Month: May 2018

Vatican City 1 of 3. Things You Must See. A Spasso Con Sara’s Guides

Vatican City 1 of 3. Things You Must See. A Spasso Con Sara’s Guides

It is the smallest independent state in the world. The Vatican is the heart of the Christian church. Home of the Papacy, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, it is visited every year by millions of people.

3 special appointments with A Spasso con Sara to discover the Vatican. Things you must see, places to eat and accommodations to sleep in the shade of the most famous dome in Rome.

1) Things You Must See

St Peter’s Square and Apostolic Palace

Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, master of Roman Baroque, St. Peter’s Square is the center of the Christian world. The elliptical square is bordered by an imposing colonnade. It symbolically represents the arms of the Church that stretch out to hold the entire Christian community. In it the faithful gather for the Sunday Angelus or for the liturgical celebrations presided over by the Pope (Palm Sunday, Easter, canonizations, general audiences, etc.). At the center of the square stands an obelisk brought to Rome from Caligula in 40 AD and then placed on the spine of the Circus of Nero. It is the only ancient obelisk in Rome that has never fallen.

On the right side, the square is surrounded by the Apostolic Palace, official residence of the pope in the Vatican. From one of the windows on the top floor, on Sunday at 12 noon, His Holiness faces to speak to the faithful gathered in the square for the traditional appointment of Angelus Domini.

St Peter’s Square by night. On the right the Apostolic Palace (the unlighted window is the Pope’s Studio) Credits:


St Peter’s Basilica

Built in the Constantine era (IV century AD) on the tomb of St. Peter, the first pope, it is the largest basilica in the world. However, it is not the cathedral church of the Roman diocese since this title belongs to the basilica of St. John Lateran.

The current basilica has nothing of the original churchIn the mid-fifteenth century the basilica fell into ruin and several popes (Nicholas V, Julius II, Paul V, Urban VIII) entrusted various architects (Bernardo Rossellino, Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno) with the task of designing and building a new church. The result is extraordinary and makes St. Peter’s a majestic achievement, a concentrate of treasures unique in the world.

Visiting, the Basilica will leave you speechless: the Lodge of Blessings on the facade from which the newly-elected pontiff overlooks to bless Rome and the whole world; the Holy Door, on the nartex, which is only opened once every twenty-five years; from Michelangelo’s Pieta to Bernini’s Baldachin and the Chair of St Peter.

Opening hours: 1st October – 31st March: from 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.; 1st April – 30th September: from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: free

The Pieta by Michelangelo. Jesus. Credits: Franco Cosimo Panini Editore

The Pietà by Michelangelo















The Bernini’s Baldachin. Credits:

The Chair of St Peter by Bernini. Credits:














The Dome

Only the genius of Michelangelo could conceive such an ambitious artistic achievement. Inspired by Brunelleschi‘s dome in Florence, Michelangelo, however, died before seeing his work completed. The project was completed by Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana who made small changes to the initial project. Today you can climb up to the dome and admire the basilica and then the entire city of Rome from a different point of view! 551 steps or lift to the first terrace and then 321 steps on foot. The choice is yours!

Opening Hours: 1st October – 31st March: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 1st April – 30th September: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Price: lift + steps on foot: 10 €; whole walking route 8 €


The internal decoration of the Dome of St Peter. Credits:


The Dome of St Peter. Credits:


Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

The Museum of Museums. It is the largest art collection in the world. Born as a collection of ancient sculptures, their history started in 1506, when Pope Julius II exhibited a first group of sculptures in the courtyard octagon (the famous Laocoon was in this group). Very soon, the collection expanded to include all the other works of art accumulated by the Roman popes over the centuries. Not only sculptures, but also rooms and frescoes that bear the signature of two geniuses of Italian art, Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel) and Raphael (Raphael’s Rooms). Very important is also the collection of paintings (Vatican art gallery) where you can admire masterpieces of Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio.

