The Best Christmas Present To Buy

Christmas is almost here! Are you trying to find the best Christmas present to buy for your loves ones? This year try something different, give your loves ones an experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives!

With Eternal City Tours you can gift your loved ones with a voucher for any of our tours, redeemable at any date of their choosing.

Choose from our list of award-winning guided tours that are sure to create cherished memories that last a lifetime:

Colosseum Ancient Rome Tour

Colosseum, Rome

This award winning tour will let your loved one discover the political & social center of an Empire that would rule from Portugal to Iran, from Britain to the north of Africa – all ruled from the Imperial Roman Forum.  Continue Reading

Passion of Christ Tour

Holy Stairs

The Passion of Christ Tour is our most popular pilgrim tour, it’s the ideal guided tour for those visiting the Catholic pilgrimage sites in Rome. Your loved one will see some of the most iconic relics of the early Christian church, including wood from the manger in which the baby Jesus once lay. Continue Reading

St Benedict Tour

St Benedict

Apart from Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Apostles, it is hard to think of anyone who has affected the development of Western Civilisation as much as St Benedict of Nursia. Your loved one will experience a tour that explores the life and times of St Benedict, learn more about the monastic origins, the twists and turns of its development through history, and the structure of the Order of St Benedict today. Continue Reading

Rome Catacombs Tour

Rome, Catacombs
Credit TripAdvisor

The Rome Catacombs Tour will allow your loved one to visit the world’s largest underground burial channels which are a testament to the world’s largest ancient Christian community.  Continue Reading

Click here to see our complete list of award-winning guided tours!

This year, make it a memorable Christmas! Give your loved ones cherished memories and truly transformational experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.

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The Best Time Of Year To Visit Rome

Rome’s mouth-watering food, picturesque views, historically significant sites and rich culture has drawn tourists from around the world for as long as we care to remember. We’re often asked when the best time of year to visit Rome is, so we decided provide a comprehensive roundup to help you plan your trip to the Eternal City!

Winter in Rome
December – March

Winter in Rome
Credit: Bookmundi

During winter in Rome you’ll see far less tourists than you would in the warmer months, so it’s the perfect time to be able to explore museums and popular tourist destinations without the crowds. If you’re lucky you might even experience snow in Rome, turning the city into a true winter wonderland. Winter in Rome also means it’s theatre season, so you’ll be able to soak in even more of the Italian culture by seeing some of the most popular opera and theatre performances.

If you don’t mind the cold and you’d like to avoid the crowds while still enjoying the rich Italian culture, winter is the best time of year to visit Rome for you.

Spring in Rome
April – May

Spring in Rome
Credit: Ciao Citalia

If you’re lucky enough to visit Rome during spring, you’ll experience the stunning flowers in bloom and a city waking up from it’s winter slumber. It’s not yet bustling with tourists, so you’ll still be able to enjoy a more quiet experience when visiting popular tourist destinations. Due to Italy’s very seasonal cuisine, you’ll be able to experience a whole new side to Italian food that will satisfy any foodies cravings.

The weather warms up to a more comfortable temperature, so getting lost in Rome’s beautiful streets becomes even more of a joy during this time of year.

Summer in Rome
June – August

Summer in Rome
Credit: Go With Oh

Summer is when Rome comes alive with people from all around the world and festivals that are sure to make your trip a memorable one. It’s hot and the smell of amazing Italian food fills the air. In summer, there’s always something happening in Rome. You can attend the Italian festivals like Festa della Repubblica (2nd of June) which is the Italian National Day, or Ferragosto (15th of August) which also coincides with the feast day of the Assumption of Mary. If you like parties, festivals and a city bustling with activity then summer is the best time of year to visit Rome for you.

Summer is also the time when locals go to the countryside or the mountains for their annual holidays. So if you’re wanting to spend time with locals, sipping your coffee at a quiet cafe, we would recommend a different time of year for your visit to Rome.

