Ancient Rome

Luxury shopping in Rome

Shopping in Spanish steps and along Via Condotti

Let’s face it, the place is crowded (it is a notorious local meeting point). Lots of onlookers everywhere. But it is truly one of Rome highlights. The site itself is lovely. But it is also located at a place where all the Italian designers are. The palace that hosts the Bourbon Spanish Embassy is nearby facing a column with the statue of Virgin Mary. Behind the steps that lead to Trinita dei Monti church, you can visit Villa Medici (the French Art Center) and beyond Villa Borghese. The esplanade at the top of the stairs offer a full panoramic view of Rome. If you are scared of climbing all these steps, take the free metro elevator up to the church esplanade. By the way, Piazza di Spagna is a regular metro station from Termini. And then, down on the square, don’t miss some of the famous Roman cafés or the house where the British poet Keats died at the age of 25. So, yes, this place is quite unescapable in Rome!

The steps are wonderfully kept. You can enjoy walking up and down them, as well as looking into the fountain at the base and the views from the top. The steps and the view is stunning. There is a restaurants at the top but it seemed to have a very good menu and a marvelous view.

Go early so that that it is not too crowded.
thw whole area around the Spanish steps is a rabbit warren of tiny cobbled streets and well worth exploring. Avoid the tacky tourist shops though! Close to the heart of Designer shop Rome! A must for all us women! take your credit card!

The best way to reach the Spanish Steps is by walking up Via Condotti. Take Rome’s main thoroughfare Via del Corso, which cuts ancient/tourist Rome in half and passes near to a lot of the major sights—then head up Via Condotti towards the Spanish Steps. There are a lot of elite and fun shops. However, the prices are sky-high and the merchandise isn’t really that special—just elite and with a fancy label. So, window shopping is where the fun is here. At the end of the street, the Spanish Steps will loom above you.

 

Our Blogger: Joseph

Rome: The City of Seven Hills

ForoRome, over the last two thousand years, became center of power, wealth and religion. At its highest peak, the Roman Empire extended Scotland to North Africa and Israel to England. And at the end of the day, the Roman Catholic state is reaching billions of followers across the globe.

Rich families, consulates and/or religious figures hired artists or architects to personalise their villas with statutes, gardens, thermae, theatre, temples, libraries and so on. The Roman Catholic hegemony, for example, hired artistes like Michaelangelo to paint the Last Super and Sistine Chapel. No wander, the rich families and the powerfull did the same.

Obsession to family interest, power and a luxurious life style often engulfed governors, generals, cardinals, popes and rich at odds against each other. This kind of selfish and controversial life style was also wide spread in the peninsula.

Rome owes its architecture, art, history and might; either to those who trampled the poor or to those who used religion to further their apetite to power, money or religious ambitions.

In a ‘modernised and civilized’ Rome, nothing seems to have changed except that now all the hassle is in a more fashionable and refined way.

Yet, Rome is worth watching.


Adu K


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).