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

 

The Spectacular Viterbo, Calcata and Sutri Tour

While Rome is one of the world’s most exciting city to visit,  spending a day in the relaxing Roman countryside can be one of the most rewarding experience of your holiday in Italy.




The enjoyable one day Viterbo, Calcata and Sutri Tour  that we offer at Stefano Rome Tours will take you to some of the most picturesque locations in Lazio, and on your journey to these interesting sites you will also see some breathtaking Italian scenery.

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Our personal service means that you will be picked up by our professional English speaking driver at your hotel at 9.00 AM and then you will be returned home, after an exciting day, at around 5.00 PM.

 


To view the video on our YouTube channel please CLICK HERE

 

 

CALCATA

 

Sutri 

 

Our first stop on the tour is one of the best preserved medieval hill towns in the country, the quaint village of Calcata, which lies perched high upon a volcanic rock.

The village is a now a bustling center for artisans and creative intellectuals, and it is hard to believe that the village was condemned in the 1930’s for fear of landslides.

With its cobbled streets, great collection of art galleries, craft shops and ancient relics, this truly is a unique location.

 

SUTRI

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Sutri - the Ancient Amphetheater

Sutri – the Ancient Amphetheater

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Our next stop is Sutri, about a 30-minute drive north west of Calcata and it’s an Etruscan archaeological site.

This beautiful village has around 5,000 inhabitants and attractions include an Etruscan necropolis, an excavated Roman amphitheatre with dozens of rock-cut tombs, a Mithraeum found in the crypt of the village’s church, the Church of the Madonna del Parto, as well as a Romanesque cathedral, which has seven naves divided by twenty columns, all of a different origin.

The cathedral was built over the ruins of an early Christian basilica and was consecrated by Pope Innocent III in 1207. After visiting the attractions of Sutri, we head north to the ancient city of Viterbo.

 

VITERBO

 

Viterbo, Italy

Viterbo, Italy

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A charming ancient city, Viterbo is also the capital of the provincial area and lies between Lake Bolsena and Lake Vico.

First of all we will luncheon in the city and after settling with a full stomach of tasty Italian food, we will be well prepared for visiting the city’s best sights, including churches, palaces, castles and ruins.

In fact, Viterbo is considered to be one of the best preserved medieval towns of central Italy, and on entering the historic centre, via the ancient gates of the 13 Century city walls, you will be able to see why for yourself.

Places of interest on the route include the Papal Palace, the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo, Piazza del Gesù and the square’s simple but quaint 11th Century church, and the Fontana Grande, to name but just a few.

This is an ideal tour for those who wish to follow a splendid and varied itinerary that lasts a good day!

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Don’t forget: In order to be able to enter any of the churches, you will have to have your shoulders and knees covered, otherwise you will be refused entry! Furthermore, we are glad to inform you that on this tour there are no additional fees for entrance tickets.




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Tour Highlights:
Calcata :: Sutri :: Viterbo


Pick up time: approximately 9.00 am
Return time: approximately 5.00 pm


Full tour details can be found at on our website at this link: http://www.stefanorometours.com/tours/viterbocalcatasutri/

 

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog. We look forward to show you beautiful places in Italy!

with love,

The Stefano Rome Tours team

Rome in a Day from Civitavecchia

The Cruise Port of Civitavecchia is a very popular destination for cruises in Italy, and if you are arriving by cruise ship to the port, then you really should spend a thrilling day in Rome, one of the most fascinating and historically significant cities in the world.

 

 

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We highly recommend the Rome Day From Civitavecchia Tour. This is a fabulous hassle-free way of visiting the city directly from Civitavecchia, without having to worry about how to get to Rome, or what you should see and visit when you actually reach the Eternal City.

This is because you will be picked up at the ports’ pier at 8.30 AM by your private English speaking Driver and then driven to Rome in your private deluxe vehicle, where you will be provided with an excellent day’s itinerary, before being retuned to the pier at around 5.30 PM.

 

Enjoy a video of our Rome in A Day from Civitavecchia shore excursion:

 

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This tour from Stefano Rome Tours will take you through the highlights of the city, and even before reaching Rome you will be able to enjoy the beautiful and ancient Etruscan landscape  en route.




The comfortable drive to the capital takes just over an hour on the Roman countryside highway, and your personal driver will point out to you all the places of interest on the way, as well as answer any questions you may have about the tour.

