How to Celebrate New Year’s in Rome

By Go City Expert

New Year’s is a cause for celebration across the globe and most people like to enjoy themselves with copious amounts of food, drink and merriment. In Rome, it’s no different. For Capodanno and the Festa di San Silvestro on the 31st December, Romans celebrate a culmination of the past year, their achievements and milestones and they look forward to what the New Year may bring. Traditionally families and friends get together for a big feast of lentils and cotechino, a large spiced sausage, all washed down with spumante and Prosecco. Nowadays, as well as this longstanding tradition, people flock to the streets of Rome where musicians play, people dance and traditional processions take place for everyone to enjoy. At the stroke of midnight firework displays will fill the sky to mark the height of the celebrations. Piazza del Popolo holds the biggest party, where tourists and locals gather to hear the sounds of Italian rock bands and to celebrate in style. The Roman Forum up to the Coliseum hosts a free concert where many go to take in the breath-taking views of the famous landmarks lit up in the Christmas lights, not to mention to enjoy a slap up meal at one of the area’s local restaurants beforehand. St Peter’s Square and Villa Borghese are also go-to destinations for the best local traditions and alternative concerts, staged over the evening of the 31st December. If you really want to make your experience all the more memorable, make sure you’ve had enough rest before you set out to celebrate the Festa di San Silvestro, as Romans are notorious for staying up well into the early hours of New Year’s Day!

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Double Canonization set to make History

It’s no secret that Pope John Paul II is to be canonized in St Peter’s Square this spring, on April 27th in fact, the day in which Catholics celebrate the Divine Mercy and the second Sunday of Easter. Now, however, we can witness not one but two canonizations, as both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be declared saints together – a ground- breaking ceremony and the first dual canonization in history. As Rome is usually a place of pilgrimage, with thousands flocking to Saint Peter’s Basilica every year, all year round, numbers of visitors to the capital are expected to soar as the event will draw in the masses from around the globe. For these two powerful symbols of the Roman Catholic Church to be canonized in a society where saints are a thing of the past, thought of as legends and heroes, it is the turning of a new leaf to celebrate Popes that have influenced people of today's world and have revolutionized today’s church as it stands. The ceremony, held in St Peter’s Square, the centre of the Catholic Church, is to celebrate the achievements of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII and sanctify them as modern day magnates. Previously, the (unwritten) rules of becoming a saint were you had to have produced two miracles, yet, a(nother) slight break in tradition means that Pope John XXIII only has one official miracle to his name; Pope John II has two. It’s believed that around 3 million people are to descend on the capital over the weekend of the 26th-27th April to witness this historic event, drawing not only pilgrims and faithful followers, but also 19 heads of state and 24 prime ministers. If you are in the capital over this weekend, please check ATAC for travel updates and plan your journeys in advance. Be aware that the capital will be much busier than usual. The OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card is made up of the Roma Pass which acts as your three day travelcard.
Go City Expert

Baroque and Roll in Rome

Whether you’re a professional architect, history buff or just an amateur lover of European buildings, you’ve probably come across the baroque style that is prominent throughout the continent and especially throughout Rome. As Rome was the birthplace of this 17th century design, it’s not surprising that there are inescapable examples of the style wherever you look. It is believed – and widely heralded – that it was the creative genius of Gian Bernini, and so his consequent success meant that all ecclesiastical decoration over the period, including St Peters Basilica, was heavily influenced by this new theme. Bernini’s talents also influenced famous landmarks like the Trevi Fountain in later years, too. You can easily go on a Baroque-spot across Rome, but to make it simple and to make sure you head to the right spots, we’ve outlined our top five ‘Baroque Bests’ in the city. Sant'Andrea al Quirinale Known as the “pearl of the baroque” the Church of Saint Andrew's at the Quirinal is thought of as the best example of the baroque style in Rome. Constructed by 1661, Bernini himself considered the church one of his most perfect works, and was so humbled by what he had achieved that he spent countless hours inside the church in awe of what he had created as an artist. St. Peter's Basilica Although Michelangelo is mostly to thank for the brilliance and splendour of St Peter’s Basilica, Bernini played his hand in a lot of the interior décor and design – as well as designing the entire square at the front of the grand church, complimented by the ring of columns and 140 of Bernini’s personal favourite saints whose statues overlook the square. On the inside, the large bronze and gold baroque ‘canopy’, the Baldachin, the stands over the main alter marking the place of St Peter’s tomb is one of the main features of the building. A master of all trades, Bernini also worked on the marble floor, too, meaning there are baroque influences throughout if you look carefully enough... Trevi Fountain As the largest baroque fountain in Rome, and one of the most famous in the world, the Trevi Fountain was actually designed by Nicola Salvi and Pietro Bracci in 1732. However, 100 years earlier Bernini had submitted initial designs to the Pope Urban VIII. Although the original design was discarded, there are undeniable Bernini-baroque influences throughout what we see today with its huge marble statues and figures and the dramatic water cascading down. Borghese Gallery The Borghese Gallery is home to some of the finest examples of baroque statues and art, so make sure you stop in and see the statue of David which was sculpted by Bernini at the mere age of 25 – and whose face was even sculptured from a mould of Bernini’s own... Apollo and Daphne is another baroque masterpiece and perfect example of the emotive tones that run through the style. Piazza Navona & Piazza di Spagna Two of the most famous squares in Rome; Piazza Navona (surrounded by restaurants and glorified with two fountains) and Piazza di Spagna (at the foot of the iconic Spanish Steps), are another two examples of baroque architecture and its ungiving grasp on Rome. Just two of many squares influenced by the style, these two are central to Rome’s history and culture and are illustrative of the forms and techniques, such as the grandiose fountains and romantic detail. Look out for cupids and cherubs – they’re a tell-tell sign of baroque architecture. Make the most of your trip to Rome with the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Pass and visit the Borghese Gallery and St Peter’s Basilica for free. Click here to learn more about how you can skip the lines with Fast Track Entry, travel throughout Rome with a travelcard and much, much more...
Go City Expert

