Tag Archives: Rome

Johan Zoffany, Royal Academy, review

imageThe Royal Academy’s Johan Zoffany show gives a spectacularly detailed vision of rumbustious 18th century life.

If you wish to understand why the German-born 18th-century painter Johan Zoffany is considered a good artist, then head straight for the sixth section of a new show at the Royal Academy, the first substantial exhibition of his work in Britain since 1977. There, visitors can pore over a staggering picture called The Tribuna of the Uffizi, which is often described as the best painting he ever made.

Elmgreen and Dragset’s Fourth Plinth, review

imageWhat does Elmgreen and Dragset’s Fourth Plinth sculpture say about us, asks Alastair

Glinting in the winter sunlight, unblemished as yet by pigeon droppings, the latest work of art to occupy the Fourth Plinth in the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square was unveiled today — and in one sense it is the most old-fashioned yet.

Conceived by the Nordic artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Powerless Structures, Fig 101, the eighth contemporary artwork commissioned for the plinth since 1999, is a monumental bronze equestrian statue more than 4m high. Executed in a realistic figurative style, it belongs to a tradition that stretches back to the ancient world, when Rome was awash with colossal gilt-bronze portraits of emperors mounted on horseback.

Venice: a new haven for overseas property investment

imageThe city of canals is again attracting wealthy investors. Caroline McGhie finds out why it is worth a punt.

In a troubled world, we gain solace from spiritual uplift and physical beauty. Few places have the ability to touch the heart and move minds like Venice. For decades it has been a place to visit rather than one in which to buy property, but gradually things are changing. British estate agents have developed connections there, and some big money is about to arrive. “Ocean’s nursling”, as Shelley described it, is becoming a connoisseur’s place to purchase.

Mediterranean Luxury Cruises – The Time Of Your Life

imageWith three continents and more than a dozen countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea there is much to see and do here. A luxury Mediterranean cruise will see you visiting everything from romantic Islands to busy vibrant cities and towns.

Whether you take one of the smaller ships to a few of the smaller Islands or a luxury cruise liner around the Mediterranean you will not be disappointed. With countries such as France, Italy and the Greek Islands being in easy reach by sea you will be sure of a fun filled holiday that creates memories you will cherish forever  On a Mediterranean cruise you will be able to enjoy a vast multitude of different flavours, historical sights, cultures and cuisines and there will be something for even the fussiest guest on a Mediterranean cruise.

Cruising Tips

imageEvery year more and more people discover why cruises are the ideal vacation. A cruise ship is basically your giant buffet of wonderful experiences, with a wide selection of cuisines and cultures, activities in the sun and spas to pamper your every indulgence, destinations to exotic locales and a million ways to relax. You can do it all or do absolutely nothing – the choice is yours!

Chart Your Course! Pick the Cruise That’s Right for You
Your first choice is the most enjoyable, for it allows your mind to wander around the globe and back again, revisiting every destination your dreams have ever taken you to. Where in the world do you want to go and for how long?

5 travel scams to avoid

As travel is getting more and more popular, scams related to travel are also getting increasingly widespread. Even the most seasoned traveler can fall pray to a wily scammer, because just as travelers get creative when it comes to their trips, so do scammers and their attempts to leech some money off you.


Picking a naive tourist’s pockets is small fry compared to some rip-offs that have been heard of nowadays. So here are 5 travel scams to avoid in some of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Orlando, USA

Unfortunately hotels around Disney World are not protected against identity theft, and some scammers deviously capitalized on tourists’ craving for pizza. Pizza menu were slipped under doors, guests would call and order, but their credit card numbers were not used to pay for pizza, but for identity theft. Of course, this kind of scam can happen anywhere, because scammers can rely on the fact that tourists (and often, locals too) don’t know that much about local businesses.

The best travel apps

A good smartphone app can be a traveller’s best friend. Francisca Kellett looks at some of the best travel apps on the market.