Rome has numerous sights and attractions to visit, from ancient Roman ruins to baroque churches and much, much more. As you can see below in the ‘Tour Highlights’, you will in fact be covering the city’s most famous sights, such as the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, so you can be rest assured that you will get the most out of your one day tour of Rome!

As always, remember that there is a dress code on entering churches in Italy, so please make sure that your shoulders and knees are all covered.

 

Tour Highlights


Drive by Pyramid of Caius Cestio :: Circus Maximus :: Colosseum :: Vatican Museum :: Sistine Chapel :: St. Peter’s Basilica :: Pantheon :: Trevi Fountain




Pick up time: approximately 8.00am
Return time: approximately 5.30pm

 

For more information about this and other exciting shore excursions from Civitavecchia, please CLICK HERE or visit our website at www.StefanoRomeTours.com. We look forward to showing you our Eternal City!

 

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

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Assisi Tour: The Fascinating Birthplace of St. Francis

The word ‘Assisi‘ is synonymous with St Francis, the patron saint of animals, the environment and Italy. In fact, he is probably the best loved saint in Italy and one of the most well known in the world.




The Assisi Tour takes us to his beautiful birthplace in the Umbrian region, Assisi, close to Perugia and over 400 meters above sea level.

 

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click to watch the Video

 

A short bio on St. Francis of Assisi: Francesco was born in 1182 or 1183 to a wealthy family, his father being a rich cloth merchant and his mother was originally from France. Throughout his early life there were signs of the man he was later to become, the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, or the Franciscans.  

The current pope, Pope Francis, also chose the name of Saint Francis.

 

St Francis, San Damiano Monastery in Assisi

St Francis, San Damiano Monastery in Assisi

 

There are many stories of his kindness to animals and fellow human beings, and of his fondness of the environment. It was around 1209 that St. Francis totally gave up all his worldly goods and took up a life of poverty.




He wore just a woollen robe, which was fastened only by a knotted rope and went about rebuilding churches and ministering to people. Others followed him and also vowed to a life of poverty, and the new order was borne.

St. Francis died on October 3, 1226 and every year on the 4th of October his Feast Day takes place, honouring the saint’s charitable life and achievements.

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The Assisi Day Tour starts off by picking you up at your hotel and then we will head to Assisi via the beautiful countryside of Lazio and Umbria. Your professional driver will of course also point out the the major points of interest en route.

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SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI

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.St Maria degli Angeli

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Our first stop will be the Basilica of St. Maria degli Angeli, the place where St. Francis passed away in 1226.

Here you will have the opportunity to see the sacred Porziuncola, around which the basilica was built.

 

ASSISI

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Saint Francis Basilica in Assisi and PAX garden

Saint Francis Basilica in Assisi and PAX garden

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Next we will visit the burial place of St. Francis, namely the Basilica of St. Francis which was built straight after his canonisation in 1228.

We will then make our way down to the town’s main square, Piazza del Comune, which is also home to a very interesting Roman archaeological site, and the Temple of Minerva that once was a 1st century BC pagan temple and later converted into a beautiful Baroque church whose interior resembles a jewel box.

 

Santa Chiara Basilica in Assisi

Santa Chiara Basilica in Assisi

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Our last stop in Assisi itself will be the Basilica of St. Clare (Santa Chiara). St. Clare was one of the first women to join St. Francis’ ministry in 1212.

Her preserved body is on display in a crypt in the basilica, along with garments worn by both St. Francis and St. Clare, as well as some locks of St. Clare’s hair that St. Francis cut off when she joined his ministry.

 

San Damiano Monastery in Assisi

San Damiano Monastery in Assisi

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Our final stop is just outside Assisi, the small and simple Church of San Damiano. This is where St. Francis had his calling; after hearing the crucifix telling him to ‘rebuild my church’, he did exactly that.  The original crucifix hangs inside the Basilica of Saint Claire.  St. Clare herself spent most of her life until she died there in 1253.

Important to know: To enter any of the churches, you will have to have your shoulders and knees covered, otherwise you will be refused entry!




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Assisi Tour Highlights:


Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli :: Basilica of St. Frances :: Piazza del Commune :: Basilica of Santa Chiara :: San Damiano Monastery

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Learn more about our popular Assisi Tour by visiting our website at www.StefanoRomeTours.com

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team

 

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