Past Italia: Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica, Italy

The Mithraic Mysteries was once the predominant religious practice in Rome, and some archeological remains of this pre-Christian religion still survive… Photo by Getty Images Before Constantine converted to Christianity and changed Europe for ever, the most worshipped figure in Rome was Mithra, a divinity of Persian origin about whom little history remains. By the […]

Italia Guide – Rome and The South 2019 is now on sale!

Order your copy online today from just £9.99 (inc.P&P) here.     The brand-new Rome & the South travel guide from the publishers of Italia! magazine has 132 pages packed with expert travel know-how, stunning imagery and itineraries to make the most of your next trip to both Italy’s capital and the lands beyond – the captivating […]

Past Italia: Marcus Aurelius on horseback

Piazza del Campidoglio with statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, Italy.

The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius stands centre stage in Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio… Photo by Getty Images One of the few stipulations that the Pope made when he commissioned Michelangelo to redesign the piazza on the Capitoline Hill was that the famous ancient statue of Marcus Aurelius should be its focal point. The statue […]

Past Italia: Snowfall in Rome

snow in Rome, Italy

It snowed in Rome last February, and in 2012, though historically it’s actually quite a rare event… Photo by Getty Images This photograph was taken on Monday 26th February 2018, after the ‘Beast from the East’ had dumped several centimetres of snow on Rome, giving the city’s schoolchildren, and many of its shop and office […]

Making Tracks, Part 2: to Rome


Twenty years ago Rachael Martin arrived in Italy, exploring the country by rail and dreaming of rooms with a view. Twenty years, one Italian husband and two kids later, she still has the memories of those first voyages of discovery… Photos by Rachael Martin   “What can I get you?” the woman on the other […]

Exploring Italy’s Past

Piazza Duomo, Syracuse

Paul Beston, an experienced guide from Peter Sommer Travels, explains how an appreciation of the layers of Italy’s history adds an extra dimension to any Italian holiday Photos by iStock     There’s no such thing as an Italian tour. You can’t do justice to this magnificent country by reducing it to that homogenised prospect. […]

Four hidden highlights of Rome

Trastevere Rome

Real Rome Tours runs guided tours of Italy’s capital, and they have some fantastic expert tips for hidden Roman gems that you can visit in just one day… Rome is simply iconic – full of amazing sights, sounds and tastes to discover and enjoy. The only downside tends to be the huge number of tourists! […]

Insider’s Rome: The Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

You can go and see the Trevi Fountain for free, it’s just there, but it will cost you money if you ever want to see it again… Words and image by Jon Palmer There are actually lots of things you can do for free in Rome – especially if you happen to be around on […]

Insider’s Rome: The Pantheon

Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Proposals to charge entry to the Pantheon remain controversial, after plans were announced to start charging visitors from May this year… Words by Jon Palmer. Image by iStock Up until now, entry to the Pantheon was free, and had been throughout its 2,000 years of continuous use. This January, however, Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, confirmed […]

Insider’s Rome: The Capitoline Museums

Constantine Capitoline Museums Rome Italy

If it’s ancient statues you want, this is the place to be, but don’t ignore the works on the piazza outside the museum either… Words & image by Jon Palmer Recognised as the world’s first public museum (though that really depends on what you mean by ‘museum’, what you mean by ‘public’, and what you […]