Autumn in Rome
September – November

Autumn in Rome
Credit: Lonely Planet

If you’re a food and wine lover, autumn is the best time of year to visit Rome. With tourist season winding down, the gorgeous fall scenery and the countrywide food and wine festivals starting – You’re sure to have an experience worth repeating. Delve into the amazing chocolate, ancient wines and delicious seasonal truffles on offer for an experience for yours senses.

Autumn in Rome is when temperatures start cooling down, so exploring the city on foot is a lot more enjoyable than the hotter summer months.

Whatever time of year you’re planning to visit Rome, you are guaranteed to have an amazing experience. Rome is a city that operates 365 days a year, so tours in Rome are always available no matter when you decide to visit.

Comment below to tell us about your experience of Rome, and when you think the best time of year to visit Rome is.

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5 Tourist Mistakes When Visiting Rome

When visiting a new destination, it can be difficult to be completely prepared. You might have managed to pack exactly what you need within the ludicrous airline baggage restrictions (according to my wife). You might have even managed getting the whole family to the same location without anyone getting lost along the way. However, there are always the little helpful tips we wish we’d known beforehand to make our trip even more enjoyable. I’m going to give you the 5 most common tourist mistakes when visiting Rome.

1. Not Carrying Cash

The first mistake when visiting Rome is not carrying any cash. Many of us have loved the idea of not having to carry cash as often anymore. Paying for almost everything back home using a credit or debit card, never having to handle cash that can get lost or stolen.  Though many businesses in Rome have moved to card systems in recent years, there is still a large number of small businesses that have not yet implemented this (including small family restaurants and even the public transport system). Bringing cash along with you and converting when arriving in Rome is an option, but I would recommend avoiding carrying large amounts of cash on you. Definitely bring about 100 EUR with you, but rather use local ATMs for withdrawing only the cash you need for short periods at a time.

Bonus Tip: Ensure that you tell your bank you’ll be in Rome, or they might block access to you card.

2. Buying Public Transport Tickets

Bus in RomePublic transport in Italy is a bit more complicated (of course) than you might be used to back home. One of the most common mistakes when visiting Rome is not buying public transport tickets before boarding. In Rome, you aren’t able to buy public transport tickets when boarding a bus or a train. Tickets must be bought either at the entrance of a metro station at one of the ticketing machines, this is usually the most convenient. If you’re not near a metro station, you’ll have to find a Tabachi (newsagent) marked with a large “T” that sell tickets as well. Fortunately there are plenty dotted throughout the city, but remember to buy your ticket before attempting to board any public transport in Rome to avoid problems with officials.

For more information, we have a great guide on the best ways to travel around Rome.

3. Wearing Shorts at Holy Sites

For many of us a holiday means T-shirts, shorts and flip flops. When exploring Rome, this is still very much a pleasant possibility. However, it’s important to dress more sensibly when visiting holy sites in Rome. For some holy sites, shorts below the knees and a T-shirt that covers the shoulders should suffice. In some cases, an official might give you a piece of fabric to wrap around yourself should they feel that your outfit is a bit revealing. Officials at sites considered even more important, will deny you access altogether if you’re not wearing long pants with shoulders covered. So be mindful of where you’re visiting, dress accordingly and you’ll be fine.

4. Restaurant Service Fees

One of our most frustrating mistakes when visiting Rome, was not checking for service fees at a restaurant. In touristy areas in Rome, a “Coperto” or seating charge will be applicable if you sit down for your meal. This extra charge can range from 1.50 EUR to 4 EUR, in addition to the actual food bill. For some restaurants, not charging a service fee is a marketing tactic, so be sure to ask about service fees before sitting down for a meal. Unfortunately the fee is unavoidable if you want to experience some of the amazing restaurants throughout Rome.