Opening Hours: from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Sunday, except the last Sunday of the month)
Price: € 17 (full price), € 8 (reduced ticket), free on last Sunday of the month
Web Site:

The Vatican Museums. Credits:


The School of Athen in the Raphael’s Rooms. Credits:


Sistine Chapel. View. Credits:


The creation of Adam. Detail of the decoration of the vault of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Credits:


The Last Judgment painted by Michelangelo. Back wall of the Sistine Chapel. Credits:


San Gerolamo by Leonard Da Vinci. Credits:


The Deposition by Caravaggio. Credits:

Vatican Gardens

The green lung of the Vatican. The gardens contain numerous botanical species from all over the world, as well as fountains, temples, farmhouses and some sections of the walls built by Leo IV in the mid-9th century AD to protect the Vatican Hill and St. Peter’s Basilica from the Saracens who sacked it. They are composed of various areas, Italian Garden, English Garden, Pope’s Garden, and are also home to some state offices, the Vatican railway station and the heliport.


Vatican Gardens. Credits:


Papal necropolis of St Peter’s Basilica

In the cavity between the current basilica and the ancient Constantine basilica. They are formed by a group of galleries, niches and chapels in which numerous pontiffs are buried but also other historical figures such as the emperor Otto II, who died in Rome and Queen Christine of Sweden, eager to be buried near the tomb of St. Peter, the first pope. In fact, the ideal heart of the Necropolis is the Chapel of St. Peter, to which corresponds, above the caves, the papal altar and Michelangelo’s dome and in the underground necropolis the tomb of the Apostle.
The Papal necropolis of St Peter’s Basilica, which resemble a sort of huge underground crypt, is also the place where you can admire, together with the successive medieval and Renaissance transformations, some few but significant remains of the first basilica of St. Peter built by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD.

The Papal Necropolis of St Peter’s. Credits:


The Tomb of Pius XI in the Necropolis of St Peter’s. Credits:



Posted by Sara Pandozzi in GUIDES, 0 comments
Exclusive Review: Easy Budget Colosseo, Rome

Exclusive Review: Easy Budget Colosseo, Rome

A few steps from the Colosseum, in the center of Rome. Comfortable rooms and services tailored to the guest. How to sleep in the heart of the Eternal City without spending a fortune.


A great location

The young manager and owner of the property, Gianmarco, has adopted a decidedly winning approach to his second guesthouse. Already the owner of the beautiful LHR Coliseum B&B in Via Labicana (, Gianmarco has designed a new guesthouse on the Celio (400 m from the Colosseum, 1 km from Santa Maria Maggiore and 13 km from Ciampino airport) to offer travelers a solution at the right price (that’s why easy budget) in the heart of Rome.

From the outside. easy Budget Colosseo is located in a nice building in a very quiet street next to the Colosseum

Rooms for business people and tourists

His idea takes shape on the second and third floors of a noble palace served by an elevator. A small reception area opens up here. The environment, dominated by the blue color, is very clean and well-kept. The structure consists of 8 rooms of different categories: single, superior double, classic double and economy double. All rooms have a city view and each room is equipped with private bathroom with shower, professional hair dryer (on request), linen, safe, flat screen digital TV with CD/DVD player, fiber optic WIFI connection and a kettle with tea and herbal teas. In the superior rooms there is also a minibar with snacks and drinks. The space in the rooms has been used intelligently and in order to ensure maximum comfort for both business travelers and tourists visiting the city.

Easy Budget Colosseo: the superior room


Each room has got a private bathroom with a shower.

Top services…

Services are the strength of Easy Budget Colosseo.

Housekeeping is daily. Every morning the housekeeping staff provides for the reorganization of the room and the supply of necessary.

A good breakfast is included in the price and includes every morning orange juice, fresh croissants, yogurt, cereals, a slice of cake or a dessert, fruit. Sip a cappuccino or an espresso and get the most out of your day.

The reception service is active from 09:30 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 18:30. Outside reception hours, the staff is available 24 hours by phone. Gianmarco and his staff are ready to satisfy any of your requests. They will show you and book for you the best restaurants in the center of Rome to enjoy an excellent carbonara or a tasty pizza.

