Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano – Tour Tips

The majestic Castello Orsini – Odescalchi in Bracciano is a popular Stefano Rome Tours “Castles and Lakes” Tours and Shore Excursions from Civitavecchia, as well as “Pre-Cruise Countryside Tour”.


Overlooking the pristine volcanic Bracciano Lake, the 15th century Castello Orsini-Odescalchi (also commonly known as Bracciano Castle) is one of the largest and best preserved castles in Italy as well an excellent example of Renaissance military fortress. The castle underwent many renovations since its earliest history that goes as far back as the 10th century when it was referenced to as one of the many defense towers.

The castle we see today was built between 1470 – 1485 by Napoleone Orsini and his son Gentile Virginio of the powerful Orsini family, thus enlarging the previous fortification. Their coat of arms and symbol, the bear (orso means bear in Italian) can still be seen throughout the interior of the castle.

The magnificent structure withstood repeated attacks by armies of members of the Borgia family.  In 1696 the castle was sold to Livio Odescalchi, and inspite of centuries of tumultuous history, the Odescalchi family is still the owner of the castle and since 1952 it has been opened to the public as a historical museum by Prince Livio Odescalchi IV.

Currently, this enchanting castle also hosts high profile weddings (such as the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes), cultural events, conferences, concerts, and exhibitions.


To visit the Bracciano Castle you have 2 options:


1. Self Tour (you can visit the castle on your own with purchased entry tickets)

2. Private Guided Tour. For a more insightful guided visit, Bracciano Castle offers private tours (also in English) with advance reservation.  We highly recommend this option.

The price for the guided tour also includes the entry tickets for you and your travel companions. This is a great value as a personal guide provides in depth information about the castle, it’s history, and secrets that only a knowledgeable private tour guide can reveal.

For our clients who book our tours that include visits to the Bracciano Castle, we reserve the private tour guide on behalf of our clients and take care of the details.

For those who wish to self tour Bracciano Castle, here is a guideline to help you prepare for your visit.

Bracciano Castle Tickets and Entrance:


Bracciano Castle Ticket Office and Entry Gate

Bracciano Castle Ticket Office and Entry Gate


The ticket office is just next to the entrance gates.

Entry tickets are 8.50 Euros per person (*). You can ask the ticket office for a map to assist you on your exploration.

However, it’s also possible to easily make your way through the castle by just following the signs.


Tips on Visiting Bracciano Castle on your own:


The iron gate will automatically open to allow you to enter castle property.


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi


Soon after you enter, you will veer right and pass through the majestic archway that will lead you along an avenue towards the large medieval wooden entrance doors located on the tower at the far end of the imposing castle wall.

As you approach the doors, don’t forget to turn around and catch a glimpse of the glorious view of the countryside behind you and the smaller building covered with ivy that served as a stable and granary.


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi


Once you step through the imposing doors into the entrance hall, take a moment to look around a bit.

Next to the stairway to your right you will notice a stone pillar topped with a sculpture of a bear onto which a shield is resting. These are the symbols of the Orsini Family.

Near it, a great hall with arched stone ceiling that leads to a series of other rooms in the distance will surely transport you centuries back to distant times of feudal lords, fair ladies, and knights dressed in armor.


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi Visit Signs and Posted Information

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi Visit Signs and Posted Information


Along your journey through the castle, look for posted signs guiding you on your visit route.

The areas you cannot enter will be sealed off. It’s very easy to make your way through the castle following the arrows and signs.

Magnificent rooms fit for kings, lords, and popes


A visit through this magnificent castle will take you through 2 stories of rooms filled with stunning collections of original furniture, precious works of art, ancient weapons, books and decorations from the medieval and renaissance eras that defined this historic fortress when lords once ruled.

Exquisite decorations, richly colored fabrics and tapestries, elaborate ceilings, frescoes and friezes will give you a glimpse into the private quarters of lords, ladies, kings and popes who once lived or were guests within these elegant walls.

The large spacious rooms are lined up like train cars, and as you walk you will pass from room to room.

Posted on walls next to the doorways, are white sheets of paper with information about the room in various languages.

As you reach the last room at the end of first floor, you will find yourself in the private quarters of Isabella de’ Medici (daughter of Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany).


