Bed and Rome and Breakfast

giovedì 18 maggio 2017

ONE WEEK IN ROME - PART 14

FROM THE FICTIONAL DIARY OF A BRITISH TRAVELER


Back to part 13

From St. Peter to Porta Portese


I will tell you the full truth and that is that I did not enter in the St. Peter's Basilica or in the Vatican Museums.
Even if that was my original idea when, in the morning, I left San Lorenzo Guest House, once I got there I changed my schedule. Weather was so nice, indeed bad weather is not a very usual event in Rome, that I thought that staying inside was not the best idea.
The lesson I got in the previous days was that, when in Rome, first of all, before visiting museum and sites, one must feel the ideal that is behind this unique city. The best way to get it is to walk around.

National Mall at Washington D.C.
National Mall, Washington D.C.
I started my walk form St. Peter Square. What could I say about it that has not been written?
Well, even if I am essentially a football fan, f rom time to time I also like to read about international politics. When you look at the National Mall in Washington D.C. you will see the same architectonic elements os St. Peter Square, columns, obelisk and dome. Too many similarities are not a case, in my opinion.

Anyhow, after leaving St. Peter Square, I reached the Mausoleum of Hadrian, that now is better know as Castel Sant'Angelo, that is one of the most iconic spots in Rome.

Another iconic spot is also Piazza Navona, that I reached after crossing the Tiber, The square and the building surrounding it are bulti over the ancient Stadiun of  Domitian, the first permanent stadium for competitive athletics.
Fontana dei Fiumi and the Agonalis obelisk
Piazza Navona is mostly characterized by the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, designed by Francesco Borromini, and by the Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of the Rivers) designed bu Gian Lorenzo Bernini. A fierce rivalry existed among those two great artists and it is the origin of the popular legend on the position of the arm and the hand of one of the statues of the fountain. It seems that the statue is scared by the vision of the facade of the church.
On the canter of the square the is another one of the many obelisks of Rome.
Pantheon, again oblisk and dome





From Piazza Navona I reached the Pantheon. That building is, in my opinion, the demonstation why Rome is named the Eternal City. It features the largest ever built dome in ureinforced concrete. It is even larger than St. Peter's dome. It is in continuous use since the moment of its reconstruction under Emperor Hadrian, that is 1900 years.
Campo de' Fiori and the statue of
Giordano Bruno
Campo de' Fiori (Flowers Field) is one of the most crowded squares of Rome. Surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and location of a street market during the daytime, it attracts people all around the day. The square is dominated by the statue in honor of Giordano Bruno, a martyr of free thought that was burn at stake on 1600 for heresy.
Just step away from Campo de' Fiori there is Piazza Farnese with the magnificent Palazzo Farnese that host the French embassy.


Palazzo Farnese
Largo di Torre Argentina is a square that is absolutely worth a visit. Its name has nothing to do with the country of Argentina but rather with the city of Strasbourg whose Latin name was Argentoratum.
In the XVI century the Papal Master of Cerimonies, that was born in Strasbourg and that used to sign as Argentinus, built here a palace with a tower, now not more visible after being partially incorporated in the existing theater. In the square there is also another tower, Torre del Papito.
Largo di Torre Argentina,
archeology and cats

