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?

Be my Valentine: three romantic spots in Rome

St.Valentine’s Day is almost here and Rome is a very romantic place to declare Eternal love. You have plenty of things to do. But if you are looking for something very special, you just can’t miss these three tips from who knows Rome very well (and fell in love in and with the Eternal City!)

Monte Mario

Monte Mario is the highest hill in Rome north of the Vatican. It’s famous among Romans because at the night you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. There you can also find “il Vialetto degli Innamorati”, that is “The street of the lovers” and Lo Zodiaco restaurant, where you can have meals or  some drinks while reciting love poems.

1448145319660629750_montemario

Photo credit: @michela_carusone-Instagram

Castel Sant’Angelo

Walking hand in hand has never been so exciting: Ponte Sant’Angelo becomes magic during the night. It’s bright, uncrowded and mysterious: Castel Sant’Angelo, with its majesty and amazing beauty is just in front of you. If you want to propose, it’s the right place. Trust us.

Photo credit: @giova_gallu-Instagram

Photo credit: @giova_gallu-Instagram

Ponte Milvio

It’s probably the most romantic bridge in the city: Ponte Milvio used to be full of padlocks with love promises written on them. Kiss each other while looking at the fantastic view on the river Tiber: it will be unforgettable. You can spend the rest of the night at one of the bars and restaurants all around the area, which are really nice.

Photo credit: @turistiperhobby-Instagram

Photo credit: @turistiperhobby-Instagram

 

“To get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” 

Mark Twain

Five little secrets of Rome’s most famous sites you probably don’t know

Rome is one of the most famous and beautiful city in the world. It can surprise everyone, thanks to its history, art and unique places. But are you sure you know every little secret of its most visited monuments? Here you find five fun facts about the Eternal City.

  • Colosseum

It’s the symbol of the city, the breathtaking proof of the greatness of Ancient Rome. Once upon a time it was covered by marble, which was used to build the Saint Peter’s Basilica and other important buildings. The missing part, which gives it its  asymmetric profile, was destroyed by an eartquake in 851 a.c.

colosseo-gennaio

  • Piazza Navona

In Ancient Rome this amazing place was a oval-shaped stadium, built by the Emperor Domitian. It’s still possible to visit the ruins of the old structure. Sometimes ancient Romans would even flood the stadium and hold naval battles there: maybe that’s why now it’s called “Navona”, which means “big ship”.

  • Pantheon

The most captivating part of the Pantheon- it used to be a pagan temple, then transformed into a church- is its dome, with the hole, called oculus, in the top. Roman engineers built the dome lightening it as much as possible; its special structure doesn’t allow the rain to fall inside frequently. If it happens, the floor is slanted and drains the water.

pantheon-gennaio

  • Campo De’Fiori

Now it’s a delicious square, with reasturants and shops. But during the XVII century, executions used to be held publicly here. The famous philosophy Giordano Bruno was burnt alive in this place: that’s why now we find a monument dedicated to him.

  • Trevi Fountain

According to the legend, you have to throw  a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder to return to Rome. Almost every tourist who visits the fountain does it. But what happens to all the coins into the fountain? They are collected by Caritas, a Roman Catholic charity, to fund projects for poor people.

fontana-di-trevi-gennaio

 

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?