Oct
25
2012
0

The ABCs about Rome

Tips: All roads conduct to Rome. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Rome wasn’t bulupailt in one day.

1. Rome’s would-be founders, Romulus & Remus, were conceived by Rhea Silvia from god Mars or demi-god Hericules. They were abondoned in the Tiber River by Amulius to die, saved by miracles and suckled by a female-wolf.

2. Pantheon means ‘of all gods’. Legend tells, an eagle took the carcass of Romulus (founder of Rome) to heaven from this area.

3. Rome is made up of seven hills east of the Tiber river with in the ancient city. The hills are: Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal and Viminal.

4. Augustus established the first Roman Empire in 44 B.C. and Romulus Augustulus was the last emperor.

5. Rome is located on the banks of the Tiber river, which is an important outlet to the sea through Ostia port.

6. Ancient and modern Rome have one important thing in common, large number of gods or modern day saints.

7. Rome is a seat to Roman Catholic church and Vatican city.

8. Vatican city, might mean ‘the hill of prophecy’.

9. SPQR: stands for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus  (literally meaning “The Senate and People of Rome“).

10. Rome is full of beautiful architectures, sculptures and paintings.



Adu K

Oct
21
2012
0

Villa Borghese

vb1The flourishing of Piazza del Popolo beneath the Pincian Hill attracted an investor born with silver spoon in the mouth, a Roman Catholic cardinal and nephew of Pope Paul V. In 1605, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, patron of Bernini, started building a villa comprising a number of buildings, fountains, gardens and museums. In the 19th C much of the old garden was remade with English style landscape. Four centuries later his desire paid off. Today, Villa Borghese is one of the main tourist attractions in Rome.

Villa Borghese is a perfect refuge for tourists and locals alike in its splendid gardens, fountains, villas and museums. It is a large public park with great museum, the Borghese Galleria. It hosts artworks by Bernini, Caravagio, Raphael, Titian, Canova etc. The museum lost almost 700 artworks after one of the villa’s heirs sold them on pressure to Napoleon, now the masterpieces are in exhibition in Louvre. In 1903 the commune of Rome bought the Villa and started opening to public thereof.

To the south the Villa is surrounded by Pincian Hill , Piazza del Popolo gate to its south western entrance, Borghese Museum on its eastern section and Bioparco Zoo to the north east. The villa hosted 1960 Summer Olympics horse jumping, equestrian event and individual jumping in Piazza Siena with in its premises.

The museum allows limited number of visitors, 360 every two hours. Thus booking either by telephone or online is always advisable at least one day prior to visit.

For more info contact: www.galleriaborghese.it



Adu K

Oct
15
2012
0

Piazza Del Popolo

images1People’s Square, located between the Pincio hill and Tiber River is embellished with churches, monuments and fountains. The Via Flaminia highway constructed in 220 BC to connect Rome to the north starts from this square. In 1562 Pope Pius IV made enhancements to the old gate in order to improve the look and impress visitors.

Piazza del Popolo is featured by twin churches (St Mary of Miracles and St Mary in Montesanto), an Egyptian obelisk and three streets projecting from the square into the city center.

The similar churches, that lead to the heart of the city past Via del Corso, were commissioned by Pope Alexander VII in 1658. Though they look identical, one is slightly bigger than the other.

In 1589, Pope Sixtus V erected 23,2m high obelisk at the center of the square which was originally brought to Rome from the sun temple in Heliopolis (Egypt); by Emperor Augustus around 10 BC.

Giuseppe Valadier (1811-1822) once more did the necessary restyling of the old square made in 1572. Bernini again redesigned the massive gate to the north (opening to Via Flaminia), as a sign of gratitude by Pope Alexander VII to Queen Christina’s of Sweden conversion to Roman Catholicism.

The square is close to Villa Borghese, easily accessible by metro, walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso (not-cheap shopping street).


