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About Us

Your Roman adventure is sure to be unforgettable with Eyes of Rome, a creative club of independent tour guides! You set the pace of the tour with your private tour guide, personally selected for you from our small team of enthusiastic professionals. You’ll be captivated as your passionate guide helps bring Rome to life with a tour that is customized to your interests and energy level. Read more...

  • Mobility Impaired

    Endless steps, uneven sidewalks, and climbing around archeological sites can make Rome quite a challenge for those who have trouble walking. However, most of our tours can be adapted to your energy and ability level. Here is some general information about our tours of Rome’s most popular sites ...

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  • Shore Excursions

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, but now you can visit all the must-see sites of the Eternal City in one hassle-free day.  You’ll cover a lot of ground, but with your professional and enthusiastic guide as well as a private car and driver at your disposal, you’ll move effortlessly ...

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  • Kids

    Rome’s pizza and gelato fueled diet combined with stories of Roman soldiers and Gladiators should be enough to capture the imagination of kids (as well as kids-at-heart) but to maximize your child’s enjoyment of the Eternal City, there are some fun activities ...

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  • All Tours

    You’ll enjoy Rome at your own pace with your knowledgeable and enthusiastic Eyes of Rome guide.  You’ll see rubble come to life as your Roman Storyteller enchants you with secrets from the Eternal City’s past and present.  Whether it’s your first visit ...

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The best RESTAURANTS in Rome

08 May 2012 Recommendations Bahbb1shogzmssi2mjaxmi8wns8yms8xm18wnf8xnv81mzdfymvzdf9yb21lx3jlc3rhdxjhbnrzlmpwzwy6bkvgwwc6bmu6cgpwzw

Eyes of Rome guides appreciate art in all forms - espically in the form of authentic Italian dishes!  Buon Appetito!Visitors flock to Rome not only for the art, architecture and fascinating history but also for the beautiful culture, which has a strong empahsis on traditional, high-quality, regional menus.

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Eyes of Rome: as it was meant to be!

23 June 2013 Curiosities Bahbb1shogzmssi0mjaxnc8wmi8yms8wov8zof8xn18xof9uzwftx0v5zxnfum9tzv9ub3vycy5qcgcgogzfrlshogzloghqcgc

Once upon a time, God created man...then there was Emiliano - guiding tours all alone in the Colosseum, through the amazing piazzas of Rome, and unveiling Michelangelo's secrets - a true Gladiator of the Sistine Chapel!

It was 2006 and Emiliano alone could not tell all such stories of Rome, therefore came The Trinity: Emiliano, Denis and Francesco! Eyes of Rome was born!

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Recommendations

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Learn the mythology of your star sign

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Aries

March 21 - April 20


Aries, the Ram, is the first of the twelve Zodiac constellations. In Greek mythology, it represents the animal whose fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts. The Jason' s main quest was to find the golden fleece of the ram in order to prove himself to be the rightful king of Iolcos in Thessalay.Raphael Sanzio
Italian Painter
March 27th 1483 

Originally, the ram had been presented to Nephele by Mercury when her husband took a new wife, Ino, who persecuted Nephele's children. To keep them safe, Nephele sent Phrixus and Helle away on the back of the magical ram, who flew away to the east. Helle fell off into the Hellespont (now the Dardanelles) between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara; Phrixus safely made it to Colchis on the eastern shore of the Black Sea. Phrixus sacrificed the ram and presented the Golden Fleece to the king, Aeetes. Urban VIII
Pope
April 5th 1568
After that, the Golden Fleece was the treasure wrested from a dragon. There it remained until taken by Jason and the Argonauts after Medea had drugged the dragon. Jason and Medea then fled carrying the fleece on Jason's ship, the Argo. After Argo's return, this prize was spread on the bridal couch of Jason and Medea, thus sanctifying their royal union.

Ancient Mediterranean civilizations have since immortalized Aries, and the golden fleece in essence, among one of the creatures inhabiting the night sky.