A taxi booking service or a private driver is also available to reach railway stations, airports or any other destination in total relaxation. And if you wish to visit the Colosseum or the Vatican, you will find the necessary assistance in booking tickets to skip the line or a good guided tour. Tickets for Rome’s public transport and Roma Pass are also available at the reception.

High speed WIFI internet access is available throughout the property. But for Guests who want to surf constantly at high speed, Easy Budget Colosseum rents portable WIFI routers.

Easy Budget Colosseo: the breakfast. The best way to start the day!


Top Services: a driver just for you to get everywhere with no stress

…With a Fair Price. Catch the Best Rate!

The service is very attentive, despite the low price (single room from 65 € per night, superior double room from 99 € per night), a real bargain for the center of Rome. Clicking on their website you can win your favorite room with the best price guaranteed. And if you find a better rate on another site, for the same type of accommodation, with the same treatment and for the same dates, you can send a screenshot of the lowest price and your stay will be discounted by an additional 15% from the price on the Easy Budget site.


The perfect place for your important occasions

Gianmarco and his staff, then, love to surprise their guests with little surprises: chocolates, flowers, a special wish, are the pampering that those who decide to celebrate at Easy Budget Colosseo a birthday, a honeymoon or an anniversary.

Easy Budget Colosseo, a valid alternative to the classic hotels of Rome. Strategic location, family atmosphere, low price and top services. Book now!


Easy Budget Colosseo: a special room for a special occasion in Rome



Address: Via Celimontana, 28, 00184 Rome

Phone: +39 329 681 9972

Web site:

Price: starting from 65 € (single) / 99 € (superior double)






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Posted by Sara Pandozzi in PLACES TO STAY, ROME, 0 comments
A Rain Of Roses: Pentecost at the Pantheon

A Rain Of Roses: Pentecost at the Pantheon

On the occasion of the day of Pentecost, around 12 today, Sunday, May 20, 2018, the Fire Brigade will drop from the Central Oculus of the dome of the Pantheon thousands of petals of roses to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. This is a very ancient tradition which has been suspended for some time, but has been restored since 1995.


The Event & The Appointment

A unique emotion, for which every year gather many faithful and curious. The influx of people will be interrupted as soon as the basilica reaches the permitted number of those present for security reasons. The event will be preceded by the celebration of Holy Mass scheduled for 10:30 am.


The Monument

The Pantheon, the temple dedicated to all gods (from the greek language: Πάνθεων) , was built by Marco Vipsanio Agrippa (as the inscription on the façade clearly reminds us), son-in-law of Augustus, in the first century BC. Heavily damaged by the fires of 80 and 110 A.D., the current Pantheon is the result of a reconstruction commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian between 120 and 124 A.D. who, on that occasion, thanks to the genius of Apollodorus of Damascus, his trusted architect, revolutionized the structure of the temple by inverting its orientation with the north facing.

In 609 A.D. the Byzantine emperor Foca decided to donate the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV who transformed it into the present Christian church of Santa Maria ad Martyres. For this reason, the Pantheon is one of Rome’s best preserved temples.

The extraordinary dome, built with a single concrete throw, remains one of the greatest engineering masterpieces of the Roman world. Today it is the largest dome in the world made without reinforced concrete and supports.


Address: Piazza della Rotonda, Rome.
Opening Hours: 09 am – 6 pm
Price: Free




Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ART & CULTURE, ON THIS DAY, ROME, 0 comments
European Night Of Museums 2018: 3 Museums To Visit in Rome

European Night Of Museums 2018: 3 Museums To Visit in Rome

Saturday, May 19, 2018 will take place in Rome “The Night of Museums”, an initiative in conjunction with 30 other European countries. More than 50 museums, monumental complexes, exhibitions and shows will be opened exceptionally from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. (last admission at 1 a.m.). For a Saturday dedicated to art and culture without spending a dizzying amount of money. In some cases the entrance ticket will be 1 €, in others completely free. Some of the most beautiful exhibitions currently taking place in the capital (such as Turner’s at the Cloister of Bramante can instead be visited with a discount. You will pay, in fact, the reduced ticket.
All you have to do, then, is choose your favourite museum/site (take a look at the list of places and institutions participating in the initiative here: and prepare for this special evening in which art remains on!

