Interior of the Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Interesting facts to better grasp Antique Rome while in Rome!

Text & photographs: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen

If the Roman Empire is not the largest empire that ever existed, it is the longest-lasting and its impact on the western civilization to this day is incommensurable: from Roman languages such as Spanish and French to name the most spoken ones, to the Christian religion the empire adopted, from principles of modern law and the concept of republic to architecture, without mentioning the engineering prowess from aqueducts to roads and baths, and even the modern western calendar – a refinement of the Julian calendar of Julius Caesar – and the way we count hours.

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Photographer Marcella van Alphen biking the Via Appia, Rome

Uncovering Antique Rome without hordes of tourists [Via Appia]

Text: Claire Lessiau
Photographs: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen

Cycling past the monumental Circus Maximus where a quarter million spectators used to rave at chariot races, the gigantic Bath of Caracalla where Romans bathed 2,500 years ago, the Via Appia Antica unveils. Just past the Arch of Drusus marking the start of the very first Roman highway, we stand on top of the tower of the Gate of San Sebastian. Following the Via Appia as far as we can see it, we are picturing the rural landscape surrounding antique Rome dotted by large agricultural estates thriving on these fertile lands with the snowy summits of the Abruzzo Mountains in the background. If we are only a short bike ride away from the extremely touristic centre of Rome, we are already far from the hustle and bustle, and about to discover an off-the-beaten gem…

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Catacombs of Domitilla unveiled, Rome

Digging into world’s oldest catacombs in Rome

Text & photographs: Claire Lessiau

The catacombs in Rome are subject to many myths. No, the early persecuted Christians did not take shelter inside these underground necropolises! With thousands of bodies, each wrapped in a linen clothe, simply covered in quicklime entombed waiting for resurrection, in deep galleries with hardly any ventilation nor light, the myth is quite easy to bust, just thinking of the stench…

Follow us deep underground into world’s first catacombs in Rome to dig into the real history of the early Christians, martyrs, popes, saints, and tomb raiders. A place of hope and resurrection for believers, a place to discover how early Christians defended their faith for others. In all cases, a deep, captivating and beautiful experience.

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Pizzas in the oven

Rome’s best pizza you’ll ever have!

Text: Marcella van Alphen
Photographs: Claire Lessiau

Are you expecting pizzeria recommendations? It gets even better than this!

If Italian gastronomy goes way beyond pizzas, they remain a must-taste during any trip to Italy, and they are for sure better than any back home, wherever home is. For the best pizza in Rome, do not look too far: join a pizza making class! Not only will it be the best and most fun pizza ever with your own specific generous toppings, but it is also a wonderful way to bring back home a bit of Italy to share with your loved ones any time you wish.

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