AN EXCURSION TO ASSISI, THE GREEN HOMELAND OF ST. FRANCIS

AN EXCURSION TO ASSISI, THE GREEN HOMELAND OF ST. FRANCIS

Assisi, located in a green rural area in the heart of Umbria, is a moderately small and incredibly beautiful city. Located 174 km North-East of Rome, is home to the Franciscan and Clare orders.
St. Francis (San Francesco, in Italian) was born to a rich family. His father, Pietro de Bourlemont, wished his son would follow his footsteps. Contrary to his father’s dreams, Francesco loved the poor and decided to devote his life to them. He even chose to be buried with the poor. St Francis was so humble, and his humble prayer goes:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

San Francesco is one of the two patron saints of Italy (the other being Santa Chiara), patron of the animals and the environment as well.  He is the first Roman Catholic stigmatic. And it was him who first introduced the reenactment of the Nativity Scene during Christmas time. In addition, St Francis was successful founder of three orders.
Assisi is connected to Rome by train, car and bus, and even by airplane (St. Francis of Assisi airport, in the city of Perugia) should your departing point be farther; and it’s a very fantastic place for a day visit. Do not hesitate to ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes for more info and suggestions!

SUMMER IN ROME: SUN & SALES

SUMMER IN ROME: SUN & SALES

There are two times a year when you’ll see Italians go nuts about something other than soccer. Yes, I’m talking about the saldi, “sales”. Both city center and malls become more crowded than usual, if you consider that even normally they stand as traditional meeting points.
Shopping is truly one of Rome’s highglights for both dwellers and visitors, and onlookers will be milling around shops everywhere.  But sales in Rome give you the chance to do more than buying good stuff at good prices: they offer you the chance to take a walk around some of the most enchanting spots of the Eternal City… just think of the Spanish Steps for instance, the core of all the gretatest fashion design artists.
2015 Summer Sales in Rome will begin on Sunday 5 July, ending after six weeks. We suggest you to go early (to skip the long queues), and maybe try asking for an additional sconto, “discount”. Big stores won’t honor your request but you might have good chances to get your price lower in the smaller shops, especially if they’re desperate to sell. Take you credit card and get ready to explore the most hidden sides of that rabbit warren of tiny cobbled streets which is the heart of Rome: your best deal might be just around the corner!
For tips and suggestions don’t hesitate to ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes!

A BIT OF ANXIETY… JUST ON EXHIBIT!

A BIT OF ANXIETY… JUST ON EXHIBIT!

Located in the heart of the City Centre, few steps from Piazza Venezia, the Capitoline Museums have been holding until October 4th 2015 The Age of Anxiety, that is to say the fourth round of ‘’Days of Rome’’, a cycle of exhibitions focused on some particular stages of Roman history.
This time, the period considered goes from Commodus to Diocletian (180-305 AD), when finantial and economic crisis, civil wars, famine, and pressure on the frontiers led to take refuge in an expectation of security eventually provided by cults from the East like those to Isis, Cybele, Mithras, Sabazio and… Jesus.
This period shows a shift originated in the end of the dynastic transmission of political power, concentrated now in the army, resulting in the urgency for new institutions cappable to represent the social structure and mentality.
Different artistic  treasures will allow visitors to travel back to those years full of passion, intensity and hope.
“The Age of Anxiety” at Piazza del Campidoglio is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 – 20:00 (ticket office closes one hour before).
Closed on Mondays. Ticket fee: 15 euros.
Very easy to reach from Hotel Des Artistes and Termini station by bus #40 or #64!

ROME FRINGE FESTIVAL AT CASTEL SANT’ANGELO!

ROME FRINGE FESTIVAL AT CASTEL SANT’ANGELO!

One of the most successful Summer events in Rome is just about to begin: Rome Fringe Festival, from May 29 to July 5. This independent theatre & performative arts festival has come to the 4th edition, taking place this time at the majestic gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo (Vatican area). The RFF will entertain public every day from 9 am to 2 am with a number of Italian and foreign artists.
Entry is free, while a €5 ticket fee is owed to the theatre companies for their shows and paid to them directly.
The festival looks like a carosel for adults & kids: beyond the shows, it offers art exhibits, a day & night market, refreshment areas, wine & food tasting, workshops and kids activities.
Here a sketch of the daily events:

  • from 9am to 4.30pm: market, summer camp for children by Arteficine, free events and gastronomy
  • from 6pm to 8.30pm: aperitif, concerts, food tasting and market.
  • from 8.30pm onwards nine shows involving song theatre, comedy, drama, social theatre, dance, stand up, street art, clowning, puppet, poetry, literature, with artists from all over the world

From Hotel Des Artistes you can reach Castel Sant’Angelo by bus #40 express or metro line A getting off at Lepanto!

