Monthly Archives: September 2017

Visit Rome in 3 Days with Children. Where to Go, What to Do and What to See

If you plan to visit Rome in 3 days with children you will have no problem to arrange a trip. The eternal city, actually, even if has the reputation of being a “destination for acculturated people”, has a lot to offer also to small visitors. Parks, museums, attractions, there are plenty of things to see and have fun with them.

Below we propose our itinerary to visit Rome in 3 days with children. This is a rough itinerary that you can adapt and modify according to the interests and the time that you want to devote to each attraction.

First Day

What Will you see:
Explora
Giardini di villa Borghese
Museo Carlo Billotti
Piazza di Siena

Our itinerary begins with a visit to an attraction that your kids will definitely adore: EXPLORA, a museum dedicated to children from 0 to 12 years old. It is set up as a child-sized miniature city, where everything can be experienced, touched, lived. The museum opens at 10am and the visit (unguided) takes about 45 minutes. It is advisable to book on weekdays and it is absolutely necessary to do it on weekends. The reserved tickets must be picked up at the ticket office 15 minutes before the check-in time, otherwise your reservation will be canceled. To get to the museum go down to the Flaminio Metro stop and take Via Flaminio. The property is at number 82. After the visit go back to the metro station.
The gardens of Villa Borghese are a great idea if you need to visit Rome in 3 days with children.

By going through Viale Whashington you will find yourself in the beautiful gardens of Villa Borghese. Walk in the park where children can run and play at their leisure and stop there to eat.

After lunch, dedicate a stage for you adults at the Carlo Bilotti Museum. It is small and has only 23 pieces, of which 18 works by Giorgio de Chirico, including the famous sculpture “Hector and Andromaca”, located at the entrance. The free view will not take long. It will be interesting for you, and your children, unless they are too small, will appreciate it.

Continue the itinerary following the same road until you arrive at Piazza di Siena, where currently horse racing and summer concerts are organized. Near the square there is the Casina di Raffaello, a playhouse located in a beautiful palace of the 500, which offers fun shows and workshops for children from 3 to 10 years. Finally, you will arrive at the last stop of the day on this trip to visit Rome in three days with children: the Bioparco, which hosts about 1100 animals of 200 different species, it is an attraction to which your little ones will not say No.

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Second Day

The second day of our itinerary to visit Rome in 3 days with children begins with the Colosseum (accessible to the disabled), the attraction that most of all represents the capital. Opened in the 80 AD by the Emperor Tito, has always had a function of celebrating public events, performances, fights of gladiators, and so on. It was and still is a show by itself. It can be visited on two levels and most of the structure of the arena is still visible. Reserve about an hour for the visit. If you have the Roma Pass you can jump the queue.
Continue the itinerary along the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the end of which you can admire the Trajan’s Market and the beautiful Trajan Column. Stop there and spend some time looking at the bas-reliefs that, like in a film, describe the emperor’s military campaigns against the Daci population. Via dei Fori Imperiali ends with the Vittoriano that may be a great destination if you are planning to visit Rome in 3 days with children.

Piazza Venezia. Go up the steps of the Vittoriano (remember that it is forbidden to sit down for respect of the tomb of the unknown soldier to whom the monument is dedicated and that the controls are strict), take the usual pictures, and if you want to enjoy a nice view of the city, go up the terrace with the elevator located to the side of the monument.

Stay in the area for lunch. After having lunch and taking some rest, reach Piazza Santi Apostoli. You can bring your children to visit the Wax Museum, the third largest in Europe for the number of characters that have been collected. It contains a collection of 250 wax figures including, in addition to popes, politicians and poets such as Barack Obama, Francesco Totti and, for the joy of the girls, Biancaneve.
Alternatively, for a “more cultural” visit, you can go to Time Elevator, a 3D cinema inaugurated in 2005, where it is worth seeing the show on three scenic screens of Time Elevator Roma, a virtual trip in a lifetime simulator 45 minutes long through almost 3000 years of Roman history. The show starts every hour.

Going out of the cinema you can reach the Trevi Fountain, another of the attractions of Rome absolutely not to be missed. Take a moment here and make some pictures in front of this symbol of the capital. Then take the Via del Corso (shopping street) where you can shop for the whole family.

Finally come to Piazza del Popolo, where you will find a 23.9 meters obelisk. It is the first obelisk that was transported to Rome at the time of Augustus, to celebrate the Emperor’s victory over Egypt. Initially it was positioned at the Circus Maximus.

Third Day

Our advice for the thitd day of your itinerary to visit Rome in 3 days with children is to go and visit the Vatican City. Take the subway and get off at Ottaviano-San Pietro stop. From there go through via Via Ottaviano and reach Piazza San Pietro, one of the largest public spaces in the world.
Visit Rome in 3 days with children: St. Peter’s Basilica

Take some photos and let yourself be impressed by the vastness and magnificence of the place. Then visit St. Peter’s Basilica (pay attention to the clothes you wear, because shorts, skirts and bare shoulders are not allowed) and allow yourself to be astonished by the enormity and richness of its interior. Stop to admire the moving Pietà of Michelangelo, which is protected behind a bulletproof glass. The artist sculpted it at the age of only 25 and it is the only work to bring his signature (you’ll find it engraved on the band that surrounds Maria’s chest).
When you leave the basilica, take Via della Conciliazione until you reach Castel Sant’Angelo and visit it inside. If you have the Roma Pass you can skip the queue by going to the special turnstiles for direct access to the site. We recommend that you do not leave without going through the Terrace of the Angel, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city.

