also a few steps away from the Termini station, in the Piazza della Repubblica.

Your unforgettable Summer in Rome starts here!

Coppedè, an unmissable “hidden gem” in Rome

A magic place: if you close your eyes, it’s easy to imagine a world in miniature full of fairies and little folks. Even in a city that is the symbol of history and magnificence. This is the great secret of Coppedè, the neighborhood of Rome which hosts beautiful and peculiar buildings conceived by the architect Luigi “Gino” Coppedè in the 20s. A brave project, an unique mix of styles: liberty, neo-gothic, baroque and modernism.

Strategically located between Trieste and the Parioli districts, you can reach the heart of Coppedè passing through a really odd arch which hides a wrought-iron chandelier. This is the way to Piazza Mincio, the symbol of this amazing oasis of art, elegance and eccentricity. It seems to be covered by mystery: the Fontana delle Rane (Fountain of the frogs) is on the central part of a roundabout and was meant as a homage to Bernini’s works.

Walking on these streets is like being in a movie: every building has a story to tell through their frescos, details and different kinds of decorations. You can go and take a break from reality. Beyond the Coppedè neighborhood there are the Colosseum, the Fontana di Trevi and the Spanish Steps, which everybody knows. But this is another, awesome story, that is worth discovering and experiencing.

10 cool (and unusual) things to do in Rome

“All Roads lead to Rome” is a really famous proverb. And sooner or later, you will need to visit the Eternal City: one of the most loved and admired city in the world. Once, twice, or maybe more: sometimes even Romans admit that they still have something to discover of their own city. If you stay in Rome for more than three days, or if you didn’t have the opportunity to see everything you wanted the first time you were there, here you find ten cool things to do off the beaten track. So you can really say: I know Rome.

  • Explore Passetto di Borgo, a small street which connects Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican: it’s a pedestrian area with lots of bars and nice restaurants.

  • Have a walk at the Ancient Appian Way, by foot or by bike, to breath history and authenticity.

  • Go around the magic neighborhood of Trastevere, losing yourself in its alleys. Then have a coffee at Bar Calisto, one of the most famous in the city.

Credits: @martinrueg-Instagram

  • Have an Italian “aperitivo” in one of the bars between via della Pace and via Anima, close to the great Piazza Navona.
  • Visit the Musei Capitolini, to learn something more about the history of Rome.

  • Have a break at the Parco degli Acquedotti (Park of the Aqueducts), surrounded by nature and beautiful views.

  • Taste the traditional dishes of the Roman cuisine, like “spaghetti cacio e pepe” or “coda alla vaccinara”, in one of the typical tavern of Testaccio neighborhood.

Credits:@paulinevergara-Instagram

  • Try the “grattachecca”, the slush of Rome: for example the one made by “Sora Maria” in via Trionfale.

Credits: @avalabrega-Instagram

  • Visit the archeological site of Ostia Antica and then go to Ostia beach.

  • Go across the Ponte della Musica (“Bridge of Music”) after a walk along the riverside.

Emotions and memories: that’s what Rome will leave you for sure.

Bomarzo, the Park of Monsters

This is a captivating horror story.

Once upon a time a beautiful wood, full of trees and plants, was turned into a scary and mysterious place. Monsters, dragons and strange fountains emerged from the ground and the legend says that they had the power to make people disappear…

The Park of Monsters Bomarzo Treasu

Don’t worry, that’s not true. This is what our imagination created about the Park of Monsters, also known as Villa of Marvels or Sacred Wood, a place that really exists. It is located in the village of Bomarzo, in the province of Viterbo. It’s at about one hour by car from Rome, but it seems to be a world apart.

It was the 1552 and the Prince Vinicio Orsini, together with the architect Pirro Ligorio, decided to animate this wood with bizzarre sculptures: monsters, exotic animals, mythological figures, a funerary temple, fountains and obelisks. The Park of Monsters remained in oblivion until 1954 when Giovanni Bettini bought it and everything came back to life again.

Park of Monsters TreasureRome

The Sacred Wood is a kind of labyrinth which almost envelops its visitors. It is a unique place, where fear and beauty go hand in hand. Now there are a total of 24 strange sculptures to be admired, including the stunning “Hanging House”.

It is not so big, but it’s a nice surprise because different from any other park you may know. There is a strange atmosphere and it is super interesting for both adults and kids. You only have to let your fantasy go wild!

