Mon, Jul 2 – Fri, Jul 13, 2012
Celebrity Equinox - Eastern Mediterranean
Start with the Roman National Museum, headquartered at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (39.06.4890.3500). Here the state-of-the-art archaeological exhibits include precious frescos from the Empress Livia's summer villa (14-12 B.C.). The coin collection ranges from early Greek through the Euro, with magnifiers and pinpoint lighting for close inspection.
Another section of the National Museum is nearby in part of the 3rd-century A.D. Baths of Diocletian. Among the prizes in the sculpture collection are a one-armed Greek Apollo, Aphrodite of Cirone and the Sleeping Hermaphrodite.
Another attraction on the same ticket is the restored Palazzo Altemps near the Piazza Navona. Housing more treasures including the Ludovisi family collection, the palace and its courtyard provide an interesting peek into Late Renaissance patrician lifestyles.
On a spring day the views from the 17th-century gardens of the Villa Borghese (39.06.8205.9127; www.villaborghese.it) are compelling, but not so much as the three museums therein. The Borghese Gallery, which underwent 20 years of restoration, holds one of the world's finest collections of Renaissance masterpieces in a rare setting—a perfect compliment of art and architecture. Tickets are assigned in two-hour intervals; avoid the 5 p.m. slot since you'll be rushed at the 7 p.m. closing. Across the park the Villa Giulia (39.06.322.6571) contains an outstanding collection of Etruscan art in a former papal summer house and the Museo Nationale d'Arte Moderna (39.06.322.981).
Shop, shop, shop. With Fendi, Ferragamo and Furla and their compatriots all over the United States, savvy shoppers formerly shopped at home. However, if the elegant designer shops fanning out from the Piazza di Spagna once seemed exorbitant, give them another try. And remember the city's slogan for the new Millenium still holds true - "Rome, the happening city!"
Mon, Jul 2, 2012 – Fri, Jul 13, 2012