Yearly Archives: 2008


Our Blogger: Diana

A Gospel performance at the festival last year in Rome

“If you wanna be blessed
Put on the garment of praise
For the spirit of heaviness
You don’t have to live in defeat
Put on the garment of praise
God will make your life so complete
Put on the garment of praise”

Rome's Gospel Festival should be the best ever(Garment of Praise, performed by Patrick Laundy)

From December 20th until New Year’s Eve the magnificent setting of the Auditorium Parco della Musica will host one of the most moving music events: the Roma Gospel Festival.

Among the artists, there will be some outstanding artists from the US like Harlem Gospel Choir, Crystal White, Patrick Lundy, Earl Bynum, Bob Singleton, and the Soul Stirrers.

The origins of Gospel music date back to the religious chants of the Afro-American people. In order to simplify the Christian teachings and to spread the faith, Gospel choirs were introduced during ceremonies together with the characteristic call-and-response and clapping.

This is the thirteenth edition of the festival, directed by Mario Ciampà, which has become a solid point of reference for all the fans of this music genre over the years and it perfectly fits in with the atmosphere of the ongoing festivities since Gospel has always been typical of deep religious devotion. So why not book into Hotel Des Artistes for a great stay during the festival and we’ll direct you to all the best performances.

Fondazione Musica per Roma e International Music Foundation presentano

Ticket prices:
Adults: 22.00 euros
Reduced price: 8 euros

The Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome is in Viale Pietro de Coubertin, near the Palazzetto dello Sport, off Viale Tiziano.The Auditorium Parco della Musica is in the Flaminio district of Rome, by the Villaggio Olimpico and can be easily reached by public transport:Learn all about the Gospel traditions in Rome
Bus Routes

  • 910, from Termini Station and Piazza Mancini
  • 53, from Piazza Mancini and Piazza San Silvestro
  • 217, from Viale XVII Olimpiade and Termini Station
  • 231, from Piazza Mancini and Piazzale Canestre (in Villa Borghese park). Only weekends
  • Linea “M”, special bus route between Termini station and Viale Pietro de Coubertin Auditorium stop. From 17h00 – every 15 mins. Last bus from the Auditorium departs at the end of last event.

Tram routes

  • 2, from Piazzale Flaminio and Piazza Mancini


  • Metro A line to the Flaminio stop then no.2 tram
  • Or the Ferrovia Roma-Nord train to the Piazza Euclide stop


By car

  • From the G.R.A. (ring-road around Rome) take the Flaminio Saxa Rubra exit towards Corso di Francia
  • Or from the Lungotevere Flaminio turn off into Viale Tiziano and then again at the Palazzetto dello Sport (covered sport complex)

There are large car parking facilities by the Auditorium Parco della Musica with designated areas for disabled visitors.


Our Blogger: Arianna

Today I would like to tell you about a small and a big story, regarding The mythology of Rome, the importance and the social function that it used to have in old roman society.The Venus Felix statue at the Vatican Museums in Rome

As in every capital city, in order to celebrate its greatness, everything was colligated with myth –the foundation of the city for example, goes back to “Enea”. For those of you who don’t’ know who Enea is, I’m going to explain quickly: Enea is the protagonist of Eneide, an epic poem written by Virgilius, who ran away from Troy and once in Lazio married Lavinia, Latino’s daughter. They had a son called Silvio, who founded the family of Romulus and Remus.

In reality, genuine mythology in Rome started with the adaptation of Greek mythology.

You probably already know about the story of Romulus Remus. The difference between Greek legends and roman ones is that while Greek divinities assume a behaviour prevalently human (they were implicated in loving wars, revenges) the Romans had a social function and they interacted with the normJupiter...was worshipped as the king of the roman godsal unwinding of life.

At the beginning, roman working people were very humble – many were farmers and shepherds. So many of the Roman Gods related to this way of life – for example, Jupiter was the god of weather, the elements etc. 