The park of Monsters is open every day of the year and it is definitely worth a visit. Details on tickets and opening times can be checked at the Sacro Bosco website.

Airports in Rome: all that you need to know

Your dream has just come true. You have finally planned your holiday in Rome! Now it’s time to book your flight: here you find all the information you need before you fly here.

AIRPORTS

Rome has two airports: Fiumicino and Ciampino.

Leonardo Da Vinci airport, also known as “Fiumicino”, because it is located in the town of Fiumicino on the coast, is the major port of call for intercontinental as well as european and national flights. It is about 40 kilometers from the city.

G. B. Pastine airport, also known as “Ciampino” from the town name where it is located, is about 25 kilometers from the city center. Flights on smaller, budget or charter carriers land here.

 

HOW TO GET INTO ROME FROM FIUMICINO AIRPORT

TRAIN

You can take the Leonardo Express, the direct train service for Rome’s main station Termini. The trains run every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the hours, from 6.23 am to 11.23 pm (5.35 am-10.35 pm from Roma Termini) They take about 30 minutes and the cost is €14. There are also local trains from Fiumicino which stops in Rome Trastevere, Ostiense, Tuscolana, Tiburtina.

BUS

There are many bus lines to Rome Termini station, which are quite cheap (€4-6 one way) For example, Tambus, Sit Bus Shuttle or Terravision.

TAXI/CAR SERVICE

You can take a white metered taxi: the official fare is €48 baggage included. You can also use “MyTaxi” app, which gives you the opportunity to book and pay online (and you get a €20 voucher for free). Otherwise you can hire a private car service (like NCC). Our guests who book one of our holiday apartments directly has the airport transfer on arrival free of charge.

HOW TO GET INTO ROME FROM CIAMPINO AIRPORT

METRO

This is the cheapest way (even the less comfortable one) to get into Rome. With a single €1,50 ticket you can take the local bus to the Anagnina  metro station and then the line A of the metro to arrive to Termini station.

BUS

You can take one of the bus lines to Termini station, like Tearravision, Sit Bus Shuttle or Schiaffini. The cost of the ticket is between €4-6 one way.

TAXI

The easiest way to get into Rome is the white metered taxi. The official fare is €35 one way. You can also use “MyTaxi” app, which gives you the opportunity to book and pay online (and you get a €20 voucher for free). Otherwise you can hire a private car service (like NCC). Our guests who book one of our holiday apartments directly has the airport transfer on arrival free of charge.


Now you only have to enjoy Rome, that will welcome you with beauty, history and a lot of things to do!

 

5 unusual things to see in Rome

Not only famous monuments and piazzas, but also curious and secret places. Here you find 5 unusual things to see in the Eternal city, which even some  locals don’t know about!

  • The magic door of Piazza Vittorio

This door used to be a part of a famous villa, called Villa Palombara, and now it is located into the garden of piazza Vittorio, close to Termini station. Two  statues of the ancient Egyptian deity Bes are its “supervisors” and someone says that it may shield the secret of the philosopher’s stone.

The Magic Door (Photo credit: Restorefood-Instagram)

  • The Tureen of via Vittorio

It is not so far from Piazza Navona: this is a really peculiar fountain because…it has a lid! It used to be located in campo De’ Fiiori, but the Pope Gregorio XV decided to relocated it, because it was used to wash fruits and vegetables. Its nickname was chosen by Romans to make fun of it.

  •  The optical illusion of via Piccolomini

Via Niccolò Piccolomini is a small street in Rome where you have the feeling of being in front of the St. Peter’s Dome. Something strange happens here: the closer you get, the smaller the Dome becomes. If you step back, the Dome will appear bigger and closer. Go and have a look!

Via Piccolomini (Photo credit: @mariannaalvarenz-Instagram)

  •  The “motorized” painting of Rubens

Rubens painted a work entitled Angels Adoring the Madonna Vallicelliana, which is displayed in the church of Santa Maria Valicella. It incorporates a special feature, a panel that could be removed to reveal behind it the holy image it was designed to protect. The priest usually moves it with a remote control after the Saturday Mass.

  • The Zuccari Palace

Close to Spanich Steps, this palace seems to be like others. But it’s not true. It is also known as “a monster house” because its door and windows are monsters’ faces with their mounths wide open.

Palazzetto Zuccari (Photo credit: @lubi1982-Instagram)

Rome is a city to discover…Don’t you think?