Unveiling Rome's Scala Santa

Revealing a new secret in Rome: the original marble steps of the Scala Santa. The modern city of Rome is a complex place for those who live here and especially for those who visit. With its thousands...

Raphael's Transfiguration in the Vatican Museums

The colourful stories behind the final painting by High Renaissance master Raphael. If every picture tells a story, then The Transfiguration by Raphael on view in the Vatican Museums tells several. T...

Preci: Italy's mediaeval village of surgeons

For hundreds of years, a small village in a remote corner of Umbria produced many of Europe’s most celebrated doctors and surgeons. The village of Preci lies at the northern end of the Monte Sibill...

Rome: Piazza Navona's underground stadium

Rome's ancient ruins of the Stadium of Domitian can be visited under Piazza Navona. As you quietly sip a coffee in Piazza Navona, a pinch of zest is added by the thought of being seated in what once...

Bacon and Freud in Rome exhibition

Rome's Chiostro del Bramante presents Bacon, Freud and the School of London: Works from the Tate. The term “School of London” was coined by the painter R.B. Kitaj for the catalogue text of the exhibi...

Greccio: home of the world's first Nativity scene

St Francis is usually associated with Assisi, but there are also important sites in Lazio where he left his mark. Philip Biss Greek is no longer spoken in upper Sabina, as it might have been mor...

Christmas and New Year in Rome

How to celebrate the Christmas and New Year festive season in Rome. Christmas is a magical time in Rome, particularly for children. Streets in the historic centre twinkle with traditional street ligh...

Birdwatching in Rome gardens

A variety of birds can be watched from Roman balconies and gardens. Apart from their cheerful, colourful appearance and songs, birds are important animals. They help control insect pests and, in fact...

All you need to know about renting an apartment in Italy

Everything you need to know about renting a property in Italy. For many expats, looking for the perfect housing solution may be frustrating and disappointing unless they understand the laws and reg...

The Myth of San Michele on the Isle of Capri

The dream house of a legendary Swedish doctor and a secret love affair on the island of Capri.A little over a century ago, The Story of San Michele by Swedish doctor Axel Munthe was a runaway best sel...

Where have ancient Rome's buildings gone?

Over the millennia, imperial Rome's splendid buildings have been damaged, plundered, redesigned and then recycled into the fabric of the modern city. Ruins and artefacts re-emerging is, Rome being Ro...

Dealing with red tape and bureaucracy in Italy

Guide to help expats navigate their way through Italian bureaucracy. Many expats protest about bureaucracy in Italy, but let’s be fair: this scourge exists in every society. And as more and more form...

Villa of Livia: Rome’s very first First Lady

Everything in the Garden's Lovely: Discovering Empress Livia’s country retreat in Rome. Twenty-year-old Livia Druscilla must have considered herself lucky. Born in 58 BC into a wealthy noble Roman fa...

United Nations holds exhibition by refugee artists at Venice Biennale

Rothko in Lampedusa. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees offered five young refugee artists a residency in Venice during May to coincide with the Biennale. Barca Nostra lies at the far...

Golden Gala returns to Rome

Top international athletes converge in Rome for the 2019 edition of Italy’s annual track and field event. The world’s fastest and strongest athletes will return to light up the Eternal City as the 39...
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Get to Know Rome

I’m a retired college prof who lived in Rome but was too busy to study the city properly. Now I’ve spent a few years learning what I should have known before, and I’m publishing it...