Monthly Archives: January 2007

Carnival in Rome

Italian carnivalThe carnival is a feast of the Catholic tradition of ancient origin. It is celebrated just before beginning the fast preceding Easter and is the last concession to “carnal pleasures� before the abnegation of the fast. In fact, the term “carnevale� is said to derive ethymologically form the Latin words “carnem levare�, that is, “take away the flesh� meaning that after this last banquet there was to be no feasting but a strict fast up until Easter.

Because of this atmosphere of “last chance “ to celebrate, enjoy, misbehave, the carnival traditionally represent absolute liberty, fun and breaking all the rules that normally bind us. Also wearing masks makes it easier to take a break from the everyday life and from our usual, controlled selves. The carnival today is theoretically a Christian celebration, but it actually has origins far more ancient than that. The Saturnalia festivities of the ancient Romans can be seen as a predecessor of the Christian carnival, and even the Egyptians had similar celebrations with same kind of significance as long as 4000 years ago!

Today the carnival is still very much alive in the Catholic countries aCranival on streets Romes Italy: it is, of course, a feast of the children, but not only. It should be celebrated 40 days before the Easter, even though it really extend over several weekends in the end of January – beginning of February. In Sunday afternoon you see all the squares and streets of Rome crowded with families, the children parading proudly in their costumes: a princess dress seems to be the eternal favourite choice of the little girls, and for boys the classics are Superman, Zorro and then there are more “trendy� figures that come and go each year. Small children may be dressed as animals. Some of the best places to admire the parade are the Gianicolo hill in Rome, or Villa Borghese park on the top of the hill Pincio.

Carnival in Italy

The carnival is not just for children: adults like to dress up too, though maybe not on streets but rather at dress parties, either private or organised by associations or night clubs. So if you happen to be in Rome in this period, be sure not to miss your change to dress up as you probably haven’t done since you were 10 years old! Now is your chance to try on the princess dress of your dreams, or dress as Zorro in public!

For your stay in Rome book the “artistic� and fun Hotel Des Artistes in the center of the city, or the newly opened, elegant and original Yes Hotel. For lower budget try the hotel and hostel Carlito’s Way, centrally located near the station.

Medusa’s comeback in Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Wolf

This bust has been claimed to have been sculpted by none other than Bernini himself. Though many are still doubtful that it is really one of his works.

After many years of restoration the sculpture was finally put back on show in the Capitoline museums in December.

At the moment the head is in the Sala degli Arazzi. However it is soon to be moved to its original display place in the Sala delle Oche.

Other displays in the museums include the She – Wolf statue suckling the two infants, Romulus and Remus.

The museums are located in Piazza del Campidoglio which overlooks the Roman Forum. The piazza is a great work of art in itself, with a fantastic design imagined by none other than Michelangelo himself. The piazza is elliptical in shape and has a beautiful white marble design.

Capitoline Museums There is also a replica of the only surviving bronze statue from antiquity. It is of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. The only reason that it survived was because it was originally thought to be of Constantine. The first emperor of Rome to legalise Christianity. The original statue of Aurelius can also be seen in the Capitoline Museums.

Tickets for the museums cost 7.80 euros and the museums are open from Tuesday till Sunday. 9:30 till 20:00.

Low season is ideal for budget accomodation and traveling and you will walk around the Eternal city easily without the hassle of the long queues and hot weather. And save even more by booking our special deal 3×2 valid only in low season : one hotel night free for every 3 nights booked in our Hotel Des Artistes !

