Ancient Rome

Piazza Navona

… continuation of the above article

the factores that render this square admirable:piazza navona

4. Legend

A. Costanza de Cupis, was an adorable woman with beautiful hands. When an abbot saw the replica of her hands made by craftsman, said ‘If these hands where for real they would be cut.’ She heard about the curse and from that time on ward she lived in anguish and fear. One day she pricked her hand with a needle and her hand was cut because of infection.

B. Sant’ Agnes in Aragone, a young lady refused to marry a Roman prefect’s son and was threatened to be exposed of her faith in Jesus. She stayed on faith and was thrown naked into a brothel. Men who visited her were not able to see her naked, nevertheless the prefect’s son along with others came to mock her but he was hit with blindness. A lieutenant tried to kill Agnes first by fire but later he killed her with a sword.

5. Pasquino ‘talking statue’

Since 1501, Romans attached anonymous satirical messages against the Pope, aristocrats or his government below Pasquino. His origin remains unclear: a barber, a tailor or a shoemaker.

Popes were not sympathetic with Pasquino. Infact, Pope Adrian VI planned to throw the statue into river Tiber but feared uproar of Romans and later he assigned guards to stop people attaching messages but people used other talking statues. Benedict XII also tried to impose punishments on those who posted messages.



Adu K

Trevi Fountain

imagesThe 26 meters high and 20 meters wide fountain is one of the most admired fountains in the world. Numerous attempts have been made to make the present fountain as magnificent as it is today.

All started in 19 B.C. when Marqus Agrippa built an aqueduct -Acqua Vergine- that provides pure drinking-water to the city of Rome. The Acqua Vergine acqueduct comes from Alban Hill, 13 km to the east of Rome, ending in the Quirinal Hill.

In 1453, Leon Battista Alberti financed by Pope Nicholas V, made a basin at the end of the Acqua Vergine (now called Trevi Fountain).

In 1629 Pope Clement XII appointed Gian Lorenzo Bernini to make necessary improvements to the works started by Leon Battista, unfortunately the works came to an end after the pope died.

Hundred years after the second attempt, Alessandro Galilei won a bid to make a better fountain but his opponent -Nicola Salvi- was awarded the mission because Romans murmured against Galilei (Florentine) who won away-commission.

Salvi died in 1751, leaving the work unfinished. The fountain was finished in 1762 by Guiseppe Pannini when Oceanus (god of all water) was fitted in place.



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Colosseum

imagesàThe Colosseum is oval shaped arena measuring 187 by 155 meters and 50 meters high. This is the most important and biggest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, capable of seating up to 50,000 spectators at a time. Originally it was called Amphitheater Flavio, but with time this structure came to be known as Colosseum.

The name derives from the bronze statua colossale di Nerone ( literally: colosal statue of Nerone) and also to the colosal dimention of the building (Amphitheater Flavio).

Construction of the Amphitheater began by Emperor Vespasian in 70 A.D.  Seven year in to the construction Vespasian died and his son Titus completed and inaugurated the Amphitheater in 80 A.D. The opening ceremony is said to have lasted 100 days and a number of animals ranging from 5000 to 10,000 were believed to have been slayed for this special occasion alone.

The main motive to construct the Amphitheater was to divert attention of people from the political quagmires which were fomenting the seat of the Roman Empire in the second half of the first century A.D. The arena hosted professional and deadly (gladiatorial) fights, sea battles, animal hunts, executions and dramas.

The Colosseum has 3 rows. The first row was for first class (senators, government representatives, military officials). The second row was for the middle class and the last row to the lower class. Colosseum was connected to other training facilities like the Ludus Magnus (the Great Gladiator school) by underground passageways.

The Colosseum was out of service since the Middle Ages and parts of the monument was destroyed by earthquakes, stone robbers, unawarenes, negligence. In the 21st century, this is one of the main sources of income in the Italian economy.



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Il Vittoriano

ill vittorianoIl Vittoriano, located in Piazza Venezia (Rome) is a massive white marble monument dominating the Capitoline Hill, erected as a tribute to the first King of United Italy -Victor Emanuel II. The construction of the site began in 1885, inaugurated in 1911 marking the 50th anniversary of Italian Unification but finalized in 1935.
 
The two quadrigae on top of building represent Unity and Liberty. Below the columns and midway climbing the stairs is the equestrian statue of Vittorio Emmanuel II made of bronze designed by Emilio Gallori and inaugurated in 1911.
 
Below this statue is the tomb of unknown soldier chosen on October 26 1921 by Maria Bergamas a mother who lost her only son in World War I. Eleven unknown remains were gathered and the woman was given the chance to pick one body. The randomly chosen soldier was then buried in a state funeral (November 4,1921) celebrating all those who died in the war.

Once inside the building there is kind of a museum narrating the history of Italian unification.

