The region of Lazio

When Visiting Italy (some common mistakes)


Every country is different, here are some tips that will help you to have a more enjoyable experience in Italy:

  • Assuming you can buy tickets for public transportation directly on the bus / tram.

Most big cities in Italy (Rome, Milan, Naples, Florence) require you to buy your bus/tram tickets before boarding. And not just that, but most bus stops will not have a ticket machine next to the stop. Rather, you’ll need to find a newspaper stand (edicola) or a tobacco shop (tabaccaio) to purchase your tickets.

  • No validating train tickets

Depending on the type of train ticket you buy, you may need to validate it or otherwise you pay a fine. This will be indicated on the ticket.

  • Assuming that cars and scooters will leave you to go first while crossing the streets

Even when they are bounded to, many drivers will not stop to let you go first and scooters will never do it (they have no obligation).

  • Expecting to be waited on very attentively in a restaurant or store.

Many restaurants will be “understaffed,” (few waiters working many tables) They probably won’t ask “how are you folks doing?”, if you like the food, if you want a refill (this concept doesn’t exist) or other general “friendly” requests that are in reality superfluous to your main dining experience – they just don’t have the time. So, sit back, be patient, and flag down your waiter when you need something, but be patient in knowing they are probably working very hard.

  • Tipping.

You don’t need to tip in Italy. Italians will only leave a tip for exceptional service (anniversary dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant) or will leave the change when paying cash because it’s easier not to wait for the waiter to make change .

  • Thinking you have to order an antipasto, primo e secondo at every meal.

Most Italians don’t eat an antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce at every meal – you don’t have to, either.

  • Not respecting meal times, especially at lunch time.

Most restaurants and bars have specific opening times, and they will close in the afternoon. If you have a late breakfast, visit museums through lunch and hope to get a bite to eat at 2pm or 3pm, you’re going to find a very limited selection.


  • Ordering before paying, paying before ordering in a bar.

Many bars require that you get a receipt (scontrino) before ordering, especially if you see the cash register (cassa) sitting apart from where you’ll pick up the food or coffee, and you don’t see immediate table service.

  • Touching fruit & vegetables with your bare hands in a street market or supermarket.

In a supermarket you should see plastic gloves and bags near the scales or throughout the fruit/veg section. Use them. In an open-air market, you won’t see these gloves because you are not expected to handle anything yourself – the people working in the stall will do everything.

Our staff will kindly help you to learn all that you need about Italian culture. See you around!


Etruscans: Mystery and legends

etruscan The National Museum of Villa Giulia is a place in Rome where you can discover the fascinating civilization of the Etruscans.The history of this ancient lost people it is still full of mystery and legends.

The greek mythology tells us about the domination of Etruscans pirates  in the Mediterranean Sea.They  established colonies on Corsica, Sardinia and perhaps even Spain and also founded cities in Tuscany( Viterbo, Tarquinia)and Capua (nearby Naples), at the time the last step of the Appian Way.

Nowadays the museum, once a papal palace shelters a priceless colection of art from the mysterious Etruscans. Known for their sophisticated art and design, they left a legacy of sarcophagi, bronze sculptures, terra-cotta vases and jewerly.

If you have time for only the masterpieces just look for the remarkable 6th century B.C. Apollo from Veio.The other two widely acclaimed statues here are Dea con Bambino(Godess with a Baby) and a greatly mutilated but still powerful Hercules.

Final, one of the most important Etruscan art treasures is the bride and bridegroom coffin, maybe one of the most romantic and iconic images of the ancient world.

Our hotels,Yes Hotel and Hotel Des Artistes are in perfect location! Stay with us to enjoy  your summer holiday and learn more about the Etruscans!


S.S. Lazio – AC Milan

milan-lazio1The second round of “Serie A” 2011/2012 will start on Saturday, January 28th
and for the second day, the computer has given a super-challenge:
Lazio-Milan ( on Wednesday, February 1st )

For those seasoned football fans:
the Olympic Stadium Rome in Italy is the perfect venue to see this interesting football-match!
Don’t miss the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of a stunning football competition of AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium of Rome in Italy!

Last year at the first round at the stadium of “San Siro” in Milan the match ended 2-2, but now both teams will try to win, making the match more interesting.

milan-lazio_serie-aIf you want to be there at the Olympic Stadium in Rome to witness this world-class match, then what are you waiting for?
Make a reservation at Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes.
Staying with us you’ll get everything you need to enjoy the city.
Style, quality, great location and advice from our knowledgeable staff-
some of them are real soccer experts!

S.S. Lazio – AC Milan 01/02/2012
Venue: Olympic Stadium of Rome, Italy
Start: 08.45 pm

Prices from 55 to 200 euro

Our blogger: Giuseppe

Our Blogger: Rhodora

polenta fumante

Polenta is loved by everybody…this dish has on the table of Italian families for generations!!

