Posted on 27 May 2011 | 18 responses
An antique legend tells that Rome was built on seven hills which are still nowadays points of panoramic views of the historical beauties of this city.
Between the famous seven hills there is Aventino, a real green and tranquil area inside the city chaos. On this flourishing hill there is one of the nicest gardens in Rome: the so called Giardino degli Aranci, from where you may see an exclusive panorama of the Tevere river, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the typical rooftops of Testaccio area and the roman Churches’ domes.
Giardino degli Aranci or also called Parco Savello was built around the end of 1200 by Savelli’s family. The orange trees are the key feature of this garden which make this garden a paradise corner inside the city. These orange trees were planted in memory of Saint Domenico, who lived and worked in Santa Sabina Basilica, located next to this park.
A story tells that Saint Domenico in 1220 planted here an orange tree, which at that time, was still an unknown fruit in Italy. The strange and curious thing is that this tree, after many centuries, is still living and making fruits through other trees born from the original. This millenary orange tree is situated inside the basilica’s cloister and is still visible through a glass.
Posted on 20 May 2011 | Comments Off
The archaeological area of Largo Torre Argentina is one of the most curious of Rome, where cat lovers in particular will be delighted.
The story of Torre Argentina square started at the time of the ancient Romans, who built a sacred area dedicated to the worship of many gods as Juturna, the nymph of the sources, Feronia, protector of the woods, or Fortuna, goddess of fortune and fate.
After the glory years of the Roman Empire, the area was abandoned and forgotten until the early years of ‘900, when the ruins were rediscovered and revalued.
Since then, the whole area of Largo Torre Argentina has been animated and lived daily, not only by the citizens of Rome, who bypass the ruins frantically and just glance at them, but is also lived by a population that enjoys the privilege of living there and can walk with their paws those who once were magnificent temples. We are just talking about hundreds of stray cats that are hosted here and pampered by volunteers.
Don’t forget your camera: take lots of pictures of these cute cats lazing in the sun or licking their whiskers on a roman pillar, could be one of the most interesting souvenir of Rome.
Many thanks to the great photographer Gianni Vitale Di Maio
Posted on 28 April 2010 | 1 response
Ancient arena even more impressive, if possible, was the Circus Maximus. Area that could hold 250,000 spectators on its forums and today it is practically only a faint trace, but still important to realize how impressive were the works of the Romans.
In ancient Rome the Colosseum was not the only space dedicated to entertainment of the population, the Romans were real lovers of games and shows and therefore theaters and arenas were the backdrop to every Roman city. Obviously, the defense was not just Rome, the most important city. Even today, in addition to the Theater of Marcellus, to name a theater can still be visited, there’s Piazza Navona, where ancient Romans simulated aquatic battles and above all the Circo Massimo.
The Circo Massimo is located in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills and is one of the oldest places where games and races were held for the amusement of the audience. His position in fact favors the unfolding of events and entertainment since the dawn of the city of Rome, although in reality the first fixed wooden buildings are placed in the second half of the sixth century, when Rome was still a monarchy, and only the time of Julius Caesar were played important bricklaying who gave what still remains the actual shape.
At the time of the Emperors, the structure is restored several times, and Augustus installed the famous obelisk visible in all reconstructions of the Circo Massimo. The final restoration is probably what is owed to Trajan in 103 AD who completed the restoration and reconstruction begun by Diocletian after the fire had completely destroyed the structure. This reconstruction dating the remains found by tourists and is now visible, rests of plant until about 500 AD has hosted races for which it was built.
The arena was the place where chariot races took place and can be regarded as a modern race track, or perhaps even better, a modern racetrack. Its dimensions are impressive, long 621 m and width 118 was completely closed for its entire length from the stands that could accommodate a maximum of 250,000 people, a very exorbitant figure .
Today very few traces are left, neglect and looting have made that little remained of this majestic arena, but the area is now cured and is still strongly recommend a visit if you are visiting Rome, it’s important to understand and get a concrete idea of what this monument was many centuries ago.
Posted on 21 April 2010 | 21 responses
Caracalla’s Baths (Terme di Caracalla) are a huge thermal complex giving you the idea of how the Romans loved to take care of their bodies. Nowadays these baths are an important archaeological site not to be missed. Caracalla’s Baths were realized between 212 and 217 d.c. from the roman Emperor Caracalla and rise in a wide area entirely dedicated to this thermal complex.
They were realized following the classical roman scheme dedicate to this kind of complexes with a big main building surrounded by a splendid green garden with functional service areas and classical exedras.
Inside the building there were the classical thermal areas, Frigidariu,. Tepidaria and Calidarium; these are the Romans’ cold and hot pools where they used to spend some time during their visit to the Baths. The therman complex had also gyms and an open-air stadium to get the body fit and other rooms to get changed.