When you finish your visit stop for lunch. Be aware that in the area around the Vatican there are many trattorias and pizzerias that have no problem with serving poor food at prices far from cheap.

The fountain of the four rivers of Piazza Navona

After having some lunch and resumed some strenght reach Piazza Navona with its beautiful baroque palaces and the wonderful fountains (including the one of the four rivers by Bernini) .The square is characterized by a crowd of tourists, street artists and portrayers invading it every hour of the day and night.
From here keep going along Via del Governo Vecchio until you arrive in Campo dei Fiori with the famous statue of Giordano Bruno, a heretic monk condemned to the stake during the counterreformation period, in the shadow of which the famous market full of colorful stalls is held. The square is one of the main points of the Roman life, during the day with its market, in the evening as a place to drink something. If children are hungry, there is a bakery called the”Ancient Oven” in front of the Giordano Bruno’s statue, which offers white pizza and very good focaccia breads.

Our itinerary to visit Rome in 3 days with children ends up here. If you want you can end the day by dining nearby.

Opening times

Explora:
January to July, September to December
1st Round 10:00 – 11:45;
2nd Round 12:00 – 13:45;
3° Round 15:00 – 16:45;
4th Round 17:00 – 18:45.

August
1st Round 12:00 – 13:45;
2nd Round 15:00 – 16:45,
3rd Round 17:00 – 18:45. 24 and 31

December
1st Round 10:00 – 11:45;
2nd Round 12:00 – 13:45,
3rd Round 15:00 – 16:45.

12-36 MONTHS € 5,00
from 3 years € 8,00
adult 8,00
Thursday afternoon (excluding holidays) € 6,00.

Museo Carlo Bilotti:
October – May
from Tuesday to Friday 10.00 – 16.00 (entrance allowed until 15.30);
Saturday and Sunday 1 10.00 – 19.00 (entrance allowed until 18.30)
24 and 31 December 10.00-14.00.
Closed Monday, December 25, January 1, May 1. Free entry.

June – September
from Tuesday to Friday from 13.00 to 19.00 (entrance until 18.30),
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 – 19.00 (entrance allowed until 18.30).

Casina di Raffaello:
January
11 to February 29 from Tuesday to Friday 9.30-15.30
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10.00-18.00;
from March 1st to June 30th from Tuesday to Friday 9.00-18.00,
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10.00-19.00.
Monday closed. € 7,00 for ALL children, free of charge for disabled and accompanying, € 5.00 reduced

St. Peter’s Basilica:
1st October – 31st March every day 7.00-18.30
1 April – 30 September every day 7-19.00.
Free admission

Castel Sant’Angelo:
daily 9.00-19.30 (ticket office closes at 18.30).
Full € 10, reduced € 5.

Colosseum:
every day except December 25 and January 1 9-17.
Until 15 February 8.30 – 16.30;
February 16th to March 15th 8.3 – 17.00;
from 16 to the last Saturday of March 8.30 – 17.30;
from the last Sunday of March to 31 August 8.30 – 19.15;
from 1 to 30 September 08.30 – 19.00;
from the first to the last Saturday of October 8.30 – 18.30.
Last entry one hour before closing.
Full € 12, reduced € 7.50, free under 18 years.
Included in the Roma Pass

The Rome Districts Where One Can Find A Good Hotel

Where would you be able to find a good hotel in Rome? Below we propose an overview of the different areas of Rome so that you can choose the one that is the most convenient to you according to your needs and your budget.

Ancient Rome

Here there are the remains of the glorious past of the capital, such as the Colosseum, the Palatine, the Imperial Forum and the Campidoglio. Crowded during the day by day-to-day tourists, after the closure of the monuments it becomes very quiet throughout the night. Here there are are high-end hotels and you will not be able to find many cheap options.

Old Town

With its cobbled alleys, lively squares, Renaissance palaces, beautifull cafes and trendy restaurants, this is the most fascinating area of Rome. Piazza Navona and the Pantheon are not far away, and there are many monuments, museums and churches full of art treasures. It is the capital’s most expensive neighborhood and therefore it will not be that simple to find cheap hotels. Please note also that it might be noisy.

Tridente, Trevi And The Quirinale

This area, crowded with tourists, is full of glamorous, trendy boutiques and refined hotels. It is an excellent solution if you are looking for mid-range hotels. The neighborhood has a good transport network.

Vatican City, Borgo And Prati

The neighborhood is close to the Basilica of Saint Peteir and the Vatican Museums. Here there are hundreds of souvenir shops and restaurants that are often too expensive for what they offer. In the wealthy area of Prati there is a good choice of hotels, shops and restaurants. It is well connected to the subway.

From San Giovanni to Testaccio

It is an area of many facets. Here you can find medieval churches and monumental basilicas such as San Giovanni in Laterano, imposing ruins such as the Baths of Caracalla or quiet villas such as Villa Celimontana. If you love nightlife, you can find the best in Testaccio, with its traditional taverns. Here you can find cheaper hotels than in the center. If you are looking for a quiet and romantic place, choose the Aventino.