Personally, I am undecided among these three. On Saturday I will tell you live which museum I have chosen to visit again. And you?

1) Capitoline Museums

They were born in 1471, when Pope Sixtus IV gave a group of bronze statues to the Roman people. Their historical headquarters is in Piazza del Campidoglio (near Piazza Venezia) and consists of Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo. Many works that will leave you speechless: from the famous She-Wolf, symbol of the city of Rome, to the Statue of Marcus Aurelius (the one in the square is a copy), from the colossal head of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, to the hall of emperors in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, where you can look into the eyes some of the faces of men who have written the history of Rome. And then goddesses, philosophers, athletes. A real room of wonders that, with the night light will certainly not fail to give you unique emotions.

And if you’re not tired yet, walk to the Colosseum, take the B line of the subway and get off at Garbatella. A few steps from the metro, you will find the Central Montemartini, the new seat of the Capitoline Museums. Inaugurated in 1997, it offers a unique mix of industrial machines and the beauty of the ancient world.

Addresses: Piazza del Campidoglio (Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo), Via Ostiense 106 (Centrale Montemartini).



The Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the “container” itself can be considered a true work of art. Born from the ashes of the workshops and pavilions of the Caserma Montello, in the Flaminio district, it is a great architectural work with innovative and spectacular forms. The campus is organized into 4 departments (MAXXI Architecture, MAXXI Art, MAXXI Research, Education, Training and MAXXI Development) whose visit offers an unprecedented experience: permanent collections, but also temporary exhibitions, conferences, shows and workshops in search of the aesthetic sense of our time.

Address: Via Guido Reni 4/A


3) National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art

It is the only museum in Italy dedicated entirely to modern art. It houses artistic creations, mainly Italian, from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There are many masterpieces of sculpture and painting that you can admire in its rooms: the Hercules and Lica by Antonio Canova, but also the Sicilian Vespers by Francesco Hayez, the Three Ages of the Woman by Klimt, the Lying Nude by Modigliani. And again Duchamp’s bicycle wheel and the famous Urinarium, De Chirico’s Ettore ed Andromaca and the works of Pino Pascali. A real journey to discover the largest collection of contemporary Italian art.

Address: Viale delle Belle Arti 131



Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, ART & CULTURE, MUSEUMS, ROME, 0 comments
Shop Till You Drop – Where To Shop In Rome

Shop Till You Drop – Where To Shop In Rome

From the most famous streets a stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps, from the Vatican to the streets outside the city centre: my suggestions on where to shop in Rome.

From luxury to more commercial solutions.

Jewellery, clothes, shoes and bags. The best streets and the best shops in Rome.


Shopping in the heart of Rome

From Piazza di Spagna to Piazza del Popolo: the triumph of luxury

In the heart of Rome, a short walk from the famous Spanish Steps to Piazza del Popolo. This is the most exclusive Roman shopping area. The great haute couture brands and the most famous jewelers have chosen this location for their refined boutiques. Jewelry, clothes, footwear, accessories and leather goods of the most famous brands, are the precious booty that you can get by shopping in Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona, Via della Vite and Via delle Carrozze. Many important names: Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara, Hermes, Armani, Prada, Miu Miu, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Chanel, Valentino, Bulgari, Tiffany and Fendi. For a dizzying shopping! Even make-up should not be overlooked! I recommend, then, a tour of the store of the Canadian giant Make up: Mac! One of the points of sale is in Via del Babbuino.