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Taurus

April 20 - May 20


Taurus’ symbology stems from this tale: Zeus was extremely attracted to Europa. Pulling a slight of hand, he changed himself into a white bull and wandered towards Europa who was picking flowers in a nearby field. Europa couldn't resist petting the bull; then climbed upon the bull's back and he carried Europa across the sea to Crete, raping her.William Shakespeare
English Poet
April 23d 1564

The couple had a son, Minos, king of Crete. He made a deal with Poseidon, and promised him a beautiful white bull in offering if he could give him mastery over the seas. The god agreed. However, when the time came to sacrifice the bull, he decided to keep it for himself, offering a lesser specimen in its place. The god, in revenge, asked Aphrodite for aid in a plan for retaliation. Aphrodite afflicted Minos' wife with an uncontrollable lust for the white bull. Pasiphae, unable to suppress her desires, mated with the white bull. The offspring of this union was the Minotaur, a dreadful beast with the body of a man and the head of a bull, which fed on human flesh. Salvador Dali
Spanish Surrealist Painter
May 11th 1904

It was enclosed in an impenetrable labyrinth, where youths were regularly thrown to feed its endless appetite for human flesh. Theseus, son of the King of Athens, volunteered to slay the Minotaur.  With the help of Minos' daughter Ariadne and her ball of thread, he found his way into the labyrinth and killed the Minotaur with a club, finding his way out again through the skein of thread.

 

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Gemini

May 21 - June 21


Castor and Pollux were twins born from the same mother Leda, but from different fathers. Castor’s father was Tyandarus, king of Sparta, while Pollux’s father was Zeus, the father of all Gods, who seduced Leda in the form of a Swan. Their adventures brought them on the quest for the Golden Fleece as Argonauts, or fighting in the Trojan War side by side after the supposed kidnapping of their sister Helen of Troy. The twins were born strong, handsome and identical in all aspects but one: Castor was born mortal and Pollux was immortal.Dante Alighieri
Italian Poet
Between May 22nd and June 13th1265

Days turned into months and months turned into years and faith could not have held a crueler conclusion. Castor finally died leaving his immortal twin brother Paul Gauguin
French Painter
June 7th 1848 
Pollux torn apart with heartache after having spent their whole life together. Pollux besought Zeus to be permitted to offer his own life in exchange for that of his brother. Zeus became so heartened from such love that he decided to give them both the gift of immortality and rewarded them by placing them as stars among the constellations.

From then on, they have remained together as the star sign of the Gemini.

 

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Cancer

June 22 - July 22


Julius Caesar
Roman Dictator

July 13th 102 B.C.
Cancer, derived from Latin, means literally, the crab. The association of Cancer with water dates back to the dawn of astrology. The image of the crab is Babylonian in origin. In Egypt, this sign was represented by two turtles. The later placement of the crab within the zodiac is related to a minor chapter in Greek mythology. Cancer, the giant crab named Carcinus, plays a minor role in the Twelve Labors of Hercules.


Henry VIII
King of England

June 28th 1491
Hercules wanted to kill the many-headed Hydra, a great sea monster, living in the marshes of Lerna. Hera, the goddess who sent Hercules to these tasks, also hated him and often encouraged his failure.
During his battle with Hydra, Hera commanded a nearby crab to attack Hercules and draw his attention away. Without question, the little creature took a claw-hold of a conspicuous toe. This act cost the crab its life, for Hercules kicked it so hard that it was sent to the sky. By other accounts when the crab grabbed onto the hero's toe, barely breaking the rhythm of his great battle with Hydra, Hercules crushed it with his foot. Impressed by its loyalty and courage, Hera placed the crab's image in the night sky. But, none of its stars were bright because the crab had failed to accomplish its given task. Some scholars have suggested that Cancer was a late add-on to the myth of Hercules to make the Twelve Labors correspond to the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

 

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Leo

July 23 - August 22


The Nemean lion was a vicious monster who lived in a cave in Nemea. The Lion is usually considered to have been the offspring of Typhon (or Orthrus) and Echidna. It is also said to have fallen from the moon as the offspring of Zeus and Selene.

Giorgio Vasari
Italian artist
July 30th 1511

The skin of the Lion couldn’t be penetrated or grazed by any kind of weapon. His fangs and claws were as hard as iron. Napoleone Bonaparte  French emperor
August 15th 1769 
That’s why the Lion was considered to be invulnerable. He was sent to Nemea to terrorize the city with his roaring. People and flocks were attacked and killed by the Lion. The first of Hercules’ twelve labors was to slay the Nemea lion. While searching for the lion, Hercules fetched some arrows to use against it, not knowing that its golden fur was impenetrable. He found and shot the lion. He discovered the fur's property when the arrow bounced harmlessly off the creature's thigh. 
During the fight the lion destroyed Hercules’ armor and bit off one of his fingers. Finally, Hercules stunned the beast with his club, and using his immense strength, strangled it to death. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Athena told Heracles to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
Once dead, the Nemea lion was placed by Zeus between the signs of the zodiac.