South Rome (Roma Sud)

It is a large area that extends to the southern limits of the town. The most interesting areas are the ancient Appia road, Via Ostiense and the EUR. It offers many ways to have fun, with trendy places and trendy bars. Here there is also the Quartiere della Garbatella, very quiet and without noise, with low houses, vegetable gardens and gardens. It is the neighborhood where the successful fiction “I Cesaroni” has been set. The metro is quite close (line B stop Garbatella)

Villa Borghese and North Rome

It is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Rome. Here there is the most famous park in Rome (Villa Borgese) and the most exclusive residential area (Parioli). Those who love music can not go to the Auditorium park of music. Those who love art can choose between the MAXXI and the Borghese Museum and Gallery. Typically in the evening the area is quiet. There are not many cheap hotels.

Monti, Esquilino and San Lorenzo

This is the area that gravitates around Termini station, so its streets are noisy. It has one of the most beautiful museums in Rome, that is the Palazzo Massimo alle terme. If you are looking for a budget hotel in Rome, this neighborhood is for you.

Trastevere and Gianicolo

This beautiful area of Rome, with its postcard lanes and its nonconformist atmosphere, is one of the most beloved neighborhoods in Rome. There is always a celebration air and there are hundreds of bars, cafes, restaurants and trattorias. For this reason it can be very noisy. Hotel accommodations are expensive.

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Visit the Churches of Rome in 3 Days. The Suggested Itinerary

If you are passionate about Christian art, this itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days is for you. It will take you on a journey through the most beautiful and most interesting churches from the historical, artistic and faith point of view.

All itineraries can be walked all on footso wear comfortable shoes!!!

First Day

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome

 Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

The itinerary, which will last a full day, takes place in the historic center of the city. You can start from Piazzale della Repubblica (metro station: Repubblica) in front of which stands the huge Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (St. Mary of Angels and Martyrs) that incorporates those that once were the great antechamber and the tepidarium of Diocletian Baths, of which eight huge Egyptian marble columns remain.

Designed by Michelangelo, it was completely remodeled by Vanvitelli in 1750. Notice the double sundial traced on the transept floor, which indicates the polar star and when the sun rises to the Zenit.
From the square get on via Nazionale and reach the Church of San Paolo in the walls. In gothic style, it is the first non Roman Catholic church. The American episcopal church, completed in 1880, is famous for the nineteenth-century mosaics made by Edward Burne-James, who included among the characters of the work some portraits of his contemporaries.
Santa Prudenziana, step of the itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days

The trip to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days continues with the Church of Santa Prudenziana, the church of the Philippine community of Rome. Noteworthy is the golden mosaic of the 4th century which represents the oldest apsidal mosaic of the city. Continue past Piazza Esquilino until you arrive at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four papal basilics dating from the 5th century. Among the things to see there are the 13th-century mosaics of the façade, the cosmatic floorings, similar to marble carpets and mosaics of the apse.
From here keep going and you will find the Church of Santa Prassede, characterized by its glittering Byzantine mosaics, whose tiles still shine after a millennium from its creation. Then take via Merulana and go down to the bottom where the Basilica of Sant’Antonio in Laterano stands, with its artistic masterpieces and frescoes attributed to Franciscan artists. Next to this building you will find the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, the oldest among the papal basilicas. Consecrated in 324 it was a papal seat until 1309, then fell into ruins. What you see today is the result of remakes made after 1361. You can admire the monument to Pope Silvestro, the canopy and the cloister.

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Second Day

We propose to spend the second day of our itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days in the Vatican City. We recommend that you start your visit early in the morning when the influx of tourists is not yet “crazy.”

Visit The St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica

The basilica is the largest and richest church in Italy. The first thing that will surprise you is the large size of the church and of everything inside it (including the holy water containers!). Among the things to admire there are the Bernini canopy on the papal altar and the immense dome. Take some time to admire the moving Michelangelo’s Pieta, which is behind a bulletproof glass in a chapel at the beginning of the right nave. Sculpted by the artist when he was 25, it is the only work that comes with his signature (on the band that surrounds Maria’s chest).
The itinerary continues with a visit to the Vatican Grottos, which stretch under the basilica for its entire length. Here you’ll find the tombs of many popes, including that of Pope John Paul II, which will surprise you for its simplicity in comparison to the glittering of the monuments of the basilica above. You can also see some large columns belonging to the basilica of the fourth century.

The last stop that we propose is the Vatican Museums, an attraction not to be missed. Buy the tickets online to avoid the queue at the entrance. The museum complex contains one of the largest art collections in the world. It has been calculated that it would takeSpend at least 12 years to visit it all! Spend there at least a couple of plentiful hours, without missing the Pinacoteca, the Pio-Clementino Museum, the Geographic Charters Gallery, the Raffaello Rooms and of course the unmissable Sistine Chapel

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Third Day

We recommend that you dedicate the last day of the itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days to a visit of the Aventino hill, where some of the oldest churches in Rome can be found.

