Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery – Milan

Milan - Gallery - Exterior
Milan - Gallery - InteriorMilan - Gallery - Evening ViewMilan - Duomo - View from the roof

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest and famous shopping centers in the world; it is considered the progenitor of the modern concept of enclosed shopping malls!

Built during the second half of the 19th century it was dedicated to the first King of the newly born Italian Reign: Vittorio Emanuele II. The Gallery is formed by two glass vaulted loggias that covered the street that joined two of the most important plazas in Milan: Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala.

The roof was built with glass and cast iron; this style was very popular and modern at the time. Right in the center of the roof there is the famous glass dome; today it is impossible to imagine Milan’s skyline without it!

Right under the dome are located four mosaics; each one of them represents the coat of arm of the three capitals of Italy, Turin, Florence and finally Rome, plus Milan’s one. Because of the popular myth that if you spin around with your foot on the Turin coat of arm you will have good luck, this mosaic is heavily damaged!

Things to see

The people of Milan call the Galleria “il salotto di Milano”, Milan’s drawing room, because since the beginning the Galleria had become the center of the vibrant Milan’s life. In the gallery are in fact located the oldest restaurants and shops of the modern Milan.

The gallery is well known around the world for its luxury shops; the most important haute couture and jewelry brands have there their dedicated stores. Also the first and only 7 stars certified hotel in the world is located at the noble floor of the Gallery.

Private Ostia Antica Tour

Ostia Antica - Bath
Ostia Antica - MosaicOstia Antica - MacineOstia Antica - Diana HouseOstia Antica - BassorilievoOstia Antica - ThermopoliumOstia Antica - Palm view

From: $131.03

 

TOUR DURATION

4 Hours

START TIME

09:00 AM

01:30 PM

Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, SUN

MEETING POINT

Pick-up at your hotel, more details at booking

Tour
Itinerary
Tour
Inclusions
Tour
Information

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Your private driver and guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Rome to take you on an exciting 4 hour tour dedicated to Ostia Antica.

 

During the short drive from Rome, only 30 kilometers, your guide will give you some background historical information preparing you for your visit of this town which is believed to be one of Rome’s first colonies.

 

This ancient town is so well preserved that as you walk around you will be able to see what would have been the daily life of a roman. This large archaeological site has an amazing collection of well-preserved frescoes, buildings and gorgeous mosaics.

 

Your guided tour will including the oldest buildings discovered, the military camp and the Temple of Jupiter Juno and Minerva, dated around the 3 century BC. Enjoy the gorgeous mosaics and frescoes, as you sit for few minutes on the stairs of the elegant theater.

 

You will be able to see the many transformations of the city unveiled before your eyes. Ostia was a major port for the Roman Empire; the beautiful city then, during the late Roman era, turned into a country retreat for the Roman aristocracy; while after the fall of the empire sadly it became an unstable town constantly attacked by pirates.

 

At the end of your guided tour meet your driver again for your return to Rome.

TOUR INCLUSIONS

– Round trip transportation with private car

– Expert English speaking local guide at disposal

– Entrance Fees at Ostia Antica Archaeological Park

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

– Visit of Ostia Antica Archaeological Park

– Visit of Military Camp

– Visit of Temple of Jupiter Juno and Minerva

– Visit of the Ancient Theater

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking

– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.

– Adult pricing applies to all travelers

– We suggest wearing comfortable shoes and clothes as Ostia Antica has uneven terrain.  During summer we suggest to bring a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water.

Departure point:
Pick-up at your accommodation

Duration:
4 hours

Return details:
Drop-off at your accommodation

Naples National Archaeological Museum

Naples - National Archeological Museum - Sala Meridiana
Naples - National Archaeological Museum - Farnese CollectionNaples - National Archeological Museum - BronzeNaples - National Archaeological Museum - Stairs

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples National Archeological Museum) was founded by King Charles III during the second half of the 18th century. He converted a cavalry barracks in one of the most important Italian museum.

