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The (secret) Island of Montecristo

When we talk about islands in Italy, usually the first ones we think of are Siciliy and Sardinia, but also Capri Island, Ischia, Ponza, Eolie Islands, Isola d’Elba, Isola del Giglio… But this is not all… Let us give you a hint…

Many of you have read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and if you didn’t, you should. 🙂

The place described in the book is not fictional and it really exists and it’s in Italy!

The Island of Montecristo is located not far away from the mainland, from Monte Argentario (Tuscany), and it’s also pretty close to Isola del Giglio and Isola d’Elba, two of the most attractive touristic locations in Italy. It’s located about 40miles from the mainland (Grosseto).


If you’re still wondering why you never heard about the existence of Montecristo island, the answer here is very simple: the visits were not permitted to anyone!! Only few lucky people or the few residents of the mainland municipality to which Montecristo island belongs (Portoferraio), would have been able to request a visit to this “diamond shape” island.

This mysterious island is 4 square miles big and has a history full of mystery, of monks, adventurers, pirates and saints. This island is also unique because of its flora, fauna and sea life.

From 2019 many rules changed and if you follow the right procedure you might be among the lucky ones who will be able to visit this unique place.


To visit the island is not easy and it might take years on the waiting list. The authorization must be requested to the government authorities by 11th February every year and the first excursion occurs on the 2nd March. In fact, the visits are from the 2nd March to the 15th April and from the 15th May to the 31st October. The official visits are organized by the Island Institution of the Tuscan Archipelago and the boats depart from Piombino, Isola d’Elba or Porto Santo Stefano and Isola del Giglio.

All guided tours follow the itinerary along the three paths of the island. All guided visits are led by licensed guides and it isn’t possible to wander around the island on your own. Also, a specific gear is required or the visit, even if the permission was obtained, could be denied. There are also some severe rules to respect and, for example, you cannot stay overnight, you cannot swim, fish and, if you’re passing by with your private boat, you cannot navigate closer than 1000m from the coast of this island.


It’s also possible to reach the Montecristo island by a private boat after obtaining a special permission. The maximum of people allowed on a private boat that intends to stop at the island is 15 and the vessel cannot be longer than 16 meters. The descent to the ground is allowed only at the Cala Maestra beach where you can stop and visit also the Museum. It’s possible to ask for this kind of permission only once in 2 years.

If you need any assistance or have any questions about visiting the Island of Montecristo, don’t hesitate to contact us on

We are always up to date with the latest news about this magnificent place. Also in case you’re interested in organizing a private visit to the Island, get in touch with us.

The waiting times for the visit are out of our control and also in this case we can recall Alexandre Dumas who sad “All human wisdom is contained in these two words – Wait and Hope”

Italy’s new rules for tourists (and locals!)

As we have mentioned in our previous article, Italy is introducing a lot of new rules that are a consequence of the last years’ mass tourism. Many people are not aware that Italy, by having around 60% of the cultural heritage on its territory, is an open-air museum. Eating on the steps (Spanish Steps in Rome) or on the bridges (in Venice) is considered inappropriate and damaging for the art. It might sound like a harsh comparison, but it’s like bringing a greasy pizza inside the Louvre Museum. While in Rome, if you pay attention, you might notice that even a random bench is probably a piece of a Roman column. It wouldn’t be nice and appropriate if a tourist leaves a melted ice-cream on it or a McDonald’s bag (things that happen more often than you think).

So don’t take it personally, it’s in the interest of all of us to preserve what the masters of art have left us 2000, 1000, 500 years ago.

Some of the below-mentioned bans are also for your own security. One of these is the ban of wearing flip-flops in Cinque Terre. Imagine why? Just remember the Carmel (CA) ordinance that doesn’t allow wearing the high heels.

Spanish Steps, Rome, August 2019

Here is the Forbes article about the new rules in Italy and we recommend to read it before you head to Italy. 🙂 Don’t say we didn’t tell you!

