Hi! We want to tell you our magic story in the most romantic and beautiful city we have ever seen!
I’m Johnny and the name of my sweet wife is Victoria. This year we have decided together to visit some romantic cities in Italy and we have chosen Roma. If you read back the name of “Roma”, you will read “amor” that means Love in the Italian language!
We have been many times in Italy because we love this country so much. This time we have decided to visit Rome in a romantic way, focusing our time discovering art and beauty.
Our tour time in Rome has been fantastic, but we are sorry that our holiday finished too early… anyway, we have seen a lot of things. Rome is one of the few cities in the world where art lovers can choose among a large variety of museums, churches and open-air archaeological sites. However, remember that it is impossible to see it all in only a few days. For this reason, we made a hard decision to visit only the most significant and romantic places for celebrating our tenth marriage anniversary.
On the first day, we have decided to visit The Capitoline Museums. During Roman Times this hill was the center of political and religious life in ancient Rome so the importance of this place is very significant. Most of the exhibits were either excavated in Rome, or painted, sculpted and created by artists who lived in the city. The Capitoline Museums are considered the first museums opened in the 1700s under Pope Benedict XII. They are situated in the “Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo”, both buildings are facing the Capital hill projected by Michelangelo. In the Capitoline Museums, you cannot miss the original Roman Bronze horse representing Marcus Aurelius, the room of the Emperors and the famous She-Wolf from the Etruscan artist Vulca with Romolo and Remo the founder of Rome. In the Capitoline Museums there is also the painting galleries with the amazing collection of Caravaggio paintings.
On the second day, we have enjoyed two remarkable places. The first stop was at Santa Maria in Trastevere. This was an amazing experience because this location has got a perfect union of beauty and sacrum. It gives the most vivid impression of a grand medieval church. One more thing that you should know is that this church dates back from around 340 AD and it is supposed to be the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary. We recommend you admire two original rows of columns in the nave (22 in all) that were taken from ancient Roman sites and temples.
The basilica was rebuilt in the 12th century by Pope Innocent II and, at the end of the 13th century, one of the most important Italian greatest artist, Pietro Cavallini, embellished the apse with six mosaic panels of scenes from the sacred life of Mary. Together with a gilded octagonal ceiling painting by the Baroque master Domenichino, they give the basilica a memorable glow.
After having admired these spectacular masterpieces, we went to see another Italian complex well known all over the world: Villa Borghese and the Casino Borghese. The Casino was built on the commission of Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese, cardinal-nephew of the Pope Paul Borghese. The villa was built on the outskirts of Rome and was mainly used to preserve the incredible art collection of the Cardinal Scipione Borghese who invited his guests to admire it. The villa has an extensive park that includes artificial lakes and garden pavilions. It mixes itself with the Pincio Gardens, considered one of the largest parks in Rome.
The Museum known as Galleria Borghese displays the collection of antiquities assembled by Cardinal Borghese, along with works he commissioned to his contemporary artists such as the young genius Gianlorenzo Bernini. In the richly decorated entrance hall are five fragments of a mosaic from Torrenuova, showing gladiator and hunting scenes, along with Baroque ceiling frescoes by Mariano Rossi but it’s not over.
Since there are a lot of other magnificent beauties like Canova's figure of Pauline Borghese as Venus (the most famous piece in the collections); Bernini's David with his Sling, Bernini's’ Apollo and Daphne, and the impressive Rape of Proserpina. Looking at it you will have the impression that the God Pluto is really pressing his hands on the legs of Proserpina. The Marble has been worked by Bernini in an incredible, we have never seen such an amazing marble artwork in action! The Borghese gallery has also a great painting collection that includes works by Antonello da Messina, Botticelli, Pinturicchio, Perugino, Dürer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Correggio, Bernini, Bassano, Lotto, Van Dyck, Titian, Bellini, Paolo Veronese, and Raphael. The number of masterpieces and the fame of the artists represented makes this one of Europe's outstanding art museums it’ very impressive!
