Our small group tour of Ostia Antica from Rome met at the Ostiense train station for the easy 30-minute train ride to the site. The tragic story of Pompeii is more compelling with the violent eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, but the city of Ostia Antica actually does a better job of presenting a typical Roman town. Unlike Pompeii, Ostia Antica suffered no natural disaster. The inhabitants left Ostia Antica voluntarily to avoid malaria and a dwindling economy. Eventually, the ghost town was buried (intact) beneath tons of silt from the nearby Tiber River, creating a dream dig for archaeologists. Ostia Antica is also more tranquil than Pompeii and much greener with lots of shade from numerous umbrella pines (aka ‘broccoli trees’).
When we think of art museums in Rome, most of the art we think of is hundreds – if not thousands – of years old. Rome isn’t just a city of history, however, and in 2010 a new contemporary art museum opened in the Flaminio neighborhood. It’s been dubbed MAXXI, the “XXI” representing the 21st century in Roman numerals, and it’s a must-visit for art lovers.
Some travelers try to avoid tourist hotspots like Rome in the summer – it’s hot, it’s crowded, and it’s expensive. But summer in Rome can be one of the best times of the year, thanks to all of the summer festivals and events that go on in the Italian capital.
I first saw the Colosseum almost 20 years ago, but at that time, no one was allowed inside. So when I returned to Rome this year, one of my top priorities was to enter this magnificent structure and see it all: from the underground chambers to the top tier.
Our Ancient Rome and Colosseum Tour began across the street from the Colosseum where we gazed at the stunning ruin and listened (on handy headsets) as our guide, Alessia, explained that this land was originally part of the gardens of Nero’s Palace. The Colosseum derives its name from a colossal statue of Nero that once stood here. After Nero’s death, the Romans tried to wipe out his memory by altering the statue turning it into a generic Sun God. The Romans also drained the lake in Nero’s garden, creating the perfect location for this arena.
Most visitors to Rome know that the city contains a staggering amount of famous artwork, but putting Rome’s artistic history into context may be a challenge. There’s just so much art history to take in. Many of the famous artists associated with Rome weren’t born in the Italian capital, but their names have become associated with the Eternal City – often due to masterpieces they left behind. Here’s a look at some of the legendary artists in Rome.
Spaghetti carbonara is a famous Italian pasta dish that’s been widely exported throughout the rest of the world – you’ll find it on many an Italian restaurant menu. As is usually the case with Italian food outside Italy, however, the original dish in its native land doesn’t always resemble the exported version. Here’s a bit of history about carbonara, including what to expect when you order it in Rome.
Tuscany has its hill towns, and the area around Rome has its Castelli Romani. The name literally means “Roman Castles,” and while there are some castles to visit, these are actually small towns in the countryside surrounding Rome.
This month, one lucky traveler will win 2 tickets to the Ultimate Rome Experience! Read on to find out more…
The high tourist season in Rome gets started before summer technically begins, but by June it’s in full swing. There are certainly perks to visiting Rome in June – reliably nice weather being the biggest one – but there are some drawbacks, too. It’s important to know both before you go, so here’s what you need to know about spending June in Rome.
If you’re a sports fan planning a trip to Rome, you probably already know that the favorite national sport is soccer – or, as it’s called in Italy, calcio. But you may not know much about how to see a soccer game when you’re in Rome. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy thing to do, provided you’re in the right place at the right time. Here are some tips to seeing a soccer game in Rome.