Travel Tip Tuesday : Five New Things in Rome

Travel Tip Tuesday LogoAny history lover knows to put Rome on the top of their Italy itinerary.  What with the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and all the glorious churches on offer.

Believe me, there are so many ancient wonders to discover – it would take you a lifetime just to see them all!

And just when you thought you’d be running out of things to keep you busy in the Eternal City, a few new ones get restored and reopen.  Recently, there have been quite a few – and this Travel Tip Tuesday, I thought I’d share five of them with you.

How exciting it would be to get a peek at these treasures for the very first time.

1.  The Colosseum Dungeons.  This past October, the lower lever of the Colosseum opened to visitors. For the first time,  visitors got to walk through the underground dungeons, which held caged animals, and experience the life of a gladiator.  These tours were temporary, but rumor had it that because of its populararity and how much was spent on the restoration – that the powers that be would likely make this a regular feature.  And I’m happy to report that it’s true.  Tours have just begun again, but you do need a reservation.

2.  The House of Vestal Virgins.  After 20 years of restoration, the Roman Forum opened about 7 acres of land, this past January.  This includes the elegant palace, the House of Vestal Virgins, garden and the Temple of Vesta.  Images and statues are part of the restoration as well as a new visitors route, called the Via Nova.  Since the house was exclusively for women and the priestesses and goddess Vesta were very important to ancient Rome – it’s a must see for women.

3.  Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide. A new museum dedicated to Baroque art and architecture has opened a restored 17th century palazzo.  It seeks to highlight the history of over four centuries of Roman Catholic missionary work. Don’t miss the library designed for Bernini and the Chapel of the Maggi on the second floor.

4.  Made in Italy Museum.  Yep, that’s right, a new museum dedicated to products made in Italy will be coming to Rome.  Slated for a 2012 opening, the four-floor exhibition will be housed in Civiltà del Lavoro Palace, in EUR, a southern suburb of Rome.  Also in the works is an Aquarium which may open right across the street.

5.  Trevi Fountain Makeover. And though it certainly isn’t new, special props to the Trevi Fountain, which will go through a 1-million-euro make-over this year.  Statues will be cleaned, improved lighting will be added and the streets will be widened for pedestrian traffic.  Don’t forget to bring your three coins and your sunglasses – the glare from the shine just might blind you!

Which of these will you add to your Rome visit?

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