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Great Tours of Rome

Great Tours of Rome

Tourists in Rome

Tourists in Rome toss coins into Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain style

Coins rain down on top of Roman ruins.

A new trend in Rome sees tourists throwing coins into the Roman Forum – imitating the Trevi Fountain ritual – in the hopes of a return to the Eternal City.

A growing number of visitors can be seen tossing coins into the Forum from the panoramic viewpoint below the Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill.

Some of the tourists mimick the over-the-shoulder tradition associated with the Trevi Fountain while others aim for their coins to land directly on top of Roman ruins.

The trend has been going for some years but has gained momentum recently and has been the focus of recent news reports in Rome.

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Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums to raise ticket prices in 2024

The Vatican Museums is to raise the price of its ordinary full entry tickets to €20, up from €17, with effect from 1 January 2024.

There will be no change to the reduced fare, for those who are entitled to it, neither will there be any change to the reduced entry ticket which will remain unchanged at €8.

The price hike is “strictly linked to the general increase in costs”, according to a statement on the museums’ website, which also said that the non-compulsory reservation fee of €5 “remains confirmed”.

The Vatican Museums recently announced that it will be extending its opening hours from 08.00 until 19.00, also with effect from 1 January 2024, as part of a major shake-up of its admission policies ahead of Jubilee 2025.

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Domus Tiberiana

Restored Domus Tiberiana to reopen to visitors after almost 50 years.

The newly-restored Domus Tiberiana, one of the main imperial palaces on Rome’s Palatine Hill, will reopen to the public on 21 September, the Colosseum archaeological park has announced.

The ancient building, whose façade is characterised by large arches overlooking the Roman Forum, is located in the north-western area of the Palatine Hill, in an area located between the Temple of Magna Mater and the slopes of the Forum.

“The grandiose imperial residence, covering approximately four hectares on the Palatine Hill, overlooks the valley of the Roman Forum with mighty arches on several levels, an iconic image of this corner of the ancient city”, Parco archeologico del Colosseo wrote on Facebook on Saturday night.

Built as a sumptuous palace by the second Roman emperor Tiberius, who reigned from 14 to 37 AD and was succeeded by Caligula, part of the building was subsequently incorporated into Nero’s Domus Transitoria.

In December 2020, Parco archeologico del Colosseo director Alfonsina Russo told Wanted in Rome that the works to restore and protect the Domus Tiberiana complex were carried out “with the scientific contribution of Italian and foreign universities and important names in the Italian technical-scientific world.”

Describing the Domus Tiberiana as “the first of the imperial palaces conceived in an organic and monumental way,” Russo said the new itinerary would include previously inaccessible rooms in areas of the site untouched by “either of the excavations in the late 19th century and early 20th century.”

Russo said studies were also conducted into the reasons, “including the major archaeological excavations of the early 20th century, that triggered the serious sliding of the walls towards the Roman Forum that from the 1970s was one of the most serious problems for the safety of the monument.”

As reported in January 2021, the restoration works uncovered surprises including a family grave, thought to be from the 13th century, containing the remains of “seven people perhaps killed by an epidemic or a traumatic event”.

There are traces of activity from the 18th century, believed to be related to the Horti Farnesiani, while archaeologists also unearthed a hoard of coins from the seventh century and a “still intact oil lamp” from the fourth century, found in a niche of a wall.

Visitors will reportedly be presented with an itinerary related to the activities of the imperial court through three themes: daily life, trade and economy, and religion.

The new visit, which is expected to begin from the Clivio della Vittoria and will include a display of ancient discoveries, is to be unveiled in the coming days.

Photo Parco archeologico del Colosseo 

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Ryder Cup 2023

Italy hosts the Ryder Cup for first time in history.

Rome will host the golf world’s biggest tournament, the Ryder Cup, at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club from 25 September to 1 October 2023.

The prestigious event, which dates to 1927 and is in its 44th edition, is being held in Italy for the first time.

Considered golf’s greatest team showcase, the Ryder Cup is the most followed international sporting event after the Olympic Games and the Football World Cup.

Every two years, 24 of the best players from Europe and the US face off in match play competition.

A contest between two teams comprising the 12 strongest European and US golfers, the Ryder Cup is the only sporting event in which Europe competes as a team.