23 Surprising Things That Will Get You In Trouble In Italy

by Laura Begley Bloom

In the 1953 film Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck sat on Rome’s famed Spanish Steps, while Anita Ekberg took a dip in the Trevi Fountain in 1960’s La Dolce Vita. These days, those movie stars would be getting fines of anywhere from €250-€450 (about $279-$502), based on new rules that ban a range of offenses in Rome’s historic center.

It’s a new era in Italy, where destinations around the country are cracking down on so-called inappropriate behavior and imposing hefty fines. Florence has just enacted penalties up to â‚¬450 ($502) for people who snack during certain times on some of the city’s most historic streets. The city of Venice levied a charge of â‚¬950 (approximately $1,060) and threw two German tourists out of town after they made coffee on the Rialto Bridge. The crime? Picnicking in a public space. Meanwhile, a Canadian tourist was slapped with a â‚¬250 ($279) fee for sunbathing in a bikini in Venice’s Papadopoli Gardens.

And it’s not just the big cities that are cracking down. Just-married model Heidi Klum and her new husband recently went swimming in the Blue Grotto on the island of Capri—a big no-no. The newlyweds had to cough up â‚¬6,000 ($6,696). Turns out that while people can visit the grotto by boat, swimming in the beautiful blue water is forbidden. Then there was that sleepy traveler from Austria who made the mistake of stringing a hammock between two trees by the seaside in Trieste. The damage for his afternoon nap? â‚¬300 ($334).

Travelers are not happy about all the changes. “The Italians are on a behavior-punishment kick,” Jason Cochran, editor-in-chief of, wrote on Twitter. His comments on the new rules in Florence drew a firestorm of criticism. “You’d better [not] come to Italy in case you disagree,” wrote Twitter user @AvvPaoletto.

So whether you disagree or not, better be careful if you’re headed to Italy on vacation. Here are 23 things that will get you in trouble in the land of la dolce vita.

1. Wearing flip-flops. The hilly seaside destination of Cinque Terre has had it with flip-flop-clad tourists who need to be rescued from local hiking trails. A new law will impose fines for wearing flip-flops. The charges can go from €50 ($56) up to a whopping €2,500 ($2,827).

2. Snacking on the streets. Florence has passed an ordinance banning people from eating on certain streets in the city’s historic center between 12-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Fines range from â‚¬150-€500 ($167-$558). Rome and Venice have enacted similar fines.

3. Picnicking. As those German tourists discovered, picknicking is a major mistake in Venice. It’s part of a crackdown called #EnjoyRespectVenezia, a campaign that was enacted to protect this World Heritage City from the abuses of the 20 million tourists who visit annually.

4. Sitting on the steps. Keep it moving. A new law in Rome prohibits sitting on the historic Spanish Steps, which were built in the 1700s and recently restored to the tune of $1.7 million.

5. Wheeling your suitcase around. Leave your wheeled luggage at home if you’re headed to Rome or Venice. Rolling suitcases around can get you in big trouble—especially if you’re thinking of bringing them down the Spanish Steps. 

6. Building sandcastles. Sorry, kids—building sandcastles in Eraclea, a beach town near Venice, is strictly against the law.

7. Jumping into a fountain. Don’t even think about wading in a fountain in Rome—eight tourists were fined €450 ($502) each for taking a dip this summer.

Tourists taking a bath in the Altare della Patria’s Fountain, Piazza Venezia, Rome

8. Drinking out of a fountain incorrectly. Besides keeping you out of the fountains, Rome wants to make sure you’re sipping acqua the right way from its drinking fountains. Touch your mouth to a nozzle and you could be fined.

9. Drinking on the street. Italy is known for its lively after-dark scene, but these days, you need to careful about where you sip: Places from Venice to Rome are cracking down on rowdy tourists by banning drinking on the streets at nighttime.

10. Wearing noisy shoes. Leave the clogs behind if you’re heading to Capri. Wooden clogs have been banned on this island since 1960.