Visiting Rome: Bocca della Verita, The Mouth of Truth

The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth)

The itinerary starts from the Circo Massimo (metro stop: Circo Massimo). Today it looks more or less a working grass basin, but in the I century. B.C. was the largest stadium in Rome, with a capacity of up to 250,000 spectators. From there proceed to the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). Take some photos that can witness that you’ve been here and then head to the Aventine, which hosts the Roseto Comunale (Town Rose Garden) with more than 1100 roses from around the world. Continue the itinerary by taking Via Santa Sabina and visit the Giardino degli aranci (Oranges Garden), from which you can see one of the most beautiful views of Rome. Take advantage of it to make some panoramic photos. Return to the street where you will meet the Basilica of Santa Sabina, dated to the 5th century, period when the cypress wood portal with 18 carved panels were made up. One of them is the crucifixion, one of the first portrayal of Christ’s passion. The church of Santa Maria del Priorato is located next to Piazza Cavalieri of Malta, the order to which the church belongs.
Keep going straight to the Cimitero Acattolico (Non Catholic Cemetery), considered one of the most beautiful non-Catholic cemeteries in the world. In front of the cemetery there is the Pyramid of Caio Cestio inspired by the Egyptian style and built in I sec. B.C.

Rome's actractions: Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
Visit the churches of Rome in 3 days. Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

The tour to visit the churches of Rome in three days ends with a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Built by Constantine in the 4th century on the tomb of Saint Paul (decapitated under Nero in 67 AD), the splendid basilica was the largest church in the world until the construction of today’s St. Peter’s Basilica. what we see today is a faithful reconstruction after the fire of 1823, although some original parts remained, such as the triumphal arch, the Gothic ciborium and the candelabrum for the Easter votive candle.
In the itinerary that we have proposed to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days, we did not suggest any times for pauses and we entrust them to you depending on your interest and on the time that you would like to dedicate to individual attractions.

Practical Information

Basilica Santa Maria of Angels and Martyrs: 7am-6.30pm free admission

Saint Paul’s Church inside the walls: 9am-1.30pm free entrance

Church of Santa Prudenziana: 8am-12am / 4pm-6pm free admission

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: 7am-8pm free admission

Church of Santa Prassede: 7am-12am/4pm-6pm Free admission

Basilica of St. Anthony in Laterano: 7am-6.30pm free entrance

Saint John in Lateran Basilica: 7am-6.30pm free entrance

St. Peter’s Basilica: 1st October – 31st March every day 7am-6.30pm / 1 April – 30 September every day 7am-7pm. Free admission.

Vatican Museums: Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm (last entry at 4pm and exit from theaters half an hour before closing).

Vatican Grottos: 7am-6pm free entrance

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Visit the Vatican City – What to see

Unless you are in the capital for a single day, you can not miss in your itinerary to visit Rome a stop in the Vatican City.

We suggest that you arrive early in the morning (get off at Ottaviano-San Pietro metro stop) when the flow of visitors is still limited. You will still have the whole day ahead of you to visit all of the attractions of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Grottos, the wonderful Vatican Museums (you should buy tickets online to skip the queue).
Note: If you want to enjoy all the treasures of the Vatican and visit Rome while saving time and keeping an eye on the wallet, you can take advantage of the Omnia Vatican & Rome card which gives you also unrestricted access to public transport and allows you to enjoy several discounts.

Buy the Omnia Vatican & Rome card here

Below we provide you with some information about the Vatican City so that you will not be unprepared:

Where it is

The Vatican City stretches on the right bank of the Tiber, in an area where there was no urban development. The Ager Vaticanus began to be taken into consideration only at the end of the Republican age (1st century AD) when villas and gardens were built there. Later Augusto (63bc – 14ad) completed a naval battleground (naumachia), while Nero (37 ad – 68ad) made a circus. In the circus and in the gardens of Nero, many Christians were martyred, including St. Peter (67 AD).

In memory of the Apostle the construction of the two grandiose basilicas was started: the first wanted by Emperor Constantine in 324, the second wanted by Pope Julius II in the Renaissance and built on the same place as the previous one.

Near the basilica, over the centuries, the Vatican City has been developed, where the head of the Catholic Church lives and that is a jealous guardian of invaluable art treasures.

When it was born

The state of the Vatican was born on February 11, 1929, when representatives of the Holy See and those of the Italian State signed in the Lateran Palace, a Treaty establishing the State of the Vatican City, as an independent state with precise topographical boundaries. The treaty entered into force on 7 June of the same year.

Characteristics

Vatican City extends over an area of 0.440 sq km with a population of about 836 inhabitants. It prints its own currency, but because of the customs and monetary union with Italy it has adopted the Euro. On the eight types of coins, the epiphany of the reigning pope is printed in the national face. It prints also its own postage stamps valid for worldwide shipments, but only when delivered by the Vatican Post.

The state prints its own newspaper, the Roman Observer, and has its own Vatican Radio station, inaugurated by Guglielmo Marconi in 1931.

The official language is Italian, while Latin is the official language of the Holy See.

Inside the Vatican City and in the extraterritorial buildings the service of police patrol and of police are performed by the police officers and by the Swiss Guard.

The Pope

He is head of state and at the same time bishop of Rome. He enjoys full and supreme court jurisdiction over the whole Church. He is assisted in the government of the Church by a Sacred College of Cardinals and by the Roman Curia.

You can attend Papa Francesco’s hearings every Wednesday at St. Peter’s Square (find out how to do it here!)

The Pontifical Swiss Guards

It is an armed body serving the papacy since January 22, 1506, when a group of 150 mercenaries swept into the Papal State to serve Pope Julius II.

