Nov
26
2012
0

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

Nov
15
2012
0

Trinità Dei Monti (Spanish Steps)

imagesThe Trinità Dei Monti (French church) with the beautiful Scalinata (staircase) beneath it, is a magnificent Roman Baroque style. The design of the staircase opens like a receptacle round the church’s square.

Ideas and efforts to give Trinità Dei Monti a better look by changing the ragged slope below, started in the1580s and continued for almost 140 years.

Initially a French diplomat, Etienne Gueffier, financed the works of Scalinata. Innocent XII finalized the unfinished job under Francesco De Sanctis and Alessandro Spechi (1723-25).

The Scalinata is also called Spanish steps -after a Spanish ambassador living in the area. It has 138 stairs and is the widest of its kind in Europe.

The Barcaccia Fountain, is another attraction at the foot of the Scalinata. Pietro and his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini made this sinking boat (1627-29) to overcome a technical problem due to low water pressure. The boat was meant to be in memory of Tiber river victims in 1598 and the legend is a fisher’s boat was carried by the flood to the exact site, where the Barcaccia Fountain now sits.

This particular site is provided by a metro stop beneath, a parking lot behind and Rome’s expensive shopping street infront.



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


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