Monthly Archives: November 2007

Italian Spumante !

Italy affecionados have probably heard of the Spumante at least once, and as the Christmas festivities are drawing closer, there is an even wider choice in the italian and roman supermarkets and roman wine bars, but also in the italian delicatessen scattered worldwide.

Indeed the spumante , which means literally “foaming�, is a white sparkling wine, which can be dry or sweet , and the choice depends on the food accompanying it or, more simply, of your preference.

The Spumante is the symbol in Italy of partying and recurring occasions, such as birthdays and winter holidays.

If until recently it was believed that the technique of the sparkling wine had been invented by the French , with the famous Champagne as a result, new studies prove that in fact, the method was developed even at an earlier stage in Italy.

Spumante wine can be produced by different types of grapes, but we nowadays tend to use the same technique as the French counterparts by using mostly the Pinot Nero and the Chardonnay quality, which are broadly renowned.

One the most famous Italian spumante is the Asti, produced with the Moscato.

Curiosity : Most of the time, the bottles of spumante do not bear the year of production because they usually are a mix of wines of different years and therefore only good years will be specified.

Best before : Unlike most wines the Spumante has a short life span and you should drink it shortly after the purchase. And forget the popular belief of the spoon in the neck of the bottle which is useless.

Is best served at around 6° C and is ideal while having a good dessert such as the yummy all italian tiramisu, which you may just taste in one of our Yes Hotel‘ recommended Rome restaurants.

Vatican Rome

Saint Peters RomeThe Vatican city is a independent state within Italy and it has got one of the most important and popular complex of monuments and museums of Rome. In fact it is constituted by S. Peter’s basilica that faces S.t Peter’s square built by Gianlorenzo Bernini between 1656 and 1667, the Vatican museum which display works from the Roman catholic church., and the Sistine chapel painted by Michelangelo.

Closed on Sunday.

The Saint Peter’s basilica is one of the biggest monuments in the world; it is 218 metres. long and 130 m high . The basilica was built between the 1506 and the 1626 by Bramante, Raffaello Sanzio, Baldassare Peruzzi, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Carlo Maderno and Bernini.

The Basilica has 5 main doors but the most important is the “Holy Door” in bronze by Vico Consorti (1950), which is by tradition, only opened for great celebrations such as Jubilee year.

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official winter residence of the Pope in the Vatican City, while in Summer his Holyness moves to nearby Castelgandolfo .
The Sistine Chapel is is famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling painting.

Curiosity : Buying your postcard stamps in the Vatican City is cheaper and if you post your mail within the Vatican it is also faster !

You can get there by metro Line A (stop in Ottaviano and then 10 minutes walking ).
Opening hours:
Sistine chapel entrance from 10.00 am to 12 am
Vatican Museum: visits at set hours 9.00. 10.00. 11.00. 12.00 am.

You can also book a Vatican Museum Tour.

The Trevi Fountain

Probably this entry is no surprise in a blog about Rome, but that’s how classics are: you can watch them, listen to them or even just talk about them a million times and you will always find something interesting about them,
The Trevi Fountain is for sure a classic. Once you see it you’ll never forget it and even if you get to stay for a long period of time in Rome you’ll find it always surprising.
Maybe a part of the impact of the fountain is the sense of movement it conveys. The baroque sculptures are vigorously dynamic and the effect of the real water running through them is almost haunting.


The story of the fountain starts with the aqueduct of Acqua Vergine, that provided the city with water. As it was common then pope Nicholas V built a basin in the endpoint of the aqueduct, but apparently wasn’t spectacular enough for pope Clement XII, who made a contest in 1730 to choose a design for the new fountain. Originally the winner was Alessandro Galilei but the romans, outraged by the fact that the winner was Florentine forced the pope to change his mind and finally the first prize went to the Rome native Niccolò Salvi.

It took more than thirty years to complete the project. Or if you want to be precise thirty years, two architects and three popes because Salvi died in 1751 and was replaced with Giuseppe Panini who finished the fountain under the orders of two different popes, Benedict XIV and Clement XIII.
The theme of the fountain is The Tame Of The Waters and represents Neptune’s chariot being guided by a couple of tritons who tame two seahorses. Beside Neptune (the bearded figure) there are two niches with sculptures representing salubrity and abundance.
The fountain is a symbol of the splendor of the city, and as any important symbol has been used and misused in many different ways. In the sixties Fellini filmed there a legendary scene of La Dolce Vita that now is part of the cinematographic memory of the world. On the other hand, on the list of the misuses you can put the protest of an Italian who recently dyed red the water of the fountain putting in serious danger this masterpiece.

For a guest of the Yes Hotel is really easy to visit the fountain located in the historical center near other interesting sights like the Pantheon or the Spanish Steps. Take the red subway line from Termini, get off at Barberini station, and then walk.
When you’re there don’t forget to turn around and throw a coin in the water over your shoulder. You won’t be wasting neither time nor money, for all the coins thrown during the day are donated for the poor, and besides this ritual will guarantee you good luck and that you’ll come back to Rome some day.

(pd: I’ve just found a very detailed photo of the fountain. Click on the image to make it bigger!!)