11. Biking. Riding a bicycle—even walking a bike—is now illegal in Venice’s city center.

12. Swimming in a canal. In recent years, tourists have been fined for swimming in Venice’s canals. And just in case you thought that dipping a toe in the water wouldn’t hurt anyone, the ban includes putting your feet in a canal.

13. Singing. Keep your singing to yourself. Rome doesn’t allow singing or busking on the city’s buses, metro and trams.

14. Wearing a miniskirt. The officials don’t care what’s in fashion in Castellammare di Stabia, a small town near Naples. Miniskirts are against the law, as well as low-cut jeans and too much cleavage.

15. Wearing a swimsuit. The fashion police are out in full force in Venice, too. Wearing a swimsuit while sightseeing is prohibited. 

16. Wearing even less. Whatever you do, don’t even think about going bare-chested in Venice or Rome.

17. Kissing in a car. In Eboli, a town south of Naples, passionate couples risk big fines. Kissing in a moving car is strictly against the law.

18. Using a lovelock. You’ll need to find another way to express your love in Rome and Venice, which have banned the tradition of attaching lovelocks to bridges—much to the dismay of Instagrammers everywhere.

19. Daytripping (without paying!). Be careful if you come to Venice on a day trip: Anyone who visits the city must pay a daily tax of $10 or risk penalties up to â‚¬450 ($502).

20. Standing still on a bridge. Yes, standing still on a bridge is also against the law in Venice.

21. Feeding a pigeon. Another offense that will get you arrested in Venice is a long-time tourist favorite: feeding a pigeon. 

22. Sorry, Venice vacationers, but there’s more. Other law-breaking moves include leaning against a storefront, lying down on a public bench and buying products from street vendors.

23. Frowning. It’s unlikely you’re going to get fined for this one, but Milan has a law that requires people to smile at any time other than funerals or hospital visits. So turn that frown upside down the next time you’re in Italy’s fashion capital.

The full article article can be found here

If you’re coming to Rome in September we will welcome you to one of our tours with 10% discount – use the discount code MYTOUR at the checkout and the total price will by magic be much lower!!

When in Rome, don’t sit on the Spanish Steps!

The new City Regulation in Rome has introduced many new laws that must be respected by locals and by tourists. Several points of the new law don’t allow the street vendors (especially around the Vatican and the Colosseum), jumping into fountains, dragging the suitcases on the historic staircases…

The rule that surprised everyone the most is the ban of sitting on the Spanish Steps. The staircase that connects Piazza di Spagna to the church on top, la TrinitĂ  dei Monti Church, is made of 135 steps, built in travertine and is categorized as a monument. This unique, worldwide known location, inaugurated in 1726, has been always one of the most important landmarks of Rome.

The ban has been introduced after the inappropriate behavior of many tourists throughout the years. It happened (and still happens) that visitors carve their names on the walls of the Colosseum, jump inside the fountains and, just to mention one of many, eat and leave the mess at the monumental stairs of the Piazza di Spagna. Now the marbles of the stairs are risking to be heavily and irreparably damaged by many of them eating on the stairs.

Therefore, the lunch at the Spanish steps could cost you much more than the one you would pay at the elegant restaurant located nearby. In fact, the fines are going from 250€ (around 280$) to 400€ (nearly 450$), according to what rule has been broken.

Keep in mind that Rome is an open-air museum, and there is so many other new rules that you might not be aware of!!

June in Rome: the best time to visit and to avoid crowds at the Colosseum and the Vatican

During the month of June it might very hot and quite crowded in Rome.

Don’t get stuck in the heat and get exhausted and stressed on your Roman holidays. Plan your visits carefully and stay always up to date with latest news. Here are the latest news from Rome that might help you organize your trip.