Smart Shopping in Rome Italy

Shopping RomeAlthough most people don’t really think of Via Cavour or the surrounding areas as a place to go shopping, the prices and quality are really decent and only steps away from Yes hotel Rome or Des Artistes accommodation in Rome. Down Via Cavour there are quite a few small clothes shops. Most of these sell belts, ties, shirts, jackets, pants and shoes.
The prices are usually quite reasonable. You can expect to pay between 10 and 15 euros for a 100 % cotton shirt. If the quality is a bit higher around 20 to 25 euros. Pants are pretty cheap too around 27 euro for wool pants.
Most of your money usually gets spent on shoes. However in Via Filipo Turati you will find loads of shops almost all devoted to clothing. Shoes are as low as 25 euros and jeans will also cost as much. Don’t expect to find well known brand clothing here, just the normal everyday street wear or casual clothing.
Another great place to go shopping for clothes is at Upim. There is one in Via Giovanni Giolitti. Just on the Via dei Condotti Romeother side of Termini Station and another one located near Santa Maria Maggiore. This is a decent clothing department store. They have everything from casual clothes, children’s clothes and work wear. The prices are pretty reasonable too.
The only articles of clothing I would suggest you buy from the street vendors are the ties. They are pretty, cheap around 5 to 7 euros, depending on where you go. There is nothing wrong with them. I bought three myself and they have a variety of great colours too, and same with the hand bags : plenty of choice from trendy to more classic.
Shopping in Rome doesn’t always have to be super expensive and the clothes don’t have to be adorned in every brand name imaginable and until end of january sales are on. After you have bought your basic clothes in some of the cheaper shops you may have some money left over to get the one expensive accessory in Via Del Corso (high street fashion) or Via Dei Condotti (exclusive couturier shops) located near our Bed and Breakfast De Cappuccini

Imperial Forum Rome

Imperial forum

Any traveler who comes to the Eternal City will want to visit this must see ancient area steps away from the Coloseum and Piazza Venezia and the San Clemente Basilica and along the street of the same name “via dei fori imperiali”.

The Imperial Forums were originally large squares with porticos around them and bearing a statue of the Emperor in the middle. They were markets and places of meeting for the citizens of that time. The forums are various and to name a few only : Forum of Trajan and the Forum of Augustus. The Caesar’s Forum is probably the most famous and here rest Caesar’s ashes. Not far away stands the Temple of Venere Genitrice (Mother Venus), the mother of Enea whom Caesar claimed to be descended. Steps away you will see another temple, the Temple of Mars Ultor which was planned by Augustus and represented a warning when his adoptive father Julius Caesar died.

Imperial Forum

The Trajan’s column high 40 metres recount various victories during the war of Dacia (now Romania) all sculpted on its surface. The Trajan Markets around were used for services and distribution. Not far away stands the Palatine Hill and the Capitole on the other side where you can enjoy the wonderful Capitoline Museums.

The Imperial forums are open until dusk and you can get there by metro from Termini station on line B, and they are only 2 stops away. Our hotel Yes hotel is by the Termini station so that all great sights of the city are within easy reach.

Daytrips from Rome: Viterbo, Bomarzo and the Park of the Monsters

Park of Monsters BomarzoTravelling to Rome with children? If you’re staying more than just a couple of days, it’s a good idea to do a day trip out of the city, as especially for children a week in the city may be tiring. As destination for a day trip, most people tend to choose Florence, Naples, Tivoli – all beautiful and historically and artistically fascinating cities and well worth visiting. But if you have already seen them , or just want to do something different, try visiting the small town of Bomarzo near Viterbo, and its Park of Mosters! Bomarzo is just 1 hour train ride away from Rome, in the province of Viterbo – in fact, you shouldn’t miss Viterbo either, a beautiful and characteristic medieval town, with an original atmosphere of centuries ago!

What is the Park of Monsters of Bomarzo, then? It was constructed in the 16th century at the order of a prince of the noble and famous Orsini family, by Pirro Ligorio, the very same architect who finished off Saint Peter’s Cathedral after Dragon in the Park of MonstersMichelangelo’s death. The prince had lost his beloved wife and felt the need to express his pain and loss: and you could say he did in quite a grandieuse way, by having the Park built in her honour! When it was first built, the park was named “Villa of Wonders�.

The park contains more than 20 monuments and statues, most of them representing mythological creatures, most of which are very well preserved. Among them, you have the winged horse Pegasus; the goddess Venus; a “hanging house�, very unstable-looking as built on an inclined rock; an armed elephant like those with which the barbarian king Hannibal threatened the ancient Romans; a dragon engaged in a battle against some real animals; Cerberos, the three-headed quardian dog of the hell; the greatest Roman god Jupiter. Not only are the statues end building interesting to look at and fascinating with the stories behind them, but the place in itself is beautiful.

viterboIf you have the time, after seeing the Park and the town of Bomarzo, you should hop back on the train and go a little further to Viterbo: it’s just another half hour away. The town dates back to more than 2500 years ago; in origin it was an Etruscan town named Surrena, which started to grow and develop in the middle ages and gained importance especially in the period when it offered a refuge to the Pope against the Emperor. Viterbo has preserved a variety of medieval monuments and museum tfor a visitor to see, and the town itself is a wonderful place to feel the touch of the history.

