General Information Italy

4 Tricks To Make Your Life Easier In Rome

Today we bring you 4 tricks to improve your experience in the Eternal City!

roma_pass1.- Roma Pass: You might have already know about this one, but offers good value, so it’s worth mentioning: for 34 euros you get to use the public transportation sysem for 3 days and free entrance to the first 2 museums you visit. Besides, you get discounts on all the museums you visit after the first 2. You can find the Roma Pass in many Tabacchi shops and newsstands in the Termini station, where you will likely arrive from your airport.


2.- Book Vatican Museums in advance: The lenght of the queue to get into the museums is almost legendary among tourists, but you can easily avoid it if you book the entrance in advance.To do it go to this website http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do ; from there you can check availability and book your tickets.


3.-Atac website: Rome is not particularly easy to figure out, when it comes to autobus-romatransportation, but the things are slowly changing thanks to the internet. ATAC, the public transportation agency of the city has o neat website that allows you to check yhe best routes toget from one point of the city to another using the public transportation system. It also shows in real time how long will it take for a bus to arrive to a given stop,so it’s a great resource to check on your mobile.


4.- 060608: This is the Municipality of Rome’s official tourist information service. You can call them at (+39) 060608 to get general information about the city and even book museums. Even if the service has been around for a while, is not very well known but it’s really useful!


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).

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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.

The Most Roman of Romans


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It has always puzzled me that many people know about Rome and its greatness but so little is known about Romans. Compared to the Londoner or the Parisian, the Roman remains a mystery, probably because like his food, he is hearty but not sophisticated, shrewd but not always insightful.

Romanity, however, captivates those who get to get to know it. If you want to get a glimpse of it without having to stay a couple of years in the Eternal City then you have to read the sonnets of Gioachino Belli, who is in my book the most Roman of Romans.

Belli was born to a weatlhy family and earned a place in the Italian literary cannon with 2200 sonnets through which the low Roman class of the time its shown as it is, “salacious, sometimes cunning and always self-centerd” as the ruthless Italian Wikipedia article about Belli puts it.

The most striking feature of the sonnets is also the reason why they are not as known as they should: they are written in the Romanesco dialect which gives them a poignantly accurate flavor when read in Italian but also eludes translation. An English version of the sonnets its available at the Anglo-American Bookstore, my bookstore of choice in Rome or online, from this website where you will find gems like this:

PIAZZA NAVONA

Piazza Navona easily stands the comparison
With both St.Peter’s and the Spanish Steps.
This is not a square, it’s like the countryside,
It’s a theatre, it’s a fair, it’s gaiety.
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It runs from Sant’Apollinare 2 to the central pathway,
And from the central pathway to Cuccagna street 3:
Everywhere you see things to eat,
Everywhere you see people who buy them.
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Here three fountains stand in all their might,
Here is a spire 4, as solemn as a judgement,
Here the place is flooded when summertime comes .
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Here the whipping-trestle is raised,
Where those who look for trouble get thirty lashes
On their arse, and five more for charity .

Rome Celebrates Machiavelli’s “The Prince”


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Machiavelli is an Italian icon. His shrewdness, pragmatism and fascination with power are all trademarks of the Italian temperament. With his elucidations about power and the means to preserve it he created almost single-handedly what we know as political science, securing himself a place in history and beside the beds of many leaders (Napolean among them)  who have turned to him for guidance.

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Even though Machiavelli’s name is almost universally associated with coldness and power-for.the-sake-of-power, there is much more to him than that and he has been object of an operation of rehabilitation in Italy. As a part of said operation an exhibition has just been opened at the Complesso del Vittoriano to celebrate the 500th anniversay of The Prince, Macchiaveli’s most famous work.

Visitors will be able to see on display one of the 19 known original manuscripts of the book and learn more about the Machiavelli’s relationshipo with both classic culture and contemporary popular culture. The Complesso del Vittoriano is located at Via San Pietro in Carcere, right beside Piazza Venezia. The exhibition is open everyday from 9.30 to 19.30 (until Jully 16, 2013) and the entrance is free.

Rome: Conclave to Elect New Pope Starts Today


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Today, cardinals from all around the world will meet in Rome to elect a new leader for the catholic church.

According to the Italian media there are a couple of strong names, namely cardinal Scola from Milano and cardinal Scherer from Sao Paolo but none of them seems to be able to get the 77 votes that are necessary to reach the majority of the preferences. Specialists do not expect a quick decision but it’s almost certain that the new pope will be elected before the week ends, probably on Sunday, a possibility that the city council has already contemplated, making arrangements to move the annual city marathonf from the morning to the evening in case Sunday turns out to be the big day.