Few things have changed in the last month regarding the Colosseum and Roman Forum. If you prefer getting around the archaeological site on your own, make sure you get your tickets in advance. The online reservations are sold out for most of the month. Therefore, the only solution is to get your own tickets at the entrance of the Roman Forum, at the Colosseum or at the gate of the Palatine Hill. Directly at the desk of these three sites, from now on, it won’t be possible to get tickets for more than 1 person (you can get the ticket only for your self). Only the licensed guides, that have a dedicated cash desk, can get more than one ticket and they will be assigned the first available entrance time to the Colosseum.

This means that this year it won’t be possible to enter the Colosseum at any time. You will be allowed to enter the Colosseum only at the time that will be assigned to you at the moment of the ticket purchase. Pointless to say “early bird…”

Colosseum and Roman Forum June 2019

On the 2nd of June is the Republic Day in Italy and Via dei Fori Imperiali that goes in the middle of the Ancient Rome ruins (from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum) will be completely closed to the traffic and pedestrians as there will be a military parade. The access to the Colosseum and Roman Forum on that day will be very difficult or almost impossible. Try to arrange your plans accordingly and avoid to schedule the visit to the Ancient Rome on the 2nd of June.

On the 5th and the 29th of June the entrance to the Colosseum and Roman Forum will be free of charge. The security checks are sometimes very long, therefore plan your visit preferably early in the morning. Both sites open at 8.30am. You will still need to collect your free tickets at the cash desk.

The Belvedere section of the Colosseum will reopen in June and again the visitors will have the chance to purchase the tour or a special ticket to climb to the very top of the Colosseum.

Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, June 2019

As usual, the opening hours of the Vatican Museums will be from 9am to 4pm. For pre-booked groups with accredited tour-operators the access is allowed from 8am.

The only closure of the Vatican Museums will be on the 29th June, the St Paul’s and St Peter’s Day. The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as every year,  will be closed throughout the whole day.

The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are closed on Sundays and only on the last Sunday of the month, as usual, the access to these sites will be free of charge. The opening hours on the “Free Sunday” is from 9am and 12.30pm.

The Pope’s Angelus is confirmed for every Sunday except for the 2nd and the 16th June. For the St Paul’s and St Peter’s Day the Angelus will take place also on the 29th June. The Angelus is always at 12pm. It’s not required to book your tickets for this event.

The Pope’s Audience, taking place every Wednesday, is confirmed for the 5th, the 12th, the 19th and the 26th June. The tickets, that are free of charge, can be requested here

On Sunday 9th  June, the Papal Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost will take place at 10am at the St Peter’s Basilica. On the 29th Papal Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul will start at 9.30am. If you would like to attend the events or a Mass inside the Basilica you must book your tickets here. They are also free of charge.

If you need any assistance to book your tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican, in case you would like to book a tour of these sites, or you simply need to book your free tickets for the Papal’s Mass or Papal’s Audience, please contact us on or via chat on our main page.

We will be glad to help you to organize your stress-free holiday in Rome.

Happy travels to everyone!

While in Rome… eat, pray, love and cook!

Since the beginning of the times, every traveller had one main goal: to experience, to create memories of emotions lived during the travel, to come into contact with local culture, local traditions and learn about local habits.

If you think about visiting Italy, and especially Rome, among the first things you might have on your check-list are: the Colosseum , the Vatican together with the Sistine Chapel, and you will be surely looking forward to taste delicious Italian food!

The food, by all means, is the best way to live an extraordinary experience and bring back home vivid memories.

We have already written here about Italian coffee, Italian (Sicilian) chocolate and about the worldwide famous Italian pasta.

We from City Lights have thought about our future guests who might like to experience a little bit more and among different options of Cooking classes and Food tours, we actually decided to offer you all of this in one tour.

We are sure that the most intriguing part of this new City Lights tours package will be this Cooking class that will have maximum 8 participants.

It will be, at the same time, easy and exciting to follow this fantastic experience.

Your chef, who is fully licensed, professional and accredite, will lead and follow you from the very start to the very end of this experience.