5. Planning Too Much

Something we hear from many tourists is that they tried to cram too much into their itinerary. This I believe is one of the big mistakes when visiting Rome. They tried to do too much, and as a result felt too rushed to actually enjoy what they were doing and before they knew it their time in Rome was up. When planning a trip to Rome, we recommend having one or two main activities planned like a tour through Rome, but allowing the trip to take it’s course and planning as you go along. This way you aren’t forced to miss something you truly want to see because you’ve booked an itinerary that allows for nothing else. Enjoy Rome, take your time and savour the beautiful sites, the interesting people, the amazing food and of course the coffee!

I hope that this list gives you some ideas for your next visit to Rome. If you think we’ve missed something, please comment below. We always love hearing from our readers!

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Major Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Rome’s Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a magnificent church in the heart of Rome on the Esquiline Hill within walking distance of the Coliseum, the Papal Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano and Termini Station.

Attracting millions of tourists per year, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest and oldest church dedicated to Mary in Rome.  As one of the 4 Major Basilicas of Rome it has been the focus of countless pilgrimages to Rome and features on our Passion of Christ Tour and 4 Papal Basilicas Tour.

Other Names

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore / Basilica of St Mary Major

In Italian and thus locally, the name of the Basilica is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.  This translates into English as the Basilica of St Mary Major.  The Mary / Maria referred to in the name refers to Mary – the Mother of Jesus Christ.  The Major / Maggiore aspect refers to the Basilica’s status as a Major Basilica (read more below).  There are only 4 major basilicas in Rome which were the focuses of countless pilgrims who had made their once in a lifetime pilgrimage to the Eternal City of Rome.

Liberian Basilica and Sicinini Basilica

The appellation ‘Liberian Basilica’ or ‘Basilica of Santa Maria Liberiana’ refers to the very beginnings of the church.  Originally the church was an important Roman house which a man by the name of Liberius who went on to become Pope Liberius (352-366) converted into a church once Christianity had been decriminalised.

It is argued by Pius Parsch that this original house was owned by a Roman family of the name Sicinini and that Liberius converted their home at their request.  For this reason it was also called the ‘Sicinini Basilica’.

Whatever the ownership of the original house that Pope Liberius converted into a church, it seems that that building was replaced with the present structure dedicated to Mary by later Popes – either Pope Celestine I in around 420, or perhaps slightly later by his immediate successor – Pope Sixtus III who served from 432-440.

Even now however, the appellation of the ‘Liberian Basilica’ in reference to Pope Liberius first actions to turn the house into a church is still be used today in official communications e.g. the Holy See press office referring to it as the “Papal Liberian Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome”.

Basilica of the Crib

As mentioned, the origins of the Basilica stretch back to the time of Pope Liberius (352-366) but the Basilica is also associated with something that pre-dated even that and reaches back to the very earliest beginnings of Christianity – the crib that Jesus lay in as a baby. The earliest evidence we have is that Jesus was born in a grotto in Bethlehem1 and over this grotto, St Helena – the mother of Emperor Constantine – established the Basilica of the Nativity and allowed veneration of the crib there. Relics of this crib were then brought to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Theodore (640-649) who was Palestinian and was concerned with the danger of the treasures being plundered by the muslims. The crypt was thus transported to Rome and laid at the Liberian Basilica and so first was given the name of Sancta Maria ad Praesepe or St Mary of the Crib in English2.

During the Basilica restorations of 1893, Fr Lais formally & solemnly opened the relics to investigate and found five pieces of wooden board made of sycamore tree of a sycamore species found in the Holy Land3.

References to the Basilica as St Mary of the Crib are to be found in the Tridentine editions of the Roman Missal from 1568 as the place of the pope’s Mass (the station Mass) on Christmas Night.

Basilica of the Snows

The least factual, but most devotional and popular, is the association of the Basilica with a legendary miracle known as the Miracle of the Snows.

