Rome

Read recent news stories and current events about Rome, Italy on Newser.com

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Texas-Born Princess Tries, Fails to Sell an Opulent Villa

There were no takers for Villa Aurora at $400M

(Newser) - Texas-born Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi is having a hard time unloading a 16th-century Italian villa loaded with countless priceless pieces of art and appraised at $533 million—despite a price tag far lower. A court-ordered auction of the "Villa Aurora" estate in Rome failed to draw any bids on...

US Tourists Pick Wrong Place to Have 5:30am Beer in Rome

The Colosseum is neither a bar, nor open at that hour

(Newser) - Two American tourists, chatting over a beer in Rome. Unremarkable. That it happened at 5:30am is a little odder. That they allegedly broke into the Colosseum and threw one back there is downright strange—and, as you might imagine, illegal. The Guardian reports the 24- and 25-year-old men were...

Biden Concedes 'Clumsy' Handling of Deal to Macron

Leaders meet for the first time since security alliance left France in the cold

(Newser) - Meeting with President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a weapons deal with Australia caused a US-France rift , President Biden said the situation was mishandled by his administration. "It was not done with a lot of grace," Biden said in an appearance with Macron on Friday. France...

Pope 'Gave Hope' to Rome's Prisoners With Ice Cream

Vatican says 15K ice creams were delivered to 2 prisons

(Newser) - Italy may have broken the record for the hottest temperature ever logged in Europe—and amid the sweltering heat, Pope Francis made a gesture that's quite literally cool. A statement from the Vatican said that 15,000 ice creams were sent to prisoners in Rome. Reuters reports the "...

Ancient Roman Boundary Marker Found at Dig

This pomerial stone marked the city limits and dates from 49 AD

(Newser) - Archaeologists have discovered a rare stone delineating the city limits of ancient Rome that dates from the age of Emperor Claudius in 49 A.D. and was found during excavations for a new sewage system. Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi was on hand for the unveiling Friday of the pomerial stone,...

Tourists Can Visit Gladiators' Underground Chambers

The amphitheater's 'backstage' is restored and open

(Newser) - You can get backstage passes to the Colosseum in Rome, now. The giant landmark, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, has been undergoing renovations for years now with the help of an Italian fashion brand, and the latest project has been to make the hypogeum more accessible to the public....

Screams Rise From Rome's Streets as Crows Attack

Pedestrians carry umbrellas or sticks, or stay inside

(Newser) - Strolling through the streets of Rome takes on an added element of danger every spring, when carrion crows guarding their chicks swoop down to attack passing humans, regarding them as a danger. Humans return the sentiment. The crows "are everywhere," one woman said after being attacked by a...

Critics on Colosseum Overhaul: 'Italy Seen Via Las Vegas'

High-tech $18M stage will cover up structure's subterranean chambers, offering a 'gladiator's view'

(Newser) - If you're one of the millions who've converged upon the Colosseum in Rome, your past visits likely included wandering around the seating area and peering down into the underground chambers. In a couple of years, tourists there will have the chance to participate in a new activity: taking...

Off-Duty Cops Antiquing in Brussels Make Quite a Find

Roman statue worth $120K had been stolen from Italy nearly a decade ago

(Newser) - Two Italian police officers on assignment in Belgium were exploring some of Brussels' antique shops after work when they discovered a $120,000 Roman statue, stolen from Italy nearly a decade ago. The statue of a headless Roman in a draped toga struck the men as suspicious. As members of...

Rome Museum Receives Apology From US Tourist

She confessed to swiping ancient Roman marble 3 years ago

(Newser) - A Canadian woman who returned artifacts swiped from Pompeii after experiencing terrible luck may have started a trend. The National Roman Museum says it recently received a chunk of ancient marble in a package sent from Atlanta, Georgia, along with a note in which a woman apologized for being an...

Mob Allegedly Plotted to Kill Mayor, Her Family

Virginia Raggi says she's become a target of organized crime

(Newser) - The mayor of Rome announced Monday that the mob was plotting to kill her and her family, Reuters reports. Virginia Raggi said in a pre-recorded TV interview that she has been fighting powerful organized crime families that operate in the city, and that the Casamonica family targeted her after she...

A 'Historic First' From Pope, With No One There to See It

Francis offered rare blessing to an empty St. Peter's Square, calling coronavirus a 'tempest'

(Newser) - The "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and the World") prayer recited by the pope is typically only offered on three occasions: on Christmas, on Easter, and when a new pontiff is chosen. On Friday, however, Pope Francis climbed the steps of St. Peter's Basilica in...

Pope Turns Palace Into Homeless Shelter

Vatican-owned building is now a 'palace for the poor'

(Newser) - Pope Francis is practicing what he preaches in Rome, where a 19th-century palace owned by the Vatican has been turned into a homeless shelter. The pontiff rejected plans to convert the Palazza Migliori, which is just off St. Peter's Square, into a luxury hotel for Vatican visitors, reports the...

'Please, No Sitting': Rome Now Enforcing New Ban

Visitors can no longer sit on the famed Spanish Steps

(Newser) - Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn perched there without a care in the 1953 film Roman Holiday. But the Spanish Steps in Rome are no longer a place for sitting. Enforcing an ordinance that took effect last month, police officers patrolled the famed stone staircase Wednesday to tell locals and visitors...

'Fools!' Spacey Makes Surprise Appearance in Museum

The actor surprises people with reading of Gabriele Tinti's "Boxer at Rest"

(Newser) - Kevin Spacey returned to the public eye Friday for "a bizarre reading" of a poem at an Italian museum, Variety reports. The actor, whose career nosedived in 2017 amid sexual-assault allegations, appeared at the National Roman Museum and read a poem about a wounded boxer who vowed never to...

Pic of US Teen Accused of Killing Italian Cop Raises Eyebrows

Blindfolding suspects is illegal in Italy, offending officer apparently made a 'mistake' in doing so

(Newser) - On June 19, Italian military officer Mario Cerciello Rega was married in his hometown of Somma Vesuviana. Now, his widow will attend his funeral Monday, at the same church where they were wed, after he was allegedly killed by two American teens, per ABC News . Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, 18,...

Spot Where Caesar Was Murdered to Open to Public

In a couple years' time it'll see visitors other than cats

(Newser) - In 2012, researchers pinpointed the location where Julius Caesar was murdered—but the spot was accessible only to a colony of cats. That'll change come late 2021 thanks to the high-end jeweler Bulgari, which is funding the restoration of the Rome site known as Largo Argentina. The AP reports...

Rome Mayor Quickly Reverses Plan to Keep Fountain Coins

Virginia Raggi suggested the city keep them, but they'll continue to go to Catholic charity

(Newser) - The proper way to toss a coin into Rome's famed Trevi fountain is to do so over your shoulder. Just don't think about what happens after that, because it's apparently quite the touchy subject. The city of Rome has traditionally given the tossed coins—they add up...

North Korea's Ambassador to Italy May Have Defected

Jo Song Gil has applied for asylum in a Western country: reports

(Newser) - North Korea may have a high-profile defection on its hands. The country’s acting ambassador to Italy, Jo Song Gil, apparently fled the North Korean embassy in Rome with his wife weeks ago, before he was to leave his post at the end of November. That's according to South...

35-Year Mystery Stirs as Vatican Finds Bones

Emanuela Orlandi's family hopes to 'bring her home'

(Newser) - The discovery of human bones at a property next to the Vatican's embassy to Italy has renewed hope of solving a 35-year-old disappearance, which some claim involves the Vatican itself. Rome's chief prosecutor is working to identify the bones found during renovation work at the Vatican property in...

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