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Go green during your next visit to Rome!

posted by admin in Curiosity, General

Are you always trying to help the environment? Are you interested on the ecology?

There is an easy way to do it during your next visit to Rome. While you are visiting the main attractions, you can fill your bottle of water for free, at one of the many fountains distributed throughout the city. The water is absolutely fresh and is coming from the mountains outside of Rome. You may buy a normal  plastic bottle, which after a day may end up crashed at the bottom of your backpack.

Therefore if you want an original and durable bottle,  buy the Eco-water, it costs only €2 and it could be a special souvenir because it has printings of the Colosseum, the roman aqueduct, and the unmistakables “Nasoni” the drinking water fountains. You can get it at any Tourist Information Point or in the museum shops.

I personally recommend to drink this water, is one of the most important romans prides, they even protested last year when the government tried to charge for the water. Luckily they had positives results and nowadays this service continues to be available to everyone. Enjoy it and salute!

Paulina Ceballos

5 Curiosities about the Colosseum

Did you know that the Colosseum is not round but oval?
It’s 189 meters long and 156 wide with 57 meters of height, its perimeter is 524 meters.

Did you know that the Colosseum is used to support the international campaign against death penalty?
Since the year 2000, every time a convicted to death gets its sentence commuted or is released, no matter the location, or when the death penalty is abolished somewhere in the world, the internal lights of the Colosseum change from white to gold.

Did you know that its real name is Flavian Amphitheater?
It comes from the latin Flavium, the family name of the emperors that began and ended the construction: Vespasian and Titus.

Did you know that it is believed that at least one million of animals died inside and 500,000 humans?
Only for the inaugural games 9,000 animals were slander and 2,000 gladiators lost their life for the battles for 100 days. The combats were between the animals and sometimes animal vs man.

Did you know that only a few celebrities have performed with the Colosseum as background?
Is no possible to host a concert inside the monument, but among the singers that have had this honour we can recall: Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli and Elton John.

Tip: If there is a long cue to buy the ticket and you wish to save time, get the RomaPass or the Archeologia card. The ticket for the Colosseum includes the entrance to the Roman Forum and the Palatin, is valid for 2 days (consecutive) so you can visit one of these monuments first.

Paulina Ceballos

Where was Audrey Hepburn in Rome?

The actress Audrey Hepburn, famous for her beauty, elegance and naturalness, was the main protagonist of the movie Roman Holiday, filmed in 1953. Actually this was the role for which she would have been recognized worldwide and thanks to it she won an Oscar. The movie meant a revolution for what concerns locations at that time, because the director didn’t want to reproduce the city and prefered Rome itself to shoot, making the city the third leading character on the film.

The movie is about a young princess (from an unknown country), happy but at the same time she felt oppressed by her full agenda and the court, tired of her many responsabilities she decides during her visit in Rome, to escape one night and see the city in disguise as a normal girl, then she meets an american journalist (Gregory Peck) who proposes to be her guide.
This romantic comedy immortalized both actors in the typical roman piazzas, as a matter of fact nowadays in the streets of Rome you can see in the stands, many postcards, posters and calendars with those scenes.
If you are visiting Rome and you want to discover where Audrey Hepburn was, its not that hard because is almost all in the center:

  • Cafe Rocca: in Via della Rotonda, at th corner of the piazza with the same name, currently is a fashion shop.
  • Castel Sant’ Angelo: in front of this beautiful castle the princess goes dancing with the barber.
  • Fontana di Trevi
  •  Piazza Venezia.
  • Piazza di Spagna: where Joe sees again the princess while she is eating an gelato.
  • Colosseum
  • Joey Bradley’s apartment in Via Margutta 51, the entrance to the small courtyard is a few doors ahead in Vicolo dell’Orto di Napoli.
  • Via dei Fori Imperiali: where Gregory Peck finds Audrey sleeping.

Barber: Via della Stamperia 85, nowadays is a leather shop.
Bocca della verità: Santa Maria in Cosmedin, probably the most funny scene was filmed here, Gregory Peck hides his hand inside his sleeve and put his arm inside the mouth stone, the fright that Audrey shows was real, because she didn’t know what the actor would do, that prank was not planned, nevertheless it was so natural that the director decided to include it.The legend says that whoever doubted of the couples’s faithfulness, could take him or her there, if the person was unfaithful he/she would loose the hand.