First, you will meet him at one of the most characteristic and authentic markets of Rome where you will start to collect all the necessary ingredients. You will see what kind of tomatoes Italians use for each recipe (and believe it or not there are dozens of types of tomatoes, each for different dish), you will visit a so-called Salsamenteria where you can discover the most typical kinds of cheese, cold cuts of meat and all characteristic Italian delicacies and you will also visit a typical Italian butcher where we will collect some of the ingredients for our recipes.

Then, together with the Chef you will reach his studio in Trastevere and the real discover will start. While you will be preparing pasta on your own and while he will be looking after each and every participant, he will start to reveal the most important secrets of the every-day cooking. You will be surprised of how many things you will learn and how easy can be to implement these small secrets for an easier life!

The Cooking Class will include preparation of: three types of pasta, a main dish and a dessert.

While you’ll be starting to get more self-confidence by preparing your (probably first in your lifetime) dough, the chef will offer a taste of some special red or white wine and if you’re lucky you will have a chance to taste special artisanal olive oil (of his own production).

Before the pasta will be ready to be cooked, you will also prepare a main dish (meat or fish) and during this preparation process you will discover some simple, small secrets that will add more to your discovery of why the Italian cuisine is so famous.

As soon as you finished preparing your pasta, the cooking process will start and you will finally taste your own creation. The sauce prepared by all the participants will be combined with pasta and the lunch will be ready to be served.

The complete meal, prepared by you and other participants, under the attentive eye of the chef, will be served and accompanied by an excellent wine.

The dessert, that Italians are going proud of, will also be part of this cooking/tasting class and you will see how with few ingredients you can make an excellent, typically Italian, dessert.

Your Cooking Class – Tasting experience will not come alone.

The package will also include one or two tours of your choice that can be:

  • the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica tour the
  • Colosseum & Roman Forum tour,
  • or both

You just need to decide and to let us know how would you like to get the best of your holiday.

The best time in May 2019 to tour the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & Colosseum & Roman Forum

The high season in Rome will officially start with the Easter Day, the 21st April. We are expecting that the month of May will be very crowded.

Save your time and don’t get stressed with the following few tips we are about to give you.

As we mentioned in our previous article, we have experiencing delays at the security checks of the Vatican and the Colosseum, therefore choose the best days to visit these sites.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel openings in May

During the month of May 2019 the Vatican Museums will be closed on the 1st May and on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of the month the 26th May, when the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel will be open for free from 9am to 12.30pm (last entrance).

Also, throughout the month, every Friday evening the Vatican Museums will be open from 7pm until 9.30pm (last entrance).

From our experience we can suggest you to avoid the 2nd of May and also the 3rd and the 4th May might be very crowded at the Vatican. In that case you can opt for a visit to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums in the evening of the 3rd May. On the 2nd and the 4th May the Vatican Museums will be open until 4pm (last entrance) instead of the usual 3pm closure.

On the 1st of May and every Sunday except for the 5th May the Pope will hold the Angelus, the Benediction at the St Peter’s Square. The Angelus is at 12pm.

Also the Papal Audience will take place every Wednesday at the St Peter’s Square at around 9.30am. For the Audience you must book your tickets or you can collect them, the day before the Audience, at the Swiss Guards at the St Anna’s Gate.

May Colosseum and Roman Forum

From the 31st March, the Colosseum and Roman Forum will be open from 8.30am until 7.15pm (last entrance is at 6.15pm).

The entrance will be free on the 9th May for the whole day. Please keep in mind that the security check line, especially at the Colosseum might take longer than usual.

The tickets are valid for all three sites: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and the cost is 12€ if purchased directly at the site or 14€ on line. They are valid for two days and for one entrance to each site: one entrance to the Colosseum and one entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (that have the same entrance for both sites).

Please keep in mind that the Colosseum and Roman Forum might close on the 1st May 2019.

For any further information or in case you want to plan your visit and book a guided tour please contact us and we will offer you our best option and prices. If you’re staying in Rome for few days let us know and we will give you the best dates to visit the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.

