Earthquake In Central Italy Shakes Rome

Earthquake in Central Italy
Earthquake in Central Italy

At 10:25am local time on 18 January 2017, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake  in central Italy struck 5km west of the town of Amatrice.  49 mins later at 11:14am a second earthquake occurred measuring 5.7 on the richter scale and then just 11 mins after that, at 11:25am, a third earthquake of magnitude 5.6 occurred.1

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Coliseum Invaded By Brazilians

Coliseum Christmas Tree
Coliseum at Christmas

The Coliseum (or Colosseum) is in the news again today after it was invaded in the early hours of 16 January by drunk tourists!

Two Brazilian tourists managed to scale the fence surrounding the Coliseum before climbing a security gate.

Their final obstacle which is a 4 metre drop into the ancient amphitheatre however proved to be their undoing.

As the drunk pair made their daring break-in, they injured themselves when attempting to jump to distant ground below.  One of the two fractured their pelvis and the Coliseum was once again witness to blood curdling cries for help.

Despite security forces being stationed at the Coliseum 24 hrs a day as part of anti-terrorism measures, they failed to detect the boisturous drunk intruders until they were inside the monument.

This intrusion comes after a number of other tourists had recently been arrested after damaging the Coliseum by carving their initials into the ancient stonework.

Fortunately, on this occasion the only damage suffered was to the bones of the two drunkards.


To visit the Coliseum through the main entrance (allbeit skipping the queues), take a look at our Coliseum & Ancient Rome Tour.

Best Guide To New Years Eve In Rome 2017

If you will be spending New Years Eve In Rome no doubt you will be wondering what you can do to celebrate the coming New Year.

Why don’t you take a look at our 5 suggestions to have the best time in Rome for New Year:

Enjoy The Craic At Scholar’s Lounge Irish Pub

Probably the most popular and biggest pub in Rome, Scholar’s Lounge is an Irish American Pub close to Piazza Venezia that is open until around 6am on New Years Day in Rome.

If you are lookin for a party atmosphere and great fun, then this is the place to be for tourists and many locals to party through the night.

Entry is free before 11pm and the DJ plays until 6am

You can find Scholars Lounge next to the prime minister’s residence at

Scholar’s Lounge, 101b Via dei Plebiscito, Roma, 00186

Finnegan Begin Again

The most popular pub with expats, this is less touristy than Scholar’s Lounge, much smaller but with a much friendlier and homely atmosphere.

Located in the best area of Rome – Monti, Finnegan’s Irish pub is very close to the Coliseum although the easiest way to get there is by Line B of the Metro System to Cavour station.

You can find Finnegans at:

Finnegan’s Irish Pub, Via Leonina 66, Rome 00186.

Shamrock Italian Irish Pub

Just down the road from the Coliseum and around 10 mins walk from Finnegans, you can find the Shamrock.  Although this is in Irish pub, it is very popular with Roman Italians and certain expats.

In fact, this is where most of the expat tour guides of Rome drink.  New Years Eve is always heaving in Shamrock, everyone is super friendly and the party goes on to the early hours.

Shamrock Pub, Via del Colosseo 1C, 00184, Roma, Italy

Coliseum at New Years Eve
Coliseum at New Years Eve

See The Fireworks

Like all major capital cities, Rome will put on a large fireworks display at the begining of the New Year.

In Rome, the best places to congregate for New Year are the Coliseum and the Vittorio Emanuelle II monument at Piazza Venezia.

These two places always attract large crowds and the atmosphere is always special.  These places also have the advantage of being close to the three pubs mentioned above!!

If however, you want to have a great vantage point to see the beauty of the Rome fireworks display, then you may also consider going to the summit of the Gianicolo Hill to gaze over the skyline of Rome as the colours explode before you.

Piazza del Popolo

In addition to Piazza Venezia and the Coliseum mentioned above, another large meeting point for revellers is Piazza del Popolo.  Translated as the People’s Square, this Piazza attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike.

There are also often rock bands that play for the event for free at the Piazza and the vantage point on the Villa Borghese hill above the square is also a great place to view the fireworks whilst surrouded by classical statuary of Roman Emperors!

Villa Borghese park also have various cultural and musical event happening to keep you partying throughout the night!

Can you think of anything else in Rome or your favourite events?  If so, why not share them in the comments section below…

Midnight Mass With The Pope & Christmas Day In Rome

If you are going to spend Christmas Eve & Christmas Day in Rome, you may feel a little lonely.  Everyone is with their family or makign Christmas preparations, shops, businesses and some tourist sites are closed.  So what can you do in Rome on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

Fear not, we are here to help you understand that Rome is full of things to do at Christmas – many of which are totally free!  Take a look at 5 of our suggestions below: Continue reading “Midnight Mass With The Pope & Christmas Day In Rome”

15 Best Things To Do For Christmas In Rome 2016

Christmas in Rome is a very special season.  Check out our 15 Best Things To Do For Christmas In Rome 2016 below for some fantastic ideas of what to do for those who will be in Rome for Christmas in 2016.