All the areas where furnished and built following the roman taste, there were many marbles and precious metals, many fountains and water games, many precious scupltures which are nowadays conserved at the Collezione Farnese in the National Museum in Naples.
The Baths were always open hosting up to 1600 people a day thanks to the masterful system of aqueducts which the Romans were masters for a long time and only the invasion and subsequent destruction of the Goths undermined the operation.
Todays the Caracalla’s Baths, located near to Circo Massimo, are a vast and important archaeological site to be visited to fully understand how these complexes were important during the Ancient Rome’s age.
Posted on 19 April 2010 | 18 responses
In Palazzo Braschi is preserved a collection of paintings and works relating to Rome, certainly not a palace and a museum of the first importance, but still highly recommended a visit to enrich your knowledge of the capital.
In Parione area, between Piazza San Pantaleo, Via della Cuccagna and the well-known Piazza Navona, rises an antique building, Palazzo Braschi.
This building was originally named Palazzo Orsini and has a very antique history beginning in 1435 when Rome’s prefect, Mr. Francesco Orsini, gave the order to build his future home. Only a few modifications were made during the centuries but only after World War II the building passed to the City of Rome, but was closed for neglect and abandonment in 1987. The restructuring works begane only some years later and only this year Palazzo Braschi is back to its ancient beauty. The palace has two floors and a huge open-air entrance which in ancient times was the carriages parking. The architectural style is Baroque – Romanesque with some references to some oldest styles of the first construction. Today Palazzo Braschi hosts Rome’s Museum where in the two floors divided in 12 splendid rooms there are artworks going through Rome’s history. In addition to urban scenes and views are in fact the museum works, mostly paintings and statues depicting the successive popes in the Vatican, and some objects belonging to the oldest and most famous families of Rome, the Barberini and Colonna, to name a few. Inside the building there is also a well stocked library and an exhibition of antique carriages. A visit to Palazzo Braschi is not a priority when we went to Rome, but it can be a distraction really interesting because the building has lots to offer visitors.
Posted on 13 April 2010 | 39 responses
Arco di Costantino is the most magnificent of the Triumphal Arches visible in Rome, however it is the one signing the beginning of Rome’s decadence in favour of Costantinopoli.
We often talked about organized tours around Rome and we mentioned various Triumphal Arches you may see in the city. Now we would like to explain you something about these monuments, their funtion and history, and we will describe today one of the most famous in Rome, Constantine’s Arch – Arco di Costantino.
Arco di Costantino is located exactly where the sacred road finished, in the middle between the majestic Colosseo and Fori Imperiali, signing the border between them.
This is the most magnificent of the Triumphal Arches still visible in Rome and is the biggest between the three Arches in the city, with 25 mt height. However, its history isn’t between the most glorious ones. This Arch was built in 313 D.C. to celebrate Emperor Constantine’s victory against Massenzio in a period of great decline where Constantinople was outperforming the old and worn-out capital of the Empire, which had neither wealth nor former glory. For this reason, the building of this Arch was carried out using recycled materials. In fact, the marble came from other ancient monuments, even statues and decorations that can be seen on the Arch are from pre-existing monuments. This creates a very strange effect, with a strange mix of styles all related to the roman architecture, but coming from different ages. One of the biggest curiosities is related to some friezes where it’s represented Marco Aurelio in some of his battles instead of Costantino. To be noted that the Arch has four friezes attributable entirely to Costantino and his war against Massenzio.
There is no entrance fee to visit the Arch and it’s almost a must, as we already emphasized, in the journey between Colosseo and Roman Forum and vice versa, for this reason we strongly suggest you linger a few minutes to observe the peculiarities that this old commemorative monument has to offer to its visitors.
Posted on 12 April 2010 | 35 responses
Domitilla’s catacombs, tombs along the consular roads.
Roman catacombs are a big example of how the roman civilization was managing its funerary operations and they give key elements to understand the difficult path of Christianity, as many of these underground passages acted as refuges for the first Christians.
In Via delle Sette Chiese, in Ardeatina area, you can find these very antiques catacombs containing a very important part of Roman History and mostly of Christianity. Domitilla’s catacombs are also known as Saints Nereo and Achilleo’s Catacombs and were built around III century.
The first part, built in the III century, represented a domestic sepulcre, belonging to Domitilla, Consul Flavio Clement’s nephiew or wife. The Consul was killed under Domiziano’s order. This first part was later expanded durinf the IV and V century, making it as the lasgest Rome’s catacombs. The first place to be visited by descending the stairs is the Basilica dedicated to Saints Nereo and Achilleo. This Basilica has a strange history, being built and consacrated in 390 D.C. On one of the two Saints’ grave and it was completed renewd in 897 D.C. Due to an earthquake which distroyed it all. Actually the Basilica, is composed by three aisles divided by four columbs in each side, with the entrance to the catacombs at the very end. The catacombs, as we said, are very big and goes for various Kilometers in the underground. These tunnels had different funcionts in time, it was at the beginning a place of burial, where deaths were celebrated and remebered with the ritual ceremonies, then they became real sactuaries in the underground dedicated to the cult of martirs and their commemoration.