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Room of Isabella de Medici and posted Visit Sign to follow


From here, walk through the open doorway next to the bed (follow the posted Visit sign), which will take you up a spiral stairway to the next floor.  On this upper floor you will pass through many other fabulous rooms.


Rooms not to be missed inside the Orsini-Odescalchi Castle


All of the rooms you will walk through are phenomenal, but here are some of the rooms that you should pay special attention to.

 1st Floor:


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi


Sala Papalina (The Papal Room) – This will be one of the first rooms you will enter, and it hosted Pope Sixtus IV in 1481 when he fled Rome to escape a plague. Look up and admire the finely decorated ceiling.

Sala Umberto (Umberto’s Room) – Italy’s King Umberto lived here in 1900. The opulent furnishings are original from the 16th century.

Sala dei Cesari (Room of the Caesars) – This large elegant room is noted for the busts of the Twelve Caesars.

Sala Orsini (Room of the Orsini) – In the memory of the Orsini family, a painting of the family coat of arms hangs on the wall.

Sala di Isabella (Isabella’s Room) – This room, while beautiful and luxurious, has a deeply macabre history, which you will read about on the sign posted on the wall.


2nd Floor:


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi


Sala Gotica (Gothic Room) – While passing through this room, don’t miss the wooden throne and commode used by princes and popes.

Sala di Ercole (Hercules Room) – Look up and admire the beautiful frieze of frescoes depicting the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Also featured in this room is an assembly of cannons and guns along with 14th century weapons.

Sala delle Armi (Room of the Weapons) – In this room fit for warriors, you will find a fascinating collection of weaponry from 15th-17th centuries including spears, swords, halberds, and armor worn by knights and for equestrian tournaments.


Bracciano Castle’s Walkways, Courtyards, and Panoramas


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Views from Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi


As you exit the rooms into the arched loggia, your visit will continue through the castle courtyard where you will have the opportunity to enjoy some breathtaking vistas of Lake Bracciano from the fortress walkways that connect the 5 towers. Once patrolled by soldiers, these walkways were part of Bracciano Castle’s defense system…now, they provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy splendid views of the lake and countryside.


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi Court of Honor and Medieval Kitchen


Below in the courtyard you will find the spacious Court of Honor, a square that holds an irregular triangular shape. While here, be sure to visit the large ancient kitchen equipped with 4 large fireplaces for cooking and antique copper pans hanging on the walls. It will make you dream of sumptuous feasts prepared here for extravagant Renaissance era receptions.


This marks the end of your tour through this enchanting castle as you walked in the footsteps of many of Italy’s most distinguished historical figures.

To exit, just follow the sign that will point you down the flight of stairs that will take you to the same entryway from where you arrived – you will see the Orsini bear sculpture at the base of the stairway as you descend.

Make your way out of the castle, and back back to the gates which will automatically open to let you exit the premises.


(*) Prices of tickets and tours are subject to change unexpected. Information is updated as quickly as obtained.

If you booked our  Castles and Lakes Tour,  Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia, Post Cruise tour, or Pre-Crusie Countryside Tour,  please email us for more information on booking a private tour guide to visit the Bracciano Castle.

Everyone else may contact the Bracciano Castle ticket office directly for more information:


Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini - Odescalchi

Bracciano Castle / Castello Orsini – Odescalchi


Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana)

Tivoli – Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este Tour with Stefano Rome Tours

 Whether a Shore Excursion from the port of Civitavecchia, or a Day Trip from Rome, you will enjoy an unforgettable day through the countryside of Lazio to Tivoli and visit the stunning Villa D’Este and Hadrian’s Villa in the comfort of your own private deluxe vehicle driven by a Stefano Rome Tours knowledgeable English speaking Driver eager to help you create memories you’ll cherish for life. 




This popular day tour allows you to visit and compare two very splendid villas from two different ages.  Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana) dates back to Ancient Rome and Villa D’Este from the Renaissance period. Both Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este are listed as UNESCO Heritage Sites.


Your first stop will be a visit to the ruins of Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana) which can only hint at the grandeur and beauty of this villa built by Emperor Hadrian to remind him of the monuments and sites he admired during his travels around the 4 corners of the Roman Empire.