The legend of the Miracle of the Snows according to the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia is that

“During the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to the Virgin Mary. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honour. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary which they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honour of Mary on the very spot which was covered with snow. From the fact that no mention whatever is made of this alleged miracle until a few hundred years later, not even by Sixtus III in his eight-line dedicatory inscription … it would seem that the legend has no historical basis.”4

Indeed the first reporting of this alleged miracle occurs only after 1000. However, it then took off in popularity even forming the subject matter of a famous 15th century painting of Masolina di Panicale. The relief in the Paul V Borghese side chapel of the Basilica above the miraculous icon of Salus Populi Romani also shows this legendary scene and was sculpted by the famous sculptor, Stefano Maderno.  Consequently, in 1568 the General Roman Calendar was amended such that the name of the feast of the dedication of the Basilica on 5th August was changed from Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae (Dedication of St Mary) to Dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Nives (Dedication of St Mary of the Snow)5.

However in 1741, an investigation commissioned by Pope Benedict XIV recommended that the addition of ad Nives should be removed, but this was only actioned in the revision that took place in 1969 when it finally was formally removed.

Nevertheless, the legend is still remembered each year on the feast of the dedication of the basilica by the release of white rose petals from the dome during the Mass and Second Vespers of the feast.  A nice devotional tradition that is charming to be present at.

The Papal Patriarchal Major Basilica & The Popes

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (St Mary Major) not only has lots of different names, but also has a lot of statuses.

Firstly, it is a Basilica.  No Catholic Church can be raised to the level of a Basilica without a formal apostolic grant which are not easy to come by.

Secondly, it is one of the 5 traditional Patriarchal Basilicas, namely the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Thirdly, it is now designated as a Papal Basilica.

Finally it is one of only 4 Major Basilicas that are the most important basilicas in Rome.  The most important of course being the Arch-Basilica and Cathedral of Rome (and so the Mother Church of the World) – St John Lateran.

Major Basilica

The highest ranking Basilicas in the Catholic Church are the 4 major Basilicas, all located in Rome.  They are:  the Cathedral and so Mother Church of Rome – the Arch-Basilica of St John Lateran (home to the heads of Sts Peter & Paul), the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (St Mary Major), the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls (home of the body of St Paul), and the Basilica of St Peter (home of the body of St Peter).

The title Major Basilica was brought in by the papal bull Antiquorum Fida Relatio by Pope Boniface in 1300 (when the heads of Sts Peter & Paul were transferred from the Ark of Leo III to the Arch-Basilica of St John Lateran).  In that year Pope Boniface instituted a Holy Jubilee Year and granted certain indulgences attached to those 4 Major Basilicas.

Ever since, these 4 Major Basilicas have served as a focus for pilgrims venturing to Rome on pilgrimage in order to deepen their faith and avail themselves of merciful indulgences.

Patriarchal Basilica

Each of the traditional 5 Latin Patriarchates of the world – Patriarchate of Rome/the West, Patriarchate of Constantinople, Patriarchate of Antioch, Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Alexandria.  Traditionally each Patriarchate was represented in Rome with a titular “Patriarchal Basilica”, and as mentioned, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was the Patriarchal Basilica of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

However, it was decided that these ancient understandings of Patriarchates was no longer helpful in the modern world, and the title of the Patriarchate of the West was abandoned in 2009 by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity under the pontificate of Benedict XVI.  Of course the schisms of history and development of the Catholic Church geographically have today resulted in a different classification and identification.

 Papal Basilica

Instead of the term Patriarchal Basilica, the term now used is simply Papal Basilica to designate the high importance of the Basilica without tying it to now outdated notions of the previous Patriarchates.  There are therefore 5 Papal Basilicas – St Mary Major, St Peters, St John Lateran, St Paul Outside the Walls and St Sebastian Outside the Walls.

Popes

When the papacy returned to Rome towards the end of the 14th Century after the Avignon Controversy, their usual home of the Lateran Palace adjoining Rome’s Cathedral of St John Lateran was inhabitable and dilapidated.  Consequently they lived at Santa Maria Maggiore until eventually relocating to the Vatican where the successors to St Peter live today.

