If you haven’t done so already, get thee to one of Italy’s many state-run museums, archaeological sites, and palaces, most of which are free right now for the Settimana della Cultura! Here in Rome, that means you can get into prize-worthy sites like the Palazzo Massimo (with its ancient Roman frescoes and other goodies, above) for free. The event ends April 22. For more, check out my piece on the Week of Culture over at the New York Times.
A fan of restorations that reveal art as it was meant to be seen? Me too. So I’m liking the “big reveal” that took place this fall at the Palazzo Quirinale, unveiling decorations by Cortona and his students for the first time in 200 years. For more, check out my latest In Transit post here. (Photo: Palazzo Quirinale press office).
Turns out, it’s not all about Florence: A show at the Fondazione Roma proves just how much of a role Rome played in the Renaissance. Learn more by checking out my post on the “Renaissance in Rome” show over at the New York Times’ In Transit blog.
For the past eight years, Jason Spiehler has been a top name in the world of Rome walking tours, written up by both Rick Steves and the New York Times. Now, he’s started a company that focuses on offering tours by well-informed, passionate guides of Italy’s top sites. In Rome, that includes not just the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica, but gems off the beaten path — like tours of the Galleria Borghese, the catacombs, and the city’s finest small churches.
(Full disclosure: I work for this company. But hey, I think that means I know the quality of our guides and the work that’s put in pretty well, too!).
The company just launched a website, www.walksofitaly.com, giving full information about all of the tours offered. So far, they cover Rome, Florence, and Pompeii. One top seller is the “Pristine Sistine” tour, which takes visitors into the Sistine Chapel first thing in the morning, before the crowds arrive. Another neat feature: All of the private tours give you the option of having “add-ons,” like another half-hour on the Palatine Hill or in the Imperial Forums. Convinced your tour’s the right one? You can book immediately online. Still have questions? You can shoot the tour coordinator, Linda, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call, or even Skype.
Okay, enough plugging for one day. But seriously. Check out the website. I know I’m biased, but I still think it looks pretty good.