  • Palazzo Colonna: Press conference, Via della Pilotta, 17 . Open only saturdays 9:00-13:15, it’s a private palace of an aristocratic family, it’s construction began on the XVI century and ended five centuries later.
  • Palazzo Barberini: Princess Embassy’s exterior. Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13.
  • Palazzo Brancaccio: the interiors of the Embassy were filmed inside here. Viale del Monte Oppio 7. This is the last aristocratic palace built in Rome in 1880. The gardens and the balcony from where the princess sees with sadness the people dancing, both are still there. Booking mandatory for visitors. (+39064873177)
  • Castra Pretoria: The Wall of the wishes, though the plates are no longer there, the wall it is in Viale del Policlinico, between Piazza Girolamo Fabrizio and Via Castro Pretorio.

Visualizza Audrey Hepburn en Roma in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori

We hope that Audrey Hepburn’s fans will enjoy this tour and have a fantastic roman holiday!
Paulina Ceballos

The Capitoline Geese

posted by admin in Curiosity

Among the Seven Hills of Rome, the Capitol is certainly the most famous, known as the nerve cente of daily life in ancient Rome. Someone may not know that this hill is also the home of many events where historical and legendary protagonists meet.
One of the most popular legends of Rome refers to the sacred geese living on the Capitol Hill, in the temple dedicated to the mother of the gods.
The story goes that in 390 b. C., when Rome was fighting against the invasion of the Gauls, Roman citizens who were in town had to face hunger and isolation, and the soldiers who guarded The City had no other place to spend the night but the temple of Juno.
One night a former consul Marcus Manlius, who was sleeping together with the army, he heard the geese honking, immediately got up and ran to the walls of the fortress and found one of the Gauls who tried to climb the rock of the hill, confronted him and tore his fingers. Meanwhile, the geese who kept squawking, woke the whole army, which finally defeated the invaders.

Are you coming to Rome on Valentine’s Day? Best Places to watch the sunset!!

view from gianicolo hill

view from gianicolo hill

Without doubt Rome is one of the most romantics cities in the world, full of : little streets, lovely cafés to sit and enjoy a cappuccino,
charming piazzas with street artists playing tarantella (a folk italian music) or even singing opera and  beautiful fountains in every corner.

If you are coming with that special someone, don’t forget to take a minute and watch the sunset in one of these places:

  • Gianicolo: if you are in Trastevere is really easy to get there: take Via Garibaldi, that street leads onto the place, on your way you’ll see a big fountain called Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, it’s really impressive and also offers a great view, nevertheless keep on going, because the Gianicolo offers a unique opportunity to get a panoramic view of Saint Peters dome on one side and on the other the center of Rome. Best things is that it’s free!
  • Castel Sant’ Angelo: try to visit it in the afternoon, in the winter you can catch the sunset at 17:30 more or less, from the top you can enjoy the view of the river Tiber and the storical center.
  • Giardino degli aranci (Orange Trees Garden): In the winter the trees are full of fruits therefore since you get in you’ll sense its perfume, the view is fascinating: the river Tiber, Trastevere, the domes in the center, the gianicolo hill, the Tiber Island. In the same street at the end, you’ll see a big gate, look closely through the little hole, you can see St. Peter’s Basilica. From the metro B Circo Massimo: Take Via del Circo Massimo, when you get to the Piazzale Ugo La Malfa turn left at Via di Valle Murcia, go straight, that street turns into Via di Santa Sabina, the garden is at the Park Savello at the end.
  • Pincio: From it’s terrace you’ll get the view of the storical center, the Castel Sant’Angelo and Saint Peter’s Dome. The easiest way to get there is by metro A Flaminio, got to the Piazza del Popolo, there is a ramp, go up, if had eaten a big pizza you might need a few minutes to catch your breath, but believe me, it’s worth it!! Anyway there is another option, go to the metro Spagna, take the Monti steps, pass the church at your right and continue until you get to Piazza Napoleone I, then you’re there!

BTW if you decided to visit the last suggestion and you still can’t get enough of romanticism, perhapes before that you could go to the
Lake’s Garden in Villa Borghese, you could rent a boat there and row in front of the Esculapio Temple, which is an imitation of a greek temple.

