News in Rome

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pope Francis.

Francisco_20-03-20131.- As many of our guests have confirmed, wen he was a bishop in Argentina he used the public means of transportation to get around. He hasn’t tried to do the same in Rome but keep your eyes open if you visit the city!

2.- The man seriously challenges John Paul II as the coolest pope ever: To pay for his studies he worked as a nightclub bouncer in Buenos Aires.

3.- He is a rennaisance man: he studied chemistry, but is also a professor of literature and psychology.

4.- He is missing a part of his right lung. When he was young he got really sick and at the time antibiotic treatments weren’t that common so in such cases the tissue was removed to stop the infection from spreading.

5.- The motto he chose to put on his coat of arms when he became a bishop is taken from the homilies of the Venerable Bede: Miserando atque eligendo ( literally in Latin ‘by having mercy, by choosing him’.). As a pope, he has kept the phrase and the design, with some slight modifications.

 

Quick Rome Tip: TrovaRoma

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If your visit to the Eternal City includes a Thursday don’t forget to buy the newspaper La Repubblica (1,20 Eur).

Along with it you will get a little weekly magazine called TrovaRoma, where you will be able to find the most interesting things going on in the city (cinema, theatre, restaurants, concerts and then some!).

Of course, most of it is written in Italian, but they have also an English summary with the most interesting appointments.

Bob Dylan in Rome: Catch Him While You Can

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When they decided to make a film about Bob Dylan’s life they nedded 6 actors to play him. Probably is the only case in which such an exaggeration seems justified: Dylan has gone thorugh such an staggering number of phases througout his career that probably no single living actor would have been able to offer a convincing performance.

The title of the film seemed to summarize Dylan’s career as a whole: “I’m not there”. Everytime audiences or critics have believed to have Dylan ready to be pigeonholed, the man has escaped and then come back with an unexpected musical direction, an unexpected look: he has gone all the way through from earnest young folk singer and then bohemian guru to his most recent incarnation as a somewhat demonic wild-west singer.

Mr. Dylan will be performing in Rome November 6, 2013 at Atlantico Roma. Get a glimpse of him while you can, or at least try: knowing him you can be sure that, somehow, he won’t be there. At least not in the way you expect.

A walk down via Cavour and then some

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The other day I was walking down via Cavour when I saw a flight of stairs that led to an alley. Being curious as I am I decided to climb the stairs and discover what was up there.

I walked past a church with a medieval tower and along the wall of what seemed to be an old Villa to discover the entrance of a garden so spacious that made me think for a moment that I had stumbled into a little known access to Villa Borghese. I was almost alone in the park and the weather was perfect: sunny but not too warm. As I walked past a little soccer field I discerned the top of what could only be the Colosseum.

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Just in front the exit of the park you will find a little caffe called “Caffe dello Studente”. The place had a certain undefinable appeal, so I decided to take a seat. A couple of signs boasted that the place “was reccomended by the Rick Steve’s guide”, which both reassured me  and gave a boost to my faith in my culinary instincts. The women who seemed to be the owner of the place was the embodiment of the Roman character: warm but in a rough, no-nonsense, way.

I was suprised to find all the available pasta was frozen. Don’t order that if you are planning to give the place a try. Get a good sandwich and a cold beer, instead. In a warm day, with the sight of the trees on one side and the Colosseum on the other, is an unbeatable combination.

If you have any query about the city, drop me a line; I’ll be happy to help.

The readers of this blog get a special discount in our hotels, so if you are planning to visit the city don’t hesitate to contact me to get a special rate.

An Opera Summer At The Baths Of Caracalla

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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:

TERRA E CIELO / CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA

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.

CARMEN – L’ARLESIENNE
Bizet’s masterpiece coupled with one of his less-known efforts.

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

TOSCA

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).

Rome Meets The World 2013


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Rome Meets The World is already a summer tradition in the city. The aim of the festival is to bring to Roman audiciences some of the best performers from the most diverse musical scenes. These are our picks for this year’s edition:

June 15, 2013
COCOROSIE
The music they played has been labeled “freak folk”. It’s an accurate description.

June18, 2013
MODENA CITY RAMBLERS
The Ramblers and their folk sound are an institution in Italy.

July 14, 2013
NINA ZILLI & FABRIZIO BOSSO
She has a big bluesy voice and the looks of Zadie Smith; he seems ready to join Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu in the olympus of great Italian trumpet players.

July 18, 2013
MALIKA AYANE
An Italian singer of Maroccan descent and one of the most interesting figures in the local pop scene.

July 19, 2013
ORCHESTRA DI PIAZZA VITTORIO
A multicultural Roman phenomenon whose story is worth spreading.

July 23, 2013
ELIO E LE STORIE TESE
The revered irreverent of Italy’s music scene.

The concerts take place at Villa Ada (Via Salaria 275) which can be reached from the Termini Station, just a few minutes away from Yes Hotel and Hotel Des Artistes with the bus 92. To read the full program, click here.

Rome gets ready to enjoy a hot latin summer

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Words are funny. Take the word “latino”, by example. The term is used today to denote people of latin american descent, but originally it was the name given to the inhabitants of Latium, the region where Rome is located.

So we can say that the festival Soylatino is a comeback of sorts.From June through September Ostia, the beach located just outside Rome, will turn tropical with latin american music and food.

Wednesday the fee is 8 euros Wednesday and Thursday, 10 Euros Friday and  12 Euros Saturday.The entrance is free on Sundays and every day from 19:00 to 21:00 PM.To reach the festival using the public transportation system from Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel, take the blue subway line until Piramide and from there take the train going to Ostia and get off at the station Lidio di Ostia.

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.

Conducting Change: Gustavo Dudamel In Rome

26_SCI_Dudamel_0Do you know Gustavo Dudamel? If you don’t, will fill you in.

Gustavo was born in Venezuela where two factors put him early on the track for musical success: the first was his parents who were both musicians, the second was El Sistema, an internationally acclaimed Venezuelan network created to scout and develop young musical talent.

Gustavo took up violin from an early age and then composition and conducting. In 2004 he was awarded the Gustav Mahler conducting prize and soon and began to appear alongside some of the most important conductors, like Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado.

Dudamel has became a symbol of Venezuela, but also of Latin American talent, and is one of the few young faces in a world dominated by mature men who represent older musical traditions.

Gustavo will be conducting a program centered on Schumann with the Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia the 15, 17 and 18 June 2013: a great opportunity to check the fresh take Gustavo has on classical music.

The concert will take place at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, that can be easily reached from Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel in Rome: take the red subway line from Termini and get off at Flaminio, then take tram number 2 and get off at the stop Apollodoro.

How to see Pope Francis while in Rome

APTOPIX Vatican PopePope Francis has become very popular in just a few days. His austerity and his evident love for those in need have been welcomed as a breath of fresh air by people from all faiths, who are eager to at least get a glimpse of him.

If you are among those looking forward to see him personally we have made this brief guide to help you during your visit.

The easiest and most common way to see the pope is to attend the public blessing he gives every Sunday at noon. People from all around the world gather at Saint Peter’s square, so it’s quite a tale to tell back home!

Those looking to have a closer contact with the pope can attend the audience that takes place every Wednesday. The tickets are free but you have to book them in advance sending an actual letter (no e-mail) to the Prefecture of the Papal Household, 00120 Vatican City State or a fax to the number +39 06 6988 5863. Your message must include date of the General audience or Liturgical celebration you wish to attend, the number of tickets you need, name, mailing address and telephone or fax numbers.

Don’t forget that all the readers of our blog get a 5% discount over any reservation made directly with us (non cumulative with other promotions)!