This once vast complex was comprised of over 30 buildings, including the imperial palace, baths, theaters, temples, libraries, pools, gardens, and more. It was so self sufficient that the Emperor is known to have ruled the entire Roman Empire from this very residence. The site is very spacious, and you can admire the architecture from the distance as well as close-up as you explore the ruins of this Imperial residence.



From here you will continue your tour to Villa D’Este, built by the cardinal Ippolito D’Este. This elegant villa adorned with frescos is considered one of the most beautiful residences of the Renaissance.

The Villa’s countless fountains, set in the heart of magnificent Italian style gardens, create a delightfully graceful symphony of carved stone, shade, sunlight and water coming directly from the Aniene River. Strolling through these elegant gardens is a most relaxing, peaceful and awe inspiring experience.

No trip to Italy should exclude these beautiful villas that not only offer a glimpse into two distant yet significant eras of Italy’s past, but the visit is a pleasant respite from the hustle and bustle of Rome.


For more information on this and many other exciting tours and shore excursions, as well as airport and port transfers, travel blogs with lots of uselful travel tips and information, photo gallery, reviews of our services and more, please visit us at  And don’t forget to also join us on twitter and Face Book and share your travel adventures with other like minded travelers.


If while in Rome you are in need of chauffeured transportation from Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Rome,  Rome or Fiumicino Airport to Civitavecchia and vice versa, please visit our sister company Rome Cabs Limousine Car Service Company at for all your transfer needs.


Thank you for choosing Stefano Rome Tours for your Tours and Shore Excursions.  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon in Italy!


Montepulciano, Tuscany

Montepulciano and Pienza – Tuscany Day Tour with Stefano Rome Tours

This exciting Stefano Rome Tours excursion blends the celebrated flavors and the breathtaking vistas of Tuscany to create an unforgettable experience in Italy. From  exceptional Vino Nobile in Montepulciano and world renown pecorino of Pienza, to stunning Valleys of Orcia and Chiana and a splendid Renaissance Utopian City…this exciting enogastronomic tour through Tuscany will delight all your senses!




The tour begins with a relaxing and leisurely drive into the scenic Southern Tuscany, and through this magical region of Italy as we make our way to Montepulciano.


MONTEPULCIANO – The King of All Wines


Perfectly located between the stunning Val di Chiana (Valley of Chiana) and Val d’Orcia (Valley of Orcia), Montepulciano is Tuscany at its best. Pedestrian friendly medieval lanes will lead you to many of Montepulciano’s treasures: imposing architecture, famous piazzas, local artisan shops, gastronomic boutiques, enoteche and wine cellars with ample opportunities for wine tastings. A stroll to the edge of town’s outer walls will reward you with a most spectacular panorama of the exceptional beauty of the Tuscan countryside.

Italians’ passion for food and wine are particularly strong in Tuscan kitchens and wineries. After a delicious lunch in town, a visit to the region’s best wineries will follow where you can taste the local wines and also the different products made by them.

Tuscany is world renown for its exceptional wines, but “Montepulciano is King of all wines” .  The noble wine of Montepulciano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is one of Tuscany’s classic red that has been a favorite among the aristocracy and royalty ever since Lorenzo de Medici in the 15th century.


PIENZA – The ideal Renaissance Utopian City


From here we continue our enogastronomic tour with a drive through rural Tuscany to our next destination, Pienza, a remarkable Renaissance utopia that revolutionized city planning and earned the prestigious honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage site, The breathtaking Valley of Orchia is  worthy of its own place on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes.

Pienza got its name from Pope Pius II, the homegrown pope who transformed the existing village of Corsignano into his vision of the ultimate 15th century Renaissance “utopian city” where humanistic concepts were applied for the first time to create a model of ideal urban living, a plan that inspired its implementation to other Italian as well as European cities.

Enchanting views of Val d’Orcia beyond the stone city walls, narrow romantic streets with names like Via dell’Amore (Street of Love) and Via dell Baccio (Street of the Kiss),  and medieval nooks and crannies that reveal local treasures within its shops and boutiques, makes this tiny hilltop town an idyllic setting for a stroll.

But for those with a discerning palate for gastronomic delights, Pienza’s other claim to fame is their production of the finest pecorino cheese in Italy.