Despite this, it’s possible to glimpse into the “res-publica” concept (the public government).

In this society two figures deserved a particular mention: the Pontiffs and the Vestals.

The pontiThe roman god of the seaffs were the highest ranking priests because they used to decide bank holidays and public celebrations, most of the time the pontiff sovereign was an emperor.

The Vestals were priestesses devoted to Vest, they lived in chastity for 30 years before they were able to marry.

Sadly those who didn’t respect this law were killed in terrible circumstances – infact they were buried alive.

The main gods in Rome were : Jupiter, Giunone and Minerva, Diana, Venus, Ceres, Mars, and finally Mercurius.

In all of Rome it’s possible to research the signs and symbols behind the myths. For example Barbo’s Palace portrays Hercules while in one old heating stove at the Vatican palace you can admire Venus etc.

So why don’t stay here at Hotel des Artistes the perfect base to discover the beauty of myths in Rome?


Our Blogger: Wanda

The Roman Coloseum at ChristmasEvery year in Rome the most well sought after Christmas market is the bazaar that is staged in Piazza Navona. This massive square is transformed into Christmas central, with games and toys for children, appearances by Santa and the famous “Befana” a.k.a. the friendly witch who flies on a broomstick on the day of the epiphany to fill the kiddies stockings with goodies. Holiday crafts, tree trimmings, games, chocolate, candy, and artists are all to be found there. 

Meanwhile, the Vatican is turned into a magical Christmas haven.  In 1982, Pope John Paul began a tradition of putting-up a Christmas tree of about 30 meters or more in the centre of St. Peter’s Square. Now every year a tree is given as a gift by one of the regions of Italy or one of the E.U. nations.  Beside the tree, a nativity scene is placed, drawing pilgrims from all over to have a look.Rome's Piazza Venezia at Christmas - always a sight to behold

HollyThe pope himself gives midnight mass on Christmas Eve. If you are lucky enough to get tickets for this mass, it is a really special event. Its a time when  St. Peter’s is a truly a place of worship, where no crowds of tourists will swarm around you during their Vatican City tour, and for one evening it is possible to take in St. Peter’s not just as a tourist attraction, but as the most important place of worship in Christianity.

And don’t forget the comfort of Christmas in Rome, because it’s the little things that realty count. You can enjoy a walk shopping in the most beautiful streets of the historical centre and for a break stop at the Antico Caffe Greco in via Condotti, where you can get perhaps the best hot chocolate on offer in the city.

So be quick to make your hotel reservation with Hotel Des Artistes in Rometaste the magical Christmas atmosphere in the Eternal City and enjoy an unforgettable time with hotellucci in rome!


Our Blogger: Raul

Love is in the air..

You can’t get much more romantic than Rome. The atmosphere, the great wine and the food make falling in love so easy. That’s why it’s only fitting to have a big wedding fair in the city.

Either if you are looking for a dress, a photographer or suggestions for a great wedding reception, RomaSposa is the place to go to. Last year, the fair was a great success and this year its going to be bigger and better.

It takes place in the Fiera di Roma, on the outskirts of Rome (but don’t be afraid, it’s not difficult to reach, as you’ll realize later) from January the 9th 2009 until the 11th and then again for two days from January 16th.

YouA Roman bride to be’ll find 30,000 square meters of flowers, wedding keep-sakers, male and female fashion shows, furniture, and even travel agencies to organize your honeymoon.

If you are in the city and are thinking about getting married this is a great opportunity to take a look at the Italian approach to a wedding ceremony and to get tons of ideas to make your ceremony unique and elegant. Or if you are more intrepid than that this is the perfect occasion to start organizing your wedding in the Eternal The great Roman wedding fairCity.

Reaching the Fiera di Roma is really easy if you are staying in a well-located hotel like Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes. Take the blue subway line from Termini and get off at Tiburtina. From there take the train to Fiumicino Airport and get off at the station “Fiera di Roma.” Voila. Now you’re ready to plan the most important day of your life in the most beautiful city in the world.