Come, relax and taste the traditional and culinary activities here, in Rome…..

You can say that again!

Italy, is the located in the Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Italy mapMediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. Border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km It has a 301,230 sq km and slightly larger than Arizona.

The climate you meet here is predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south. The landscape is various, mountains, plane and coastal lowlands.
Natural resources: coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorospar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land.
Agriculture products: fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish.
The capital of Italy is Rome. This beautiful city has over 2.700 years old and has become one of the most “ wanted� city in the world. Rome is a full of history, is at the same a “ busy� and relaxing town. Rome is the perfect destination either for business, or for leasure.
Well, after all this useful information I can start making a turistic program for three days in Rome.
Before that , you should know that the best period for visiting Rome is in spring, autumn and winter. In winter you can have better rates for accommodation: Have a look at the winter special rates of the popular Hotel Des Artistes …. And in the autumn you can visit without any kind of temperatures problems because here , in summer is hot, and for those you can t get through the temperature of 35 C is harder. At the same time, you have to find a better place to stay in Rome. I advice you that the hotel should be near centre (Try the Nice Hotel near the Termini Station) …. you can be near the historic places and “ take part of it�.
Ok. Let s begin.
09.00 am Breakfast. Take a breath, cause I have a full day . Click here and book a guided city tour. At lunch you can taste one the best and oldest coffee in the world…Tazza d oro….. After one day in Rome you can have a good dinner at a typical restaurant near the Hotel … Then come back to have a sleep because you have to be prepared for the next day.
rome by nightDAY TWO:
08.30 AM Breakfast. Our trip continues with the museum tours. I recommend you the Vatican Museum. A tip: to avoid queuing, book a tour! Ok, you are back for exploring Rome. Take the tour Illuminated Rome by Night. It was very attractive, not to forget.
DAY THREE: Last day… 10.00 am Breakfast. Four hours of shopping in Rome. I had plenty of time for buying souvenirs and some things for me.
I can wait back to come back as soon as possible.

Bernini in Rome

Apollo and Dafne

Bernini is one of the most famous italian artists of the 17th century and Rome is literally full of his works. Here are some of the major monuments in Rome which were built or embellished by Bernini:

The wonderful Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), from which B&B De Cappuccini is close by, bears one of his masterpieces : the fountain called “La Barcaccia” (the rotten boat) stands proudly at the bottom of the steps. By the way, The Spanish Steps are named after the Embassy of Spain which was the first stable european Embassy based in Rome.

Scipione BorgheseOnly minutes away stands the Porta del Popolo, off Piazza del Popolo, which was finished by Bernini and in the Church Santa Maria del Popolo, for instance, the angels and the lamp are his work.

In St Peters square the arcades (“colonnato”) are also a reminder of the very importance and grandeur of Bernini.

And, last but not least the Galleria Borghese near the American Embassy in Rome also has a mark of his great work : The sculptures of Apollo and Dafne and the bust of Scipione Borghese.

Our Yes Hotel Rome is very close to all this great locations and for booking your stay at very special rates contact us now.

German Embassy in Rome

Rome German EmbassyGerman Embassy RomeThe German Embassy in Rome is located in the vicinità of the Termini central station, on Via San Martino della Battaglia, 4. The consular section is open to the public from 8.30 to 11.30. To reach the Embassy is easy, as the Termini area is very central and there is usually a direct connection from every neighbourhood of the town. See on the map how to walk to the embassy from the Termini station. You can also contact the Embassy by phone: the phone servcie of the consular section is open from 14.00 to 16.00 from Monday to Thursday, at the number (+39) 06 49213-1.