From soft and buttery fresh pecorino (pecorino fresco), to pecorino aged in various coatings and mixed with different subtle flavors  (pecorino stagionato), you will be pleased to discover these distinct traditional flavors at the many locally owned gastronomic boutiques throughout Pienza.

From here we will make our way through the Tuscan countryside again as you sit back, relax, and enjoy the comfortable ride back to the Eternal City of Rome where your professional driver will drop you off at the hotel.


Tuscany charms you with its many impressive historic towns, satisfies you with sumptuous local dishes and wine, and enchants you with evocative vistas that make the journey as memorable as the destinations you arrive at.

For more information on this and many other exciting tours, please visit us at Or, you can email us at We’d love to hear from you!

We thank you for choosing Stefano Rome Tours for your guided tours in Rome and beyond, we look forward to seeing you in Italy!



Tuscania: The Most Beautiful Valley In all Italy

While most of us would not be able to pick just one Italian valley as being the most beautiful in all of Italy, one world renown English novelist, poet, playwright and essayist by the name of D.H. Lawrence seemed sure he found it in spring of 1927.

And we think he probably did!



.In the late 1920’s D.H. Lawrence travelled extensively through the Tuscan countryside in preparation for the book called “Etruscan Places” that was published posthumously in 1932. Along with Cerveteri and Tarquinia, he also traveled to Tuscania, an ancient town in the region of Lazio bordering Tuscany that’s rich in Etruscan history and remains.

After a sweeping view of the wide open emerald valley, D.H. Lawrence declared: “The most beautiful view in all Italy: the Etruscan valley of Tuscania

Unspoiled by tourism and vastly green and lush, Tuscania enjoys a mild climate all year round, and offers a tranquil peaceful retreat from the action packed Rome and Florence.



Tuscania is part of the Etruscan Mysteries tour with Stefano Rome Tours.


For more photos of Tuscania please visit our Flickr Photo Gallery.

You can watch the Etruscan Mystery Tour be low, or click here to watch it on  YouTube.



Do you have a favorite view in Italy that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Sharing is fun: If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to anyone who might enjoy it as well

Thank you for reading our blog. If you have any questions about our tours, please don’t hesitate to email us at

We look forward to show you Italy!


The Stefano Rome Tours Team 




The Aesthetic Evolution of Raphael at Vatican Museums

One of the best examples of the gradual evolution of Raphael’s style can be found in the Papal Apartments of the Vatican.

Four magnificent rooms known as “Le Stanze di Raffaello”  that were the Papal residence between 1507-1585.



Though the order of the rooms does not reflect  the chronology of when Raphael created the frescos, viewers can appreciate the ever changing  style of Raphael as executed into each scene. Influences of great artists such as Bramante, Michelangelo and Leonardo are evident while still maintaining the artist’s personal touch.

The first room that can be visited is the Room of Costantine, dedicated to the life of the first Christian Emperor who symbolically donated the city of Rome to the Pope in charge during his time, Pope Sylvester I and his successors . Even if this room carries an important meaning, it is the last room that Raphael painted, therefore only the preparatory cartoons were executed by the artist himself while the majority of the painting was carried out by his pupils due to Raphael’s premature death.

The second room is the Room of Heliodorus. The frescos were created towards the end of his career between 1511-1514, about 6 years before his death. The most impressive artistic achievement in this room is the Liberation of S. Peter. In this scene Raphael masters his ability to depict glowing and moving light, working in a medium that  does not allow the gradual manipulation of colors.

Effects of this kind were unparallel by Raphael’s contemporaries until the arrival of Caravaggio almost 100 years later. The frescos in this room also reflects Raphael’s observation of Michelangelo’s style in the Sistine Chapel. In fact the two artists were working in the Vatican at the same time.

The muscular density and powerful solidarity that classifies Michelangelo’s figures are borrowed by Raphael beginning with the School of Athens in the following room.

The Room of the Signature is perhaps the most celebrated works of Raphael’s career. With respect to the chronology of the artist, we are actually moving back in time, viewing the first room that he was commissioned to paint at the young age of 25.