Our Blogger: Jona

Italy is a wonderful country symbolized by the capital, Rome. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations. If you are thinking of visiting the eternal city, your decision will surely be influenced by the art and culture of the Roman people. And not to a lesser extent, Roman cuisine, which attains a strong reputation worldwide thanks to its quality and natural ingredients.



Roman Crostini - the delicious traditional starter


stale bread, mozzarella, salted anchovy, butter, parsley.


Mix the anchovies with the butter and spread this on slices of bread. Grease a baking dish with butter and then take the slices of bread and add mozzarella to each, sliced. Flavour with salt and pepper and Bake for about 8 minutes.



Bucatini all' amatriciana - so tasty you could stop eating spaghetti altogether


bucatini (spaghetti shaped pasta), pancetta, 1 glass of white wine, tomatoes, grated pecorino cheese, chilli, onions.


In a frying pan fry the onion and pancetta. When the meat is golden brown, add the wine and mix until it evaporates. Then add some tomato, chilli peppers and leave to boil. Drain the pasta, seasoned with sauce. Stir quickly and sprinkle the cheese on top.



Roman veal - meat has never tasted so good


Slices of veal, ham (prosciutto crudo), butter, a dash of white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper.


Place the meat on a chopping board and beat each slice. Then add salt, pepper, a slice of ham for each, and a sage leaf. Pierce with a toothpick to keep everything together. In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the meat. When the pieces are golden, add the white wine and leave to cook on a moderate flame until ready.


And finally…

If this wets your appetite enough to visit Rome, why not check into Hotel Des Artistes for a stay near some great eateries… there’s even a 10 percent discount on selected restaurants nearby.

Buon appetito, and happy eating!!!


Me at Civita di bagnoregio at Easter time

Our Blogger: Arianna

Have you ever been to Civita di bagnoregio? No? Then let’s go on an adventure together…

In my recent post I told you about Calcata, the “dying village�, which the government decided to rebuild in a different place because it laid completely on dangerous volcanic rock.

What happened to Civita was almost the same. In fact, the village lies on a steep volcanic rock, which is apparently risky because two gorges were built between it.

Like all the towns in the province of Viterbo, this area was inhabited by the Etruscans but rocks have been found which the link the area back to the stone age.

If you do a quick search on the internet you will be able to find a lot more information about this so I’m just going to write about my own personal experience in this magical place.

I went to Civita earlier this year on Easter Monday and spent the first part of the day visiting Bomarzo and the monster park. However, because the weather was bad (a bit cold and rainy) I didn’t stay there a long time. Ascending the hill - the beautiful Civita di bagnoregio

On the way back to Rome, still in the daytime , my friends and I decided to see the famous “dying� village.

First of all I have to point out that today the village is divided in two parts: the new part is actually called Bagnoregio and Civita is the original.

I parked the car at the front of Bagnoregio and I took the bus that brings you very close to the big pedestrian bridge that joins the two parts. The bridge was built only a few years ago and is the only way to reach the medieval area.

In fact, as I explained in my last post, a lot of wealthy people decided to rebuilt the ancient village and buy a small house in the suburb. It now costs much more in respect of the past.

Crossing the bridge is an unusual experience because you feel as if you are arriving at something that really belongs to another age. A small curiosity: Civita today has a population of just eight people.

Inside the village, you can find small café’s, wine cellars, and even restaurants where you can try pasta with medieval sauce.

The view is wonderful: eroded mountains and blue sky – and the most important thing: no cars!!!

Christmas is very close. In Civita a real nativity is held with 50 actors recreating the holy scene… Don’t miss it. And with Hotel Des Artistes so ideally placed near Termini station your journey can be easily planned.

How to get there

From Hotel des Artistes: Go to Termini station (5 minutes), and take a train to Viterbo. From there, take the Viterbo Cotral bus until Bagnoregio.