In the same area there are, beyond Domitilla’s, other catacombs. These galleries in the underground were totally abandoned for many centuries, in fact, only in XVI century they were discovered. Later in 1600 Antonio Bosio and Giovanni Battista de Rossi explored the galleries in their total extension but only in the 50s many catacombs have been restored and opened to the public for the visits, which can be done every day except on tuesdays. Visits cost € 8,00 for the entire ticket and € 5,00 for thre reduced one.
Posted on 9 April 2010 | 15,193 responses
One of the major examples of Architecture in Rome, the too much neglected Palazzo Venezia is a very recommended visit. In its inside there is a very furnished museum and the biggest Italian library of Archeology and Art History.
In the heart of Rome, below Campidoglio, rise one of the most ancient and known buildings of the Capital, Palazzo Barbo, also known as Palazzo Venezia, which dominates Piazza Venezia and goes for part of via Plebiscito. Palazzo Barbo was named like this as was built thanks to Pietro Barbo who later on became Pope Paul II and it was finished between 1455 and 1467. The name of this building changed later as it hosted for some years the Venice Republic Embassy, which gave its name to the building and to the Piazza. Palazzo Venezia became later the Austrian Embassy and in 1916 it came back to Italy.
During the years of the Fascism Palazzo Venezia knew, even though from a rather sad point of view, its greatest years. Right in here, in fact, Benito Mussolini decided to install the government headquarters and from the balcony of the palace, which became famous, he harangued the Italians and proclaimed the empire birth and the subsequent declaration of war to France and England.
Inside Palazzo Venezia, there is the well-known Museum, the National Museum which entrance is in Via del Plebiscito. You can see artworks from Guercino, Giorgione and Giotto, just to quote the famous ones. The museum is open every day from 8:30am to 7:30pm while the ticket counter closes at 6:30pm. The cost of each entry is € 4,00 and € 2,00 the reduced one. Please note that persons aged between 18 and 25 and resident in the European Union pay the reduced ticket. From the entrance of Piazza Venezia nr. 3, there is the Archeology and Art History Library, the biggest Italian library for these areas.
Posted on 6 April 2010 | Comments Off
Between the best places in Rome there is Stazione Birra. Talking about this wonderful place is not easy, as it offers its visitors many things and it’s difficult to locate it as a restaurant, pub or disco. Stazione Birra autodefines itself as a Disco Risto Pub and in fact the offer is always very rich.
To start with the calendar of events, which is full of appointments, there are live music events, with famous artists and cabaret shows. This place has a very good restaurant always ready to satisfy it’s clients’ tastes (we must mention its pizza) Stazione Birra is also a pub. Late night, specially during the week ends, this place is a disco hosting famous Djs.
One of the most appreciated characteristics of this place is its name. There is the production of a very good craft beer called Birra Gladiatore, served in all its varieties and always fresh. This is a unique characteristic which just a few places in Italy can offer.
The only negative thing about Stazione Birra is its location as it is located outside Rome, in Morena, which is not easily reachable if you don’t have a car. This ain’t a problem for Roman people but for tourists. Our advice is to visit www.stazionebirra.it in order to check the events calendar and organize yourself a visit. You may need to buy a ticket for some live music events and in any case it’s advisable to make a reservation.
Posted on 31 March 2010 | 2 responses
Rome is a wonderful city but very often it’s difficul to visit as it’s very crowded and chaotic, especially if you choose to visit it by car which can leave the tourists displaced, moreover if the tourist is used to come from more ordered and quiet places. They are therefore unable to visit and appreciate the eternal city and they might leave disappointed. Well, today we would like to give you an advice, making charity marathons.
During the first on November celebrations, the Foundation Bosco organizes a charity marathon in 2 versions, one is called “light” and it’s not competitive and comprises only 3 km, and the other a little “heavier” which is a competitive race with TV broadcasts and ten km trail. The beauty of this event is that the tourists can have a walk in the heart of Rome without caring about trafic which normally chokes the city.
Obviously someone can feel a bit shocked by the name “Saint’ Race” and by taking part to a real marathon, however it’s now very common to take advantages by these events and have a relaxed walk in Rome’s heart without the noise of cars and scooters, without caring about the smog and traffic. The marathon starts and ends in Piazza Pio XII and goes through Lungotevere Vaticano, Viale Giulio Cesare and Piazza Cavour.
To participate to the “Saints Race” you must subscribe to it. This year the marathon costs only €7,00 which are going to Charity. The event is now becoming every year more famous and it really gives you the chance to admire Rome’s center with no cars, scooters and noise!