TALES ABOUT FOOD & FASHION IN ROME

TALES ABOUT FOOD & FASHION IN ROME

The Elegance of Food is the latest major exhibition in Rome on the occasion of EXPO MILANO 2015, and it celebrates at one time nutrion, which is the leitmotiv of the Universal Exposition, as well as Made in Italy tailoring and craftsmanship.
Visitors will take a journey through different facets of ancient and contemporary fashion: from embroidery and textures to dresses and accessories, their common ground being “nature and food”. The items follow the four elements to which they are inspired: Water, Air, Earth and Fire.
Photographs, holograms, video mapping and visual-art will help to enjoy at the best the link between food and raw materials transposed on the fashion design items on display.
The Elegance of Food venue is the Trajan’s Market (just beside the Imperial Forum) and is open every day from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm until November 1st, 2015.
For more details, do not hesitate to ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes!

MOST SECRET ROMAN COURTYARDS OPEN JUST FOR A WEEKEND!

MOST SECRET ROMAN COURTYARDS OPEN JUST FOR A WEEKEND!

Rome will disclose some of her secret treasures this weekend: on May 23rd and 24th the “Open Courtyards Rome” event will allow anyone to visit courtyards which are normally closed to public as being part of private properties, although historical.
The event is organized once a year by the Italian Association of Historical Houses (ADSI – Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane) and is free of charge for visitors, who will benefit also from the explanations by the ADSI’s guides and the owners of the buildings.
These private historical properties, mostly located in the heart of the city, will be open from 10am to 7pm.
To sum up, those in Rome this Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th will have the chance to visit the following locations:

Palazzo Attolico, Via di Parione 12
Palazzo Berardi Gugliemi, Via del Gesù 62
Palazzo Capizucchi, Piazza Campitelli 3
Palazzo Capponi Antonelli, Via Monserrato 34
Palazzo Cisterna, Via Giulia 163
Palazzo Costaguti, Piazza Mattei 10
Palazzo Grazioli, Via del Plebiscito 102
Palazzo Lante, Piazza dei Caprettari 70
Palazzo Malvezzi Campeggi, Via del Consolato 6
Palazzo Massimo Lancellotti, Piazza Navona 114
Palazzo Montoro, Via di Montoro 8
Palazzo Odescalchi, Piazza Santi Apostoli
Palazzo Pasolini dall’Onda, Piazza Cairoli 6
Palazzo Ruspoli, Via della Fontanella Borghese 56
Palazzo Sacchetti, Via Giulia 66
Palazzo Taverna, via di Monte Giordano 36
Palazzo Pamphilj, Ambasciata del Brasile, Piazza Navona 14

Do not hesitate to ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes for suggestions and directions!

RED PETALS RAIN IN THE PANTHEON!

RED PETALS RAIN IN THE PANTHEON!

A 2,000 years old tradition will occurr in few days in Rome: on Sunday 24th May, 2015, red rose petals will be let fall down from the oculus of the Pantheon as part of the religious celebrations of the Pentecoste feast. The thousands of fluttering petals thrown from the ouside into the world-renowned top hole of the Pantheon’s ceiling symbolise the Holy Spirit descending on Earth. This is precisely what on Pentecoste is celebrated, that is to say the spread of the Holy Spirit bestowed by Christ’s resurrection, and the foundation of the Christian Church. Red roses symbolise indeed also Jesus Christ’s blood. Pentecoste falls on the 50th day after Easter, that is why it is a mobile feast as well.
This rite, which is part of the mass that will be performed from 10.30 am, has its root in the times of the early Christian community, when the Pantheon – originally a pagan temple – was converted into the present Church of Santa Maria dei Martiri.
The Pantheon can be easily reached by bus from Termini Station: ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes for more details!