To become a Swiss guard one has to meet certain requirements:

he must be of male, be of Catholic faith, have a Swiss citizenship and an age between 18 and 30 years. In addition, one must have served in the Swiss Army and remain celibate (marriage is only granted to those who reach the rank of senior and upper grades).

VATICAN MUSEUMS – CURIOSITIES ABOUT THE CAPPELLA SISTINA

For those visiting Rome, a stop at the Vatican Museums is a must (click here for tickets of Vatican Museums to skip the queue). They are in fact one of the largest art collections in the world and visiting them is truly an exciting experience.
The rooms of Raphael, the Pio-Clementine Museum, the Art Gallery, the Gallery of Geographical Maps are all attractions not to be missed, but what alone is worth a visit is the amazing Sistine Chapel, work of Michelangelo and undisputed masterpiece of Italian art.

And just to prepare you to know this incredible treasure, we provide below a short list of some curiosities about the Sistine Chapel that you might like to know

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Curiosities about the Sistine Chapel

  • The name of the Sistine Chapel derives from Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned the work
  • The marvelous paintings of the Sistine Chapel extend for 1,110 square meters, roughly a sixth the size of a football field.
  • It is not true that Michelangelo has painted his frescos working on his back. He worked on a platform he had invented, which extended over half of the chapel area and allowed him to stand up. The platform was moved halfway through the project. Michelangelo never had the chance to look at his work in progress from below, but he painted from a distance of a few centimeters.
  • In most of the male nudes that decorate the ceiling of Michelangelo, there are many acorns, a recurring motif among the artist’s frescoes to pay homage to the name Rovere (Rovere is synonymous with oak) to which the family of Julius II belonged.
  • The first Conclave that was held in the Sistine Chapel of the Apostolic Palace was that of 1492.  From 1870 onwards the Chapel became the seat of all the conclaves.
  • The doors of the Sistine Chapel were blocked. The word conclave (the meeting of the College of Cardinals for an election of the Pope) comes from the Latin cum clave, that is (closed) with the key.
  • The first mass in the Sistine Chapel was the one celebrated by Pope Sixtus IV on the 15 August 1483.
  • The Sistine Chapel is visited by more than 6 million people a year.
  • The Sistine Chapel today as in the past is also used as a private chapel of the Pope.
  • The Sistine Chapel is dedicated to Maria Assunta (taken to the sky).

You may also be interested

The Vatican Museums
Visit the Rome Museums in 3 Thays – What to See
What to see in Rome – The ten attractions not to be missed

The Vatican – Curiosities That You Might not Know

Established after the Lateran Pacts of 1929, the Vatican is the modern version of the State of the Church that ruled most of the central regions up to the Unity of Italy in 1861. The Vatican City is an independent state where the pope is the highest authority. They have a postal service, a newspaper, a radio station and an army, the Swiss guards.

Buy the Omnia Vatican & Rome card here

Below you will find some curiosities about the Vatican that you may want to know

Citizenship

You can not be a Vatican citizens by birth: the Vatican citizenship is aquired by those who, even lay people, reside there for reasons of office or employment. The spouse, children, and brothers of a Vatican citizen retain their citizenship provided they are cohabiting

Swiss Guards

Even though Switzerland today has the reputation of being a pacifist nation, in 1500 it had an unstoppable military force. With their great ability to handle the halberd, a combination of a spear and an axe, the army ground troops were able to demolish enemy legions on horseback. After witnessing their power in battle, Pope Julius II (the commissioner of the Sistine Chapel) wanted some soldiers as personal guards. Since then, the Swiss guards swore allegiance to the pope.
Even though we are used to seeing Swiss guards in Renaissance dresses, in fact the real Pope’s guards are wearing much more modern civilian clothes and arms than halberds!

The Official Language

The official language of the state is Italian. Latin is the language of the Holy See: not by chance the Vatican City law is exclusively written in Latin

The Death Penalty

The death penalty remained in force until 1969 as the punishment for the attempted or done murder of a pope. In that year Pope Paul VI made it de facto but not de jure invalid, which meant that was officially abolished, but was not completely removed from the Fundamental Law (equivalent to our Constitution). It was definitively abolished with the revision of the latter only in 2001 according to the will of John Paul II.

Criminality

According to a study conducted by the German magazine Der Spiegel in 2007, the Vatican is the country with the highest crime rate in the world per inhabitant. There have been 486 criminal cases and 341 civil cases on which the Vatican Ministry of Justice has investigated. The most common crime? Theft.

But How much Money Own the Vatican?

It is not easy to answer because the accounts of the Vatican’s economic activities have not been published for 125 years.
Only in 2012, following the policy of transparency and rigor put into effect by Pope Francis, the IOR (Institute for Religious Works) had to publish the 2012 budget, showing a profit of 86.6 million euros. If you want to know the current budget, see the 2015 report published on the official portal.

The Sanpietrini

In the past, in the days when the Church celebrated its most solemn feasts, the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica was illuminated with a flame of fire: the pans on which the fire burned were lit by so-called sanpietrini, who climbed along the dome’s curves. The remarkable ability of these intrepid climbers was an object of admiration for foreigners, who considered the enterprise possible only by those who had been practicing it since the youth.

The sanpietrini word is used also for the blocks of leucitite (an eruptive rock), also called flint or paving stone, used to make the typical Roman pavement.