There are 6 popes buried in the Major Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore – Pope Clement VIII, Pope Honorius III, Pope Clement IX, Pope Nicholas IV, Pope St Pius V, and Pope Sixtus V.

The Basilica also contains the relics of St Jerome who was famous for translating the Bible from Hebrew & Greek into the Latin Vulgate during the 4th and 5th centuries.

The Basilica & Mary

The Basilica as we see it now is essentially as was built by Pope Sixtus III in 432 A.D.  For those readers amongst you who know about early Church history, especially in regard to the development of a coherent rationale of doctrine to explain the beliefs always held, you will remember that 431 AD (the previous year) was a very important year in the history of the Church – the year of the Council of Ephesus.

It was this Council that decided one of the Christological problems of the time by declaring that Mary was the Mother of God (Theotokos in Greek, or Dei Para in Latin).  Mary was formally declared to be the Mother of the Person of Jesus Christ, the 2nd person of the Divine Trinity – God Almighty.

The Church celebrated this promulgation with great jubilation and Pope Sixtus III wanted to further honour Our Lady and record this magnificent title by re-constructing the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in 432 – the beginning of his Pontificate.

History

Although claiming it’s more conspicuous origins in the Pontificate of Pope Liberius (352-366) before the major work of Pope Sixtus III in 432, the Basilica also underwent other work over time for the purposes of restoration, redecoration or extension.

Works are understood to have taken place under the pontificates of:

  • Pope Eugene III (1145-1153),
  • Pope Nicholas IV (1288-1292) – the first Franciscan pope who extended the apse and commissioned the grand mosaic as we see it today,
  • Pope Clement VI (1348-1358) – during the Avignon controversy after a great earthquake in Rome in 1348
  • Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) – commissioned the (2nd) Sistine side chapel
  • Pope Paul V (1605-1621) – commissioned the Borghese side chapel and the palace like wings to the Basilica
  • Pope Clement X (1670-1676)
  • Benedict XIV (1740-1758) – commissioned a protective screen facade to protect the external 5th century mosaics and other works by the architect Ferdinando Fuga.

Architecture

The original architecture of the 5th century Basilica “so closely resembles a 2nd century imperial Basilica that it has sometimes been thought to have been adapted from a basilica for use as a Christian church. Its plan was based on Hellenistic principles stated by Vitruvius at the time of Augustus.” 6

Vitruvius was the Roman architect par excellence who expressed the correct proportions and principles to be employed in the design of a Basilica.  The dimensions of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore conform to these exactly.

Indeed, the marble columns leading up the nave are indeed all 1st century columns repurposed from either the first Basilica or other Roman monuments.

The bell tower, or campanile, is the tallest in Rome at 146 ft / 75 metres.

From the exterior, the Basilica looks a lot like a palace, which is understandable given that it served as the papal residence for a time.

Interior

On entering the Basilica, one is overwhelmed by the grand proportions and golden opulence that greets your eyes.

Much of this golden colour comes from the golden ceiling which was designed by Guillermo Sangallo (a Spaniard) and which was carved in wood but with gold overlaid.  That gold was some of the first gold to be brought back from the New World – the Americas – by Christopher Columbus who gave it to the Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who in turn donated some to the Spanish Pope at the time – Pope Alexander VI – where it was eventually used for the ceiling here.

Mosaics

Perhaps the most important features of the interior however are the 5th century mosaics that line the nave and which culminate in the 5th century mosaics of a different style on the triumphal arch.

These nave mosaics chart the different stories through the Old Testament that point to Mary and Jesus as the fulfilment of the prophesies.  To walk up the nave is to walk forward in the Jewish Old Testament salvation history, to arrive at the link between the Jewish Old Testament and Catholic New Testament – Mary.

Thus the aftermath of the Council of Ephesus is being shown – with Mary as the Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, and also showing the unity of Scripture.

You can learn more about these mosaics on our Passion of Christ Tour and 4 Papal Basilicas Tour.

