Ancient Rome’s sites



An impressive two-thousand years old celebration will take place on Sunday May 24th inside the Pantheon, one of the most important monuments located in the heart of Rome.
Born as a pagan temple, the Pantheon was converted into the catholic Church of Santa Maria dei Martiri several centuries ago, and from the time of the earliest Christian communities it hosts once a year a special liturgy on Pentecost Sunday: a rain of red rose petals will be poured from the top hole in the ceiling, the architectural wonder that made the Pantheon so famous all over the world.
Pentecost, which occurs on the 50th day after Easter Sunday, celebrates the descend of the Holy Spirit on earth after the sacrifice of Jesus, whose blood is precisely represented by the red rose petals.
A mass starting at 10:30 am will be part of the liturgy of course.
For any further information about this and other events in the Eternal City don not hesitate to contact us at!



A brand new section of the Museum of the Walls might been open in Rome, following the few days ago discovery of no less than 80 meters Aurelian Walls (3rd cent. AD) in St. John Lateran’s Archbasilica area.
The event was totally unexpected as scholars assumed this section of the Walls was lost as a consequence of the radical rearrangements which took place in the area in the middle of the 18th century to renovate St. John Lateran’s facade: the Walls were supposedly torn down or collapsed on that occasion – an idea reinforced by the lack of references in the scientific literature.
The extent of the discovery is invaluable: eleven arches, two towers, even traces of medieval painting (as those walls served as shelters to hermits during the Middle Age), plus a complex hydraulic system of the modern era (from the 17th century) and slits for archers with visible amendments after the invention of gunpowder.
Contact us at to get all the information you need on the Museums of the Walls and other must-see sites in the Eternal City!



Among the several exhibitions currently in Rome, we strongly suggest not to skip a couple of events focused on Augustus, the first of Roman Emperors, who died not too far from Neaples in 14 AD after a long life rich of those achievements which make of him one of the greatest Roman personalities ever.
The two exhibitions were set up in 2014 to commemorate 2000 years after his death, and will still be running until May/June 2015:
“KEYS TO ROME – THE CITY OF AUGUSTUS”, at Trajan’s Markets, 9 am- 7 pm (Mon closed);
“AUGUSTUS REVOLUTION”, Roman National Museum at Palazzo Massimo, 9 am – 7.45 pm (Mon closed).
The two observe Augustus’ age under different perspectives. “Keys to Rome” is part of a European joint project involving the cities of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Alexandria (Egypt) as well: four different museums in fours different spots of the former Roman Empire to highlight four different aspects of the Roman world.
The latter analyzes one of the most significant reforms by August in Roman society: the introduction of new festivities and anniversaries in the calendar, showing us like time calculation could be used as a tool for propaganda.
Both the exhibits make use of highly refined technologies to guarantee visitors’ immersion into Augustus’ 2000 years old world.
Contact for tickets and reservations!

Unfit to lead: a history of the worst leaders in ancient Rome



The history of Rome has its share of legendary condottieri like Julius Caesar, by example, but on the other hand is also filled with people who put themselves in a position of leadership through cunning and deception even though they were obviously unfit to lead due to their insanity and/or sheer ignorance. Here’s a list for you!

Nero: He famously played the fiddle while Rome burned. Talk about bad government! He is now a symbol for all things decadent and insane.

Caligula: Did you know that his nickname originated from the small military boots crafted for him when he was a child? Obviously such care went to waste, since Caligula has gone down in history as one of the most demented rulers ever. He almost had Incitatus, his favorite horse, named a consul!
Silvio Berlusconi: Corruption? Check. Deception? Check. Decadence? Check. Silvio is just too happy to keep the old tradition of unfit leaders alive, all while keeping a smile and charming his way through courts.

If you want to admire the relics of bad leadership, visit Rome and stay in Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel!



Ara Pacis, the Altar of Peace in Rome


The Ara Pacis (“Altar of Peace” in Latin) it’s not as popular as other Roman monuments, but deserves a spot in any itinerary.

The altar was a public homage, a monument to celebrate Augustus’ return from Hispania and Gaul (Spain and France) and to thank him for bringing peace with his military victories.

The altar is an outstanding example of Roman sculpture. All the figures are depictions of actual Roman citizens presented with such detail that historians believe they can recognize some of them.

Originally the altar was located near the Tiber, so it didn’t take long for it to be covered in mud. It was unearthed during the thirties and put in a pavillion than became inadecuate over time due to the increase of traffic and smog. A new building designed by American architect Richard Meier opened in 2006. The new structure includes a museum, but the altar itself, surrounded by glass walls through wich you can see the Tiber it’s something you have to experience while in Rome.

The Ara Pacis is located in Lungotevere in Augusta (corner with via Tomacelli) and can be easily reached from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes taking the red subway line from the Station Termini and getting off at Flaminio.