Fancy going back100 years in time?… Then go to Calcata!

Our Blogger: Arianna

Only 47 Kilometres away from Rome, there is a typical example of medieval architecture, one of the most well conserved fortresses in all of Italy.

Calcata is located on the Treja valley, characterized by volcanic material and red tuff in particular.

In the magic atmosphere that surrounded the suburb, history and mythology come into play together.


The legend says that the area was built by the Falisci people who originated from Haleso, Agamemnon’s son.

But we really don’t know when Calcata was constructed because the first stories about it go back to around 772 – 795, under Adrian’s I papacy.

During the XIII century Calcata became well known because the Anguillara family erected a tower with fortified walls and many doors. What we know for sure is that according to an old legend, a prepuce and an oil bottle used to wash Jesus Christ’s feet was Calcata.

During the pillage of Rome in 1527 made by lansquenets, one of them steeled the relic and hid it in a barn. Another story is that someone else hid the relic inside a cavern.

Only after 30 years was the relic found and collocated inside the church of S. Cyprian and Cornelius.

Visiting the entire village doesn’t take a long time but it’s a spectacular walk .It’s like going back 100 years in time. The houses are small and compact, the paths in the streets are extremely straight and are infact built on previously active volcanic land.

Calcata has another strange history. In 1930 the government decided to evacuate the village because it believed the foundations of the buildings’ were fragile and there was a risk of rock fall. A new calcata was also built 2 km away from the old village.

At that time, Calcata, together with another village called Civita di Bagnoregio, became knows as “the dying villages�.

What happened after that?

Well, starting from 1960 approximately, a lot of old hippies, artists and writers, started to rebuild the “dying village�, giving it new life.


In fact, its actually like a status symbol nowadays to be a Calcatan and its even possible to rediscover the simple life there once was, with nature and spiritualism bearing real significance.

For example, in the treja area just below the village there is a temple of spiritualism where you can try a different kind of life – keeping contact only with the land and its animals.

Visitors (no more than six at a time) are asked not to use electrical appliances and for water there is only a barrel.

I hope I made you curious enough to come and visit this beautiful town. And if you are curious enough, why not check out our special prices at Yes Hotel in Rome? Being so centrally located, our hotel is the ideal spot for transport connections to other places in the Lazio region.

Directions by car

From Rome’s “great ring road” (Grande Raccordo Anulare): take the exit 5 – S. S. 2bis Cassia V. (Veientana) -, go past the third exit for Campagnano Romano, after 200 m turn straight into the exit for Mazzano Romano – Trevignano, and then follow the signs for Calcata.
Otherwise, take the Flaminia Road (Via Flaminia) in the direction of Civita Castellana as far as Rignano Flaminio, then follow the signs for Faleria-Calcata.

Directions By bus

Take a bus from Saxa Rubra, Roma.


‘’Trova il tuo equilibro’’, means find your balance in Italian, while ‘’Equilibro’’ means balance, playing at the same time with the word ‘‘libro’’, which means book in Italian. This is the new slogan of an event taking place in the beautiful city of Rome.

Roman Literature

From the 5th until the 8thof December 2008, ‘’Più libri, più liberi’’ (more books, more freedom) the Roman fair will be held at the Rome Palazzo dei Congressi . Seven years ago the Lazio Region, Province and Municipality of Rome, and the Italian publishers decided to match and dedicate this fair to our unconditional friend, the book.

Mister Fabio del Giudice, who developed it, said: ‘’The fair will host this year more than 400 publishers, 200 meetings, editorial previews and international guests’’.
This year the fair welcomed around 50,000 people but in 2009 the expectations are even higher.


The Rome Universities of La Sapienza and Tor Vergata gave some help, aware of the fact that most books are aimed at young people. Even the youngest ones, with the traditional set dedicated to children, so they will become happy readers in the future by knowing a friendship with books from the early age.