You may also be interested

Visit the Vatican City
The Vatican Museums
Visiting Rome in 3 days – Our recommended itinerary 
Visiting Rome in 2 days with children – Where to go and what to do 
Trips outside of Rome – What to see and where to go
The Colosseo (Colosseum) – What is it like?

The Colosseum 罗马竞技场- 10 Curiosities All To Discover

“As long as there is Colosseum, there will also be Rome; When the Colosseum falls, Rome will also fall; When Rome falls, the world will fall as well”

(Prophecy of the Venerable Beda, eigth century).

A symbol of the greatness and power of Rome, the Flavian Amphitheater, is the most famous and impressive monument of ancient Rome and an attraction that still attracts, after two thousand years, about 5 million visitors a year.

So, whether you plan a short visit, or decide to visit Rome in 3 days or more, a stop at the Colosseum is a must.
Buy the Colosseum priority ticket here!
To let you have some knowledge when visiting this wonder, we reveal some curiosities that you may not have known before. Here they are:

When it was built

The amphitheater was built by the Emperor Vespasian on the grounds of the vast complex of the Domus Aurea of Nero. The work started in 72 a.d. and ended in 80 a.d. under the Emperor Tito. The inauguration ceremony lasted 100 days, during which 5,000 animals were killed.

The size

The shape of the Colosseum is not round but oval. It is an enormous ellipse with a 527 meter perimeter. Originally it was 52 meters tall but today its height is about 48 meters. These dimensions make it the largest amphitheater in the world. At the top there were 240 uprights supporting the “velario”, a huge fabric tapestry that covered the arena. The viewers came from 80 arched entrances (vomitoria) and could fill the Colosseum in minutes

The capacity

The Flavian amphitheater could accommodate 50,000 spectators

The origin of the name

The Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, in honor of the illustrious Flavi family to which belonged the emperors Vespasian, Tito and Domiziano, who started and completed the construction work.The name Colosseum dates back to the Middle Ages and refers not to its size, but to the size of the Colossus of Nero, a giant statue that was at its side.

Another hypothesis is that the name derives from its position, because it is located on a hill where once there was a temple of Isis (from which “Collis Isei”).

Usages

In addition to the fights of gladiators, the Colosseum was also used as a pool for naumachie, that is, representations of naval battles. A civil and environmental engineering professor of the University of Edinburgh, Martin Crapper, suggested that water ran through a series of internal wells and pipes under the stands and calculated that the time needed to fill the entire arena would have been of about 7 hours.

The shows

At the Colosseum the shows lasted for an entire day. The spectators were forced to bring from home soft cushions to be able to sit on the hard stone seats.

Seats

All the people could take part in the games that took place in the Colosseum. Class distinctions were made only for the assignement of seats. The cavea was in fact divided into three parts: the senators sat in the lower rows, the less wealthy in the middle rows and the plebeians in the higher rows. The women (except the vestals) were relegated to the top. For the most well-off classes the seats were in marble, while for the other people the seats were in wood. Like today, everyone had a numbered ticket and each spectator had a place assigned to a specific seat.

The podium, a large terrace in front of the rows of seats, was reserved for the emperor and senators and other personalities of concern.

As a garden

After its decline after the end of the empire, the Colosseum was covered with plants, some were exotic, and grew up with the help of the microclimate of the amphitheater. There would be about 350 species of plants that for centuries have been studied by botany experts.

The Colosseum as a quarry

During the Renaissance it was used as a travertine and marble quarry for the construction of many buildings including Palazzo Venezia and Palazzo Barberini. People stopped taking materials from the Flavian Amphitheater only in the 18th century after a renewed love for the ancient Roman vestiges. It has been calculated that only one third of the original construction has been left.

Among the seven new wonders of the world

Since 2007, the Colosseum has been included among the seven new wonders of the world along with the Great Wall of China, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio in Brazil, the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Chichen Itza pyramids in Mexico and the Taj Mahal in India.
If you are interested to know more about the main symbol of Rome, see the page How is the Colosseum done?

Visit Rome in 3 days - Colosseum

Rome: the beautiful Colosseum 罗马竞技场

What to see in Rome. The Ten Attractions Not To Be Missed

What to see in Rome? The only answer to this question would be “Everything!”, because the eternal city offers a multitude of jaw-dropping places, monuments, and attractions. Like cherries, a place in Rome is linked to another, so much that it would take months to visit them all.

To raise you from the embarrassment of a choice in case you only have time to visit Rome in 3 days, we offer you a list of what to see: we have selected 10 attractions that are truly unmissable. Some of them are included in the Roma Pass circuit, a tourist-cultural card that allows you to enjoy the museums of Rome and the beauties of the capital with discounts and services.
So here are our tips on what to see in Rome

Colosseum and Imperial Forums (Colosseo and Fori Imperiali)

What to see in Rome: the Colosseum is more than anything else the symbol of Rome and of Italy itself. Started by Vespasian in 72 AD, was inaugurated by his son Tito in the year 80 a.d.. It could accommodate more than 50,000 spectators who came here to witness the fights of gladiators or animals. It is the largest of the Roman monuments that have remained so far and an indispensable stop for those visiting the capital.The visit of the Colosseum can be completed with a visit to the Imperial Forums that you can admire from the Alessandrina street that runs along it. You can get an idea of how life could have been in ancient Rome.

The forums were in fact the main squares of the city, where the public buildings were built, where there was the market and people were busy in business.