The Prada Store in Via dei Condotti. Credits:

When shopping is convenient: Via del Corso

Although Gucci and Ferragamo are my favourite designers, I often only have to look at those beautiful shop windows. My ideal location for shopping in the heart of Rome is Via del Corso. This is the street that connects Piazza del Popolo with Piazza Venezia. Many shops where you can buy at very affordable prices! H&M, Zara, Calzedonia, Yamamay, Pull&Bear, Alcott, are just some of the international brands that you can find. There are also lesser known shops, such as Corner, which are excellent for footwear. Possibility of shopping for children. More or less in the middle of Via del Corso you will find the Disney Store, the official Disney store in the heart of Rome. And if the rain should surprise you, take refuge immediately in the Alberto Sordi Gallery for indoor shopping.

Have shopping in Via del Corso. Credits:

Quality a few steps from Piazza di Spagna: Via di Campo Marzio

A path totally unknown to me, until one day, I got lost in the crossroads of Via del Corso. And then a world opened up to me! Opposite Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, this little street hides many beautiful little shops. Davide Cenci, for both men and women, but also Marinella for ties, Centodieci with beautiful women’s shoes, Il Camiciaio, unbeatable for men’s shirts, and the new shop of Paul Taylor, a true paradise for men’s clothing. And if, like me, you adore wool garments of excellent quality, I suggest you Alan Paine, the Roman store of the famous English brand, where Patrizia will undoubtedly advise you the best for you!

When shopping, do not forget your four-legged friends either! And right on Via di Campo Marzio there is an exclusive shop dedicated to them: bibs, dresses, kennels and perfumes. Here I love to buy clothes and accessories for my dachshund!

The Alan Paine Store in Via di Campo Marzio. Credits:

Paul Taylor Sore in Via di Campo Marzio Credits:

Shopping in the shadow of St. Peter’s Dome

Via Cola di Rienzo

Ok, they dragged you to see the Sistine Chapel and you are already mourning because you think you can not spend the rest of the day running from one shop to another in Via del Corso. Do not worry! A few steps from the famous dome of St. Peter’s opens a new paradise: Via Cola di Rienzo. Clothing, shoes (Timberland, Vans), but also sheets, candles and household items (Zara Home). For all pockets and all tastes!
And if you are tired of collecting shoes and bags, follow your nose and you will arrive straight from Castroni, famous roasting company in Rome, where you can buy coffee, candies, liqueurs and chocolates.

The Zara Home Store in Via Cola di Rienzo. Credits:

Outside the historical centre

The Market of Via Sannio

In the San Giovanni district, a stone’s throw from the Cathedral of St John, the Pope’s original seat at the beginning of the history of the Church of Rome. And it’s no coincidence that even the famous actress Sarah Jessica Parker, when she’s visiting Rome, takes a tour around here! Here the Market of Via Sannio, by now famous also abroad, is operative from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 to 14. With a good deal of patience, you can find everything: military style items, fishing equipment, but also bags, belts and shoes. Negotiate the best price with the seller and you can take home a stylish item at a very affordable price!

Sarah Jessica Parker at the Market of Via Sannio. Credits:

Via Appia Nuova and Via Tuscolana

Near the market in Via Sannio, a must is Via Appia Nuova (not to be confused with the ancient Via Appia). Extended from San Giovanni to Colli Albani, it has many shops where you can find many fashion items at very reasonable prices. Among these, worthy of note are, without a doubt, shops such as Bimbo Shoes (baby footwear), Cinzia Store (women’s clothing), Aio Oio & Scarponcino (women’s footwear). There are also shops selling common brands such as Calzedonia, Intimissimi, Zara, Original Marines. At Furio Camillo, there is also a shopping centre where you can also find Decathlon, a well-known sports shop.

And if you still have energy, take a trip along Via Tuscolana. From H&M, Alcott, Pimkie to the beautiful Urban Jungle store and many small romans store, you’ll definitely find bread for your shopping!

