New Rules in Rome Target Rowdy, Boozy Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/19/2018, 5:30 PM

Italy has just about had it with your nonsense. Straining under the burden of accommodating endless hordes of tourists and their accompanying noise, litter, rowdiness, and traffic gridlock, the country's most popular cities are rolling out strict behavioral regulations—with hefty fines—aimed at keeping visitors under control. Florence recently banned eating in the streets. Venice has outlawed ev...

This Fall, See Rome, Venice, and Florence by Rail for Less Than $25

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/24/2018, 12:00 AM

Traveling by train among Italy's three most popular tourist destinations can be extremely affordable this fall, provided you buy your tickets right now.  European travel booking site GoEuro has joined forces with Italo Treno, an Italian rail service operator, to offer a fare from Rome to Venice to Florence or vice versa for just €19.80 (US$23) one way.  That's an incredible bargain for seeing Ro...

Italian Airline Now Offers Free Stopovers in Rome

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/06/2018, 10:45 PM

Rome remains a destination that rarely lacks for tourists. In 2017, more than 14.5 million of them visited the Eternal City—a nickname that might as well refer to the wait times in line for the Vatican during summer. But even more travelers could soon begin queuing up for trips to the Italian capital thanks to a new initiative from state-owned national carrier Alitalia.  From now until the end o...

Upper Levels of Rome's Colosseum Reopening for Tours

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/04/2017, 9:45 PM

The upper tiers of the Colosseum in Rome are reopening to the public for the first time in four decades.  The renowned architectural marvel—which dates to the first century A.D. and is one of the ancient city's most visited sites—is coming off a 5-year, multimillion-dollar restoration paid for by Diego Della Valle, chairman of luxury leather brand Tod's. With public money for major preservation...

Summer Ban on Late-Night Public Drinking in Rome

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/14/2017, 4:00 AM

Late-night drinking on the streets and piazzas of Rome is against the law this summer. Hoping to curb bad behavior by drunken locals and tourists alike, the city has enacted a new rule banning the public consumption of alcoholic drinks out of glass containers from 10pm to 7am daily; guzzling booze from any other type of container while you're on the street isn't allowed after midnight.  ...

WATCH: At Ancient Roman Site, Virtual Reality Transports Visitors Back in Time

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/21/2017, 5:00 AM

Virtual reality is often presented as a way of going to cool or made-up places without actually leaving the sofa, museum, or shopping mall kiosk where you don the VR headset. But in Rome, the technology is being used to enhance rather than replace visits to ancient sites, revealing how they looked in their long-ago heyday. At the Domus Aurea, an enormous cavern that was once a palace b...

No-Tourist Zone Around Newly Restored Colosseum Proposed

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/24/2017, 5:00 AM

After almost three years, the Colosseum in Rome has finished undergoing a restoration financed by high-end leather-goods maker Tod's. Now some local officials want to make the historic site less accessible to visitors. The idea of a "no-go zone" around the Colosseum has been raised in response to recent incidents involving tourists behaving badly. The latest: On January 14, two Brazili...

Ruin of Chariot-Racing Stadium in Rome Now Open to the Public

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/21/2016, 5:00 AM

Rome's newest tourist attraction opened to the public last week. And as with so many sites worth seeing in this ancient city, it's actually not new at all. For centuries a huge muddy field, the spot known as Circus Maximus was once used as a stadium for chariot races, religious ceremonies, processions, and other big public events in the days of ancient Rome.  Six years of excavations h...

The Pope's Summer Palace Now Open for Tours

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/25/2016, 4:00 AM

For the first time ever, the centuries-old residence intended as a summer retreat for popes has been opened for public viewing. The Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, located along Lake Albano about 25 kilometers (16 mi) outside of Rome, has 20 rooms you can tour, including a library, study, chapel, and bedroom, all set aside for the use of the Catholic leader while he's on vacation. ...

Should the Spanish Steps in Rome Have a Barrier Against Tourists?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/13/2016, 4:00 AM

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in front of the Spanish Steps in Roman Holiday (photo: Wikimedia Commons) Later this month, the Spanish Steps in Rome will reopen after a 1.5-million euro cleanup and restoration project financed by jewelry maker Bulgari. But if Paolo Bulgari, the chairman of the company his great-grandfather founded, had his way, the steps wouldn't reopen entirely....

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