Ancient Rome

Villa of The Quintilii

villaquintiliiromeVilla Quintilii, located in the Appia Antica surrounding, was constructed in 151 AD by Sextus Quintilius Maximus and Sextus Quintilius Condianus, who were successfull consuls in the 2nd century. Nevertheless, the earliest construction of the villa dates back to the Hadrian rule.

The end of the once influential consul brothers was so sad. It is said, Emperor Commodus so coveted the villa, may be due its location or magnificence, and killed (182 AD) the Quintilii bros and automatically became the heir.

Villa Quintilii was discoverded in 1776 by Gavin Hamilton, in what the locals commonly call  Roma Vecchia for after the villa was first excavated, it looked like a small city in itself. This houses extensive thermae with its own water supply system and amazingly a horse race course (dating to the fourth century).

Now, the villa (a state property since 1989) has a museum that houses the marbles and other materials which were used to adorn the villa. In 1784 the villa has to it added a terrace, which give a good view of the Castelli Romani.



Adu K

Fountains of Rome

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Well, in Rome almost everything is worth noting. Cathedrals, basilicas, villas, museums, statues, bla bla are the big shots people like to visit, take pictures, talk about, chat or google. Today, I want to give you a very shortsummary on the little known or may be ignored or less googled but very essential part of everyday life in Rome, be it locals, tourists or animals. The Nasoni literally means ‘big nose’. It supplies potable water free of charge.


The Nasoni, were first installed in 1874, by mayer Luigi Pianciani. Today, incredibily, the nasonis are 2500 in number, spreading almost everywhere in Rome. They are financed by the city hall, and that is also why locals call them, ‘l’acqua del sindaco’ meaning mayer’s water.


Identifying characteristics of nasino:- twentyfour seven water flow, almost 120 centimeters tall, cold and potable water, limited water wastage (excess water goes to gardens, clean the sewer systems and supply for industrial cleanings), multi-use spout (allows fast and free water flow, touch-spout-mode to switch to drink-without-a-cup-style).



Adu K

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.

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.

Saturday Night (Museum) Fever

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Good news for night owls: starting tomorrow the most important museums in Italy will be open by night once a month, which will make for an even more suggestive experience.

In Rome, 8 museums will take part in the experiment: the Galleria Borghese, the National Gallery of Classic Art, the National Roman Museum (Palazzo Massimo and Palazzo Altemps), The Diocletian Baths, The Crypta Balbi, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art and the National Etruscan Museum of Valle Giulia.

The extraordinary openings will take place the last Saturday of every month until December. That is:  July 27, August 31, September 28, October  26, November 30  and December 28, 2013.

How to See Rome in One Day

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How to see Rome in one day

I get this very often: “Can I see the most important things in Rome in only one day?”

Yes, you can! And here’s how:

07:30. Colosseum. Let’s say you are staying at Hotel Des Artistes. Go to the station Castro Pretorio (just around the corner!) or to Termini and take the blue subway line. Get off at the station Colosseo. The Colisseum opens an 08:30, and it’s advisable to make a booking beforehand. You can do so through this website.

12:30 The Vatican. Wasn’t that something? Now brace yourself for the Vatican museums. Go back to the subway station, get off at Termini, take the red line there (direction Battistini) and get off at Ottaviano, then walk to the museum. The Vatican museums are open until 18:00 but the entrance is allowed only until 16:00. The Sistine Chapel is part of the same complex, which means you get to see it once you are inside the museum.

Again, your experience will be greatly improved if you book your tickets before. Click here to visit the official Vatican website and make a booking.

Once you finish your visit to the museum you can head to Saint Peter’s (winter 7:00-18:30/ summer 7.00/19:00). You don’t have to pay to visit the Basilica.