Artworks

Icon of Salus Populi Romani

One of the most miraculous icons in Christendom, the Icon of Salus Populi Romani is an icon of Our Lady holding Christ.  Tradition holds that it was painted by St Luke, but we do know that it arrived in Rome in 590 and was greeted by Pope Gregory the Great who attributed to it the cessation of a deadly plague in the city that had claimed his predecessor.

Pope Gregory the Great saw a vision of St Michael the Archangel above the Mausoleum of Hadrian with a great flaming sword that he sheathed, which Pope Gregory interpreted as the wrath of God being put away.  The plague ceased, and a great statue of St Michael was placed on top of the Mausoleum to commemorate the event.  This is now called the Castel Sant’Angelo and forms part of our Holy Art & Architecture Tour.

The miraculous icon has been a particular favour of many popes, with Pope Francis refusing to leave Rome before having first come to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray before it.

The symbolism contained within the icon is also very interesting and will be explained by our guides on the tours mentioned below.

Tour

To see the amazingly historic Major Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore for yourself, and be taken around with expert explanation of all that you see, consider booking yourself on either our Passion of Christ Tour or 4 Papal Basilicas Tour and be shown not only this fantastic Basilica, but many other Basilicas, relics and breathtaking art work to enrich your faith and your lives.

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Holy Week & Easter in Rome 2018

Rome is an amazing place to experience the end of Lent and beginning of Easter. There is so much history and tradition in Rome – the heart of the Church – that one cannot help but feel the past come to life in your own experiences. Checkout our 9 Amazing Ways to experience Easter in Rome below: Continue reading “Holy Week & Easter in Rome 2018”

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Best Guide To New Years Eve In Rome 2017 – 2018

If you will be spending New Years Eve In Rome 2017/2018 no doubt you will be wondering what you can do to celebrate the turning of the 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…

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Overview of Early Christianity in Rome (From St Paul to Constantine)

Jews and Christians

Jesus was a Jew.  The Gospel of Luke gives the geneology of Jesus going all the way back to Adam – our Father in the Flesh.  The Gospel of St Matthew also begins by giving the geneology of Jesus in the line descended from the Jewish Patriarch – Abraham – our Father in Faith.

The chronology of salvation history is intimitely intwined with these two geneologies which show Jesus as the fulfilment of all that had come before.  If you read the Jewish Scriptures contained in the Old Testament of the Bible, the Jewish religion hangs upon the principle of family – that certain people were part of God’s family – and that you were made part of God’s family by a binding Covenant between God and mankind.

There were 5 major covenants in the Jewish development:

Continue reading “Overview of Early Christianity in Rome (From St Paul to Constantine)”

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English Mass in Rome – A Complete Guide

If you are going on holiday to Rome and you need to know where you can hear Mass in English, then this Complete Guide to the English Mass in Rome is what you need.

Gone are the days when the whole Church was united in their liturgical worship with the use of Latin.  Instead, local countries offer the Mass in their own language – in Rome’s case – Italian.  In days of globalisation and cheap travel, the timing of this change is poor to say the least.

Fear not, there are multiple places in Rome where you can attend an English Mass.  We have included a list below of all relevant information both for an English Sunday Mass, and for English Weekday Masses.

Continue reading “English Mass in Rome – A Complete Guide”

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Using The Bus In Rome – Rome Public Transport

There are 4 main forms of Public Transport in Rome, namely: Bus, Metro, Tram & Train.  This article tells you everything you need to know about using the bus in Rome.

You may also be interested in our complete Guide to Travel Around Rome which also deals with how to arrive into Rome.

Rome’s Bus Company – ATAC

The public transport system in Rome is run by a company called ATAC which is notorious for its regular transport strikes (sciopero), overcrowded buses, ticket inspectors that target tourists despite the fact that virtually no-one else pays, and corruption.

Continue reading “Using The Bus In Rome – Rome Public Transport”

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

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 2017, 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”

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