Several spaces for professionals and foreign publishers will be provided alongside stands of their Italian colleagues for this seventh edition. If you are one of them, you may want to  stay in one of our central  hotels such as  Yes Hotel Rome.

Palazzo Congressi Rome Italy

As Fabio Del Giudice explained ‘‘often the small and medium Italian publishers cannot be known abroad and we felt this was the right way to publicize the Italian books. We also hope that the  Book Fair in Rome, the only of its kind, will become an international event. "

Tickets fee: 6 euro

Where  : Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazza John Kennedy 1, Rome


More Information on the official website of the Rome Book Fair.


Our Author: Nic Brun


Perhaps it was the lipstick she put on everyday. Perhaps it was the electric blonde hair that took hours to style. Or perhaps it was just the shining glint in her eye.

Whatever it was, it caught the attention of New York photographer Sam Shaw enough to make him produce some of the most iconic photos of 1950s film.

His pictures of Marilyn Monroe went on to become perhaps, the most famous ever taken.

And this month the stills are being shown in Rome at a special photographic exhibition.

Many of the 140 pictures taken by Shaw even went unpublished, as he was given regular access to the blonde bombshell during his career.

Some of his pictures paint a serene, peaceful Marilyn, who was often solely seen as a unique American sex symbol by the public.

Funnily enough, it had been Shaw who came up with the idea to place Marilyn above a steam gate in the photo used to promote the film, Seven Year Itch.

The photo depicts her standing on the grate when a burst of air vents upwards, blasting her skirt around her waist. This depiction of pure sex is in stark contrast to his later photos of the blonde beauty.

Shaw had met Marilyn on the set of Viva Zapata around 1952 and was said to have been taken back by her very presence. He had already produced an iconic photo of Marlon Brando standing by a pool table in the film, Life and Look.

He also went on to photograph Marilyn alongside several friends, most of whom were not famous. Shaw is said to have worked so closely with his son, Larry, towards the end of his career, that some of the photos cannot be attributed individually to either.

The exhibition takes place until November 23 at the Margutta Ristorarte restaurant, Via Margutta. Do not miss this great opportunity while you will be visiting the Eternal City of Rome, visit me at family run, nice and cosy Lucci Hotel in Rome, so that I give you indications on how to enrich your cultural adventures in this spectacular city.


Via Margutta 118



imageFor something which started off as just a sand racetrack for horses, few would have tipped Vallelunga to become one of the most important racing training circuits in Europe. 

But the 2.5 mile speed circuit, in Campagnano, north of Rome, can today claim to have trained some of the best motor sport drivers in the world.

The circuit’s Federal Rally School (CSAI), which trains young drivers into professionals, helped bring about the development of four-time world rally champion Tommy Makinen (now retired). image

Meanwhile, the circuit’s Federal Speed School has seen the rise to stardom of students such as Jarno Trulli, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Alexander Zanardi in Formula One.

The success story now seems a long way away from the early nineteen fifties, when a simple Roman horse lover bought the land to create a racing circuit for horses.

1951 saw the first motor race on the circuit and in 1957 it was developed further to fully accommodate motor racing.

Following extension work to make the track 3222 metres , it eventually welcomed the Rome Formula One Grand Prix in May 1957.

But it is difficult to see the circuit’s humble roots today. As well as boasting the two famous driving schools, the circuit also plays host to a safe driving course for absolutely every kind of motor vehicle.

There is even a special off-road section for specialist training in four-wheel drive vehicles. So whether it be, jungle, countryside or desert, the circuit is prepared to show drivers the ropes.

And the story doesn’t end there.

During regeneration work in 2001, an ancient Roman road was discovered running just off the site. This led to the discovery of an ancient Roman village, which is believed to date back to the Hellenistic age.

So who said the ancient Romans weren’t forward thinking? Ben- Hur might be history, but motorsport is the future.