A clear transition  in Raphael’s style is evident in viewing the Disputation of the Holy Sacrament and the School of Athens side by side.  In the latter painting is where we also see an homage to Raphael’s biggest rival. The representation of a philosopher, Heraclitus with the resemblance of  Michelangelo is prove of Raphael’s admiration for his contemporary. After seeing his masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo became an idol for the young artist.

The last part of the tour shows the forth room, which lends its name to a fire that broke out in the 9th Century in a neighborhood of the Vatican called the Borgo.

Let StefanoRomeTours and their team of licensed tour guides take you back in time to relive the crucial moments that marked Raphael’s career. This description only scratches the surface of the many historically nuances that are present in Raphael’s frescos.

Do you have any favorite artists or pieces of art inside the Vatican Museum? 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 


Visit our Vatican Tour






How NOT to lose your passport or other valuables

Thankfully losing your passport and other valuables doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen.


And when it does, it can wreak havoc on your vacation when you have to trade a guided tour at the Colosseum or a daytrip to Tuscany with the family for a day at the Embassy for a passport replacement.


In most cases, passports get lost when travelers carry them in their handbags or frequently used pockets.  

While it is necessary to carry a valid government issued ID for credit card use and basic identity purposes, it is not absolutely necessary to carry your passport around with you all day unless you plan to specifically use it.

Hotels offer safe boxes to place your valuables, and your passport IS valuable. You are less likely to lose if it you keep it safely locked inside your hotel room (just don’t forget to take it with you when you leave!)

If you must carry your passport with you during the day, try to use the practical and inexpensive money belts. Sure, during the hot summer months money belts are not quite comfortable to wear under your clothing, but it’s the safest place to carry your passport and money.

There are other safety measures that help reduce the likelihood of losing your passport.


If you don’t have a money belt or cannot wear one, be sure your handbag stays secured to your body at all times. Long durable straps that go over your shoulder with the handbag resting comfortably at your side is a popular choice. The handbag should have a zipper across and never stay open.

The less you have to remove your handbag from your person the better, especially in public places such as buses, trains, taxis, restaurants and cafes. Italy is a safe country, but even at home you must take precautions….even more so when you’re traveling.

Never remove your handbag and place it on the back of your chair in cafes and restaurants, place it on the floor by your feet, or set it anywhere that anyone can grab it and run. Never leave your handbag open or unattended. Be careful not to leave it behind in public toilets or dressing rooms. 

If you carry your passport inside your handbag, first place it inside a sealed ziplock bag to protect it from accidental spillage ( sometimes people get water or drinks spilled on their handbags).

 Never store your passport in the main pocket that you often reach into for your wallet, sunglasses, or other items throughout the day. Your passport should be in the safest possible pocket inside your handbag.



Carrying wallets and passports in your back pockets is highly discouraged because it’s the easiest way to have them lost or stolen. Deep front pockets or side pockets (as in cargo pants) are safer. For added measure, you may safety pin or velcro your pockets together to avoid accidental opening or unauthorized hands dipping into your pockets.

Again, Italy is a safe country, but things can get stolen anywhere you are, even in your home town.

Fanny packs are also popular to carry wallets and ID in. However, they can easily be snatched off or accidentally left behind if removed in public bathrooms or dressing rooms.

If you prefer to carry a fanny pack a few preventive measures go a long way. If it’s possible, pull the fanny pack strap through you pant belt hoops to ensure it will not fall off if it snaps open, and no one can grab it and run. If you are already wearing a belt and it’s not possible to add the fanny pack strap through the belt hoops, you may secure the fanny pack strap to your belt hoops with safety pins(safety pins may not be stylish, but better safe than sorry!). You may also safety pin the zipper of your fanny pack shut to prevent anyone from opening it.

Safety pins may be flimsy, but the idea is to first deter petty thieves from making an easy run with your fanny pack, and to keep it secure to your body so it doesn’t fall off. Always store your passport inside a sealed ziplock bag and placed securely in a pocket you least use and closest to your body. Never keep your valuables in the main pocket that you reach into throughout the day.

Always make several copies of your passport (as well as all your ID’s and credit cards) and store them inside your luggage (which you should always keep locked in your hotel room when you are out and about) in case you do lose your passport and need a replacement.  Be sure to leave a copy of your passport with trusted friends or family so they can quickly scan it and e-mail it to you if necessary.