 

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Virgo

August 22 - September 22


Most of the goddesses who were linked to Virgo were considered fertility goddesses, or goddesses of the harvest. This resonates with the view of Virgo being the caretaker of mankind through her fertility. This includes Ishtar (Babylonian mythology), Isis (Egyptian mythology), Ceres (Roman mythology), and Demeter (Greek mythology).Renzo Piano 
Contemporary Italian Architect
September 14th 1937

The constellation Virgo is thought to be a woman holding an ear of corn, thus reinforcing the Harvest Mother mythology. In one well-known Greek myth, the goddess of Spring Persephone is kidnapped by the god of the Underworld Hades. Upon discovering this, the young goddess's mother Demeter, being the goddess of the harvest, decides to ruin the harvest in her despair. Eventually the Spring goddess was allowed to return for six months a year to aid her mother in the harvest. This coincides with the constellation Virgo being visible for only the months of March through August.Caligola 
Roman Emperor
August 31st 12 AD

Astraea is perhaps the most interesting character involved in the Virgo myth, as she is a virgin representing justice, and was a caretaker of humanity. After leaving Earth, she is said to have been "placed in the heavens", which is most likely why some mythologists believe her to be the constellation "Virgo" itself. Many mythologists suggest that she became the constellation Virgo and her scales of justice became the constellation Libra.

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Libra

September 22 - October 23


Librans are the children of Venus, and for this reason they are elegant, charming, they have good taste and they love beauty.  They don't like routine and prefer an intellectually appealing argument rather than banal work.  They are artistic but also rational, sensitive, but also timid and indecisive.  Luciano Pavarotti 
Italian soprano
October 12th 1935
But once they have chosen their goal, they have no further hesitations and show their hidden ambition.  They can be excellent philosophers, artists and diplomats.  

Caravaggio 
Italian artist
September 19th 1571

Their love for beauty and pleasure can lead them into a hedonistic existence, but they can also carry out a stylish and philanthropic lifestyle without falling in the frivolity of the mundane world.  Because they are not attached to money and seek more intangible achievements, they are trust-worthy bankers or stock brokers.  They have a community-oriented spirit and can easily get in the middle of a controversy to pacify the parties in the name of justice; for this reason they tend to be excellent mediators.  They reject the domination of the strong over the weak, and believe in the power of ideas over all.  

 

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Scorpio

October 23 - November 21


The meaning behind the zodiac sign Scorpio is based on the Greek myth of  Orion, the son of Posiedon and Euriale, who after enraging the Goddess Artemis (Goddess of Hunting)  is punished by the Gods.Antonio Canova
Italian Sculptor
November 1st 1757 


Legend has it that Artemis, having fallen in love with the handsome and gifted huntsman, invites  him to join her in a hunt. Orion, known for his rough nature and lack of control, misunderstands the Goddess’ intentions and attempts to rape her, thereby incurring the wrath of the gods with this act of sacrilege.

Trilussa
Roman Writer
October 26th 1871
In another version of the legend, he dares to boast of his hunting skills by arrogantly showing Artemis the hundreds of prey he had caught.

In both versions, the Gods decided to punish him – a scorpion is sent to do battle with him and eventually kills him with its poisonous sting. 

A staunch ally of the Gods, the scorpion in immortalized in a constellation. Orion is also transformed into a constellation by Artemis and is placed head to head with that of his arch enemy, so the two are forever locked in battle. 

 

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Sagittarius

November 22 - December 21


Ludwig Van Beethoven
German Composer

December 16th 1770
The zodiac sign of Sagittarius refers to a constellation that comes from the culture of the Sumerians, later adopted by the Greeks and then by the Romans, who created a bit of confusion around its mythological origins.  According to some cuneiform inscriptions, the Sumerian god of war, Nergal, was represented as a hunter and an archer.

For the Romans, the Archer was Chiron, the wise centaur, teacher of Jason, Achilles and other famous heroes, but the identification of Sagittarius with Chiron is inaccurate as he was originally associated with the Centaur stars.  However, already during the Alexandrian and then Roman periods, some authors confused Chiron with Sagittarius.  GianLorenzo Bernini
Italian Sculptor, Architect, Painter

December 7th 1598
The constellation of Sagittarius was created to guide Jason and the Argonauts to the Golden Fleece.

