Monthly Archives: February 2008

RBS Six Nations, Rugby in Rome

2008 RBS 6 Nations Launch, London,  January 23, 2008

Rugby in Rome, Stadio Flaminio

The greatest sport passion in Italy is the football (say calcio in italian and you are likely to strike up an animated conversation), however of lately  the rugby has become more and more popular with each passing year and tournament, and as a proof was the entry of Italy as the 6th nation in the famous tournament which used to be the RBS 5 nations !

The Italian Rugby Federation was created in 1928.

Six Nations Tournament is a competition which was created in 1883 in unofficial way and at first took part in the contest the four national teams of British islands: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; later on, in 1910,France was added and more recently in 2000 Italy joined too.

Rugby, into the game

It is played during winter months. Each team plays just one match against the other teams without return match. So each team plays five matches, with the advantage to play at home another match that changes every year.
The win is worth 2 points, the draw one point and the defeat 0 points. The matches played in Rome are played into the Flaminio Stadium which smaller than other rugby stadium but offering a better view and placed in a very served and organized area (hotel, restoration services, etc).

Some really high level teams and important 6 Nations international matches are happening in Rome and many rugby fans are coming from all over Europe to enjoy the spectacular game. For a few weekends Rome is getting packed with Scots in kilts or with English sporting rugby shirts.

Italy play their Six Nations matches at the venue Stadio Flaminio, which is also used for football matches, close to the the larger Stadio Olimpico.

Italian Rugby Team

The Flaminio stadium is easily reached from Yes Hotel Rome.

From Termini station, where you will find most of Rome Transportation : Take Metro Line A and get off Flaminio . It is best to go on foot from there, count a good 15 minute walk, in order to avoid heavy traffic. Else from Piazzale Flaminio  take bus number 2 which heads to Via Flaminia, and get off at the Flaminio Stadium : its distinctive curving sides are visible on the right. 

Along the way you some bars near the stadium set up temporarily and from where the visitors can get their drinks. Although public drinking is not exactly appreciated in Italy polite visiting rugby fans are regarded with an interest, and especially the kilted Scots !

In 2007 Italy did very well by beating Wales, although they surrendered eventually to France. See here for 2006 and 2007 Rugby in Rome.

This year 2008 , next encounter will be on Saturday, March 15, 2008 and Italy (Azzuri) will play against Scotland  in a rugby union game which is going to be held at Stadio Flaminio ,Rome an it is part of the 6 Nations 2008.

Another game is South Africa vs Italy on June 16, 2008 and held in CapeTown.


Rome Marathon 2008

Rome Marathon at the Colosseum

The historic centre of the Eternal City will be the stage again of the mythical event of the Rome Marathon on March 16th . The marathon passes some of the most fascinating monuments and ancient areas in Rome, such as the Colosseum  and St Peter’s Basilica, the main synagogue and mosque in the Campo de Fiori and Jewish Ghetto area . A parallel competition for the disabled will take part the same day.


Rome Marathon in the Centre

The actual length of the route (42km 195m) was set for the first time in 1921. The departure was set on the Imperial Forum, right by the Roman Forum passing by Piazza Venezia, Teatro Marcello, the Imperial Forum, Trastevere, Piazza Navona. A stunning view for first time visitors and returning travellers too, those who never visited Rome or for those who already did! Since the very beginning, in the early years of the 20th century, the marathon has always been the most famous race on foot in Italy. The unforgettable Dorando Pietri on April 2nd 1906 triumphed in Piazza di Siena, where the Rome Horse Show takes place while during the following editions the winners were mainly African athletes, such as Abebe Bikila from Ethiopia who triumphant (and barefoot) won the Olympic Marathon in 1960, and the kenian-japanese Douglas Wakihuri, triumphant on 06th September 1960, defeating two acknowledged champions like Ahmed Saleh and Gelindo Bordin. In the female competition, Italian and Eastern women are the ones who gained far more victories.


Runners at the Rome Marathon The Rome Marathon is not only a race for professional athletes. As a tradition, Rome Stracittadina Fun Run is organized: a non – competitive route, this time reduced to only 4 km in order to foster the participation; more than a race is a walk where anyone ( grandparents, classmates, ..) can give their contribution.

Rome begins celebrating days before the actual big event with the  Marathon Village, an initiative that includes concerts, shows and meetings throughout the city, headquarters being in the Rome Eur Area. A section is dedicated to companies with meetings, press conferences and promotions.

It is a unique opportunity to share your passion, but also to sightsee Rome or just to have a tiring but fulfilling day! Obviously you will want to have a central and comfortable Rome Hotel such as our Yes Hotel Rome , located near the historical centre in easy reach on foot (ah !) or by public transport.

