Pope Francis recently announced that 2016 will be what’s known as a Holy Year, commonly called a “Jubilee Year.” The pope has declared it the Holy Year of Mercy, focusing on his favorite theme of compassion.
While many places in Rome are pretty as a picture, and nearly every street may seem poised for a photograph, there are some places that are worth the trek to capture the perfect image. Some of them are found on postcards sold throughout the city, so you know they’re ideal photo ops.
Sometimes the perfect recipe for a trip includes the spice of a few offbeat attractions mixed in with the standard fare. Better still when those less-visited sights are also free. The Burcardo Theater Museum in Rome fits the bill in both ways.
The stereotype of the troubled artist is not new, but few epitomize it so perfectly as Caravaggio. He only lived to be 38, was on the run from the law for much of his adult life, was buried in a pauper’s grave, and left behind some of the most haunting paintings you’ll see in Rome – or anywhere else in Italy, for that matter.
In Rome, you don’t need to choose between visiting the beach on a hot summer day and learning about Roman history at a well-preserved archaeological excavation site. With a visit to Ostia, you can do both. There is a modern city of Ostia, as well as the remains of an ancient one. The two are only a couple of miles apart, and both are easily accessible via public transportation. Here’s what you can see on a day trip to Ostia from Rome.
In the historic center of Rome, there is an old church with a famous tourist attraction on the outside and the relics of a famous saint inside – the Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin.
Rome is far enough inland that you might not think of it as the ideal base for a day trip to an island. The port isn’t as far away as you might think, however, and there are plenty of islands close enough to make day trips easy and fun. One option is a visit to the historic island of Ponza, first settled by the Etruscans.
Whenever you let your imagination drift to what it might have been like to live in ancient Rome during the era of gladiator games, do you picture yourself as a fearless warrior battling it out in the arena, or as a spectator cheering from the stands? In modern Rome, you still have that choice, with Gladiator School or a Gladiator Show.
The old saying says that “all roads lead to Rome,” and there are still places in Rome where you can see those ancient roads that gave rise to the saying in the first place. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Appian Way, which you can visit on a bike ride.
One could argue Rome was well on its way to earning the nickname of The Eternal City at least 2,000 years ago. This worldly city has gone on to create many more historic moments over the millennia, while also being very much in the present. In the second episode of the PBS series, “Dream of Italy,” we get to see both time-honored traditions and departures from them.