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Archive for the ‘Rome’ Category

Snapshots – bicycles

Posted by dan on March 3, 2011

Bicycle stunt in Sydney

Bicycle stunt in Sydney

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Snapshots – three wheelers

Posted by dan on January 7, 2011

Three wheelers in Dhaka Bangladesh

Three wheelers in Dhaka Bangladesh

Tuk-tuks and human powered rickshaws are making their way to the western world. Three wheelers were common in Europe when I was a kid, but somehow they have disappeared where I lived. They never went out of fashion in France and Italy though, where they still make their own brands. Two at the back or two at the front, doesn’t matter – here we go again.

Véléance, Electric Vehicles: http://www.veleance.fr/

About Piaggio APE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_Ape

About the Tuk-Tuk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuk_tuk

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“Environmental hazard which uses too much oil”

Posted by dan on January 1, 2011

Plastic bag in tree

Plastic bag in tree. Image: eflon, flickr

Along with the tourist tax, a law forbidding the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags came into effect on the 1st day of 2011 in Italy. It is a welcome move as far as I am concerned, however, as someone put it, “in a culture notorious for considering stop signs as merely advisory, it remains to be seen how effective implementing social change from the top down can be.” The government has tarted a public awareness campaign as well that promotes other types of bags as “fashionable as well as environmentally friendly.”

Sources:

Plastic Bag Ban Starts in New Year in Italy: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/12/plastic-bag-ban-italy.php

Italy to begin ban on plastic bags in shops: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12097605

See also blog post: ‘Contributo di Soggiorno’ – Rome tourist tax

 

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‘Contributo di Soggiorno’ – Rome tourist tax

Posted by dan on January 1, 2011

The Colosseum, Italy Rome

The Colosseum, Rome

As of today, 1st of January 2011, a new tourist tax came into effect in Rome. According to officials, “the tax is expected to raise much-needed revenue for the city, whose palaces, churches and monuments are in urgent need of restoration.” From today people staying in a hotel in Rome will have this tax added to their bills.

 

“DETAILS OF FEE:
Camp sites 1 Euros per person per night max 5 days
Farm Inns 2 Euros per person per night max 10 days
B&B 2 Euros per person per night max 10 days
Rented Rooms 2 Euros per person per night max 10 days
Holiday Homes 2 Euros per person per night max 10 days
Holiday Apartments 2 Euros per person per night max 10 days
1, 2, 3-Star Hotels 2 Euros per person per night max 10 days
4, 5-Star Hotels 3 Euros per person per night max 10 days”

Source: http://en.turismoroma.it/oggi_a_roma/ultime_notizie/contributo_di_soggiorno_a_roma

“This comes after the highly debated nightly hotel tax was reported after Prime Minister’s Berlusconi’s government planned to slash €200 million euros from its annual contribution to the city of Rome. Therefore Roman officials had proposed a hotel tax of up to €10 euros per person, per night. The tax amount would be based on the number of stars assigned to a hotel by the Italian government.

Many hoteliers were up in arms and urging the city to find other revenue sources.

Meanwhile, Italian officials are seeking to raise some €25 million euros in private money to finance the restoration of the Colosseum. They will be accepting bids from possible sponsors.”

Source: http://www.eturbonews.com/17575/rome-slated-become-more-expensive-2011

See also blog post: “Environmental hazard which uses too much oil”

 

 

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Snapshots – Christmas in Rome and the Vatican

Posted by dan on December 20, 2010

Vatican, Christmas tree at St. Peter's Basilica

Christmas tree at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican

Christmas is one of the biggest Christian celebrations and people from all over the world flock to Rome and the Vatican during the festive season. Following are images of the Eternal City preparing for Christmas.

Not everybody is as fortunate as most of us reading this blog – many people will spend this Christmas out on the street in every European city. According to every major religion it is a duty to help those in need. See blog post: Clochard – Homeless in Europe

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Great gift ideas – Ferrari merchandise

Posted by dan on December 18, 2010

The smaller items such as watches, key rings, toy cars, ties or valets would make a good gift for people who like cars and car racing. If you are the Ferrari fan yourself, you could have a photo taken next to the F1 racing monster for 16 euros (A4 size). There is a whole range of other items, including bags, clothes, car accessories, even skis. Although a pair of Ferrari skis is not a guarantee that you will be the fastest on the slopes, you definitely will be one of the most stylish. You can also get the electronic two-wheeler gadget (sure there is a name for it – pls let me know) which could be useful getting around in the city. In many big cities, including Rome, you can hire them for sightseeing if you first want to have a go at it – not the Ferrari ones of course.

