Ancient Rome

NEW ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURE JUST UNCOVERED: 80 METERS AURELIAN WALLS!

NEW ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURE JUST UNCOVERED: 80 METERS AURELIAN WALLS!

The Eternal City keeps on being a treasure trove of discoveries: few days ago 80 meters Aurelian Walls were uncovered during the excavations works which have been taking place around Rome for the construction of her third underground line (so called line C). They were surprisingly unburied in the area of St. John Lateran’s Archbasilica, one of the four major churches in the Eternal City (together with St. Paul Outside the Walls, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Peter’s).
What makes this discovery so astonishing is that this section of the Walls was thought lost long ago, precisely in the 18th century, when the whole area underwent massive tranformations as a consequence of the works for the new majestic facade of St. John Latern’s Church itself. Being this event traceable in the scientific literature, but lacking in turn any reference to the actual destinity of the Roman Walls, scholars supposed they had collapsed or were torn down.
The conservation status of the structures is nearly perfect: eleven arches, two towers, even traces of medieval painting (as those walls served as shelters to hermits during the Middle Age), plus a complex hydraulic system of the modern era (from the 17th century) and slits for archers with visible amendments after the invention of gunpowder were uncovered from earth.
A great project is now under consideration: to set a huge open walkway for visitors which might link this stretch of the Walls with no less than those at the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. In so doing new life would be given to this gigantic difensive system of the Ancient Rome.
Ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes for information on the sections of the Aurelian Walls already open to public!

JULIUS CAESAR HAS TO DIE (ON MARCH 15th… FOR REAL!)

JULIUS CAESAR HAS TO DIE (ON MARCH 15th… FOR REAL!)

Julius Caesar was killed on March 15th, the so called “Ides of March” in Latin: the event caused a dramatic change in history of the Roman Republic.
This Sunday special events are in programme at largo di Torre Argentina, where the murder took place: guided tours both in Italian and in English will allow people to better understand the ancient meaning of this archeological area now immersed into modern buildings and activities.
But that’s not all. A philologically faithful reenactment in three scenes will show what happened exactly that day in 44 BC:
1) Mark Antony, Cato, Cicero, senators and tribunes have a meeting at the Senate and at end of it they declare Caesar a public enemy of Rome;
2) Caesar arrives to the Curia and meets the haruspex Spurinna, who had warned him: “Caesar, beware the Ides of March”. It follows his assassination with twenty-three stab wounds;
3) Brutus and Mark Antony hold a funeral speech to honor Caesar at the Roman Forum (the speech is taken from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”).
The 45 minutes long reenactment will be played twice: at 12pm and 15.30pm.
Guided tours will be starting every 40 minutes from 9:45am, with a break during the two reenactments.
The whole event is for free and you can easily reach it from Termini station with 10 minutes bus journey: ask our staff at Hotel Des Artistes for directions!

EVEN ROME HAS GOT HER PYRAMID!

EVEN ROME HAS GOT HER PYRAMID!

Did you know Rome has a pyramid? Pyramid of Cestius is actually one of the most intriguing and still less known monuments in the Eternal City, standing at the crossroad between via Ostiensis and another fundamental lane in ancient times.
Its story is kind of unusual: it was built in just 330 days by Caio Cestio’s heirs under the threat of losing their rights on the inheritance, as prescribed by Caio Cestio himself. It’s one of the few monuments dating back to I Cent. BC survived for us, and it’s particularly remarkable because it testifies the spread of Egyptian customs in Rome as a consequence of the conquest of Egypt by Roman army in 30 BC.
The reason why time passing spared the pyramis major damages (despite it was covered in marbles, which were commonly reused in the antiquity to build new constructions) has probably to do with the fact that since III Cent. AD it was included in the Aurelian walls as a stronghold, which thing prevented both abandon and devastation.
Restoration works of the Pyramid of Cestius have been recently completed, the monument being now open to public with guided tour upon reservation.
Getting there is very easy: just catch metro line B (2 minutes walk from Hotel des Artistes) and get off at the namesake stop Piramide. Ask our staff about other sites in the area, such as the suggestive Protestant Cimitery. And whenever you want to take a rest, Eataly is just beyond the corner… your boutique for Made in Italy food!

DIVINE AUGUSTUS… 2000 YEARS AFTER

DIVINE AUGUSTUS… 2000 YEARS AFTER

Two thousands years are in between us and Augustus, Julius Caesar’s great nephew, one of the most charismatic personalities of the Ancient Rome, the first to be named Emperor.
The year 2014 precisely marked two millennia after his death (he expired in Nola, not far from Neaples, on 19 August 14 AD), and two great exhbitions in Rome are still open to public to commemorate him and his revolutionary impact on Roman politics.
Both the exhibits take advantage of the ultimate high technologies and go far beyond a mere display of pieces from the past: they allow visitors a true interactive experience where they feel like walking in the Imperial Fora shoulder to shoulder with other big personalities of the time.
The set-up at Mercati di Traiano is mostly a digital expo, the fruit of a majestic joint project involving at the same time 4 cities from the former Roman Empire: Amsterdam, Sarajevo, Alexandria of Egypt and Rome of course. Each of the four museums (Allard Pierson Museum, City Hall Museum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Imperial Fora Museum respectively) offers a different perspective on the Roman Empire during Augustus age.
The exhibit at Palazzo Massimo is rather focused on one of the most important cultural revolutions by Augustus: the changes he introduced within the Roman calendar, marking new days with festivities and events as tools for propaganda.
Here a short compedium of the two venues:
MERCATI DI TRAIANO, “Keys to Rome – The City of Augustus”, 9 am- 7 pm (Mon closed)
ROMAN NATIONAL MUSEUM AT PALAZZO MASSIMO: “Augustus Revolution”, 9 am – 7.45 pm (Mon closed)
Hotel Des Artistes is at walking distance from the latter and at 10 minutes bus journey from the former!