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See The Pope At Spanish Steps Piazza Di Spagna For The Immaculate Conception 2016

Pope Visits The Statue
Pope Visits The Statue

For those who would like to see the Pope at the Spanish Steps of Piazza di Spagna for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2016, then please keep reading.

Each year, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Pope makes his way amongst the crowds to the Spanish Steps area of Rome, renowned for its designer boutiques and lively commercial atmosphere on the run up to Christmas. Continue reading “See The Pope At Spanish Steps Piazza Di Spagna For The Immaculate Conception 2016”

5 Thought Provoking Points Now The Holy Doors Of Mercy Have Slammed Shut

Holy Doors
The Holy Doors Are Closed

BOOM! The Holy Doors of Mercy have now closed, as has the Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy which closed on the Solemnity of Christ the King, 20 November 2016.

Consequently, our Holy Doors Tour has now become our 4 Papal Basilicas of Rome Tour

So now that the Holy Doors are shut, are the torrents of God’s Mercy sealed off too?

Short Answer – No.

Longer Answer – Not shut off but reverted.

God’s Mercy is infinite. Any sinner, regardless of religious belief or denomination, who humbly asks God to show them mercy with a contrite heart and with a firm purpose of amendment from their sins will receive the sweet Mercy of God and forgiveness of those sins by the merits of the Passion, Death & Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise

Psalm 51 v17

Divine Mercy Painting
Divine Mercy Painting

When the lance of the Roman soldier, Longinus, pierced Jesus’ side on the Cross, a torrent of mercy flooded into Christ’s Mystical Body – the Church – symbolised by the blood and water that flowed from His side.

As Christ’s mortal body hung dead, like a ripe fruit, on the tree of the Cross, we remember that the fruit of the tree of the garden of Eden brought death, but by consuming the fruit of this new tree of the Cross, we are brought back to life.

How Do We Consume This New Fruit of The Tree of Life

Christ communicates Himself to each of us in the Holy Word of Scripture and we consume him (and are consumed by Him) via the Sacraments of the Church.

It is by the sacraments that we access the eternal fountain and reservoir of mercy that flowed into the Church on the Cross.

By participating in these 7 sacraments, we become one flesh with Christ, married to him in the bond of the New Covenant instituted at the Last Supper, as our humanity mingles with His Divinity in Him.

Through His Blood, he washes away the stain of our Original Sin in the waters of Baptism and makes our souls whiter than snow (Psalm 51 v7). In Baptism, we become part of His Mystical Body 1 – the Catholic Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit (represented by an angel with a flaming sword in Genesis) and experience our own incarnation into Christ.

The sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion are the most prominent ways in which we experience & drink from the fountain of the Mercy of God.

However the Catholic Church, instituted by Jesus to sanctify all peoples and feed them with his grace (just as the apostles did as they fed the 5000 on Jesus’ behalf2), also brings people to drink from the fountain of Divine Mercy through indulgences.

Indulgences are tools the Church uses to foster actions, that when performed in union with Christ and His Church, nurture the young Christian to practice good habits, form virtue, and mature into a stronger altus Christus.

Now that the indulgences attached to the entering through the Holy Doors have ended, those who undertook the pilgrimage and entered through these doors, should have come to a greater understanding and experience of the Mercy of God and how this mercy is tied up with the role of the Church in the world.

Now is the time to reflect on the message & symbolism of the Holy Doors of Mercy.

To use the graces we have been nourished with and to return again and again to the Church to experience the sweet taste of God’s mercy again and again in the sacraments.

The shutting of the Holy Doors are not an end to the mercy of God in our lives, but rather a sweet foretaste – an invitation to a greater dining at the banquet table of the Lord in the Mass.

The closing of the Holy Doors of Mercy should spur us on to more frequent reception of the Sacraments, a closer unity and love with the Church and renewed hope & strength in Christ to journey on through the dry desert of this world, and to continue on with our pilgrimage to the promised land that is to come.

Just as we have received this sweet manna – the bread come down from heaven – in this last year, let us continue to receive Our Lord daily in the sweet bread of life in the Holy Eucharist at Mass.

Bread From Heaven
Bread Come Down From Heaven

“ Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”

John 6:32-35

The closing of the Holy Doors are not a closing of the doors of mercy, but an invitation for us to fling wide the doors of our hearts to taste & drink the Divine Mercy more deeply in His Church.

Quick – The Holy Doors For The Jubilee Year of Mercy Are Closing

Holy Door of St Peters
The Holy Doors Are Closing

Time is running out so be quick – the Holy Doors for the Jubilee Year of Mercy are closing !

You have until 13th November 2016 to enter the Holy Doors of the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of St John Lateran and the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, but until 20th November to enter through the Holy Doors of the Basilica of St Peter.

This is because the Holy Door of St Peter closes with the end of the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy on the Solemnity of Christ the King on 20th November 2016.1

What is the Jubilee Year?

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