Tonight rains in Rome and there is in the air a feel of anticipation while the eyes and cameras of the world turn to the Sistine chapel waiting for the white smoke signal that will open the next chapter in the history of catholicism.
Want to witness history? check our availability on-line or send us an e-mail to book your accommodation for this memorable day.

Rome Marathon 2013

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Next Sunday we’ll have a new edition of the Rome Marathon. Athletes from all around the world will visit the city to compete but also to admire one of the most beautiful and suggesting cities while doing so.

You can read the information and requirements here. The inscriptions are open until March 12, so if you haven’t signed in yet you still can do it!

Since is more than likely that the official ceremony to present the new pope will also take place on Sunday mayor Alemanno has already announced that if that should be the case, the papal ceremony will take place during the morning and the marathon will be moved to the evening, so people visiting the city that day can expect a day full of surprises and emotions.

Want to join in the fun? Make a booking with us through our website or make an inquiry by e-mail, we’ll be happy to offer you the best rates for accommodation in Rome!

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

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Today Benedict XVI took the world by surprise  announcing he will step down  by the end of this month.

The choice has almost no precedent, since the las time a pope abdicated was almost 600 years ago: Gregory XII did it in 1415, but he was forced out of office as a way to end the Great Western schism. The last pope to abdicate voluntarily was Celestine V, in 1294.

There aren’t no official candidates to fill the vacating post, but many speculate the next pope may come from a third-world country, as a way to give new strenght  to a church struggling with scandals and facing the challenges of a fast-changing world.

Who do you think it will be the next pope? Personally, I’m rooting for Mexico (my country!) but I think a young pope from a developing country will be a great option for the church– it may actually be exactly what the catholic church needs right now.

Let us know your thoughts or contact us if you  want to make a booking to be in Rome by Easter ( which falls on March 31) when the name of the new pope will be announced.

A word about Ferragosto

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Tomorrow, August 15, is Ferragosto and unless you live or have lived in Italy I’m sure you’re wondering what that means.

Well, the word “Ferragosto” comes from latin Feriae Augusti, that is “Holydays of Augustus” because on the year 18 BC Augustus created this holyday to officialize another existing celebrations of the end of labour in the fields.

Today not many Italians work the fileds, but everybody loves Ferragosto and all those who stayed home before head in packs to the beach that day to enjoy the climax of summer relaxation.

Talking about relaxation: if you are visiting Italy during Ferragosto expect to see many stores closed! Try to not think too much about it and join la Dolce Vita of Ferragosto instead.

Do you have any Ferragosto experiences you would like to share? Any Ferragosto questions? Then send me a line or check our websites to get the best offers for accomodation in the Eternal City.

Bimbinfiera Roma 31/03/2012 and 01/04/2012

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This is one of the largest exhibition halls, dedicated to mothers, fathers and children. It is where to find all the news articles and markets for pregnancy, infancy and growth. The latest models of wheelchairs and strollers, beds and rooms, games, food, hygene, clothing and tourism. You will recieve information on the quality and characteristics of products, as well as discount coupons, information materials and giveaways.

To make your visit even more enjoyable there are lots of games and activities for children of all ages. (animation, crawling competitions, cooking for kids and contests for moms diaper change for dads.

The nursery facilities, baby dining with tasty meals, snacks and drinks for kids, a cozy room for breastfeeding are all free of charge.

There is also an area entirely devoted to tourism and leisure, where tour operators, hotels, spas, theme parks and resorts will be fully available to parents to help them choose the best offers and find special family packages.

In this event there are so many distinguished guests, specialists and experts ready to respond to the questions of visitors so don’t miss out on this opportunity. The opening hours are from 10:00 to 19:00 wih the last entry allowed at 18:30. the admission is 10 euro but you can download the discount coupon, good for 3 euro per person, here! And remember to contact us here at Hotel Des Artistes for any information.

Thank you for reading, Vanda.

Culture Week Rome 14 – 22 April

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Every year in the eternal city of Rome the “Culture Week” or “Settimana della Cultura” is held in the month of April. This means that for one full week all state-run museums, galleries and acheological sites will be free to enter. And thats not all, museums and galleries that are normally closed to the general public will open their doors for a rare opportunity to see art works that are normally kept under lock and key. There will also be a variety of confrences, workshops, guided tours and concerts.

Among the list of sites and museums that are included are “The Colloseum”, Roman Forum” and “Palatine“, The Baths of Caracalla, Villa dei Quintili and the mausoleum of Cecilia Metella. Also included are the “Meuseo Nazionale Romano”, “The National Gallery of Modern Art“, “The National Museum of the Middle Ages”, “The Galleria Borghese“, “The Pallazo Venezia Museum” and “Castel Sant’Angelo“.

 

Make sure you don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to experience the rich artistic heritage of Rome and remember for more information and to find a place to stay, you can visit us at Hotel Des Artistes. Hope you enjoy.

Liam.

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