Adu K

Oct
12
2012
0

Our Lady Of The Snows

smm‘Virgin Mary’ – as the legend goes – indicated a rich couple to build a temple for her memory by covering an acre of land with snow in the middle of summer. The area indicated by the alleged miracle is on the Esquillian Hill. But the alleged miracle is only reported 1000 years late. The fall of snow is celebrated by throwing white petals atop of the church on August 5.

Led by Pope Liberius (350’s), the couple agreed to finance a temple in Mary’s honour. The couple then dedicated all their fortune to ‘Our Lady of the Snows’ – aka Santa Maria Maggiore/Santa Maria Liberiana or Liberian Basilica (after Pope Liberius).

In 431 the Council of Ephesus proclaimed Mary ‘Mother of God’ and Pope Sixtus III commissioned to make church on the site where ‘Our Lady of the Snows’ had already ordered a temple in her glory.

Since its first start by Liberius in 350’s, Santa Maria Maggiore went through various remodeling works. The apse was restored in 1200. The bell tower was built in the 1300’s. The back was replaced in 1600 and the facade in 1700.

There are many Santa Maria temples in Rome but the largest and important of all is Santa Maria Maggiore . This is one of the four Roman basilicas (St Paul outside the wall, St Peter’s and St John Laterine).



Adu K

Oct
05
2012
0

St Paul Outside The Walls

st paulOnce upon a time, Saul (desired) who was born in Tarsus went to live in Israel. He was trained to be a hardliner, who would defend Jewish religion at any cost.

In the early ministry of Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem, Saul unconsciously became anti-Christ. He persecuted those who believed on Jesus.

Saul decided to go to Damascus (Syria) to persecute disciples of Jesus. On the way to Damascus Jesus revealed himself to Saul, Saul fell on the earth.

Saul was led to Damascus – for the Splendor of Christ blinded him. Jesus used Hananiah to baptize and give his sight back.

Saul humbled himself before God, testified the death and Resurrection of Jesus for forgiveness of sins to everyone without favor (Jews, Greeks or Gentiles). In the years to follow, Saul was persecuted for his firm faith on Lord Jesus Christ.

Saul ministered in Asia minor, Greece and Rome. He wrote many powerfull books in the New Testament. He spoke fluent Greek and Hebrew. Eventually he was called Paul (small/little).

Paul was beheaded by Nero (67 A.D.) in Rome. It is said Paul’s pupils erected a memorial for him. This memorial eventually became a church (St Paul Outside The Walls) for it is outside the Aurelian walls.

St Paul complex is one of the four main basilicas in Rome: St John Lateran, St Maria Maggiore and St Peter. Paul’s tomb is believed to be right below the altar in the church.



Adu K

Oct
05
2012
0

International Festival of Photography at the Macro

home-nina-poppeToday the inauguration, tomorrow the opening to the public: we are talking about the International Photography Festival of Rome, which will be held in two locations of the Macro, that of Testaccio and the via Nice. The festival will last until October 28th.

Organised by Marco Delogu, the exhibition is supported by the Office of Cultural Affairs and the historic center of Rome Capital and produced by Zètema. For the first time, will be involved in some rooms and spaces of the headquarters of Macro Via Nizza and La Pelanda, always in Testaccio.

This year the theme is that of the change in work in the last century and their juxtaposition in the technological society of today. To develop the argument, sixty exhibitions, events and appointments, with the exposure of more than 2000 photos, and with the involvement of about 180 photographers. Among these, the two selected by the Commission Rome as guests of excellence: Paolo Ventura and Anders Petersen, with their free photographic interpretations of the capital.

The Festival is open from 16:00 to 22:00

Ticket prices: €12 per person

Location: Macro Museum of modern art  at Testaccio (Festival Internazionale di Fotografia al Macro
Testaccio Municipio 1 Centro)


It might be of interest: http://www.romatoday.it/eventi/mostre/festival-fotografia-al-macro-testaccio.html

Sep
29
2012
0

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.



Adu K

Sep
27
2012
0

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.



Adu K


Sep
19
2012
0

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.



Adu K

Sep
13
2012
0

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

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