Rome is always enchanting, full of colours and terribly romantic, so for those who are single in this day: take precautions!!!. No matter where you go, you’ll surely find something that will take your breath away.  Don’t forget to take your time sit somewhere to just observe the people walking, the voices of the Italians (loud enough trust me) and a big gelato.

Paulina Ceballos


A church in Rome decorated with real bones and skulls? Discover this secret place: the Church of the Cappuccini Friars

posted by admin in Curiosity, Monuments

Cripta dei Cappuccini Roma

Cripta dei Cappuccini Roma

Death closes the gates of time, and opens those of eternity”

That is the message that welcomes you when you arrive to the Cappuccini Crypt, which is in the Church of the Immaculate. Probably is not included in every “To do” list in Rome, but if you have time and you want to see one of the secret places of the city, you’ll be amazed. Actually is really easy to get there, because it’s right outside the Metro Barberini, after paying a visit, you could continue your walk along the worldwide famous Via Veneto. The walls and ceilings are “decorated” with the remaining bones of the Cappuccini friars, who died between 1528 and 1870.

These friars obtained their named Capuchin from the hood, or capuce they used to wear. The church is small, while you walk along the corridor your eyes will be delighted seeing different crypts with this peculiar decoration of skulls, pelvises, lamps made out of leg bones and even a complete skeleton lying peacefully in front of the tourists eyes.

Not to miss: Check the design of the clock on the wall opposite the door, it represents the continuity of life, in time and in eternity.

It could be a little macabre or creepy for some people, but definitely it’s a place in Rome that you will never forget!!
How to arrive: Metro Red Line A: Barberini, take the Via Veneto exit and look for the number 27.

Price: 50 cents donation.

Opening hours:9-12 noon; 3-6 p.m. Closed Thursdays.

Paulina Ceballos




This prestigious exhibit is open until June 29, 2010 inside the Victor Emmanuel Monument.


It’s a trip through the extraordinary innovations of the XIXth century that revolutionized  traditional painting.  These new techniques modernized painting, resulting in Impressionist painting that displays an expanded, broader understanding of nature and the culture of the times.


For the first time in Italy, you will see vintage photos, paintings and drafts from the beginnings of Impressionism of the Barbizon School of to the chromatic triumph of the Water Lilies by Claude Monet.  You will explore the colorful revolution of the Impressionists, admiring the atmospheres of Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley, Gustave Courbet’s Poppy Field, paintings by Auguste Renoir and Camille Pissarro including his Pontoise landscape.


Organized by major art historians from throughout the world, the works come from galleries and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Public Library of New York, the National Gallery of Art and Corcoran Museum of Art of Washington, Toledo Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Musée Fabre of Montpellier, Bibliotèque Nationale de France of Paris and the Hamburger Kunstalle.



Address: Complesso del Vittoriano

Via S.Pietro in carcere (Imperial Forums)


From Monday to Thursday: 9.30AM-7.30PM

Friday and saturday:           9.30AM-11.30PM

Sunday:                               9.30AM-8.30PM


Cost of the ticket: EU 10,00


INFO: 06/6780664 – 06/6780363


Lorenza Faraone

Roman Guide Center





Was Brutus really Caesarʼs son? Lacking any DNA proof, weʼll always be in doubt! But, we like to believe it and recount for you this story: Cleopatraʼs arrival in Rome was the cause of Cassiusʼ and Brutusʼ decision to lay the plot to murder Caesar.


Brutusʼ mother, everybody knows, was Servilia, a member of the patrician family of Servili.   While she was married to Marcus Giunius Brutus, tribune of the people,  Caesar was her young, tall and handsome lover.  We donʼt have any portraits of her, but she was certainly beautiful.  She was clever and, above all, so charming that her passionate love affair with Caesar lasted thirty years.


Servilia became pregnant by Caesar.  Unknown to Caesar, her son, Brutus, was also his.  As time went by, the young Brutus, did not hide his rebellious, oligarchic ideas.  Caesar was the unconquerable General.   Young Brutus was in danger.  As her son was in danger of being defeated and killed by his own father, Servilia revealed the truth to Caesar.  “Spare Brutusʼ life”, were her last words to him.  Caesar honored her wish and on the battle ground he ordered: “Donʼt touch Brutus!”