Some More Tips About Rome

AmphitheatreAlmost two thousand years after its collapse as an Empire, Rome now lives under the shadow of a once powerful and prosperous nation.

The beauty of the Spanish Steps with its sinking boat, massive amphitheatre called Coloseum, fine wall arts sparsed across the city’s Catholic santuaries, monuments, catacombs, religious abondance etc. Visiting all these and others is definitely going to be an unforgotable memory.

After roaming, the Trastevere area is good area to chill out, certainly if you have time because this is located on the other side of the river Tiber, opposite to the major touristic sites. This neighbourhood is full of Trattorias, bars and/or restaurants, mainly giving service to the locals. After a good lunch, espresso  would be fantastic. The small and condensed coffee, rouses from sleep instantly. If not familiar with espresso, better not to try it before going to bed.

Other good stuff worth trying are: gelato (icecream), cannoli and pastries. To name some of the best gelateria in Rome: Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè, Said, Cristalli di Zucchero, Vice Gelateria, Gelateria Grom, Gelateria San Crispino, Mondi,Gelateria del Teatro, Biscottificio Innocenti, Fatamorgana, Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè, Gelateria Bocca Di Dama.

Love shopping, visit the Via Del Corso street, where you will find all the big brands. So expensive? Pass on to shopping malls like Porta di Roma, or take a cub and visit the Castello Romano Outlet where you will find best brands  for less pay. Non European residents have the option to get a refund of the VAT. Get forms from the store keepers and present the filled forms to the Customs office in the airport together with the items bought (tags not removed).

 

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GLADIATORS AT PIAZZA NAVONA: STADIUM OF DOMITIAN ON EXHIBIT

GLADIATORS AT PIAZZA NAVONA: STADIUM OF DOMITIAN ON EXHIBIT

Colosseum was not the only place where gladiators used to fight each other to death in order to entertain both common people and emperors. One more location was used in ancient Rome for this purpose: what we know today as Piazza Navona. The shape of the square doesn’t effectively leave any room to doubts, as aerial pictures clearly point out: it rises on what was know in the past as Stadium of Domitian.
After many years restoration, the remains of this stadium are finally accessible to public. The affiliated museum currently hosts the exhibit “Gladiators – Arms and armors in the Roman Empire”. On show the most perfect replicas of the gladiator’s equipment on the ground of the archaeological remains: more than 350 pieces on display to understand the evolution of a custom which has become a world-renowned symbol of Roman history.
Museum & exhibition tickets: €6- €8.
Hotel Des Artistes is connected to Piazza Navona by several bus lines: ask us for further info!

CASTEL SANT’ANGELO & PASSETTO NIGHT OPENING

CASTEL SANT’ANGELO & PASSETTO NIGHT OPENING

The Vatican is not just about St. Peter’s Church and the Sistine Chapel. Castel Sant’Angelo – the fortress raised by Middle Age Popes above Adrian Emperor’s mausoleum – is indeed a landmark of Roman skyline and a most beloved monument by visitors and Roman dwellers alike.
Autumn season allows to enjoy it at its best: until 31 December 2014 every Friday night it will be open until 9pm (last admission 8:30pm). And that’s not all. A few sections which are normally restricted to public will be now accessible, such as the Passetto (a 800 m. long secret walkway used by the Pope to escape dangers during warlike times); Clement VII bathroom (a rare Renaissance example of its kind); the frightful prisons (where many Church opponents were enclosed); the garrisons’ mill (open now to public for the first time).
Don’t hesitate to contact us: Hotel Des Artistes offers a strategically placed accommodation even to reach the Vatican area!

October in Rome

In our opinion October is the best month to visit Rome. And to give you a prove of the lovely atmosphere that reigns over the Eternal City during this month we snapped this picture of the work of an anonymous street artist. The caption inside the heart says “I want to steal your…”

Is October in Rome, the weather is lovely and we wish you were here.

Lungotevere’s bars, restaurants and lots more!

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!

It might just be the best event in Rome, at least in the summer: On every night until September 1, the Tiber River’s banks come alive. More than a kilometer of stalls line the river—each one a shop or cafe, restaurant or bar.

If you’re a shopping, or strolling-and-people-watching, kind of person, the possibilities are endless. On my last walk through the festival, called Lungo il Tevere Roma, I perused jewelry, bought fistfuls of dried figs and kiwis, sipped a mojito in a swanky bar, and even watched one of the last World Cup games.


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).

Our Blogger: Joseph

Cirque du Soleil Quidam – in Rome (October 2014)

Quidam is the ninth stage show produced by Cirque du Soleil. It premiered in April 1996 and has now been watched by millions of spectators around the world. Quidam originated as a big top show since its premiere in Montreal, but has since been converted into an arena format beginning with its 2010 tour in North America.

The entire show is imagined by a bored young girl named Zoé who is alienated and ignored by her parents. She dreams up the whimsical world of Quidam as a means of escaping the monotony of her life.



The first half included some impressive aerial work by a female performer. The show was fantastic and the massive venue of Palalottomatica will help massively. The show wasn’t what was expected and never is. The performances are fantastic and will leave you amazed as to how can actually do it without injury. The best thing about the show was how funny it is. It is hilarious, at points, and wil had the whole of the hall in fits of laughter.


October 22-26 2014

Event Location: Rome, RM – Palalottomatica

Our Blogger: Joseph