Guest Blogger: Jo Linsdell, Author of Italian for Tourists
Italian For Tourists: Pocket Edition is a basic guide to the Italian language covering phrases and words most needed by tourists. It includes all the words and phrases a tourist is likely to need during their stay in Italy as well as a pronunciation guide and a map of Italy.
3 Free must-see sites in Rome By Jo Linsdell
Italy is constantly one of the top holiday destinations for tourists from all over the globe. Out of a total of almost 477 million tourists to Europe in 2010, Italy ranked 3rd place with 43.63 million, and international tourist arrivals grew by 6% in the first 8 months of 2011 despite the continuing economic uncertainty.
With its 3600 museums open to the public and numerous, world famous, archaeological sites and monuments, Italy has a lot to offer. Rome alone offers an overwhelming number of attractions and even contains a separate state- The Vatican- which means you can leave the country without really leaving the city!
Guide books are packed with the, better known, must see sites but queues can be long and visits will eat into your spending money. What a lot of tourists don't realise is that there are lots of amazing places to visit that aren't listed in the books and better yet, are completely free. Here's my top 3:
A Roman Hill (not one of the famous seven) located to the west of the Tevere river. Gianicolo is the second tallest hill in Rome and offers one of the best views of the City with its innumerable domes and architectural skyline.
In 1849 Gianicolo was the site of a battle between the army of Garibaldi and the French. Because of this battle many monuments and statues can be found on the hill in honour of Garibaldi and to those fallen in the Italian war of independence.
2. The keyhole of Rome
The most famous keyhole in Rome is located in Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. In the Piazza you'll find a large, guarded, wooden door. If you go up close and look through the keyhole you get an amazing and unique view of the Vatican. Take a camera with a good zoom feature and you'll have a fantastic souvenir.
3. Ponte Milvio
Also known as the lovers bridge, Ponte Milvio is a much frequented site for couples to the north of the city. The site was featured in a book by the Italian author Federico Moccia in 2006 which renewed interest in the site. Couples write their names on a padlock and attach it to the bridge. They then symbolically toss the key into the Tevere river below to 'seal their love forever'. Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and author of the book Italian for Tourists amongst other titles. Find out more about her and her projects at her website www.JoLinsdell.com.