You can visit also the Roman Forum and the Palatine Open Air Museum (Museo Palatino): if you have entered the Colosseum your ticket includes also a visit to the latter described two places.
Information: The Colosseum is open every day 9-17 except December 25 and January 1. Until 15 February 8.30 – 16.30; from 16 February to 15 March 8.30 – 17.00; from 16 to the last Saturday of March 8.30 – 17.30; from the last Sunday of March to 31 August 8.30 – 19.15; from 1 to 30 September 08.30 – 19.00; from the 1st to the last Saturday of October 8.30am to 6.30pm. Last entry one hour before closing. Full ticket price € 12, reduced ticket price € 7.50, free under 18 years. Included in the Roma Pass.

Pantheon

The interior of the Pantheon in Rome. It is a temple dedicated to all gods, and is the best preserved building in ancient Rome, that was transformed into a Christian church in 608. The Pantheon was built by Agrippa in 27 a.c., as evidenced by the inscription on the fronton. Both its height and the inside diameter measure 43.3 meters. The extraordinary dome, which represents the largest stone vault ever built, is considered the most important work of classical architecture.

Trevi Fountain (Fontana Di Trevi)

One of the things to see in Rome is certainly the Trevi Fountain. Along with the Colosseum is one of the symbols of Rome in the world. This beautiful baroque fountain, designed by Nicola Savi in 1732, occupies almost all the small square where it is located. It represents the Neptune’s chariot towed by tritons with marine horses (a wild one and a docile one) symbolizing the different aspects of the sea. It is one of the most photographed monuments in Rome.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, absolutely to see in Rome. It is one of the most beautiful and largest squares of the Capital, a popular meeting place for both visitors and Romans. It is built on the ruins of a stadium dating back to the 86 a.d.. and is surrounded by Baroque palaces. At the center of the square there is the magnificent Fountain of the Four Rivers, Bernini’s masterpiece, representing the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata.

Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna is among the things to visit in Rome.

This baroque square dating back to 1725, with its famous Staicase of Trinity of Mountains (recently restored), has always attracted tourists and travelers and is still a popular meeting place today. The boat-shaped fountain (Barcaccia) in the square is the work of Pietro Bernini, father of the famous Gian Lorenzo, and represents a sinking boat. It is one of the main places for the night life in the historic center of Rome.

Piazza Venezia

Among the attractions to visit in Rome you cannot miss Piazza Venezia.

Connected to the Colosseum via the monumental Via dei Fori Imperiali is perhaps the most important crossroad of the city. On its sides there are Palazzo Venezia, the first great Renaissance building in Rome and the Vittoriano monument, which was built in 1885 to celebrate the unity of Italy. Opened in 1911, it was then dedicated to the unknown soldier.
Information: The lifts to climb to the top of the Vittoriano are open from Monday to Thursday from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm and from Friday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm.

Basilica of Saint Peter

The unmissable Basilica of St. Peter in Rome is located where in the year 324 the Emperor Constantine erected a sanctuary in honor of Peter the Apostle, who had been crucified and buried there.Today’s appearance is due to the Bramante project, dating back to 1506. Artists such as Raffaello, Antonio da San Gallo and Michelangelo participated in its construction. The interiors, as well as the colonnade were designed by Bernini. The basilica is the largest church in the world. The entry is free.
Information: 1 October – 31 March every day from 7.00 to 18.30 / 1 April to 30 September every day from 7 to 19.00. Free admission.

Vatican Museums

The Laocoonte is preserved in the Vatican Museums.

Among the most beautiful museum complexes in the world, they host an incredible collection of works of art collected by various popes over the centuries. To visit them, you can make different itineraries, which all finish in the Sistine Chapel. The buildings hosting the Vatican Museums stretch over an area of 5.5 hectares. Definitely to be seen are the Pinacoteca, the Pio-Clementine Museum, the Geographic Gallery, the Raffello Rooms and the Sistine Chapel.
Information: Monday to Saturday 9.00-18.00 (last entry at 4 p.m. and exit from the halls half an hour before the closing). Full ticket price € 16, reduced ticket price € 8. website: mv.vatican.va/2_IT/pages/MV_Home.html

Capitoline Museums

The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius is preserved in the Capitoline Museums.

The are the world’s oldest public sculpture gallery. Created by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471, they were enriched by later popes as new statues were brought to light. The museums occupy the New Palace and the Conservatory Palace, both located on the Piazza del Campidoglio.
Information: Open daily 9.30-19.30, 24 and 31 December 9.30-14. The ticket office closes an hour before. Closed on January 1, May 1, December 31. Full ticket price € 14, reduced ticket price € 12. Included in the Roma Pass.

Borghese Museum and Gallery

Boy with fruit basket by Caravaggio at the Borghese Museum and Gallery

They are located in the park of Villa Borghese, the green lung of Rome, and have one of the most prestigious collections of art objects in Rome. In one place you will find concentrated works by Caravaggio, Bernini, Botticelli and Raffaello, and the famous Canova statue depicting Paolina Borghese as the winner Venus.

Information: closed on Monday, Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm Closed on January 1, December 25. The entrance is allowed until half an hour before the closing time.

