Italy: Rome’s Hollywood on the Tiber

Cinecittà – Rome’s Cinema City: not just a simple “Hollywood” or a lonely “Pinetree”, but an entire metropolis dedicated to film-making. Twenty years ago I lived in Rome and longed to visit, but back then it was a forbidden city where only the chosen entered.

Now I am stepping out of the metro station bearing Cinecittà’s name and heading through its main entrance. The studios now welcome paying visitors, and I join a group of film fans eager to discover the secrets of Rome’s “Hollywood on the Tiber”.

Cinecittà’s main square features a sedate green lawn shaded by umbrella pines. I was expecting to be greeted by a riot of clapper boards, costumed extras, pampered stars and screaming producers. But now we mortals are allowed through the front door, the talent comes in round the back.

Italy: Rome’s Hollywood on the Tiber via @Telegraph http://soc.li/8GI1JfT

Four streets built for the film Gangs of New York are a permanent legacy at Cinecittà

Four streets built for the film Gangs of New York are a permanent legacy at Cinecittà

Italy: Roaming in Roma – Travel – NZ Herald

Twenty-eight years ago, a Roman we met in Florence pleaded with us to visit his city. With tears in his eyes and his arms outstretched, he implored: “You musta go to Roma, you musta visit la Città Eterna!”

On that occasion, running low on time and funds we did not go to Rome, but last year my partner and I kept our promise to him.

Five days at the tail-end of four weeks in Croatia and Italy cannot do justice to such a city – but then nor could a lifetime.

Still, it was long enough to become enthralled by the history and architecture, to fall under the spell of the Roman people with their easy charm and enviable style, and inspire a deep longing to return – sealed, of course, by the traditional tossing of a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

Italy: Roaming in Roma – Travel – NZ Herald News http://nzh.tw/10857895 via @nzherald

Rome's Trevi Fountain

Rome’s Trevi Fountain

What’s new in Italy for 2013

Italy has more of Europe’s cultural heritage than any other country — and the Italians are doing a fine job of sharing it with their visitors. Here is the latest, gleaned from my guidebook research for 2013:

When in Rome

Rome has made visiting the Vatican Museum easier. You can often buy same-day, skip-the-line tickets from the tourist-information office in St. Peter’s Square; it will cost the same price you’d pay if you had reserved online (15-euro ticket plus 4-euro reservation fee).

Florence sights

Massive crowds line up to see Florence’s cathedral — the Duomo — which is free to enter. Here’s how to skip the line: If you’re planning to visit the cathedral-related sights — the Duomo Museum, Baptistery and Campanile — that require a combo ticket to see, buy your ticket first at the less-crowded museum. You’re allowed to use it to enter through the cathedral’s exit, bypassing the lines at the front door.

Florence’s Uffizi Gallery is undergoing a massive, years-long renovation that bodes well for travelers. Although a few rooms are off-limits, many more rooms have been opened to the public, such as the Caravaggio Rooms and the new “Foreign Painters Section,” featuring mostly Dutch/Flemish painters (including Rembrandt) with some Spanish and French artists.

What’s new in Italy for 2013 | Travel | The Seattle Times http://seattletimes.com/html/travel/2019995533_italystevesxml.html

Rome’s St. Peter’s Square is eternal — but can change to accommodate the needs of busy tourists. The square’s tourist-information office often offers same-day tickets to the adjacent Vatican Museum.

Rome’s St. Peter’s Square is eternal — but can change to accommodate the needs of busy tourists. The square’s tourist-information office often offers same-day tickets to the adjacent Vatican Museum.

Italy: Spirit of Rome – Travel – NZ Hera

On our recent visit to the Eternal City, we uncover Rome’s gruesome history and its spiritual light.

Standing outside the Colosseum, we could be forgiven for thinking that the Roman Empire has not yet fallen.

Where thousands of spectators once gathered to watch gladiators fight, today my husband and I join hundreds of tourists for gory stories of life and death.

In Emperor Nero’s day, gladiators fought exotic animals including elephants, lions, and giraffes at the Colosseum. We see the pits which housed these animals before battle.

While most gladiators were slaves, the professionals were apparently treated like football stars. Rumour has it that women had to sit far away from the arena to resist throwing themselves at these superstars.

We discover that the dark side of Rome did not end with the fall of the Empire…

Italy: Spirit of Rome – Travel – NZ Herald News http://nzh.tw/10852045 via @nzherald

Looking down on the Colosseum, Rome. Photo / Supplied Looking down on the Colosseum, Rome. Photo / Supplied

Rome: How to explore Valentino’s city

One of the fashion world’s great survivors, Valentino Garavani – better known simply as “Valentino” – began his career in 1959 as a haute couture dressmaker to the rich and famous, like so many in the Rome of the Dolce Vita years.

But with the help of his friend and business partner Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino turned a niche business into a global brand.

In his 50-year career (he officially retired in 2008), the couturier from Voghera in the north of Italy has designed dresses for Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Gwyneth Paltrow and more members of royal families than you could fit on to the deck of his 152ft yacht.

Rome: How to explore Valentino’s city via @Telegraph http://soc.li/iZGVN4C

Via Condotti, where Valentino was based when he first arrived from his apprenticeship in Paris in 1958

Via Condotti, where Valentino was based when he first arrived from his apprenticeship in Paris in 1958

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