The museum houses a unique collection of Roman antiquities. The majority of the pieces showcase in the museum came from the Farnese Collection. This collection is very important because includes many copies of ancient Greek sculptures otherwise lost. In the last few years a part of these statues have been moved to the Museo di Capodimonte.

Many of the sculptures has forged our perception of mythological figures, like the Farnese Hercules, or have taught us how the ancient have seen the western constellations (the Farnese Atlas).  The massive Farnese Bull is considered the biggest single ancient sculpture ever found.

A lot of this statues once were located in the Caracalla Bath in Rome.

Famous all around the world are the unique Herculaneum papyri that survived the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 AD. In the same villa where the papyri were found a beautiful collection of bronzes was discovered too.

From Pompeii where brought here many stunning mosaics.

The museum houses a large collection of Egyptian artifacts; most of these pieces come from two different sets: the Cardinal Borgia’s and the Picchianti’s.

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Under the Bourbon Monarchy, another collection was added to the museum: the one hosted in the Secret Cabinet. This collection has a unique story: the pieces showcases came from Pompeii and Herculaneum and for years they were hidden because of their erotic and sexual nature. At the beginning only adult people could visit the rooms, later to avoid to be considered lascivious the collection was locked up.

Only when Garibaldi conquered the city the door of this secret rooms were opened again. However it took more than a century to completely open it to the public. Visitors under the age of 14 can only entered the rooms with an adult.

 

Bevagna

Bevagna - Piazza Silvestri
Bevagna - Duomo - InteriorBevagna - FountainBevagna - Church of Madonna della Neve

Bevagna is a little beautiful town located in the province of Perugia, Umbria.

As many Umbrian cities Bevagna’s origin is Etruscan. When the roman took the Etruscan dominions it became a roman municipality.

The roman domination’s presence is still evident. Two temples, mosaics and an amphitheatre are visible when wondering around the city. The walls built during this period were destroyed and it is believed that the medieval fortification was built on top of the ancient one.

When the Lombards conquered central Italy Bevagna became part of the Duchy of Spoleto. In the year 1000 the town became a free commune. In 1152 Bevagna followed the unfortunate destiny of many cities of the area and it was destroyed by the Frederick Barbarossa’s army. Not even 100 years later what was rebuilt was destroyed again by the Count of Aquino. After few centuries of relative quiet Bevagna became part of the Papal States; in the late 19th century the city was annexed into the newly born Italian Reign.

Things to see

Piazza di Silvestri is the principal square of Bevagna. Palazzo dei Consoli, a beautiful example of gothic architecture, and the Church of St. Sylvester and St. Michael overlook the piazza. The two churches were built by the architects Brunello and Ridolfo during the 12th century. A fountain was added in the 19th century.

The Churches of St. Francis and of The Madonna of the Snow are worth a visit too. They were built on an area were once stand a Roman Temple and the Roman Bath.

The interesting city’s history is showcased in a small museum located in the city hall.

In June Bevagna hosts a Medieval Festival. The city streets become the stage of a “medieval city”, the visitor will feel the thrill of living in the past.

Spoleto

Spoleto - Roman Theatre
Spoleto - Rocca Albornoziana - viewSpoleto - Ponte delle TorriSpoleto - Village - view

Spoleto is part of the province of Perugia; it is one of the oldest cities in Umbria. The city is located between Rome and Assisi on a low hill at the base of the Apennines.

Spoleto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thanks to its strategic geographical location Spoleto have been very important since the Umbri tribes’ time. They fortified the town in the 5th century BCE; it is still possible to see part of the walls.

During the Roman period it was a flourishing city, its wine was already very popular.

Under the Lombards domination Spoleto became the capital of the Duchy of Spoleto; in 774 it was annexed to the Holy Roman Empire. Almost four centuries later the city was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa. In 1213 the town became part of the Papal States.

At the beginning of the 19th century when Napoleon’s troops conquered part of the Italian territory Spoleto became the capital of the Trasimene Department. Not even five years later the city went back under the Papal command. In 1860 it became part of the Italian Reign.