Polenta is a corn meal mush, but is more than that! It’s the staple food of the North of Italy, where after pasta, is one of the favourite dishes. It can be served in innumerable ways: as a first course, baked, with stews, or even as a bread substitute.

For citizens of Rocca di Papa , a small village near Rome, Polenta is too a unique and complete food, it is added to the usual simple condiments (with tomato sauce, sausages, meat, cheese etc), the condiments that the old farmers use to this day  to create to create dishes that satisfied the gourmets.

rocca20di20papaAnd it is in Rocca di Papa for the second year that will be a special gastronomic event in occasion of Valentine’s Day: “La Polenta degli Innamorati” ( The polenta of Lovers). The event will be surrounded by so many moments of entertainment with music and with “Il bacio più lungo” (The longest kiss), all the couples attending this event are invited, it consists in a kiss of mass to enter on the Guinness world record as the major kiss of mass ever!

La Polenta degli Innnamorati will be held on the occasion of Valentine’s Day, Frebruary 14 and February 15 at the center of Rocca di Papa, one of the many little towns that can be explored from Rome using as a base a well-located hotel like Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel.



For those not in the know, the Etruscans were a civilization that flourished in Italy before the foundation of Rome with whose people they merged. They developed advanced techniques of sculpture that influenced roman art and left many objects and works of art that can be seen today in some specialized museums in Rome.

And is on this museums where you can get acquainted with the Etruscans in a different way. A group of comic artists were invited to stay for a week in different Etruscan locations and now their works are on display on the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome and in the museums of Tarquinia and Cerveteri. The exhibit has been organized in suggestive ways to underline the themes that had an impact on the artists, placing the drawings near some of the objects that inspired them.

The exhibition will be open until October 25 2009 and it’s a great opportunity to be introduced to the Etruscans and to the solid tradition of comics authors in Italy.

The Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia) is located on piazzale di Villa Giulia 9. You can get there easily using the public transportation from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes. Stay with us and discover the beauty of Rome!



Our Blogger: Arianna

Do you like flowers? In particular do you enjoy compositions with flowers?

If your answer is “yes” then we’re about to introduce you to one of the best events for you and one that i absolutely suggest you not to miss: the Infiorata, a flower festival that takes place in Genzano’s village very year in June.


Unfortunately my last time at the Infiorata had been 2 years ago and I invite you to visit their website in order to discover more about the old representation

Last year we talked about the Infiorata as well, so today I’ll try to say something different.

The history of the infiorata is strictly tied with religion and goes back on time at the XII century, when during the religious processions people use to throw petals of flowers. As time passed this costume evolved and people started to create small flower carpets in front of the houses built along the streets of the procession. Every year, the small carpet became every year a bit larger and more complex and now we have that the street which goes from the centre of the village to the Duomo is now like a huge, coloured, fragrant, carpet every year.

Believe me, it’s an extraordinary view!genz [320x200]

A curiosity: a lot of famous people wrote something about the Infiorata. Some examples: In 1834,Hans Christian Andersen, wrote an article on “The Improvisator” ; Richard Voss did the same at “ Latium in the Italian and foreign writers”.

Why don’t take this beautiful chance to see something unique? Stay with us at Hotel des Artistes and take an afternoon to visit Genzano and The Infiorata.


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.

Lazio’s Pearl- SUTRI

Our Author: Rhodora

BiganzoliSutriAnfiteatroSutri is a town in the province of Viterbo, about 50 km from Rome. The area in which Sutri is situated is widely known as TUSCIA. It is picturesquelly situated on a narrow tuff hill, surrounded by ravines, a narrow neck on the west alone connecting it with the surrounding country. 

Starting at the foothills of the village, the ancient amphitheater is among the sites of Sutri that may be of interest to history buffs, archeology lovers and tourists looking for a sightseeing adventure. From the outside you can see that the exterior of the amphitheater has no exact architectural structure. Like many ruins left from the Etruscan people, the structure was carved out of a giant volcanic rock. Entering the gates, you can see a round grassy floor encircled by levels of eroded seats and a tunnel with ten openings that surround the inner base of the amphitheater.

Just outside of the ampitheater are 60 Etruscan tombs. These contained cremated remains. Look closely, however, and you will see channels which drained the blood of sacrificial bulls, practised by later Mithraic cults imported from Persia.

Like many villages in Lazio, Sutri holds seasonal festivals to celebrate diverse themes such as the fall harvest and religious commemorations. Widely known in the region for having a cream of the crop bean production, Sutri holds an annual sagra or festival of the beans on the second Sunday of September. The walkways of the village fill with people from the surrounding villages to sample the year’s harvest, listen to traditional music and to watch parades of floats and religious relics.normal_sutri_piazza_v2 Do not miss an opportunity to visit magic Sutri. Our cosy hotel YES HOTEL, which is located is just behind the main railroad station, is a perfect place for your further trips in Lazio and Italy! Book with us and enjoy terrific Italian Autumn.

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