Read more about the Rome Marathon,

Read about the Rome 2006 Marathon Edition.

Rome exhibition : Sebastiano del Piombo

Starting from the 8 of February 2008 is taking place in Rome the first monographic extension of 80 paintings of Sebastian Luciani, knows as Sebastian del Piombo.

Sebastiano del Piombo

Born in Venice  he becomes first of all pupil of Giovanni Bellini and later on pupil and friend of Giorgione who partly influenced his painting style.

When Agostino Chigi, one of the most famous mecenates of that period, called Sebastian in Rome to paint a decoration in Farnesina Palace, Sebastiano met Michelangelo, – the famous author of the works in the Rome Sistine Chapel in the Vatican – , and the two became fast friends.

Raphael also admired greatly the works of Sebastian but they never become friends because of the rivalry between Michelangelo and Raphael .

Under the supervision of Michelangelo, Sebastian has painted many famous masterpieces like : “ Raising of Lazarus” and the “Transfiguration”.

Painting by Sebastiano del Piombo

But mainly, he created portraits of famous families such as Doria and Gonzaga all characterised by a vigour of colours and grace.

The location of this Rome exhibition  is situated in Palazzo Venezia in the very centre of Rome next to the Imperial Forum (Fori Imperiali).

This Rome event  has been organised by Paolo Strinati in cooperation with Luca Ronconi and Margherita Palli.

It proposes the rehabilitation of the painter who, during the XV secolo was considerated the biggest artist after Raphael but then was undervalued because of the influence of Giorgione and Michelangelo .

If you are a lover of Art you probably are a romantic and you should discover the Romantic Rome too!

And while staying in the Eternal City why not stay in our new and comfortable Yes Hotel Rome  ?

Piazza di Spagna Rome


Rome Spanish Steps

By the 16th century the number of pilgrims increased so much that Rome turned into an unbelievably congested medieval centre.

To help the pilgrims  move more smoothly from the north gate Porta del Popolo to The Vatican a new triangle of roads was built.

By 18th century as the district developed   many hotels were set up to accommodate the increasing and constant flow of visitors. Famous poet John Keats lived in a house on the square, now converted in the Keats-Shelley House which you can visit.

Nowadays one can enjoy many of the attractions the area offers, mainly great works of Renaissance and Baroque art in Santa Maria del Popolo and Sant ‘ Andrea delle Fratte and Art exhibitions in the Villa Medici. You can enjoy the beautiful views of the Eternal city from the top of the Spanish Steps in the Pincio where you will be able to admire, amongst other unique monuments, the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica and enjoy amazing sunsets.


Spanish Square and Steps

The Piazza Di Spagna district is also very famous for its most exclusive  Rome shopping streets such as the high fashion Via Condotti, where the expensive couture shops such as Prada, Gucci and Ferragamo have set up their shops.

Piazza di Spagna in Rome (the Spanish Square) is the shape of bow tie and is no doubt the most famous “Piazza” in Rome ! Visitors but also the locals love sitting on the stairs for a chat, a drink or to enjoy an ice cream while looking at the passers by. Italian males here are renowned to flirt with the foreign girls, and some of them are actually called “Paparazzi”, because they are looking for rich women to go out with !

The Spanish steps are surrounded by tall houses painted in different warm colors, muted shades of ocher, cream and russet.

Why is it called ‘the Spanish square’ ?

In 17-th the Spain’s ambassador to the Holy see had his headquarters on the square.So this area around was deemed to be Spanish territory.

In 18-th and 19-th century Rome was almost as popular as now and the Spanish square was in the center of the city and it was a mai hotel district.


Piazza di Spagna

The small fountain in the square is called Fontana della Barcaccia. During spring and autumn it may not be noticeable because of the many people gathering around it. This fountain was designed either by the great Gian Lorenzo Bernini or by his father Pietro. The bees and suns that decorate the fountain are taken from the family coat of ars of Pope Urban VIII Barberini who commissioned the fountain.

In the 17-th century the French Owners of the church Trinità dei Monti decided to link it with the Spanish square by building magnificent new flights of steps to celebrate the newly found peace between France and Spain, and the square was named accordingly, “Spagna” meaning Spain in Italian. The famous church of Trinità dei Monti was under the French influence as early as the sixteenth century. Later on, the Accadémie de France in Rome was transferred to the nearby Villa Medici.

Nowadays the famous “Scalinata” (staircase) is used during summer for famous fashion catwalks such as “Donne Sotto le Stelle”.

How to get there : From Yes Hotel Rome    take metro Line A , direction Battistini and get off at stop ‘Spagna’, only 3 stops away from your comfortable Yes Hotel.