17:00 Piazza del Popolo, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon. Alright, now take the subway from Ottaviano and get off at Flaminio. You’ll find yourself in front of Piazza del Popolo, a beautiful square from which you can start walking down Via del Corso, which is also the main avenue to do shoping in Rome. Walk down Via del Corso and follow the signs to the Spanish Steps, then walk to the Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon and Navona Square. I know, it’s a lot, but I’ve prepared a map for you.

italy-trevi-fountain20:00 Se Magna (“Time to eat”, for those of you not very well-versed in the Roman dialect) Out of breath? I don’t blame you: you have conquered Rome in one day!. Now, from Navona Square walk to Largo Torre Argentina, and walk accross the river or take the Tram 8 to Trastevere, a paradise of typical restaurants where I’m sure you will find something that fits both your taste and your budget.

Whoa! We did it!
Did you know that we have a special discount for those who venture last minute into the Eternal City? Just send us a line of call us to find more about it! You have a deal, you have a plan, what else are you waiting for?!

Roman Museums by Night

notte_museiThose lucky enough to be in Rome May 18, 2013 will have the unique chance to visit its world-famous museums (and the less known too) by night. Every year many events are organized to give visitors a different perspective not only of the works kept in the museums but of the museums themselves: concerts, dance performances and conferences will complete the noctural experience to underline the role of the museum as a place of social exchange.

The date is set but the full program is not available yet. We’ll bring you a selection of our favorite appointments as soon as a list is made official. In the meantime you can follow the developments through Twitter with the hashtag #NDMroma13.

The Etruscans are Back, Virtually

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It has just been inaugurated the exhibition Etruscanning at the Vatican Museums.The project will allow visitors to explore the Regolini Galassi tomb, one of the most important Etruscan funerary monuments.

The tomb and the objects found inside it have been digitally reconstructed. Visitors are able to explore and interact with the objects without the need of joysticks using only body movements, thanks to technology taken from some of the most advanced videogames.

To get to the Vatican Museums from Hotel Des Artistes , take the red subway line from Termini and get off at the station Ottaviano. The Museums are open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM until 4 PM (closing time 6 PM).

Appian Way (Appia Antica)

Appia AnticaThe Romans wanted to defeat every enemy that stood on their path hindering the empire’s growth and roads were built to achieve the end. Roads played significant role in moving armies, supplies, reinforcement, trade, power and wealth.

Appian way, which connects Rome to south Italy, was one of the main roads Romans desperately needed.

Appius Claudius, Roman censor, constructed dirt road with stones and mortar stretching from Rome to Capua for 200km. Part of the road was started and finished in 312 BC. The Appian to date has the longest straight road in Europe (64 km).

To mention few of the important historical events that happened on this road:

In the 71 BC, 6000 slaves were slain by the Romans after their revolt ended in defeat at the hands of the Roman Army. In the WWII, Allied Forces landed at Nettuno to capture Rome penetrating through Appian way but the Germans resisted until their defeat in 1944. And Abebe Bekila won 1960 summer olympics, that passed through this way.

Long kilometers of the Appian way are now open to the public for walking, jogging, bicycling etc.

The following monuments are found along the Appian way: Baths of Caracalla (at the start), catacomb of San Callisto and a small church (chiesa del Domine Quo Vadis) on Via Ardeatina a street that branches off Appian Way.




Adu K

Villa D’Este Tivoli

Villa D'Este TivoliPopes or their families were involved in making expensive and impressive villas, arts or monuments for power and family prestige, now these structures account to a great deal of income.

Villa D’Este is no different story, in-fact this is byproduct of Roman Catholic priests’ luxurious and competitive life style.

Pope Julius III elevated Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este, grandson of Pope Alexander VI, to governor of Tivoli (north east of Rome) in 1550.

As a result of his new assignment, the cardinal was given an old monastery. Not satisfied with the new office, Ippolito, called famous architects, engineers and painters of that time to change an unknown monastery to ‘gardening and water-play model’ across Europe.

In the process, Villa Adriana marbles and statues were dismantled by the orders of the cardinal to making his own villa better.

The late-Renaissance villa stayed on D’Este family until the 18th C. when Maria Beatrice (daughter of Ercole II D’Este) married Duke Ferdinand of Habsburg, and automatically the villa became a Habsburg property.

As other Roman villas fate, the D’Este fell in disrepair and was neglected till the Italian State bought and restored it after the end of first world war. It is now open to the public

Villa D’Este became UNESCO world Heritage Site in 2001.




Adu K