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Is The Holy Grail in Rome? Unsolved Mysteries

There is nothing sought after more than the Holy Grail (the name itself has become synonymous with something sacred and elusive).
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Through Arthurian legends, Knights Templar and Medieval folklore, this Holy Chalice inspired conspiracy theories and modern interpretations evident in films, novels and psychology.
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 But does the Holy Grail really exist?
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And if the Holy Grail does exist, where is it?
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Archaeologist Alfredo M.Barbagallo who heads an association called Arte e Mistero (Art and Mystery) believes the Holy Grail lies beneath the Basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, one of the seven pilgrim churches in Rome.
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According to Christian tradition, Pope Sixtus V reportedly entrusted the treasures of the early Church to Lorenzo, one of the seven deacons of Ancient Rome. Lorenzo was martyred four days later during the persecution of Emperor Valerian in 258 AD and the Grail was never seen again.
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San Lorenzo Basilica

San Lorenzo Basilica

.While other legends claim Lorenzo sent the Holy Grail to his parents in northern Aragon, Barbagallo insists the Grail never left Rome and it remained on the site of the saint’s tomb upon which Emperor Costantine built a shrine in 4th century, and a century later the main portion of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura was built on the exact spot.

However, until the catacombs are authorized by Rome to be opened and examined, we will never know if Bargallo’s Holy Grail theory is correct.

 

For more photos of Basilica of San Lorenzo, visit our Flickr Photo Gallery

 

Do you have any unique church or Holy Grail stories to share? Share your stories in the comments box below. We’d love to hear from you!

Sharing is fun! If you found this article helpful, please pass it along to anyone who might benefit from it.

Thank you for reading this blog. We look forward to seeing you soon in Italy!

~The Stefano Rome Tours Team
 
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Civitavecchia Travel Tips

Stefano Rome Tours provides many Shore Excursions from the cruise port of Civitavecchia, but sometimes cruisers spend some pre-cruise or post-cruise time inside the town of Civitavecchia.
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Whether you find yourself in this quaint seaside town for a few hours before your ship sails, or arrive the day before to rest up after a long transcontinental flight to Italy, here are some travel tips for some useful places in Civitavecchia.
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Civitavecchia may not be a top tourist destination, but it has some great things to see and do, as well as excellent restaurants, shops, and everything you need during your stay here or before sailing on your cruise.
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For a list of Places to See and Things to Do in Civitavecchia, including the Fortress of Michelangelo, the promenadechurchesmuseums and more, please click HERE.
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WHERE TO EAT IN CIVITAVECCHIA

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Fast Food Restaurants

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Subway in Civitavecchia

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Subway (with free wifi)
On via Zara #8, just a block from the main viale Garibaldi is a large modern Subway restaurant if you’re in the mood for a sub instead of a “panino”. It has tables outdoors and free wi-fi for your laptop so you can connect online.
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Mc Donald’s
If you’re hankering for a burger and fries, there is a Mc Donald’s on the corner of viale Garibaldo and Largo Plebiscito. You can’t miss it, it’s just after you leave the Fortress of Michelangelo area.

Tip: Take the stairs next to the McDonald’s for a great view of Forte Michelangelo and the harbor. Keep walking along, and you will find yourself along the walkway on the walls of what used to be a defense wall.

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Sit Down Restaurants

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Sora Maria Restaurant in Civitavecchia

 

.La “Sora Maria” Al Ghetto trattoria

Lungoporto Antonio Gramsci, 65

Family owned trattoria since 1885. The seafood is among the freshest and most excellent in the area.  It has both indoor and outdoor seating. Upon seating down you’ll find a fresh basket of breads and bruschette on the table, and each guest is served a flute of Prosseco on the house. Such service you don’t find in many restaurants! Your after-meal coffee comes with a small plate of various biscuits. The service and the food can’t be beat and we highly recommend it (afterall, we go there ourselves each chance we get!)

 

Coffee and Deserts

Cioccolart in Civitavecchia

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Cioccolart

Corso Marconi Guglielmo, 49

Chocolate and art have never tasted or looked more decadent than at Cioccolart. Whether a “sweet heart” for your sweetheart, or “edible tools” for the weekend warrior on a holiday, you will be in chocolate and dessert heaven when you step inside this small family owned chocolateria and cafe. Aside from the many handmade high-end artisan chocolate masterpieces, you will find a delicious variety of cakes, pastries, muffins, and great coffee to go with everything! All their products are handmade fresh on premise. We can’t think of more beautiful desserts to enjoy, and thoughtful gifts for loved ones than these edible pieces of chocolate art from Cioccolart.

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Danilo Cafe in Civitavecchia

Pasticceria Bar Danilo

Corso Marconi Guglielmo, 40

You’ll find many locals gathering here for their espresso and cappuccino fixes, as well as satisfying their sweet tooth with the various pastries and biscuits. It’s off the beaten tourist path so you can mingle with the locals. Outdoor tables available.