The current Ambassador is Michael H. Gerdts who has formerly held different positions for example at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the German Republic and the United Nations, and has been the German Ambassador in Kenya in 1995-1999. The consular section of the Embassy provides services for German citizens living in Italy, for citizens travelling in Italy and in need of help, but also for Italian or other foreign citizens living in Italy who wish to travel or work in Germany, study the German culture and language or simply wish to know more about anything German. For information and a calendar of German cultural events in Italy view this link.


map-german-embassyThe Embassy also publishes a monthly newsletter and currently even another, weekly edition, just for the 6 months period when Germany is going to hold the presidency of the European Union. You can view the Embassy newsletter through this link.

The Embassy is located very near the Termini station, and you can see the location on the map here. In the area there are many hotels for all kinds of budget, for example the popular Hotel Des Artistes, My Hotel and the newly opened Yes Hotel, all three star level, and also the budget hotels Carlito’s Way and Nice Hotel, “cheap and chic”!

Basilica of San Clemente in Rome: three layers of history

After visiting the Colosseum, nearby there’s another attraction not to miss: the basilica of San Clemente. It’s much more than the current church which goes back to the Middle Ages: below there are several levels of ancient constructions, oldest of which are of the first century AD.

San clemente undergroundThe site has experienced several phases of which different architectural levels have been conserved up to our days: in the 2nd century more building work took place, and a beautiful and spacious private residence was constructed. About 100 years later, a part of this building was transformed into a sanctuary of the divinity Mitra, whose cult was getting more and more popular in Rome at that time, especially amongst the army. During this phase an altar was built, and the sanctuary was transformed to look like the interior of a cave. The cult of Mitra was practised actively here at least until the beginning of the 4th century, and at some point after that the temple seems to have been intentionally destroyed in order to transform it into a Christian church towards the end of the 4th century. In the Middle Ages, in 1084, it was destroyed by the Normanssan Clemente Rome.

The current basilica, only slightly lower than the street level, was constructed in 1108 by the Pope Pasquale II on top of the earlier layers, which at that time remained covered. The medieval basilica, adorned by amazingly beautiful and sumptuous mosaics, was restored in the beginning of the 18th century. The ancient layers were uncovered only in the 1857, and can now be visited with a guide.

The basilica is located just a short walk from the Colosseum, in Via Labicana 95. You can book a guided visit to the underground layers either by e-mail or by phone: 0039 06 8530 1758. You can also attend without reservation, especially in low season. To get there for example from the Termini station, take the metro line B. To be able to move around the city easily, be sure to book a central hotel, such as the hotel Carlito’s Way or the Nice Hotel, located in the Termini neighbourhood.

The Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome

Rome has such a multitude of historical and archeaological attractions to offer, that it’s quite difficult to decide which to go see, besides the most obvious ones sucapollo of Veiih as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Pantheon and Piazza Navona… Don’t forget that the local history is more than just the ancient Roman Empire: there was a highly developed civilisation in the region of Lazio much before the Romans: the mysterious Etruscans!

What do you really know of the Etruscans? Maybe not all that much..? Well, then the place to go, when in Rome, is the Museo Etrusco of Villa Giulia, which houses many of the most significant archaeological findings on Etruscans.

Some of the most precious and interesting objects of the museum are the bilingual (Etruscan-phoenician) golden plates with an inscription dedicated to a goddess. Other main attractions are the contents of the so-called “Warrior’s tombâ€? (from the 6th century BC), the “Sarcophagus of the Spousesâ€? – a magnificent statue discovered in the Etruscan necropolis of Cerveteri and the famous statue of Apollo, the “Apollo of Veiiâ€?. This statue of the 6th century BC, representing Apollo with the tipical mysterious “Etruscan smile” on his lips used to adorn a temple in the Etruscan city of Veii and it is considered the greatest piece of Etruscan art conserved to our days.Sarcophagus of the Spouses statue

The building itself is another object of interest: it was constructed in the 16th century for the humanist pope Julius III with the participance of for example Giorgio Vasari and Michelangelo and is a beautiful example of the manieristic architecture.

The museum of Villa Giulia is located in the area of Valle Giulia, and to get there you can take the trams 3 (from Trastevere or the metro B stops of “Colosseo� or “Piramide�) or the tram number 19 from Porta Maggiore. For additional information on the museum or to book your tickets on line, you can use the “Ticketeria�-service. At the museum you can rent an acoustic guide for an additional fee. Reduced tickets are available to European Union citicens under 25 years of age.

For more tourist information and hotel or tour reservations try this site.