Another costly mistake that is quite common is forgetting to retrieve your passport from the hotel concierge. Worst case scenario this can cause you to miss your flight or your cruise. It pays to be extra diligent to wait a few extra minutes and not leave the front desk until you have your passport back in hand. It’s very easy to get distracted and forget to go back to the concierge to retrieve your passport, and the concierge can not be relied upon to make sure you don’t don’t leave your passport behind when you check out.

Wallets, cell phones, cameras, credit cards, jackets and yes, even ID’s and passports sometimes get left behind in taxis, buses, trains and private driver vehicles. If you book RomeCabs for your transfers and tours, you have the security of knowing you can contact us and let us know what you left behind and we will return it to you as quickly as possible. If you realize you lost something after your plane has left Rome, we will gladly mail them back to you. If you lose your items inside a taxi cab, train, or bus, chances are you may never see them again.


For more information on Stefano Rome Tours, please visit our website at We’d love to hear from you!

What other safety measures have you used or recommend??  Let us know by leaving a comment in the 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 stopping by and reading our blog.

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team



What to Wear in Rome, Italy


A popular question many people visiting rome for the first time ask is what to wear in Rome?
Our answer is: first and foremost, be comfortable!





Type of Shoes to wear in Rome

Whether you are spending a holiday in Rome, or are sightseeing on a shore excursion from Civitavecchia, what you plan to wear is very important for comfort, safety, convenience and style.

Many streets in Rome (and Italy alike) are made of cobblestone, are sometimes uneven, and other times uphill.

Comfortable shoes  are key. We do not suggest flip flops because they don’t offer any  support, exposes your bare feet to accidents (think stubbing your  toe, cuts from sharp objects, getting stepped on in busy buses and  Metros), as well as infection should you experience a cut.

White sneakers can and will get dirty, and if you want to pack less by being able to mix and match as many things as possible, white sneakers may not match everything or transit well from day to night.

Comfortable walking shoes, preferably dark in color to withstand dirt, are the most practical way to go.

During the summer sandals are more popular due to the heat, so make sure your sandals cover and protect your feet as much as possible and have comfortable soles. If your walking shoes and sandals are not overly casual, you can continue to wear them from day to night (unless you choose to dress up for a special evening).

Please do not try to break in new shoes on your vacation: you’ll be walking a lot and your feet will suffer if your shoes don’t fit properly.


Shorts, tank tops, and other summer attire in Rome:

There’s no fashion police in Rome that will stop you for wearing tank tops, shorts, or mini skirts, but many churches will prevent you from walking in under-dressed.

Under no circumstance can you walk inside the major churches like St Peter’s without your shoulders and knees covered. Yes, there is the Vatican “fashion police” who will measure you up and down to see if you’re dressed properly. It’s worse than Project Runway, and equally embarrassing when you’re told to leave because you’re showing too much shoulder and leg. And it’s quite irritating if you just spent 40 minutes under the hot sun of the piazza waiting in line to enter the piazza.

Lesser known churches are often understaffed, and they may not prevent under-dressed visitors from entering, but it’s a matter of respect and it’s nice to cooperate.

If you plan to visit churches on any given day, dress accordingly in advance, or bring a shawl to cover your shoulders (ladies), and wear shorts and skirts that at least cover your knees. Convertible pants are great because you can switch from shorts to long as needed.



Yes, Italians wear jeans, especially younger people given the wide variety of denim styles available. Middle age Italian men and women wear jeans too, although less often.

If in doubt, slacks and dockers are a great choice because they are light, great for any occasion, and easy to mix and match.


Casual or dressy?

What can we say? It’s Italy, the land of Armani, Prada, Versaci and Valentino, so Italians know style. It’s in their DNA it seems.

But it doesn’t mean you have to spend your vacation dressed up in the latest style. While we advise you NOT to worry about being stylish, we do recommend you dress in whatever way makes you feel good about yourself, you’re comfortable in, and you like being photographed with because you’ll want to take a lot of photos on your trip and show them to everyone!

If you’d like a more specific example of what to wear, one of our clients had her rule of thumb: dress like you’re going to lunch at a nice restaurant with your in-laws.