Spoleto is dominated by the Albornoz fortress; the fort is considered the symbol of the city. The building was constructed at the end of the 14th century by the architect Matteo Gattapone of Gubbio for Cardinal Albornoz. The Fortress is formed by six towers that divided the structure in two separated spaces: the Cortile delle Armi and the Cortile d’onore. The first one was used by the army while the second one by the Spoleto’s governor.

Very famous is the Camera Pinta (Painted Room) with its stunning frescoes.

The fortress protected the city from many attacks for centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century however it was converted in a jail. Only in 2007 was opened to the public as a museum.

Walking around Spoleto its history will unfold in front of your eyes. In particular the roman presence is still strong; many roman buildings survived the centuries: the Ponte Sanguinario (Bloody Bridge) dated 1st century BCE; a gorgeous house with stunning mosaics floors (probably the house of the Emperor Vespasian’s mother); a theatre and an amphitheater. The last two were heavily rebuilt many times. On the theatre’s stage it was built the former Church of St. Agatha that today houses the National Archeological Museum, however part of the ancient theatre is still used to host various performances. The amphitheatre was converted many times: it became a fortress, later it was used for storage and divided in many shops, and finally when the Albornoz fortress was erected many of its stones were used as building material.

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Notable are also the numerous churches of Spoleto. The Duomo of S. Maria Assunta (Assumption of Mary) is a beautiful example of Romanesque style. The construction started at the end of the 12th century and it was completed in 1227. The Cathedral houses the tomb of the famous artist Filippo Lippi and an original letter wrote by Saint Francis of Assisi.

The Church of San Pietro extra Moenia is considered together with the Church of San Rufino in Assisi the best representation of Umbrian Romanesque architecture. The first church was built on top of a necropolis in 419 to store the chains of Saint Peter; however there are many doubts about their authenticity. Many renovations have interested the building; the most important it was the one that added the Romanesque façade with stunning relief decoration. During the baroque period the interior was restyled.

The Basilica of San Salvatore is considered a very important example of Early Christian Architecture. Originally built during the 4th century it was renovated during the Lombards dominations. In 2011 the UNESCO nominated it a World Heritage Site.

Sperlonga

Sperlonga - View
Sperlonga - RuinsSperlonga - Grotto InteriorSperlonga - SculpturesSperlonga - BeachSperlonga  - GrottoSperlonga - View

Sperlonga is a little gem located in the province of Latina, Lazio.

The small seaside town is famous for its whitewashed houses, narrow streets that often end in breath-taking terrace over the sea and stunning beaches.

The white sand shores, turquoise water and beautiful trees create a unique and luxurious scenario.

However due to its proximity with the Pontine Marshes for many years the town wasn’t very prosperous. The Romans connected Sperlonga with Rome by the Via Appia. Its grotto on the coast attracted the Emperor Tiberius who built a villa here. After the decline of the Roman Empire Tiberius’ residence became a refuge for the local population. The region was constantly under the attack of the Saracens. Many watchtowers were built in order to keep the locals safer. The city decline rich is high during the 16th century when Frederick Barbarossa attacked and destroyed the town.

Finally during the 18th and 19th centuries many rich residences were built in the Sperlonga’s area.

However only after the construction of the coastal road Via Flacca the city started to become a very popular touristic destination.

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Sperlonga most important cultural attraction is the Villa of Tiberius. The ruins of the villa were hidden for centuries; it was rediscovered in 1957 during the construction of Via Flacca. The villa was called La Grotta (the cavern) because its banqueting hall was located in a natural grotto. A museum was built where once stood the villa; the gorgeous statues found in the cave are now housed here.

Interesting is also the oldest church of Sperlonga: the former Church of Saint Mary built during the 12th century. Today the deconsecrated building is used to host cultural events and performances. While the edifice was restored years ago some beautiful medieval mosaics were discovered.