In our next next article we will give you the latest news about the openings, closure and the best days for a visit to the Vatican and Colosseum in June 2019!

The best time to tour the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & Colosseum & Roman Forum; closures, holidays and crowded days in April 2019

As the high season is approaching it might be useful, to give you some “insiders” information about the best time to visit these two sites. Being the Colosseum and the Vatican, among the most visited places in the World, these tips can save you some time and some stress. Why get stressed during your holidays?

In the last couple of years, regardless to our pre booked, hour slot, purchased tickets, we have been experiencing delays at the security check at both sites. Among the reasons of these delays are increasing numbers of visitors coming to the Vatican and to the Colosseum and also more severe security checks on certain days. You might get stuck at the entrance sometimes even for an hour – whether you have bought your tickets in advance or booked a tour.

Have a look here below for the most crowded days we expect in April.

April Vatican

It’s Easter Month and anytime around Easter, from the 18th to the 22nd you might find some sections closed, very long security check line and most of the times the St Peter’s Basilica will be closed. Also, once inside, it will be so crowded that you’ll lose the whole point of visiting the Vatican and your expectations will be highly disappointed.

We would recommend to avoid 19th and 20th April this year. Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel will be closed on the 21st and 22nd April (Easter and Easter Monday).

Also, on the 9th of April the Vatican Museums will open at 11am and not at 9am as usual. Only if you have already your booked tickets you will be allowed to access the site.

From the 18th to the 30th April the Vatican Museums will extend the opening hours to 5pm (last entrance) instead the usual closing time at 4pm. During these days visitors will be allowed to stay inside the Museums until 7pm.

April Colosseum

From our years-long experience, we have noticed that Mondays are the less busy days of the week at the Colosseum.

On Sundays, Colosseum and Roman Forum are usually overcrowded by foreign tourists, “long-weekend” visitors, Italians coming from other parts of Italy and by locals. We would suggest to avoid Sundays at the Colosseum.  

From the 31st March and throughout the whole summer, the opening hours of both sites, Colosseum and Roman Forum will be extended. The last entrance to the site will be at 6.15pm (closure at 7.15pm). Take enough time to visit both (or all three) sites – at least a couple of hours.

The Colosseum and Roman Forum will be open on the Easter Day, 21st April and Easter Monday 22nd April.

In our next article we will bring you the latest news about the closures and most crowded days in May! Stay tuned…


Are you ready for the International Rome Marathon 2019

The 25th International Rome Marathon will be held this year on the first Sunday of April. On the 7th of April 2019 thousands of runners will gather in front of the Colosseum at the start line. What other place would have been better to start the race in the Eternal City than the Flavian Amphitheater?

The route of the race, as every year, will stretch around some of the most beautiful landmarks in Rome. At the very start the runners will pass by the ruins of the Roman Forum and Imperial Forums from where they will be able to notice the majestic Altare della Patria in Piazza Venezia. Then the route will follow the streets that will bring the runners to the Circus Maximus, the ancient stadium which capacity was around 120.000 spectators. The race will continue just behind the Caracalla Thermal baths and will continue down the Cristoforo Colombo street. The race will bend and will pass around St Paul’s Basilica (St Paul’s outside the walls).  After a couple of kilometers the panorama will change and the athletes will run around the Pyramid (Piramide Cestia). This pyramid is not Egyptian, even if it was inspired by the Egyptian constructions, and it was used as the burial chamber of Gaius Cestius.

The Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina) will be soon spotted on the left hand side of the runners’ route that will lead the marathon all the way along the river to the Vatican and the St Peter’s Basilica.

After the Vatican, the second half of the marathon, will follow the route that reaches the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Village, both built in the occasion of the Olympic games held in Rome in 1960. The race will continue again along the river Tiber and will reach the magnificent Piazza del Popolo with its impressive Porta del Popolo. Just few steps further the Spanish Steps square (Piazza di Spagna) will welcome the racers that will pass by the famous Bernini’s fountain, La Barcaccia.