If you’d like to transform from a day of sightseeing to a dinner out afterwards without changing wardrobe, for men a sports jacket goes a long way. For ladies, a nice shawl over the shoulders or a nice jacket are also great for dinner out…and practical for the cooler Mediterranean evenings.



We love hats! Winter, summer, and everything in between, there’s never a wrong time to wear hats. In the winter hats keep your warm, in the summer it keeps the sun off your head and face.

Don’t worry about baseball hats. If you love them, wear them! And if you don’t want to bring your own hat, there are plenty to be found in Rome in all sorts of colors and styles.

At the time this article is written, fedoras are a huge hit in Rome with tourists and locals alike. Ladies, hats are also great if you’re not having a particularly great hair day. Hats are both functional and fashion accessories!



Before leaving for your trip, it’s always a good idea to check the weather in advance. It’s not always accurate, but it gives you a general idea of what to expect so you can bring appropriate clothing.

During the spring, summer and fall months, the Mediterranean climate allows for cool mornings and evenings, and much warmer during the day. If you plan to be out throughout the day including morning or evening, a good rule of thumb is to dress like an onion: in layers. This way you can take off layers as it gets warmer, and add them as it gets cooler.

With so many luxurious as well as affordable shops in Rome, you can always add to your vacation wardrobe and create your own style.

So next time you worry about looking touristy in Italy, here’s a secret: Italians already know you are a tourist, so forget about it, have fun, and embrace being a tourist because we love you no matter what!


Do you have any fashion tips and ideas to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

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


 Thank you for visiting our blog.

With love,

The Stefano Rome Tours Team



Viterbo, Italy

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.


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.


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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 - the Ancient Amphetheater

Sutri – the Ancient Amphetheater


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, Italy

Viterbo, Italy


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!


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.

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:


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

Tivoli Villa d'Este Fountains

Tivoli Villas: The Most Popular Out of Rome Tour

The ancient city of Tivoli is located only about 20 miles from Rome and is a popular tourist destination, especially for those who want to visit somewhere slightly further afield from the sights of the Italian capital.

The city was already a Roman establishment way back in 338 BC, and was well known for its beauty and good water and became popular as a resort for rich Romans.



Hadrian's Villa (Villa Adriana)

Hadrian’s Villa: Ares and the tow Wounded Amazons, at the Canopus


There are no less than two UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city and our Tivoli Villas Tour is an enjoyable way of visiting them.

As the name of the tour suggests, we will be visiting two villas, the Roman Villa Adriana and the Renaissance Villa d’Este.




Hadrian's Villa / Villa Adriana, Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa / Villa Adriana: Maritime Theater and Euripus Pool


Villa Adriana was a gigantic complex initiated and used by Emperor Hadrian as his countryside retreat.

In fact it was as large as many towns of the day with an area of about 250 acres and comprising of several palaces, thermae, temples, libraries, state rooms, slave quarters and even a theatre.

It is said that Emperor Hadrian also ruled the Roman Empire at one point from here.


Hadrian's Villa / Villa Adriana, Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa / Villa Adriana: Statue of Neptune, near the Canopus


Underground, there is an extensive network of tunnels, which were mainly used for the transportation of both servants and goods from one area of the complex to the other.

Due to its enormity, Hadrian himself probably needed to have a guide himself to get around the villa!




Villa d'Este Water Fountains

Villa d’Este Water Fountains


Villa d’Este is also a UNSECO site, but being of Renaissance architecture, it is not as old as Villa Adriana and dates back “only” to the late 1500s.

The villa was originally commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI and has undergone many improvements throughout the years.

Villa d’Este is most famous for its beautiful gardens and water features, which later had an enormous influence on landscape design throughout Europe and beyond.


Villa d'Este Gardens

Villa d’Este Gardens


After the tour you can enjoy a typical meal in the trattoria near to the villa, before we continue our journey back to Rome.

This tour is also possible as a shore excursion from Civitavecchia. 


Tivoli Day Tour Highlights:

Villa Adriana :: Villa d’Este

Pick up time: approximately 9.00am

Full tour details can be found here:

Thank you very much for visiting our blog. We look forward to seeing you in Rome!

with love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team