BAROQUE: THE AGE OF ART BLOOMING IN ROME

BAROQUE: THE AGE OF ART BLOOMING IN ROME

Until July 26th Rome hosts a gigantic and “multi-venue” exhibition entirely focused on Baroque, the artistic style which still chracterizes most of the architectural features of the Eternal City.
The exhibition shows the evolution of Baroque art from its birth (first two decades of the Seventeenth century) to its highest peak, which gave the city a new shape.
More than an exhibit, Baroque in Rome is a huge cultural project including, beyond painting masterpieces collected from several museums in the world, also conferences, concerts, workshops for both kids and adults, thematic tours and many more satellite events around the city center. The following locations are involved:

  • Museum of Rome (Palazzo Braschi): exhibition; “baroque parties”
  • St. Yves at the Sapienza: thematic tour; exhibition
  • Oratorio dei Filippini: thematic tour
  • Palazzo Colonna: guided tour
  • Palazzo di Propaganda Fide: thematic tour
  • Vatican Museums, Apostolic Palace and St. Peter’s basilica: a special itinerary about Bernini & the Vatican
  • Doria Pamphilj Gallery: thematic tour
  • Capitoline Museums: itinerary across the baroque masterpieces in the
  • National Gallery of Ancient Art (Palazzo Barberini): itinerary
  • Academy of Fine Arts: conference
  • Castel Sant’Angelo: thematic exhibition on the baroque fireworks
  • Fondazione Roma Museo – Palazzo Sciarra: conferences

Each of these place is located in the heart of Rome: ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes about directions!

THE BEST OF ROME & LAZIO FOOD AT EXPO MILANO 2015!

THE BEST OF ROME & LAZIO FOOD AT EXPO MILANO 2015!

Over 130 foreign countries will be participating in the Expo Milano 2015. Right space however will be given to the 20 regions of Italy as well. Each and every Italian region has indeed its own cooking tradition, strong of food products which are rooted in that specific area as nowhere else.
Lombardia (headed by Milan) and Lazio (headed by Rome) regions will benefit from particular attention during this 6-month event.
Lazio made a selection of foods that best represent its cultural identity: 26 wines; 14 types of meat and sausages; 8 bakery and confectionery; 10 types of cheese and dairy products; 26 including vegetables, fruits and legumes; 4 oils and 12 among fish products, mineral waters and other categories. Here you go a list of “must-taste” ones you shouldn’t miss while in Rome (but you’ll equally have the chance to try at Expo Milano 2015).
In other words, when at the restaurant, ask for any of them and you won’t be disappointed!

  • MEAT & COLD CUTS
    abbacchio romano; corallina romanamortadella from Amatrice; porchetta from Ariccia; ham cooked in wine; coriander sausage from Monte San Biagio; black pig cold cuts from Rieti; Roman spianata
  • CHEESE & DIARY
    cacio cheese (varieties Fiore, Magno, Romano); caciottafiordilatte from Agro Pontino; pecorino cheesericotta cheese
  • WINE
    Cannellino wine from Frascati; Cerveteri wine; Est! Est !! East !!! from Montefiascone; Marino wine
  • BREAD
    homemade bread from Genzano; bread from Lariano; bread from Veroli; pizza bianca

Ask Hotel Des Artistes for the best traditional Roman restaurants downtown!

THE POWER OF IMAGES… BEYOND THE GAZE: STEVE MCCURRY

THE POWER OF IMAGES… BEYOND THE GAZE: STEVE MCCURRY

His name says it all: Steve McCurry. Until September 20th, one-hundred-fifty of his breathtaking photographs will be exposed in Rome at Teatro 1 in Cinecittà, the famous film studios which were backdrops to epic movies such as Ben Hur.
Steve McCurry, the National Geographic’s photographer par excellence, doesn’t need any extensive introduction: his work speaks for him. Who can deny to remember Sharbat Gula’s iconic protrait, the thirteen years old afghan girl whom McCurry captured in a refugee camp in Peshawar?
Born in Philadelphia (USA) in 1950, he is in the field since the ‘80s, when he went to India together with his camera and started capturing the country far and wide with powerful images. After crossing the border with Pakistan and reaching Afghanistan, he happened to be one of the first Western witnesses of the war which had been breaking out meanwhile.
50 of his classical, worldy renowned masterpieces will be side by side to some of his most recent works, several not published anywhere else before. McCurry’s ultimate approach goes towards “an unusual search, moving beyond the gaze, through doors and windows to describe space and light, to overcome pain and fear”, says the exhbition curator Biba Giacchetti.
Architect Peter Bottazzi’s contribution guarantess the most proper set-up to McCurry’s works of art.
“Steve McCurry. Beyond the Gaze” is open every day but Tuesdays from 9.30am to 7pm.
To go to Cinecittà studios just get off at the namesake stop on metro line A. Hotel Des Artistes will be glad to provide you with more info!