After passing by Piazza Navona, Largo Argentina (the archaeological site where Julius Caesar has been killed) the race will reach again Piazza Venezia. Here, the last efforts will be necessary, as just before the finish a short but pretty steep hill will be in sight. The road that will bring all the racers to the finish is in downhill, just around the Colosseum.

The runners of the Rome City Maraton will have a unique panorama for the race!

You can download the Marathon route here.

During the days before and after the International Rome Marathon, City Lights Tours will welcome all marathon runners, tourists, visitors and supporters with a 20% discount. At the checkout just insert RUNNERS to get your discount. You are not obliged to proof that you’re running the marathon! You don’t have to run! We will bring you for a nice strolls along the best places in the city!

For all the visitors in Rome, City Lights Tours will also arrange all your transfers, so you can save your energy for the race (or for a tour!).

Soon we will publish the discount code reserved for all visitors in Rome during the International Rome Marathon, stay tuned!

A (“new”) Emperor Nero’s house to be open to the public on the Palatine Hill

After Domus Aurea that has been opened to the visitors for a long time, another Emperor Nero’s palace, will be soon accessible to the public.

After almost 1950 years after his death, Nero still intrigues historians, archaeologists and, of course, visitors of Rome. This year, after 60 years, another of his palaces, precedent to the Domus Aurea, the Domus Transitoria, will be finally open and will give us another marvellous site to admire and to learn better about the curious and eccentric personality of Nero.

The mansion, decorated with frescoes and with marbles from all over the Roman Empire, has been used for parties and entertainment of the Emperor and his friends. It has been built as a party house; several fountains located inside the numerous marble columns were used to cool down the hot summer air and to create a spectacular water shows.

Photo bu

Now the visitors will be able to enjoy a light show set up in order to recreate the fantastic waterfall show Nero used to have in his house.

The Nero’s Domus Transitoria is planned to be open to the public in April 2019. The access will be allowed with a new Roman Forum and Palatine Hill ticket that will give you the chance to visit some other sites, recently opened, inside the Roman Forum.

We from City Lights are known to organize small groups and this new opening will be included in our itinerary, as only small groups will be allowed.

If you would like to check our Domus Transitoria & Roman Forum Tour you can have a look here

Week of Culture in Italy. List of free Museums in Rome!

During the Week of Culture in Italy, as we mentioned in one of our previous articles, the entrance will be free of charge and if you’re in Rome between 5th and 10th of March 2019, you cannot miss this opportunity.

If you’re in Venice, Florence, Naples and any other city in Italy, keep in mind that almost all state museums will be free during the Week of Culture 2019.

In case of archaeological sites and museums that belong to the Vatican (like Vatican Museums or catacombs), the admission won’t be free and it is required to purchase or book your ticket.

Here is the list of the free museums in Rome.

Ostia Antica archaeological site

Roman forum and Palatine Hill


Campo di Bove

Galleria Borghese

Galleria Spada

Galleria Corsini

Palazzo BArberini

Galleria Nazionale

Cecilia Metella Mausoleum and Castrum Caetani

“Lamberto Loria” Museums

“Alessandro Vaccaro” Museum

“Giuseppe Tucci” Museum

“Luigi Pigorini” Museum

National Museum of Musical Instruments

National Museum of Palazzo Venezia

Castel Sant’Angelo

Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia

Crypta Balbi

Palazzo Altemps

Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

Baths of Diocletian

Ostiense Museum

Santa Maria Nova (Appian Way)

Villa Adriana Tivoli

Villa d’Este Tivoli

Villa dei Quintili

In case you’re lucky to be in Rome from 5th to 10th March 2019 and you would like to arrange or join a guided tour and save some money, contact us during the Week of Culture and book your private guide in Rome! Remember, your price will be much cheaper as you won’t pay for tickets!

And… don’t forget! City of Rome is an open-air museum!

Photo by Serena Repice Lentini on Unsplash
Photo by Serena Repice Lentini

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