Over the decades the US has claimed 27 wins, against 14 by Europe.

Team selection

The US team will comprise the top six eligible players in the points rankings with six picks from captain Zach Johnson.

The European Team will be made up from the top three eligible players from the European Points List, the top three eligible players from the World Points List and six picks from European captain Luke Donald.

Two of the team’s five vice captains in the Ryder Cup are Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari.

The players currently confirmed on the European team are Viktor Hovland, Roy McIlroy and Jon Rahm.

The US team so far includes World Number 1 Scottie Scheffler and US Open champion Wyndham Clark

Venue

Located 17 km north-east from the centre of Rome, the 150-hectare Marco Simone course with its 27 holes has been redeveloped specially for the major event which is set to welcome 50,000 spectators each day.

Tickets

General admission tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are sold out.

However there are some special packages still available aling with general admission tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

All tickets are digital and must be assigned to a named attendee in advance, for full details see Ryder Cup website.

Photo Federazione Italiana Golf

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Pantheon crowded

Italian culture minister satisfied with new ticket system.

The Pantheon has taken in almost €200,000 in ticket sales since a new ticketing system was introduced at the Rome landmark a week ago, Italy’s culture minister announced on Monday.

“The numbers relating to the first week of paid entrances to the Pantheon are decidedly positive”, said Gennaro Sangiuliano, who told reporters that the Pantheon had welcomed more than 50,000 visitors since it began charging tourists entry fees on 3 July.

The total admissions at the monument over the last week were 51,275, generating €192,173 in ticket sales, reports state broadcaster RAI News.

  • Italy’s Pantheon makes €20,000 on first day of ticket sales

Just over half the tickets were purchased online, a fact hailed by Sangiuliano as “significant” and “a sign of a progressive affirmation” of the new ticketing system.

“A figure that also makes me happy concerns the 4,830 reduced admissions, young people between 18 and 25 who have chosen to visit, over the last seven days, one of the best preserved ancient monuments in the world”.

Under the new system tourists are required to pay €5 to enter the historic site whose daily opening hours are 09.00-19.00 (last admission 18.30).

However the site remains free to Rome residents, visitors with disabilities and the under-18s, while visitors aged 18 to 25 pay a discounted entry fee of €3.

Proceeds from the ticket sales are divided between the culture ministry, which receives 70 per cent, with the remaining 30 per cent going to the diocese of Rome.

The culture ministry will bear the costs of cleaning and maintenance at the Pantheon while church authorities will use the funds for charity and the upkeep of of state-owned churches in Rome.

The Pantheon is the most visited heritage site in Italy, attracting around nine million visitors a year.

Photo RAI

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Rome-Pompeii train

High-speed service to run four times a month.

Italy’s newly unveiled direct train service between Rome and Pompeii is to run every Sunday, starting from 6 August, the culture ministry has announced.

The high-speed Frecciarossa service, inaugurated on 16 July by Italian premier Giorgia Meloni, was initially scheduled to run just once a month, on every third Sunday.

However due to high interest in the service – a collaboration between the Italian culture ministry and the state railways group – it has been decided that the direct train between Rome and Pompeii will run once a week instead of once a month.

The journey time from Rome to Pompeii is one hour and 47 minutes, with the return trip taking two hours and 15 minutes.

The Frecciarossa service leaves Roma Termini at 08.53, arriving in Pompeii at 10.40, with the return journey departing at 18.40 and arriving back in Rome at 20.55.

Passengers can watch a video about the history of Pompeii as well as buy entrance tickets to the archaeological park on board before hopping on a shuttle bus to their destination from Pompeii station.

The new direct connection is added to the 50 daily round-trip journeys that already exist between Rome and Pompeii.

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Rome Pride 2023

Rome mayor to join Roma Pride celebrations.

Rome will see a return of the Roma Pride parade through the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday 10 June 2023.

The parade will depart from Piazza della Repubblica at 15.30 and make its way to Via dei Fori Imperiali, led by Italian pop music duo Paola & Chiara.

Under the banner “QueeResistenza”, the event will see the participation of Rome’s centre-left mayor Roberto Gualtieri for the second year in a row.