Full ticket price € 11,00 (9,00 + 2,00 for mandatory booking), reduced ticket price € 6,50 (4,50 + 2,00 for mandatory booking). The cost of the entrance ticket to the museum could be increased after the amount paid at the time of booking for the opening of a temporary exhibition. Included in the Roma Pass.
Of course, the list of what to see in Rome could be much larger, but after seeing just the 10 attractions above, you will be able to return home from your trip definitely pleased!

Piazza Navona and the squares of the historic center – walking itinerary

Piazza Navona is one of the many wonderful squares in Rome’s historic center. Each square has its own singular style, and none should be missed. In order to visit them all, we created a walking itinerary you can include in your Rome holiday program, especially if your plan is to stay in Rome for 3 days.
The itinerary starts from Piazza Colonna, dominated by the 30-meter column of Marcus Aurelius. This is the heart of Italian politics, featuring the sixteenth-century Palazzo Chigi, which has been the official residence of the President of the Council of Ministers since 1961.
Right next to it is Piazza Montecitorio. Here you will find the seat of the House of Deputies, active since 1871. Before the Unification of Italy, the seventeenth-century palace housed the Pontifical Curia and the Ecclesiastical Tribunal. The obelisk in the center of the square was brought from Heliopolis in Egypt by Augustus to celebrate his victory over Cleopatra and Mark Antony in 30 B.C.
From Piazza Colonna, follow Via dei Bergamaschi to reach Piazza di Pietra, a charming square with the remains of the Tempio di Adriano, dating back to the 2nd century A.D.


Piazza della Rotonda in Rome, right outside the Pantheon

Walk through Via de’ Burro, past the majestic columns of the temple, and up to Piazza Sant’Ignazio and its eponymous church. Then, take Via del Seminario up to Piazza della Rotonda, a crowded square dominated by the amazing Pantheon, one of the most iconic buildings of Western architecture. After admiring the Pantheon, walk along Via Salita dei Crescenzi, turn left unto Via di Sant’Eustachio, and reach Piazza Sant’Eustachio. Have a break at Caffè Eustachio and enjoy their espresso, considered the best in Rome. Continue through Via degli Staderari until you reach Corso del Rinascimento, then turn left, then immediately turn right.

You will finally arrive in the beautiful Piazza Navona, an exhibition of Rome’s historic center, featuring sculpted fountains, gorgeous baroque palaces and outdoor cafes. The square is always crowded with tourists, street performers and vendors. Piazza Navona has been the Rome’s main market place for 300 years. The works of two great Baroque artists can be compared here: Bernini’s Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi and the Church of Sant’Agnes in Agone of Borromini.

After leaving the square, follow Via del Governo Vecchio, a street filled with boutiques, second-hand shops and trattorias. At the end of it turn left unto Via dei Filippini. Then continue up to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a road that splits the historic center in two parts.

Cross it, follow Via dei Cartari up to Via del Pellegrino and you will reach Campo dei Fiori. This loud and colorful square is one of the hearts of Roman life. In the daytime it hosts one of the most famous markets of the city. In the evening it turns into an outdoor bar.
The philosopher Giordano Bruno died here as heretic on the stake in 1600.

End the itinerary in Piazza Farnese, a square in the historic center right outside of the eponymous Renaissance-style Palace

PANORAMIC HOP ON HOP OFF BUS: TOUR WITH CITY SIGHTSEEING OF ROME

Discovering the wonders of the eternal city aboard a panoramic hop-on hop-off bus is ideal if you have little time available or are traveling around the capital with children. On board of the bus of the City Sightseeing Rome company, you can admire all the main attractions of Rome: the Colosseum, Piazza di Spagna, Vatican City and all the other treasures of Rome will have no more secrets for you!

The ticket is valid 24 or 48 hours.

BUY YOUR TICKET NOW

With a hop on hop off bus of the City Sightseeing Roma you will be able to:

  • Spend all the time you want in the various stops along the way
  • Get on and off at any of the 8 stops or sit back and enjoy the whole bus ride
  • Listen to the interesting tourist information of the on-board audio guide
  • Share your fantastic experience with friends and family with free WiFi on the bus
  • Check the location of City Sightseeing by downloading the “Sightseeing Experience” app

Note: the ticket does not include the entrance fees to the different attractions

HOW LONG DOES THE TOUR TAKE?

The whole tour takes 1 hour and 40 minutes and, thanks to the hop on hop off service, you can get off at any of the stops available along the way

DAILY DEPARTURES

Departures are from 09:00 am to 7:00 pm from any stop on the tour. Buses leave every 10 minutes from April to October and every 15-20 minutes from November to March

MEETING PLACE

Any stop on Line A (the stop 6 of the Vatican is in Via Borgo Sant’Angelo, 200 meters before the stop indicated on the tour map)

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

From 25 euros per person

LINE A STOPS

  • Stop 1: Terminal A. Termini Marsala/Terminal B. Largo di Villa Peretti/ Terminal C Piazza dei Cinquecento, all’angolo con Via Cavour
  • Stop 2: Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Stop 3: Colosseum
  • Stop 4: Circo Massimo
  • Stop 5: Piazza Venezia
  • Stop 6: Vatican
  • Stop 7: Fontana Di Trevi
  • Stop 8: Piazza Barberini

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You may also be interested

Visiting Rome in 3 days – Our recommended itinerary 
Visiting Rome in 2 days with children – Where to go and what to do 
Trips outside of Rome – What to see and where to go
The Colosseum – What is it like?