Smartphones have been to the Noughties what the internet was to the Nineties – nothing short of revolutionary. If you don’t already have one, you soon will. And with a smartphone comes its innovative add-ons – apps, or applications.

Ten billion apps have been downloaded in the past three years. There are 17,000 travel apps on the market, and 160 million app-compatible devices are owned worldwide – iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and tablet devices such as the iPad.

Rome: the best readers’ tips

From restaurant advice to obscure museums, the best of our readers’ tips for Rome.
imageIn response to your call for tips for visitors to Rome: try Galleria Colonna an art gallery and palace off Piazza Venezia, away from the normal tourist trail; it opens only on Saturday mornings. A visit is like stepping back in time. The gallery is adorned with ornate framed paintings, gold and gilt furnishings, sculpted ceilings, frescoes, wall hangings and more. It’s privately owned and not widely advertised, but the lack of tourists and the quiet opulence make it seem like a privilege to visit.

For a memorable eating experience try lunch, perhaps on a Sunday when the sun is shining, at Cecilia Metella on the old Appian Way (Appia Antica), just out of the centre of Rome, opposite the Catacombs of San Sebastiano.

Cruising on Seabourn Odyssey

Graham Boynton thought cruising wasn’t for him. That was until he took a trip with his family on Seabourn Odyssey from Istanbul to Athens.

There are some things in life that one should avoid confessing to when in serious company. For example, in the mid-Seventies it was social suicide to admit liking Abba’s music, as it is today with Sir Cliff Richard’s canon; equally, to claim a secret fondness for the novels of Barbara Cartland or the paintings of Vladimir Tretchikoff remains cultural death.

The £30m Turner sale shows how all-powerful the Getty Museum is

imageTurner’s “Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino” deserves the £29.7m record price that the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles paid for it.
Not only does it show Turner’s soft, hazy, original brush working well. It’s also of a thumpingly familiar, picture postcard scene  – the view down from the Capitoline Hill across the ancient ruins of the Forum, then still called the Campo Vaccino, or cattle field, because of the thick layers of earth and vegetation that covered it after the fall of Rome. It’s still a pleasingly rural spot in Turner’s picture – with goats and peasants roaming the ruins, and very few tourists on mini-breaks.

Cultural city breaks: Great art, kept all to yourself

How do you avoid the ever-growing crowds that pack the big European museums? Nick Trend suggests some ways to make the experience more positive.

imageOn a packed London tube train I was contorting my neck, trying to see through the crowd and check which station we had arrived at. The experience reminded me of something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I remembered – it was visiting the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael rooms in the Vatican Museums.

The same feeling of half-suffocated, frustrated claustrophobia had overwhelmed me a few years ago as I shuffled along with the tide of tourists, waiting for a gap to open so that I could steal a glimpse of Raphael’s frescoes, or find an unencumbered vantage point from which to view Michelangelo’s ceiling. When God created Adam, he surely didn’t imagine quite so many of his progeny crammed into one place at the same time.

Rome city break: an insider’s guide

Lee Marshall introduces his comprehensive guide to Rome. Browse the links below to see his pick of the best hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and attractions.
Why go?

Because it’s been around for almost 3,000 years and yet carries all that weight of history with la dolce vita lightness of heart. And because this is a city that combines the intimacy and human scale of a village with the cultural draws of a European metropolis.

In Rome, classical ruins and early Christian places of worship stand next to – or lie beneath – Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains.

Bernardo Bertolucci: ‘I thought my film-making was over’

‘For the last two or three years, I’d been thinking I wouldn’t be able to do any more movies,’ says Bernardo Bertolucci Photo: AGF s.r.l. / Rex Features
By David Gritten 5:00PM BST 14 Apr 2011

He is 71 now, and has received more than his share of critical and public praise since he shot his first film, The Grim Reaper, half a century ago. But the rush to honour the great Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci is currently more urgent than ever before.

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