So the young man came safely back home to his mother who probably told him everything.  Caesar should have come back too, but the war wasn’t over.   His next move was to run after Pompeo to Egypt.  This is where he met Cleopatra.  He was 52 years old, she only 20.   He forgot about the civil war, Rome and…Servilia.


When Caesar finally came back to Rome, Servilia was ready to greet him. But she surely couldn’t compete with her young rival.   However, her daughter, Giunia Terza, was now the stunning beauty that she was at 16, her age when she first met Caesar.  So she offered her daughter to Caesar who was now returning with honors and substantial gifts.


While Caesar left again as a winner, in Rome the Senate’s resentment against him grew stronger, and Brutus firmly supported them.


In the meantime, while Servilia vicariously relived her love for Caesar through her young daughter, Cleopatra arrived in Rome.  She came with her little son, Tolomeus Caesar, fruit of her love affair with Caesar.


In the Senate, spirits got excited.  Cassius suspected that Caesar could take Cleopatra as his legitimate wife and recognize Tolomeus as his son.   This would mean the return of the kings, the end of the Republic… Certainly, this would be the end for Giunia Terza and, above all, Servilia.  This time, however, while she suspected the plot against him, Servilia didn’t side with Caesar, but let her son Brutus punish the betrayer.


Maria Elena Mastroiacovo

Roman Guide Center



centuries of neglect, part of the area beneath the Colosseum stage is being restaured and cleaned. Thanks to a couple of hoists faithfully reconstructed according to ancient models starting next July 2010 it will be open for viewing.


Visitors, who so far could only catch a glimpse of it, will be able to explore the underground of the famous “Blood and arena”. Gladiators used to reach it through a tunnel connecting it with their school, the “Ludus magnus”. In addition to the athletes for  gladiatoral combats, the subterranean maze of galleries, ramps and cells, were the waiting room for hunters and wild animals and condemned prisoners. Also housed  here were scene-shifters, operators, workmen ready to give life to the show with the striking noises of machines, screams, cries and roars.


One will shiver watching one of the most exciting and dreadful places of all times.
Now from the point of view of the service staff and the applauded gladiators, you will be looking up at the massive architecture of the Flavian Amphitheatre.

Also for the first time, you will see the advanced engineering of the Ancient Romans: the reconstructed underground machinery and the cruel ways of turning death into a show. This will be a thrilling experience from the very heart of the Circus.



Guide Centre



This is one of the most famous medioeval legends: Joan is a young English woman, educated at Magonza. Because of her love for theology, she decides to dress-up like a monk and thanks to her great culture, once i Rome, rising through the Church hierarchy, she is chosen as Pope. She took the name of John VIII and reigned between 855 and 857.
Joan became pregnant by one of her lovers. While in Easter procession between Saint Peterʼs and Saint Joan the Lateranʼs Basilicas, meanwhile the crowd was growing its pressure, her horse got scared, frisked and she fell off. People watched in horror and astonishment when she gave birth to a child, revealing her female nature. The angry mob tied her feet at her same horse and dragged her to Ripa Grande. There she was stoned to death together with her baby.
it is a harsh story which takes us back to the darkest centuries of Rome. According to some scholars this legend, this is what it is, could have born as a “satire” against papacy and a ferocious criticism of some female personages as the corrupt noble ladies Teodora and her daughter Marozia, who during the 10th Century were at the same time lovers, mothers and killers of several popes.
The story of “popess Joan” gave rise to the following odd legend: since then, to avoid a repeat of such a shaming event, as soon as elected, popes had to sit on one of the thrones, with a potty-style hole in the seat, while an examining cleric felt under it to check his sex. Though, one of these two thrones, the so-called “sedes curules or prophyreticae”, according to recent studies, was actually established to be a thermal de-luxe water-closet, dating back the time of Emperor Hadrian.
The result is a complicated plot we better leave to historians. Lovers of Rome can satisfie their curiosity in Via dei querceti, by looking up at the niche on the wall with a Vergin Mary with child, which was built up on the same spot where our heroine is said to have given birth to her child.

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