Since long Il Vittoriano was criticised by artists for various reasons. The first reason is, a medieval neighborhood was doomed to build this massive structure. The second reason is its color, the white Altar of the Fatherland doesn’t match with the old brownish buildings in the area.

Because of its unpopularity Romans have coined the building names like: the wedding cake, zuppa inglese or typewriter.



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St Peter’s Church

st peterSt Peter’s Basilica is the most renowned renaissance architecture. Main architects of this religious-complex were Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Bernini. It took 120 years to complete the structure, works began on 18 April 1506 and completed on 18 November 1626.
 
St Peter’s Basilica has out-gone its religious purpose and been able to attract millions of people for entertainment, art, history, architecture and power (religious, political & economical).

St Peter’s Basilica can host over 80,000 people at a time. This is one of largest temples in the world. Contrary to what people perceive this Basilica is not the seat of a bishop, the seat to the bishop of Rome is located in St John Lateran.

Roman Catholics believe the site where St Peter Basilica stands is the burial place of Apostle Peter and his tomb is right below the altar. Not only, they also believe Peter to be number one in the papal line and infallible, since he was given the post by Lord and King Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth. Mathew 16:18

And many others find this papal line nothing but a means to power under religious cover and insult to the Living God of Israel, because Jesus neither appointed someone to be His substitute on earth nor named anyone infallible.

Anyway, no criticism has stopped St Peter Church from gaining popularity either as a tourist attraction or becoming a world powerhouse, thus this place is worth visiting.


Adu K

Vatican by Night

VA3Temprature in Rome during summer is too hot due to congested buildings, large number of people, climate change and more. Waiting outside the Vatican Museum under certain circumstances is boring.  Visitors run short of time before fully enjoying the museums, due to a large number of crowd waiting to enter the museum.

The new schedule gives visitors more romantic time and plenty of time to enjoy art with calm in a lovely cool night weather.

Since Vatican Museum started opening at night to the public three years back, the number of visitors has edged as much as thirty thousand visitors in last year alone.

The following museums are open by night: Pio Clementino, Egyptian, GallerieSuperiori (Candelabri, Arazzi e Carte Geografiche), Stanze Raffaello, Appartamento Borgia, Modern Religion Art Collection and Sistine Chapel. The schedule runs May 4th through July 13th but August is closed. And again restarting from September 7 to October 26.

The night visit is from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. every Friday. The last admission into the museum is 9.30 p.m.

Price vary from € 15 to  €22.

To book visit:

http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html


Adu K


Ten reasons why visit Rome

Even if there are a lot of other reasons as to why visit Rome, I will mention just the major ones.

1 Artmichelangelo pieta

Masterpieces, architecture, sculpture or paintings of famous artists like Michelangelo, Bernini, Nicola Salvi, Bramante, Sangallo, Maderno are present in Rome. Rome has good museums like Villa Borghese Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, National Roman Museum, Capitoline Museums and Maxxi National Museum are some of the famous ones.

trevifountain2 Architecture

Of all the 45 UNESCO heritage sites in Italy, Rome houses 12.  Pantheon, Coloseum, St Peter’s Square, Navona Square, Spanish Steps etcetera are some.

 3 Shopping

 Shopping in Rome depends where you do it. Garments in Via del Corso cost more than those in malls or stalls. As for stalls don’t hesitate buying a jeans for 10 euro or less it is a good buy.

4 Winevino

Worldwide wine sellers are present in this city. But to enjoy the true Roman wines go to Enoteca (wine shops) and sip wine with porchetta (roasted pig).

5 History

Monuments, squares, roads, museums, Roman Catholic Basilicas, catacombs, Synagogue and more contain interesting history and architecture.

carbonara6 Food

Every region in Italy has its own traditional food. It is always better to try the local food. In Rome you can try some like baccalà (dried salt-cured cod), carciofi ( artichoke), spaghetti alla carbonara (pasta with a dressing made of eggs, small pieces of bacon and Pecorino cheese), bucatini all’amatriciana (tube-shaped pasta with tomatoes, diced salt pork, onions, red chilli pepper and white wine).

culture

7 Culture

People come to this city for tourism, politics, business, religion, work, emigration etc. Spending a day in different parts of  Rome is nice. For example, the lovely Jewish Ghetto located near the Capitol Hill, Pigneto and Vittoria Emmanuele quarters inhabited by many migrants or Trastevere still dominated by Romans.

maserati8 Automotion

Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini are best Made in Italy brands. Of course Rome is not home to any car company but showrooms to many more cars are available.

9 Budget Accommodation

Hotels or hostels are all year round available in Rome but it is advisable to book months before one gets here, the longer the booking date the lesser cost.

10 Religionreligion

Vatican City -the political and religious center of the Roman Catholic- is believed to be situated on Apostle Peter’s burial place. The Vatican City is one of the most interesting places to visit.