There are shops in the city – the pictured one is just off Via del Corso close to Piazza Augusto Imperatore – and also at the airport.

Ferrari merchandise official website: http://store.ferrari.com/en/

See other great gift ideas: https://independentguide.wordpress.com/tag/gift-ideas/

See also blog post: Villa Borghese gardens – with kids or without

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Villa Borghese gardens – with kids or without

Posted by dan on December 18, 2010

Rome, Borghese Park

Borghese Park, Rome

Located right above some of the main sights in Rome, such as the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, it offers a quiet alternative to the busy streets below. Worth even only for the view from the terraces, either you go up from the Spanish Steps or Piazza del Popolo. A short and nice walk would be to go up at one of these locations, and come down at the other. The park can be approached from the top of the Monti area as well, and you could take shorter or longer walks in the tranquil gardens. Apart from the shady trees, ponds, fountains, monuments and sculptures, there are several museums and galleries, including of course the Borghese Gallery. There is also a zoological museum and an animal friendly and educational biopark – it’s not even called a zoo to make a point. You can get around on foot, on hired pedal-powered cars, segway (electronic two-wheeler) or a little train. There are carousels, a toddlers playhouse (maybe closed in winter), kiosks and cafes so you can easily spend a whole day up in the Villa Borghese gardens – with kids of any age, or even without.

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood” Tom Robbins

Further information:

Galleria Borghese (Borghese Gallery) official website: http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/edefault.htm

About the Villa Borghese gardens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Borghese_gardens

Travel TipBioparco (Biopark) official website: http://www.bioparco.it/en/bioparco-in-rome.html

More about Rome: Rome attractions pictures & videos

Recommended hotel in the area:

L'Hotel Cinquantatre, RomeL’Hotel Cinquantatre ***

Via di San Basilio, 53 00185 Rome, Italy
Tel/Fax : (+39) 06 42014708

Official site: http://www.hotelcinquantatrerome.com/

See blog post: 53 – L’Hotel Cinquantatre

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Great gift ideas – dictators and villains

Posted by dan on December 16, 2010

Probably not for everyone’s taste – but I am sure it is intended as a joke. It reflects the satirical Italian opinion about politics – that even though most people have moderate and tolerant views, as in any country, it has always been extreme forces that controlled world events.

Angelini – Liquor store on Via del Viminale, close to Teatro Dell’ Opera and Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica.

See other great gift ideas: https://independentguide.wordpress.com/tag/gift-ideas/

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Popolo go home – business as usual

Posted by dan on December 16, 2010

Cafes and restaurants in Rome

Cafes and restaurants

Walking around the center of the city the day after the protest, it was the normal Rome in a Christmas mood. Everything was open, damages repaired, locals and tourists strolling around, shopping, sitting in cafes and restaurants. If you didn’t look for it, you could hardly find any evidence of the events of the previous day. A little event however showed how much the community is divided – the fire brigade were holding a protest in front of the Parliament, joining the tens of thousands a day after the main protest. The very same people who were putting out the fires, they are surely not on the side of the trouble makers. No cordons, no heavy police presence this time – although they seemed angry, they were just as peaceful as most of the demonstrators a day before.

See also blog post: Avanti popolo – business as usual

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Avanti popolo – business as usual

Posted by dan on December 15, 2010

At Piazza del Popolo things weren't that peaceful

At Piazza del Popolo things weren't that peaceful

I didn’t know about the protests in Rome – but walking around the city it became obvious something was happening. Groups of students, leftists and other activists were gathering at the main squares and there was a very heavy police presence in some parts of the center with some streets closed off. I was told the following day everything would be back to normal and you can walk around freely in the center, so I headed for the Vatican and Prati. Coming back from Prati, however, I got right into the action at Piazza del Popolo – even though this is exactly what I wanted to avoid. After seeing the turmoil I just left the scene and walked over to Piazza Navona. Business there, as well as at other tourist areas like the Pantheon or the Spanish Steps, was just as usual; Christmas market and shoppers, carousels and kids, tourists enjoying themselves. So apart from a few isolated incidents, Rome was pretty much the normal city one was expecting.


See also blog post: Popolo go home – business as usual

 

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