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    Book in Advance and get the 12% off! Offer includes: • 12% of discount booking at least 3 days in advance• A rich buffet breakfast and a bottle of Italian Prosecco in the room• Wi-fi connection inside and outside the Villa City tax is not included in the price. Prepaid, not refundable rate. BOOK NOW

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Getting to know Rome

Via Veneto

Via Veneto starts in Porta Pinciana and ends in Piazza Barberini and was designed as part of the project to endow Rome with an area of large, modern hotels, smart cafés and elegant shops of international standing on a par with the other main capital cities. It was to be a salon in the modern style of the new century, marked by new fashions and trends. As the 1900s got under way, Via Veneto established its role and began to acquire cult status: poets, intellectuals, princes, kings, and film directors adopted it as a meeting place where culture, fashion, cinema and entertainment reigned. Via Veneto became an international film set and leading stage for the Roman holidays of Italian and foreign celebrities. The fame of the street reached a peak in the 1960s, when it became the location for Federico Fellini’s  ‘Dolce Vita’, which established it as centre and symbol of the city.

Famous all over the world, it attracted celebrities from Italy and elsewhere, providing a catwalk for stars seeking publicity and haunt of paparazzi looking for a scoop. Over the years the area has lost some of its lustre but the street remains one of the most elegant in Rome and continues to offer visitors echoes of history and a different form of luxury in its famous cafés, magnificent hotels, high class shops, restaurants, open air bars and coffee houses and discotheques.

Discovering the Subterranean Mysteries of Ancient Rome

Rome’s most secret archaeological areas are opening to the public with a rich programme of guided tours and cultural activities. Sixteen sites belonging to the city’s Department of Antiquities are part of the project: Vergine Aqueduct, Auditorium of Maecenas, Protohistoric House at Fidene, Sette Sale Cistern, Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas, Roman Insulae under Palazzo Specchi, Hypogeum in Via Livenza, Ludus Magnus, Mausoleum of Lucilius Peto, Monte del Grano Mausoleum, Mithraeum of Hercules’ Ara Maxima, Monte Testaccio, Porta Asinaria, Republican Tombs, Trophy of Marius and Porta Magica, and Pliny’s Villa.

The Pantheon, a mistery 2000 years old

Mystery has always surrounded what lies behind the unusual design of the Pantheon, a giant temple in the heart of Rome that was built by the Emperor Hadrian.
Now experts have come up with an intriguing theory – that the temple acted as a colossal sun dial, with a beam of light illuminating its enormous entrance at the precise moment that the emperor entered the building.

Giulio Magli, a historian of ancient architecture from Milan Polytechnic, Italy, and Robert Hannah, a classics scholar from the University of Otago in New Zealand, have discovered that at precisely midday during the March equinox, a circular shaft of light shines through the oculus and illuminates the Pantheon's imposing entrance.


Through the keyhole

Usually, peering through a keyhole to see what’s on the other side of the door is considered rude, but this is one case when it’s required etiquette. There is a lovely walk along the tree-lined avenues of the Aventino hill, following Via di Santa Sabina to the Parco dei Savelli, also known as the Giardino degli Aranci, with its warm colours and heavy scents. After visiting the Church of Santa Sabina, founded in AD 425 by Peter of Illyria, and then the Church of Santi Bonifacio e Alessio dating from the 5th century, you come to the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, designed by Piranesi in 1765 and named after the Order of the Knights of Malta. The square, with its many spires, steles and trophies, was built by order of Cardinal Rezzonico, who is remembered in a plaque, against the background of cypress trees  belonging to the abbey and bell-tower of Sant'Anselmo. Also located on the square is the Priory of the Knights of Malta and it is in the massive, imposing door to this palace that you will find an apparently very ordinary keyhole. Look through it, though, and you will realise it is anything but ordinary. If you put your eye to the keyhole you will discover a most delightful view: St. Peter’s Church in all its majesty.

The Vittoriano, a modern and controversial monument

Piazza Venezia's Vittoriano is definitely one of the most famous Rome monuments, although it is not appreciated by everybody (as some consider it out of place in the heart of imperial Rome), until the point of getting the nicknames of "typewriter" and "white cake". Its name comes from Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia, first King of Italy, to whom the whole monument is dedicated.

It was built between 1885 and 1911 to celebrate the uniting of Italy as a nation, and dedicated to the first King of all Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. Of course, the monarchy only lasted another thirty years after the completion of the Vittoriano, but the monument remains and is still important for those Italians with thoughts of nationhood. Guarded by soldiers, a flame burns on the front terrace of the monument to mark the grave of an unknown soldier; this is the Altar of the Fatherland, the Altare della Patria.

You can enter through a gate at the front and climb the steps upwards as far as the colonnaded terrace behind the equestrian statue. Towards the top, and around the back of the main monument - to the left as you ascend - is a terrace cafe. Close to this is a narrow passage between the monument and the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli. This is where you can take the glass lift (ascensore in Italian) which ascends to the highest panoramic terrace.

Rome from up high

The beauty of Rome, its monuments, its winding streets, its fascinating corners, has been acknowledged for centuries, but to see the capital from above is a truly breath-taking experience. There are many locations where you can lose yourself in admiration of the panorama. A good view of Rome can be had from the Dome of the Basilica of St. Peter, Michelangelo’s last great masterpiece. It is 136 metres high and has a diameter of about 43 metres: to reach the dome you have to climb all of 330 steps, an effort that is well rewarded by the spectacular view that greets you. It is also worthwhile going up to the terrace of Castel Sant’Angelo, where the huge bronze statue of the angel rests atop a travertine marble base. There is an unforgettable view from the ‘Terrazza delle Quadrighe’. Two lifts installed in 2007 take visitors up to the top of the monument to Victor Emmanuel II, which offers a 360 degree panorama of Rome, taking in the magnificent sight of the Colosseum and the Imperial forums, the churches of the historic centre, the River Tiber and the Jewish quarter, Piazza del Campidoglio and the Quirinale Palace, as well as the modern district of EUR and the picturesque hills towns around Rome. Another favourite is the Terrazza del Pincio, the most beautiful hill in Rome, located in the green space of Villa Borghese. It offers one of the most charming views of the city, taking in a large part of the historic centre, and is best enjoyed in the red light of sunset. Lastly, there is the Gianicolo hill and, for a spectacular view of Rome by night, Monte Mario, also called the ‘Zodiaco’, a panorama to be enjoyed by the light of the stars.


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Hotel Villa Duse - Via Alamanno Morelli, 1 - 00197 Roma - Tel. +39-06.80693239 - Fax. +39-06.80662013
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