 


For more info, contact: info@hoteldesartistes.com Ph +39 064454365


Adu K


Rome Chinatown: diversity is beauty

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Chinatown in Rome is booming. Yes, compared to other Chinatowns, the later is 15 years old phenomenon and its growth is fascinating. Restaurants, shops, travel agents, hotels, market, internet and telephone centres are blossoming in this little town.

Regarding Chinatown, the first thing that one imagines is a beautifully adorned gate which over the years has become an identifying landmark for Chinese in exile. In Rome the landmark is not available but the area is noted for its multi-ethnicity.

After busy weekdays explicitly on Saturdays, the area is jam-packed with people of varied tribes, nations and languages to acquire the best of fresh fish, meat, vegetables available by the open market inside Chinatown. Asians, Africans, Latinos and Italians flock to this quarter for cheap shopping and also to find shops that specialize in homeland merchandise.

Chinatown Rome’s diversity is what gives it beauty. It is nice little town full of cultures interesting to visit.

After hunting down all major tourist attractions in Rome, visiting such an area is a good experience. Cheap souvenirs, African objet d’art, clothes and variety of dishes (Chinese, Indian, Eritrean, Philipine, Bangladesh etc) are a plus to the shopping experience in Rome. 

This area of Rome, though, close to Rome Termini Central Station remains unexplored by many tourists. Interested clients are able to get information from Hotel Des Artistes’ staff of visiting Rome Chinatown. 

Chinatown located on one of Rome’s seven hills – Esquillino- is five minutes walk from Hotel Des Artistes.

our blogger: Adu K

Piranesi, creator of the Roman iconograpy

piranesi

Under the title Piranesi, Rembrandt of the Ruins, the Casa di Goethe in Rome hosts an exhibition of the engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who lived and worked from 1720 to 1778. The Piranesi exhibition gives an excellent insight into what Rome must have looked like in the days of Goethe and focuses especially on his work “Vedute di Roma” (Views of Rome), which is represented with 35 reprints. The artist had depicted the ancient and classical monuments of the Eternal City in 135 sheets.The decay of the Roman ruins facilitates their placement in the surrounding landscape. Piranesi presents them as overgrown, inhabited by phantasmagoric figures and, at the same time, plunged into air and light.

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Piranesi influenced Romanticism and Surrealism by his way to represent his engraving, much more than a neoclassic artist.

During the exhibition Goethe House presents for the first time a major permanent loan to Rechburg and Betzkoj Associates (RB), a pen drawing of 1787 attributed to JW Goethe, newly discovered, depicting a landscape with Italian monastery.

The San Callisto Catacombs

callisto_big

One of the most famous historic and religious landmarks in Rome are the Catacombs of San Callisto, along the Appian Way. Among the many underground cemeteries of the City, those are the best known and most popular, best known for the “Crypt of the Popes.”

Unlike the other catacombs in Rome, these were found larger .Catacombs of San Callisto have become true places of worship and pilgrimage after 313 when the Emperor Constantine ended the persecutions against christians.

Tunnels and galleries on four levels is a maze of niches still open or walled custom made and designed for a simple burial, without cash but only in a sheet, sarcophagi and crypts, cubicles, epitaphs and carvings, the remains of oil lamps and vases containing perfumes.

callisto08

During the visit falls only on the second floor, undoubtedly the most interesting from an archaeological point of view. Now we find the copy of a statue of the fourth century preserved in the Vatican Museum, depicting the Good Shepherd, a symbol of Christ’s love. Among the other images, belonging to the vast symbolism devised by Christians during the persecution, when their religion was declared a “a strange religion” with the decree of 35 senators.

You can see the Crypt of the Popes where the faithful descended on a pilgrimage to honor  the martyrs. Continuing on, you can see the Crypt of St Cecilia where to place the coffin containing the body of the patron saint of music, now housed in the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Trastevere, there is a copy of a famous sculpture of 1599, the Cubicles of the Sacraments, five small rooms where you retain some of the oldest frescoes of Christian era, representing precisely the most important sacraments in the Christian faith: baptism and the ‘ Eucharist. Crypt of St. Eusebius, smaller but decorated with marble slabs on which are three arches, one of which contained the tomb of the saint.

Not quite everything, so you can enjoy a beautiful day to teach the history of Christianity and the history of Rome.

  1. Visiting hours: 9.00 – 12.00 e 14.00 – 17.00
  2. Price tickets : € 8,00 / € 5,00 reduced fee

How  to arrive:

  • From Termini Station:
    Metro A (direction Anagnina) to stop Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano. Than take a bus line 218.
    Metro B (direction Laurentina) to stop Circo Massimo. Than take bus line 118.

Hotel Des Artistes and Lucci Hotel are the best places in the city center! Go ahead with your reservation!