Case Romane del Celio – Rome

Rome - Case Celio - confessionale
Rome- Ss Giovanni e Paolo - FacadeRome - Case Celio - interiorRome - Case Celio - fresco

Hidden under the beautiful Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo lays a major archaeological site: the stunning buildings famous as Case Romane del Celio. The complex is considered one of the best examples of Roman residential buildings.

In 1887 the Rector of the Basilica, Father Germano da San Stanislao, while looking for the tombs of the martyrs John and Paul discovered this amazing site. Twenty well conserved and decorated rooms were found. At least five different buildings are part of this complex, all dated between the 1st and 4th century AD.

Only in 1951 the architect Prandi brought to the light the entire complex.

In 2002 the site was completely open to the public.

Today is possible to enter the site through Via Clivio di Scauro one of Rome’s oldest street.

Things to see

Visitors can admire original frescoes, partly representing pagan themes, like the Proserpine myth; while the “newer” ones are dedicated to the Christian cult.  In one room are also present traces of mosaics dated 3rd century AD.

Some of the rooms were transformed by Christians into an oratory and a beautifully decorated confessional was built during the 4th century.

A visit to this amazingly well conserved site will deepen your understanding of how Ancient Rome was built.

 

Basilica of San Clement – Rome

Rome - St Clement - mosaic
Rome - St Clement - mithreumRome - St Clement - frescoRome - St Clement - facade

Close to the Colosseum in Via Labicana the 12th century Basilica of San Clemente dedicated to Pope Clement I demonstrates how the Eternal City was built, layer after layer.

The history of this church is very fascinating. The actual Basilica was built during the Middle Ages (1100) on top of a 4th-century church that was constructed out of a Roman nobleman’s home, which, previously, was developed on top of first-century Roman buildings destroyed in the Great Fire of 64 AD.

The ancient church was used since the 1st century as a clandestine Christian place of worship. After the Catholic Church grew in power and popularity it was transformed in a Basilica.

At the end of the 17th century when England outlawed the Irish Catholic Church Pope Urban VII granted refuge here to the Irish Dominicans.

Things to see

The Basilica of San Clement is amongst the most opulently decorated churches in Rome.

The main entrance is across a beautiful atrium today used as a cloister.

The Façade designed by Fontana in 1719 is supported by antique columns. Many marble pieces of the antique basilica were used during the restoration of the church.

The richly decorated ceiling, stucco décor, Ionic capitals and frescoes that are possible to admire today were also added by Fontana. The amazing mosaics of the apse are otherwise an example of Roman 12th century mosaics.

In the lower levels some of the most impressive fragments of ancient Roman houses can be clearly seen.

Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica - Mithraeum
Ostia Antica - ForumOstia Antica - Ruin viewOstia Antica - Mosaic

Ostia was probably Roman Empires first colony.

The city, situated at the mouth of the Tiber River, was Rome’s seaport. Thanks to years of silting the site is now located 3 kilometers from the sea.

In 68 BC Ostia was attacked by pirates and partly destroyed. When it was reconstructed protective walls were added.

When Constantine I became Emperor Ostia started a slow decline. Other ports were built and the city turned into a country retreat for rich people. With the end of the Empire Ostia was abandoned.

During the Baroque period many architects used the site as a marble’s warehouse; several of the Baroque palaces present in Rome were built with Ostia’s marble. Also ancient objects and statues were “sacked” during this period.

The Popes started to gain interest in the site, but only under Mussolini the site was explored by archeologists. The excavations, interrupted by the Second World War, helped to rediscover many buildings from the republican period.

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A Synagogue was also discovered around the second half of the 20th century. The Ostia Synagogue is the oldest one found in Europe.

Extremely interesting is the visit of the public latrinas literally latrines. It seems very strange to us now but in the times of the Romans, public latrines were places to socialize. This area of Ostia reveals the importance of this custom.

The amazing theatre of Ostia is also a must see.  This well preserved site offers a wonderful view of the ancient streets.  A wonderful spot from which to cast yourself back in time!