  • Roma Pride celebrates 25 years

Organisers say the title refers to “a cry of resistance, a cry of existence” and that the event takes place following “multiple attacks against the Queer community” during the first year of the right-wing government led by premier Giorgia Meloni.

“We are a community that exists regardless of what happens,” Mario Colamarino, Roma Pride spokesperson and president of gay rights association Mario Miele said in a statement, describing QueeResistenza as “the synthesis of a community that fights, that resists, that exists because no government will ever be able to stop it.”

The Roma Pride event will result in road closures and bus detours in the city centre, for traffic details see Roma Mobilità website.

Photo credit: Lucky Team Studio / Shutterstock.com

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Rome 2 June 2023

Rome rehearses for Festa della Repubblica parade.

Italian authorities will carry out rehearsals on Monday night for the military parade in Rome to mark Festa della Repubblica on Friday 2 June.

The rehearsals for the national public holiday will begin at 22.00 on the night of Monday 29 May and last until 05.30 the next morning.

Troops and military vehicles will make their way from the area around the Baths of Caracalla towards the Colosseum, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Piazza Venezia and the Circus Maximus, before returning to their starting point.

The rehearsals will result in street closures and bus detours along the parade route on Monday night and during the early hours of Tuesday, with full details available on the city’s mobility website.

This year Italy will mark the 77th edition of Festa della Repubblica which commemorates the day in 1946 when Italians voted in favour of a republic and against the monarchy which had been discredited during world war two.

Before the military parade on Friday morning, Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Altare della Patria at 09.15.

The solemn ceremony is followed with a flypast over Rome by the Frecce Tricolori jets.

Italy’s public offices and schools, and many businesses, will be closed for the public holiday on 2 June.

Photo credit: Marco Iacobucci Epp / Shutterstock.com

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Rome gets The Boss

Springsteen comes to Rome amid controversy over Ferrara concert.

Final preparations are underway in Rome ahead of a sold-out concert by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at the Circus Maximus on Sunday.

Springsteen faced widespread criticism for going ahead with a concert in the northern city of Ferrara on Thursday, days after the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region was devastated by floods that have led to at least 13 deaths.

The American rock star, 72, was defended by the Ferrara mayor Alan Fabbri who wrote on Facebook: “I am sorry if anyone may have thought that Ferrara was insensitive to the tragedy in Romagna just because it did not cancel the concert by The Boss”.

Fabbri said that cancelling the concert would have “solved nothing” and caused economic hardship for the area as well as the workers and companies involved in hosting the major event, and the “thousands of tourists from all over the world” who travelled to Ferrara.

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Liberation Day

Italy marks Liberation Day with holiday on 25 April 2023.

Italy on 25 April celebrates the Festa della Liberazione which marks the country’s liberation from German occupation and fascist rule at the end of world war two.

A public holiday across Italy, all state schools and offices are closed on Tuesday 25 April, with many Italians planning a “ponte” long weekend by taking Monday 24 April off work.

The day is marked in Rome with a ceremony at the Altare della Patria at 09.00 when Italian president Sergio Mattarella will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The event will result in traffic diversions and bus detours in the area around Piazza Venezia.

  • Why does Italy celebrate Liberation Day on 25 April?

Also in Rome, at 08.30 supporters of ANPI, the National Partisan Association of Italy, will pay homage to the victims of the massacre at the Fosse Ardeatine where the Nazis murdered 335 anti-fascist prisoners, Jews and civilians on 23 March 1944.

This solemn event is followed at 10.00 with a walk from Largo Benedetto Bompiani, in the Ardeatino / Tor Marancia area, to Piazza di Porta S. Paolo by the Piramide Cestia landmark.

Italy’s state-run museums and archaeological sites will be open to the public for free on 25 April, the country’s culture minister announced last week.

This year Rome will celebrate the Italian Resistance with a three-day festival in the Garbatella district, backed by the capital’s centre-left mayor Roberto Gualtieri, from 23-25 April.

Last year Gualtieri marked the Festa della Liberazione by visiting the Historic Museum of the Liberation of Rome, a former SS prison which documents the persecution of Jews and Resistance figures tortured there during the Nazi occupation of Rome from 1943-1944.

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