 

SHOPPING IN CIVITAVECCHIA

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Civitavecchia Shopping
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There is plenty of opportunity for shopping in Civitavecchia. Whether something stylish for the cruise, swimwear for the beach, shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories or something comfortable in which to lounge around, there are many shops and boutiques for different needs, tastes, styles and budgets. Many shops line the gallery along Corso Marconi Guglielmo, just after you pass the cathedral of St Francis and near the cafes we recommended.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES IN CIVITAVECCHIA

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Civitavecchia Financial Centers

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Eurolink Finanza &

Near the corner of Largo Plebiscito and via Dalmazia near the main road Via Garibaldi, you’ll find Eurolink financial service center where you can exchange currency or send money via Western Union or MoneyGram. It is also a phone center and internet point, and it sells international phone cards. We found it also to be open on Sundays.

 

BANKS AND ATM MACHINES

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Civitavecchia Banking

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ATM machines are also available in Civitavecchia if you need to withdraw funds.

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PHARMACIES

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Pharmacies (farmacia) are also available, just look for the signs with a green cross lit up.

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For more information on Port Transfers to Civitavecchia please visit www.RomeCabs.com.

For more information on Shore Excursions from Civitavecchia please visit us at www.StefanoRomeTours.com

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Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

Sharing is fun: If you enjoyed this article please share it with others who might find it useful.

Do YOU have travel tips for Civitavecchia you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comment box below.

We look forward to seeing you soon in Italy!

The Stefano Rome Tours Team

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Discover Caravaggio on your Rome Shore Excursion!

.Caravaggio’s art directly inspired from reality reflects his life, grandiose and dramatic at the same time.

From Milan to Rome and from Sicily to Malta, Caravaggio went from artistic residences to various prisons during his adventurous life that tragically ended in 1610 at the young age of 39.

 

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Even if he lived a short life, this gifted artist started a revolutionary art, influencing the majority of European painters.

 

Caravaggio Painting at San Luigi dei Francesi Church

Caravaggio Painting at San Luigi dei Francesi Church

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Caravaggio’s masterpieces changed the history of painting giving the spectators the new role of eye witnesses who are engaged in the action occurring right in front of them. Standing in front of one of his paintings, one can feel alone in a crowded room surrounded only by the beauty of his art.

No other artist of the past has been able to communicate so intensively with its audience.


Even though writers of his time always struggled with praising his talent in light of his tainted past; today it’s hard to distinguish the two souls of this man and artist.

His tragic death was almost seen at the time as a divine punishment for a sinful life, but today it is just considered a mystery behind the life of one of the greatest artist in history.

He was an honest artist communicating through his art both artistic style and biography with no filters nor obstacles.

 

Caravaggio inside St Maria del Popolo Church

Caravaggio inside St Maria del Popolo Church

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Discover the masterpieces of Caravaggio that are scattered around Rome on a guided tour that will surprise you! From Santa Maria del Popolo Church and San Luigi  dei Francesi Church to Doria Pamphilj and Borghese Gallery you can retrace this artist’s fascinating life.


Stefano Rome Tours offers
shore excursions from Civitavecchia Port  to take you to the most important galleries and churches of Rome that proudly display her most treasured pieces.

Do you have a favorite artist whose art you admire? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

With love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

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World Renown Mosaic Studio in the Heart of The Vatican

Hidden between two arches, in the shadow of the Sala delle Audienze of the Pope lies the small Studio of the Mosaic, one of the many treasures of the Vatican that is overlooked by most visitors. This studio contributes greatly to the art production and restoration of  the Vatican.

In the 16th century under Pope Gregory XIII, Venetian  mosaic craftsmen were called to Rome to teach the mosaic technique to the locals . By doing so they helped establish the first permanent team of Roman mosaic craftsmen.

Originally the mosaic studio was created to decorate parts of the Basilica such as the Gregorian Chapel and the Dome of Michelangelo, however the technique proved to be one of the most successful decorative styles and was extended to all the cupolas of the Basilica.

After two centuries of hard work, the Roman studio surpassed the Venetian production by creating over 26,000 color tonalities. In order to obtain a vast variety of shades, the craftsmen melted pre-existing colors together in a kiln built in the 1700’s inside the Vatican and that’s when the Studio became a permanent installation.

Around 1770 another revolutionary discovery reaffirmed the importance of the Studio worldwide. Two of the most prominent mosaic painters, Raffaelli and Aguatti, invented the filate enamels. This technique consists of re-melting the tiles, creating a malleable substance that can be stretched very thin to form minuscule pieces, sometimes smaller than 1 millimeter.

From that moment on, the mosaics produced in the Vatican were more beautiful and elegant than ever before. These small tiles could also be used to decorate jewelry and small everyday objects, setting off the commissions of the high aristocracy of Rome and the world to create one of a  kind gifts.

In fact to this day, the Studio of the Mosaics still executes works of any size on private commissions, many of which come from the United States.

The same exclusive group of artisans who work on commission from the pope also create unique mosaics  for the public which of course come with a hefty price tag.

If you want to   be one of the few people that discovers the beauty of this fascinating art studio join the exclusive private tour of the Vatican offered by StefanoRomeTours!

You can see the artisans at work and ask them questions, touch the precious pieces of glass kept in the laboratory chromatically organized, see the kiln of the 1700’s and visit the unique show room of some of the best works of the private collection. If you can’t afford a commission work this tour will at least give you a once in a lifetime experience at a much lower price!

Do you have a favorite piece of Mosaic Art you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Sharing is fun! If you enjoyed this article, please share with others who would enjoy it as well.

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

With love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team