What do you do if you don’t become Pope? Five times! You build a the Villa d’Este gardens of course, channeling all your frustrations into making one of the world’s best gardens and creating a wonder of Italy. That was Cardinal Ippolito d’Este’s solution anyway after his last papal disappointment in 1550 to his death in 1572.
August 15, 2011
Roman Holiday did not only make Audrey Hepburn a star, it also shot a small back street in Rome to prominence. Via Margutta was the location of the flat (number 51) occupied by Gregory Peck’s character, Joe Bradley, where many of the couple’s scenes were filmed.
August 1, 2011
Gracefully designed and good for a rest and people watching, I admit I was not overwhelmed by the Spanish Steps the first time I saw them. There seemed to be a lot of traffic, a lot of chaos, and too much grime and rubbish.
July 18, 2011
The Borghese Gallery is simply one of the best galleries in Rome, housed in a lovely historic villa in beautiful gardens of 150 acres. Built by Cardinal Scipione Borghese under the auspice of Pope Paul V (who was his uncle) in the early seventeenth century, the villa was built on a large vineyard, which was quickly turned into the Cardinal’s vision for a Theatre of the Universe. Rare plants and animals were imported, there were waterfalls and hunting grounds, huge groves of trees and still some vineyard and farming to sustain the family.
June 24, 2011
The first time I went to Rome (and I have been more than once probably because I threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain), I was lucky to be with someone who was returning to the city and knew a few secrets. Actually more a tip than a secret. When we were heading to Saint Peter’s Basilica, he insisted we did not take the metro or a bus, but that we approached from across the river to get the best experience.
May 9, 2011
Here’s the thing: I think Segways are hilarious. Whether you’re a tourist or a police officer or Gob Bluth, wheeling around on a Segway always manages to catch a person’s eye, and it usually provokes a smirk or a chuckle. Personally, they aren’t the most, er, dignified way to travel, but man do they look like a ton of fun.
April 14, 2011
Most visitors to Rome want to scratch beneath the surface of the Roman Empire, probably the most important historical aspect of Rome. That’s why an itinerary exploring Rome’s ancient past is something that should be a part of every visit to Rome. Here are a few of ancient Rome’s essential highlights.
March 26, 2011
Think of Easter and three things come to mind: bunnies, chocolate and the Pope. You can find the first two pretty well anywhere, but if it’s a sighting of the head of the Roman Catholic Church that you’re after, then Rome is the place to be. It’s the time of year with so many significant holy days in a row that the Pope is presiding over almost daily masses and blessings and pilgrims flood to the Vatican, that independent state surrounded by the city of Rome.
February 18, 2011
After touring thousands of years of sights by day, sit back and relax to experience Rome’s magic by night. Floodlit monuments like the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum are a spectacular sight, and an early-evening visit makes the ideal pre-dinner tour. Rome flicks the switch to light up such essential sights as the Roman Forum, Castel Sant-Angelo and St. Peter’s Basilica. Piazza del Popolo is fringed with open-air cafes, and night-time revelers still flock to the famous Via Veneto, symbol of Rome’s dolce vita (sweet life).
January 9, 2011
Anyone heading to Rome for the first time knows they have to go to the Trevi Fountain and throw in a coin. It means you will return to the city. Clearly Rome has such a mythological power over us all that we don’t even take the time to decide if we enjoy Rome and want [...]