We have visited a lot of magnificent things but this one it's incredible, we have seen many times Rome but this time our tour was incredible. We have got this tour from Rome Private Guides who provided a private guide.
Our third day was dedicated to the Vatican Museums, we hired a guide again from Rome Private Guide and we started our third-day adventure discovering the art of the Vatican.
We had a very nice and professional guide who allowed us to discover again the Vatican. We have seen in 3 hours Vatican Highlights such as Vatican Galleries, the Raphael rooms, Sistine Chapel and the wonders of the Pinacoteca - The new Vatican Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) was inaugurated for Pius XI. It was built in the nineteenth century Square Garden, isolated and surrounded by avenues, in a place considered suitable for assuring the best lighting conditions for both the correct preservation of the works and their optimum aesthetic enhancement.
Thus, the age-old question of the exhibition of the paintings, which were constantly moved around the Apostolic Palaces due to the lack of a setting that matched their importance, was solved. The first collection of only 118 precious paintings was created by Pope Pius VI. It was of short duration due to the fact that, following the Treaty of Tolentino (period of pace between Revolutionary France and the Papal State). The idea of an art gallery, understood in the modern sense as an exhibition open to the public, was only born in 1817 after the fall of Napoleon and the consequent return to the Church-State of a large part of the works belonging to it, according to the directions of the Congress of Vienna.
The collection contains some masterpieces of the greatest artists of the history of Italian painting, from Giotto to Beato Angelico, from Melozzo da Forlì to Perugino and to Raphael, from Leonardo to Tiziano, to Veronese, to Caravaggio and to Pietro da Cortona.
In the painting gallery are also preserved the Tapestries representing the life of St. Peter based on the cartoons of Raphael. Those tapestries were commissioned by the Medici Pope Leo X for the Sistine Chapel.
After that, we have visited the magnificent Vatican Galleries that left us speechless.
We have admired masterpieces like the gallery of the Candlesticks, the gallery of the tapestry and the gallery of the Maps. Our walking tour along the beauty of the Vatican gallery took us to the Room of the Immaculate Conception and to the apartment of the Pope Julius II. He also commissioned the Sistine Chapel ceiling to Michelangelo and at the same time the young Raphael painted his apartment known today as the Raphael Rooms. The Raphael rooms are very special, you will be overwhelmed by the wall paintings, the school of Athens facing the Dispute of the Sacrament and the Parnassus with the blind Homer having the face of the Lacoon. Another spectacular apartment right below the Pope Julius II apartment is the Apartment of the Pope Alexander VI Borgia. This apartment was partially painted by Pinturicchio and today it preserves the modern art collection created thanks to the Pope Paul VI who unified Art and Church. You will see artwork from Rodin, Van-Gogh, Bacon, Dali and Chagall there.
We ended up in the Sistine Chapel who really left us without words. There is no way to say how impressive the Sistine Chapel is. We really were overwhelmed and we tear our eyes. On the side wall you will see the paintings from the 1400s representing the New and the Old Testament and then, when you look up, you will see the beautiful God and his spiritual energy creating the World according to the Genesis book. Then when you look at the altar wall you will feel yourself so tiny in front of the magnificent Last Judgement, painted by Michelangelo. We still are wondering how a man, Michelangelo, was able to do all this 500 years ago and only in few years.
Though we decided to visit the Vatican early in the morning since it is the time of the day in which there is less crowd around, next time we would like to visit it after normal opening hours. There are special after-hours tours that allow you to have a private access for you and your group to the Sistine Chapel. It would be a once in a lifetime experience! The same day we left Rome, we wish to back soon. We have never had such an amazing experience in all our lives. Rome is really a magic city.
We booked hired a guide from Rome Private Guides and ask them a permission to publish our experience because we wish to share it with all of you and with all those who really want to see Rome in a special way just like us!