Monday, 9 July 2012

Wine Tours Rome

When In Rome Tours are now running day trips to a wine producing facility near Frascati. Many Romans enjoy the flavours of both red and white wines from Rieti, Valmontone, and the ancient Etruscan town of Cerveteri. For visitors to Rome, however, the conveniently closer towns which together comprise the Castelli Romani, an area renowned for highly regarded DOC white wines Novello, Superiore, and Novello Superiore, are more appealing.

Frascati is the best known town in the Castelli Romani. It's location, amidst a beautiful expanse of forests and lakes, is just 18 kms south of Rome. The twin crater lakes of Albano and Nemi are nearby, both of which proffer splendid panoramic views. Delicious food and delectable wines have made Frascati a magnet for city dwellers in the hot summer months of July and August.

Our private wine tour departs Rome along the Appian Way and passes by the vineyards of Marino, another town famous for the production of white wine, then continues on to Frascati where we spend half a day in the grounds of local wine producing villa Tenimento di Casamara.

The villa was built over a 1st Century AD settlement in the same location as a 300 year old farm used for olive oil production. Here we can see how wine is made, stroll through the vineyards, and taste the final product.

Lunch is taken in the grounds. Options include visits to the towns of Ariccia, Genzano, Velletri and Montecompatri for more wine tasting and sightseeing. Picturesque Ariccia and Genzano proffer outstanding views of the Tyrrhenian sea. Ariccia, steeped in myth and legend, is mentioned in the prologue and epilogue of Frazer's Golden Bough, which introduces the reader to the high priestess Diana Nemorensis. Diana's image has adorned wine bottles and amphorae produced in the area since Rome's republican era.

When In Rome Tours now offer a selection of private wine tasting excursions in Grottaferrata, and introductory tastings in Rome's ancient city centre.

For more information, visit our website.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Sistine Chapel (1 of 3)

The Sistine Chapel is one of three Papal Chapels which comprise the Apostolic Vatican Palace and seat of the "conclave" (from the latin "cum clave", literally "locked") - the Assembly of Cardinals called to elect a new Pope. Built over the basement of a sanctuary founded by Pope Nicholas III around 1278, the majestic chapel was erected by Pope Sixtus IV and takes it's name after him. It's vast nave has the same measurements of Solomon’s temple as described in the Old Testament (40.93 metres long, 13.41 metres wide, and 20.71 metres high). The "lowered vault" of the ceiling is divided into two sections by a marble transenna.

The construction of the Chapel was part of wider renovation work which took place during the temporary transfer of the Pope’s seat to Avignon, from 1309 to 1423. Even now, it's attribution is not 100% uncertain, but many accept Giovanni dei Dolci as the architect. Works commenced around 1473 and were completed by 1481. Side wall paintings began shortly thereafter, assigned to the most admired and influential painters of the Renaissance era, namely Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, and possibly Luca Signorelli. The main theme of the frescoes was the life of Moses and that of Christ with Papal portraits. Tapestries by Raphael, woven in Brussels between 1515-1519, were hung around the side walls on important occasions. They are frequently loaned to museums elsewhere in the world.

To read the second part of this Vatican tours article, please click here, or there...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Extended Vatican tours of the Museums

We are now offering a new tour entitled "Extended Vatican Museums". It's our longest and most comprehensive tour of the Vatican. For the best selection of private tours in Rome visit When In Rome Tours!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Vatican Tours

New early bird Vatican tours ready to book at When In Rome Tours - 3 hours, early Sistine Chapel extended between May and October.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lux in Arcana

Between February and September 2012, some one hundred never seen before documents from the Vatican archives will be on display in the Capitoline Museums. "Lux in Arcana - Secret Vatican Archives Revealed" (you can bet your bottom dollar they won't be for a long while yet), a thinly veiled attempt by the Vatican to proffer transparency in the public domain amidst ongoing debate about Pope Pius XII's unwillingness to help those who perished in the Holocaust and Final Solution, which raged unchecked in the early years of his 1939 - 1958 papacy, may be worth a look.

A parchment with red wax seals from the English Parliament dates back to 1530, imploring Pope Clement VII to annul Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Permission was not granted, and the Church of England came into being. Missives from the trial of Galileo Galilei's 'heresy' will also see the light of day. However, only a miniscule quantity of documents have been tagged for the exhibition on Campidoglio, which serves only to propagate the intrigue and mystery which surrounds the secretive Vatican state. No one can say exactly where the closely guarded collection is located within the towering walls of the Vatican city, but we do know that it has existed for well over 1,000 years, ergo it stands to reason that they must be hiding something. We'll never know what, or why. It seems that the mythos surrounding Dan Brown's Angels and Demons is set to stand the test of time, and may not have been too wide of the mark of truth after all. We'll be extending our Vatican tours to include the exhibition early next year.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

See the Vatican with the official Vatican Tours agency in Rome

To book an official Vatican tour online is easily done. You may also call in to our customer service center Mon - Sat until 14:00 PM and join a small group Vatican tour without booking in advance if you so wish. We are based at Via Sebastiano Veniero 21 which is less than 100 metres away from the Vatican Museums entrance. When In Rome Tours is the leading independent Vatican tours provider in Rome. All our tours of Rome and the rest of Italy are of an exceptionally high standard.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Official Vatican Tours

Official Vatican tours? Few and far between online. You are almost guaranteed an unofficial Vatican tour if you book on any one of the vast majority of websites which sell unlicensed small group tours using unlicensed tour guides, all of whom meet on street corners close to the museums in order to avoid prying eyes.

For lots of useful information about official Vatican tours and visiting Rome in general, head over to our website or join 3,000 others on Facebook :-)