Aug
25
2013
0

Nanotechnology In Ancient Rome

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One of the concepts that will shape our future is nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Its applications of will radically change the way we live over the course of the next century, so I was surprised to learn today that the Romans had more than a passing knowledge of it, so much so that they were able to create a chalice that appears green when lit from the front but turns red when lit from behind, an effect that takes place because the glass was impregnated with very small particles of silver and gold. For decades the chalice remained a mistery for scientists who found the explanation only very recently.

The news reminded me that it was only a couple of months ago that scientists finally discovered the secret mix of lime and volcanic rock that the Roman concrete was made of. It is vastly superior to most modern concrete, more environmentally friendly and mind-numblingly durable: just take a look at the Pantheon if you doubt it!

Talk about being ahead of your time.

Aug
13
2013
0

The Twin Churches Of Piazza Del Popolo

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Photo Credit: MarkusMark, via Wikipedia.

 

Piazza del popolo is one of the most underrated spots in Rome: from the fountain with the obelisk to the stairs that take you from the square to Il Pincio, the place is full of details that make for an interesting stop in any Roman itinerary.

Another of those many curiosities is the fact that in the square there are a couple of twin churches, signaling the access to Via Del Corso. They were built by order of Pope Alexander VII and actually are slightly different: for one, Santa Maria in Montesanto has an oval plant, while Santa Maria dei Miracoli has an circular plant. Inside, the differences are even more evident, as the former has 6 chapels whereas the latter has 4 of them.

Piazza del Popolo with its twin churches can be easily reached from Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel: just take the red subway line from Termini and get off at the station Flaminio.

Written by NIC81 in: Ancient Rome, Monuments in Rome |
Aug
03
2013
0

A Sumer Along the Tiber River

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Every year during August  a small market is set on both sides of the Tiber river: there you can eat the very Roman porchetta, buy the products of many local artisans, attend a street-theatre performance and have dinner too!

All in all a very good option to spend an evening in Rome after a long (and hot) day of sightseeing. The manifestation takes place along the river, beetwen the Sisto and Garibaldi bridges; the area can be easily reached from Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel Rome taking the bus H from the station Termini (get off the first stop after the bridge).

Rome Hotel Des Artistes - Via Villafranca 20 00185 Rome Italy - Ph +39 064454365 Fax +39 064462368 - info@hoteldesartistes.com