A store in Via Tuscolana. Credits:


A stone’s throw from Rome: great brands at affordable prices

Castel Romano Outlet

Discounts throughout the year, from 30 to 70% on your favorite brands, not only during the sales period. Easily accessible by bus from Termini Station, the outlet of Castel Romano, with over 150 shops, allows you to shop with the best brands at very affordable prices. Diesel, Michael Kors, Furla, Geox, Guess are just some of the brands you can find. The outlet also has a number of bars and restaurants where you can take a short break between purchases.

The outlet of Castel Romano. Credits:


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ROME, SHOPPING, 0 comments
A Rainy Day in Rome: What To Do

A Rainy Day in Rome: What To Do

It’s your only day off or it’s the only weekend you’ve struggled to organize, but you’ve got a rainy day in Rome. So what is to be done? Do not worry!

The Eternal City, in fact, offers many opportunities for relaxation, recreation or fun even in the rain! These are some of my suggestions.

1) Treat yourself to a relaxing break in one of the many spas in the city.
San Carlo Suite

A moment all for you, to live alone or in the company of your sweetheart. Take advantage of the rain to regain your physical and mental wellbeing and to forget, at least for a while, the everyday world.
Where? In the “Suite with Access to Spa” at San Carlo Suites. Located in Via del Corso, almost in front of the large H&M store, it will seem, at first, to enter one of the many buildings in the center of Rome. Once you get up, the surprise: 19 square meters of luxury and elegance. Design furniture, an electric open fireplace and a wonderful whirlpool Jacuzzi. Guests booking directly from the website have the right to the open bar with drinks and snacks in the San Carlo Lounge Area. What if you suddenly feel like sushi? No problems! Just ask and the staff will provide you with, for a small fee, a delicious giappo style dinner at the poolside.

Address: Via del Corso 112



2) Indoor Shopping
Shopping Centers EUROMA2, Porta di Roma

Rome is the city of shopping. From Via del Corso to the famous Via dei Condotti, from Via Ottaviano to Via Cola di Rienzo … but if it rains? No problem, you do indoor shopping!
Car or public transport does not matter. What matters is that you get to one of the most popular shopping centres in the city right away. Among them I remember EUROMA2, open between 9 and 22, or Porta di Roma where, if you get tired of shopping, you can even find a multiplex cinema!

Addresses: EUROMA 2: Viale dell’Oceano Pacifico 83; Porta di Roma: Via Alberto Lionello 201.
Websites: &



3) A tour of the market
Mercato Centrale di Roma

In Via Giolitti, a short walk from Termini Station, the Mercato Centrale is one of the capital’s must-see in recent times. A real journey into goodness. Inside there is really everything: bread, cakes, meats, but also pizza, ice cream, fried, cheese, black truffle, wine, beer and even the Sicilian specialties! Neither vegans and vegetarians nor lovers of Japanese cuisine will be disappointed, since some shops offer both sushi and ramen. It is open daily from 8am to midnight. Once in, I didn’t want to go out anymore! Book your table too!

Address: Via Giolitti 36




4) Underground Rome
The Underground of San Clemente

And if you have already seen the Colosseum and St. Peter’s, well, did you know that there are so many wonders even in the basement of Rome? One of these treasures lies right behind the famous amphitheatre. I’m talking about the subterranean levels of the Church of San Clemente, where three different archaeological levels can be visited and easily recognized. A truly amazing journey through time, passing from the current medieval basilica to the early Christian up to the Mithraeum and the Imperial Mint. The rooms and the decorations are still well preserved, like the spring water present in the subsoil of the church.

Address: Via Labicana 95
Web address:



5) Aperitif Time
Freni e Frizioni

If the rain surprises you in the evening, I would say that the best idea is to have a good aperitif. My favorite place is in the heart of Trastevere and is called Freni e Frizioni. Crystal chandeliers and modern art, here the indoor aperitif is also a bit chic. There is a wide choice of cocktails to accompany the appetizers and delicacies in the buffet (bruschettas, focacce, pasta salads, etc.).

Address: Via del Politeama 4/6.




Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ROME, 0 comments