Explore the City: Our Guide to the Best Piazzas in Rome

Take things easy with our guide to the top piazzas in Rome There's a sculpture, church and pasta place on every corner in Rome - and the same rings true for its many piazzas. Lined with restaurants and filled with fountains, there's a number scattered around the capital nearby some of the biggest tourist attractions or in quieter areas perfect for city break. Here's our guide to the top piazzas in Rome. This town 💜#balconyview #sunset #rome #travel A post shared by miia 💋 (@minttumanttu) on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:33am PDT Piazza Campo de'Fiori This atmospheric piazza thrives with energy and culture. This rectangular square is home to one of the best street markets in Rome, where you'll be able to grab everything from fresh produce to street food. In the evenings, it becomes a massive hang out area for people from all walks of life and there's a number of fantastic restaurants for ideal date nights. City of many fountains. #rome #vsco #latergram A post shared by Armi (@armi_h) on Jun 19, 2017 at 4:50pm PDT Piazza Navona An ancient Roman stadium once stood where this piazza does now. This large area retains the general shape of the arena and is filled with interesting statues and architectural marvels, including the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Obelisk of Domition. With restaurants and benches scattered around the piazza, it's a fantastic place to chill out with a cold glass of white wine. Пьяцца дель Пополо или «Народная площадь" В центре площади стоит обелиск Фламиния – 24-х метровая каменная колонна возрастом 3400 лет, которая была вывезена из Египта как военный трофей. Вначале колонну поставили в Большом цирке. Там он простоял долгие годы, разрушился и рухнул. Архитектор Доменико Фонтана по распоряжению Папы соединил обломки, и установил восстановленный обелиск посреди Пьяцца дель Пополо. Каждый шаг в Риме - это возможность увидеть своими глазами историю, прикоснуться к прекрасному. Единственное, что меня под конец стало раздражать - это торговцы цветами, подходят предлагают цветы и говорят, что это бесплатно. Начинаешь отказываться, пытаются всунуть их тебе в руки, в платье, вообщем лишь бы цветы оказались у тебя 😤 Настырные такие, слов не понимают, так и хотелось им уже 👊🏼 А так Рим прекрасен💓 Ставьте 💗, вам несложно, мне приятно😊 #travelnotes_Mfamily A post shared by Натали • Медякова (@iamname_) on Jun 16, 2017 at 1:53am PDT Piazza del Popolo As one of the larger squares in Rome, this piazza is named after the nearby church Santa Maria del Popolo. Located within throwing distance of the Borghese Gardens which houses the Borghese Gallery, it draws on neoclassical elements while incorporating fun sculptures such as an Egyptian obelisk and a tall arched gateway into the central area. A number of fountains add natural elements to the square and it's worth dipping into the three churches ringing the piazza. #wedding #boda 1 año y 7 meses después #instagood #instapic #roma #rome #roma🇮🇹 A post shared by Fʀᴀɴᴄᴇsᴄᴏ Cʜɪᴀʀɪ (@masterfrenc) on Jun 19, 2017 at 4:47am PDT Piazza del Campidoglio This breathtaking square was designed by the Italian master himself - Michelangelo. Trace the charcoal and cream oval pattern on the ground and pose alongside the intimidating bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, a former Roman Emperor. Once you've finished basking in the sun, head into the Capitoline Museums nearby to get your fill of ancient Roman art and architecture. Mijn buitenverblijfje. #vaticaan #vatican #vaticano #vaticancity #basilica #italy #rome #zweten A post shared by Esteban (@estetollen) on Jun 20, 2017 at 2:41am PDT Piazza San Pietro If you're keen on seeing the pope, this large Vatican City piazza is the place to be. On select dates, the pope appears in a window of St Peter's Basilica - the gigantic cathedral that dominates the square - and addresses those below with blessings. It functions as the spiritual heart of the deeply religious state and it's worth passing through on your way to the rest of the Vatican's attractions. Spanish Steps 👣 #Rome #italy #NasaEuropeSia #europalma #europetraveldiaries #beautifuldestinations A post shared by CZARLINE S. P. (@itsczzzarline) on Jun 16, 2017 at 8:00pm PDT Piazza di Spagna Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and head to the Spanish Steps on your Roman holiday. Piazza di Spagna, the large square at the base of the famous staircase, is a charming place to cool off and grab an espresso after running round the sights. Grab a picture of Bernini's ivory fountain before heading into the English poet John Keats' former home, where he and his fellow literary celebrity Percy Shelley are celebrated.
Megan Hills

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