Augustus: The Most Cunning Politician Ever On The 2000th Anniversary Of His Death

Augusto-Pontefice_Palazzo-Massimo-PARTMeasure wasn’t Augustus thing: he turned the Roman Republic into an empire with him as its first emperor, rebuilt much of Rome and was so popular that he got a month named after him. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say he is the most cunning politician ever.

This year Rome will be celebrating the 2000th (!) anniversary of Augustus death with an exposition at the Scuderie del Quirinale. The exhibition will be open from October 18 2013 to 9 February 2014. The Scuderie del Quirinale Museum is located at Via XXIV Maggio 16, and can be easily reached from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes taking the bus 40 from the Termini Station (get off at the stop Nazionale/Quirinale).

The Splendor of Ancient Roman Houses Comes Alive


A couple of days ago a client asked me about a visit to Palazzo Valentini. “I’ve read somewhere it’s the best  kept secret in Rome”, she said. “Not for long”, I thought.

In fact, her request surprised me: I thought of palazzo Valentini as the bureaucratic headquarters of the local government. Certainly not the kind of thing you want to see while on vacation!

It turns out that recent archeological excavations have unearthed a group of ancient Roman houses now open for visit. A multimedia installation of light and sound brings back the houses to their luxurious splendor through which we can read a story of the domestic life of the upper classes of ancient Rome.

Palazzo Valentini, located at Via IV Setembre (near Piazza Venezia), is open Wedenesday through Monday from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM and can be easily reached from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes taking the bus 40 from Termini. Reservations are not mandatory but highly encouraged.

An Opera Summer At The Baths Of Caracalla


Every summer, when heat arrives, the Opera house of Rome moves to the suggesting setting of the Baths of Caracalla. These are the concerts we are looking forward to:


Remember the opera at the end of The Godfather III? That’s Cavalleria Rusticana. If it’s good enough for Don Corleone I’m sure is good for you too.

Bizet’s masterpiece coupled with one of his less-known efforts.

The career of the composer of the soundtracks of many classic Spaghetti Westerns has been re-evaluated after years of relative neglect.


A tale of love, passion and treasure set in Rome in the year 1800.

For further information visit Rome’s Opera House official website.

To reach the Baths of Caracalla from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes, take the bus 714 from the station Termini and get off at the 7th stop (Palazzo Sport).

Sidetrips from Rome: Cerveteri

cerveteri[1]Needless to say,Rome is an exciting city, but if you are spending here many days or if you have been here previously, you’ll feel the need to see something different to know more about Italy or just for the sake of variety.

Rome is surrounded by little towns that allow you to get a feel of the life outside a big hectic city like Rome and where you can even learn more about other great civilizations besides the Romans. One of such places is Cerveteri, located a one hour bus ride away from the city, whose pride is an Etruscan cemetery (Necropoli della Banditaccia) that was recently nominated World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

To get to Cerveteri take the red subway line and get off at Anagnina. Only a few meters away you will find a Cotral bus stop. The buses depart regularly during the day (you can check thes schedule here) and you can buy the tickets for them in the Tabacchi shops around the subway station (by the way, it’s advisable to buy your return ticket beforehand, since Cerveteri is not that big of a town and if the Tabacchi shop over there is closed you might find difficult to get tickets).


The ride is a very pleasant one. Once you leave the bus you will find yourself in the main square of the town, facing and impressive castle. From there just follow the signals to get to the Etruscan Cementery. You can buy a ticket that includes both the cementery and the Etuscan museum; this is the best option, since most of the tombs don’t have any objects inside them anymore.

It will take you more or less two hours to see everything. You will be waling in an open field and you will be visiting the tombs aided by a map provided at the entrance ofg the site.The experience is certainly exciting but as I mentioned above, all the objects originally placed inside the tombs have been removed, which substracts some interest to the visit. You can stop at the lunch area located inside the site to grab a bite. I did it myself, and even though the food wasn’t anything extraordinary the kindness of the staff and the view made up for it.

All in all, an interesting visit and a refresing option for those looking from something different while in Rome.

As always, send us an e-mail if you need help with accomodation, or drop me a line to tell me about your experiences in and around Rome.

Vatican Museums by night


The Vatican Museums are giving a great opportunity to everyone of us  for the fourth consecutive year. A great chance to visit the museums at night , be the one to see the sunset from the Vatican and also other Museums are going to be available as the Museum of Pio Clementino ,The Museum Egizio , the Superiors Gallery, San Rafael’s Rooms , some Rooms of the Borgia’s Apartment, The Collection Of Modern Religious Art.and the unforgettable Sistine Chapel.

This event is due to have great success as in the previous occasions it has been held.

The opening of the museums at night will take place every Friday  starting the 4th of  May  2012 and will end the 26th of October 2012, (except August.)

The entrance schedule is the following :

From 19.00 to 23.00 last entrance is at 21.30 Remember, every Friday!

And don’t forget to contact us to get the best accommodation in the Eternal City at the most affordable rates!

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