In fact, the character who originally represented him in Greek mythology was the legendary Crotonic, son of the goat-god Pan and Eufeme, the nurse of the Muses. As the son of a hybrid goat, he was probably a satyr (a human creature with ears, tail and hooves of a goat) and a centaur. Crotus--a satyr who lived on Mount Helicon--was the inventor of the bow and arrow and often went hunting on horseback. The muses asked Zeus to put him in heaven, and so there he was placed, in the act of demonstrating his archery abilities.

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Capricorn

December 22 - January 19


Ancients had many legends about a strange goat, Capricorn. His figure is often connected to Zeus (Jupiter in Roman mytholgy), head of gods.Lorenzo il Magnifico
(Lorenzo de Medici)
Florentine merchant
January 1st 1449

Babylonians believed that Capricorn was a Sea-Goat, a god named Ea, who brought learning and culture to the people of Mesopotamia. It was believed that Ea lived in the ocean and that he came out of the water every day to watch over the land and returned at night. 

Cicerone (Marco Tullio) 
Latin philosopher
January 3d 106 B.C.
According to Greeks, Capricorn  was associated with the demigod, Pan, who was a man from the waist up, and a goat from the waist down. He was the son of Hermes and a forest Nymph. He was raised by nymphs after his mother, disgusted by his appearance, abandoned him. Pan tended sheep and goats and was a talented musician. His libidinous nature also drove him to go after the nymphs who usually fled in panic at the sight of him. One of them, Syrinx, begged gods to be turned into reed which Pan used to create the well-known Pan flute. At one time Pan himself was fleeing from the monster Typhon and tried but failed to turn himself into a fish. However, he supported Zeus in his battle with Typhon, and in thanks Zeus immortalized him by transforming him into a star constellation.
 

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Aquarius

January 20 - February 18


Aquarius is often associated with Ganymede, a young and beautiful prince of Troy, with whom Zeus fell in love. Galileo Galilei
Italian Astronomist
February 15th 1564
Zeus disguised himself as an eagle and carried Ganymede to be the cup-carrier to the gods. Hera, wife of Zeus, was jealous of the young prince and treated him with contempt. Zeus, however, was not phased by the wrath of his wife and had Ganymede accompany him on his travels, bearing a golden cup.

Ganymede was a kind and compassionate young man and he took pity on the people of earth when he saw they were without water. He begged Zeus to allow him to help the people and eventually was granted permission. Hadrian
Roman Emperor
January 24th AD 76
He sent down rain upon the earth and quenched the thirst of the people.

He was deified as Aquarius, god of rain. Aquarius was considered positive by cultures which had lands plagued by drought, such as the Greeks and Egyptians. In contrast, cultures prone to flooding, such as the Babylonians, looked at Aquarius in a negative way.

The mythological relationship of Zeus and Ganymede is often compared to the real relationship between Emperor Hadrian and Antinous. In fact, Antinous was given the spot below Ganymedes, to be carried to Emperor Hadrian by Zeus, just as he carried Ganymedes to Mount Olympus.

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Pisces

February 19 - March 20


In early Greco-Roman mythology, the story of the Pisces constellation follows the brutal defeat of the Titans at the hands of the Olympian Gods.  After the power struggle, Gaia (Mother Earth) coupled with Tartarus in the lowest depths of the Underworld, and from this unexpected union was born Typhon.  Typhon, as powerful as the Titans themselves, had one hundred dragon heads with flaming eyes and mouths filled with black tongues.  Hesiod tells us that he was the most awful monster the world had ever seen.

Michelangelo Buonarroti
Italian Genius
March 6th 1475 

Gaia sent Typhon to destroy the gods on Mount Olympus as revenge for the death of the Titans.  Fortunately Pan, god of the shepherds, saw the monster coming and warned the other gods, giving them just enough time to transform themselves and go into hiding.  Jupiter took the shape of a ram, Mercury an ibis, Apollo a crow, Diana a cat, and Bacchus transformed into a goat.  

Paul III
Pope
February 29th 1468 

Venus and her son Cupid, however, were caught unawares while they were bathing on the banks of the Euphrates River.  By pleading with the water nymphs for protection, they were transformed into fish, and their tails were tied with a cord so they wouldn’t be separated.  Just before Typhon could destroy them, they swam into the depths of the river.  In another account, two fish appeared on the riverbank and carried Venus and Cupid to safety.

Later a pair of fish was hung in the northern skies to commemorate the day of Venus and Cupid’s salvation.
 

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