The archeological area at the center of the square has the remains of four temples of the republican period and of the Curia of the Theatre of  Pompey, that is the place where Julius Cesar was killed on March 15, 44 BC. In that place the history of the western world took a new directions.
Rubino, a cat fro the shelter
that belonged to the son of the owner of
San Lorenzo Guest House
But the most curious thing of the archeological area is that it hosts the Torre Argentina Cat Sancuary, a shelter for homeless cats. Several volunteers take care of the cats, delivering food and sterilizing them to avoid an excessive population growth. Romans that wants to give a home to a cat mostly come here to take one. One might stay hours observing the cats while lazily laying under the sun rays.
The Jewish Ghetto is located in an area along the Tiber between the Portico d'Ottavia and Via Arenula. It is the second oldest ghetto of the world, the oldest one being in Venice.
Even if Jews are no more obliged to live in the ghetto and most of the buildings have been reconstructed at the end of the XIX century, it has maintened some peculiar characteristics.
Jewish Ghetto
The dialect is not the same as in the rest of the city and, especially, the cuisine is really great. Actually the Roman cuisine is largely derived by the Kosher one. One must take into account that people of Jewish religion are living in Rome since hundreds of years.
Fried vegetables, especially Carciofi alla Giudìa (artichockes in the Jewish style, deeply fried in olive oil), fish broth, lamb prepared in different ways, are some of the specialties you find in all restaurants in Rome but that are tasted at the best in the Ghetto.
The bridge going to the the Tiber Island, the Pons Fabricius, is the oldest in Rome still in its original status of the I century BC.
Sora Lella Restaurant
On the left of the street crossing the island there is the restaurant Sora Lella, one of the most known in Rome. It was founded and operated for decades by Elena Fabrizi, popularly known as Sora Lella, one of the most iconic personality of modern Rome, died in 1993. She was the sister of one of the greatest Roman actors, Aldo Fabrizi and, while managing her restaurant, used to be an actress and TV character too, generally interpreting the role of the grumbling grandmother. She was also a great supporter of SS Lazio football team and the fans on the team are still celebrating her with a big flag.
The Tiber Island is, since the IV century BC, dedicated to the medicine. Nowadays it hosts two hospitals, the Fatebenefratelli and the Israelitic.
Crossing the Pons Cestius, whose central archs are still the original ones, I reached Trastevere. It is the most known neighborhood of Rome. It is considered t be home of the real Romans (Romani de' Roma). Its street are continuosly populated by a crowd of locals and tourists that are attacted by the plenty of reastaurants and other premises that are located here.
Trastevere
And finally I reaached Prta Portese, where on every Sunday there is the most popular flea market i Rome to get again the tramway numebr 3 and get back to San Lorenzo Guest House.


Porta Portese

THE FAN

Link to part 13


giovedì 11 maggio 2017

IL ROSETO COMUNALE DI ROMA

 

Maggio, mese delle Rose

Incastonato sull’Aventino, sorge uno dei giardini più romantici di Roma: il Roseto Comunale.
E’ uno spazio dove la primavera tripudia in ogni angolo; già dal III sec. A.C. vi era un tempio dedicato alla Dea Flora, importante luogo di culto.
A quel tempo, In primavera venivano organizzati nel vicino Circo Massimo dei particolari festeggiamenti in onore della dea.
Roseto Comunale di Roma, vista su Circo Massimo e Palatino

Con la caduta dell’Impero Romano questo luogo ha attraversato secoli di abbandono, venendo ricoperto da orti e vigne.
Nella metà del 1500, la comunità ebraica di Roma iniziò ad usufruire del luogo come spazio di sepoltura. Il cimitero rimase in uso per diversi secoli, fino al 1934, data in cui venne trasferito al Verano.

Dal 1934 seguirono anni di abbandono.
Il primo Roseto di Roma sull‘Aventino, lo dobbiamo alla Contessa Mary Gailey Senni, la quale era una grandissima amante della natura, dei fiori e con una notevole conoscenza di botanica. Ella, fu artefice anche nel 1932 del Roseto presente sul Colle Oppio, presso il Colosseo. Riuscì infatti, a sollecitare l’allora Governatore di Roma Principe Francesco Boncompagni Ludovisi. Questo Roseto, andò però purtroppo distrutto durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale.
Nel 1950, finalmente il giardino risorse dalle sue ceneri. Si decise infatti di costruirne uno nuovo. Ed ecco che ai giorni nostri, è possibile passeggiare in un luogo così incantato.

Rose del Roseto Comunale di Roma
Il Roseto Comunale ospita più di 1.100 varietà di rose provenienti da tutto il mondo, ed è possibile trovare anche rose provenienti dalla Cina e dalla Mongolia.
Tra le più note e particolari varietà si elencano la Rosa Chinensis Mutabilis che cambia colore con il passare dei giorni, la Rosa Foetida una rosa maleodorante e la Rosa Chinensis Virdiflora.



Dimenticate il traffico cittadino, lo stress e i problemi, questo è un luogo dove ritrovare il relax.


Dal 21 Aprile al 18 Giugno è possibile visitare il Roseto con ingresso libero, dalle 08.30 alle 19.30. I giorni festivi e le domeniche sono inclusi. Il giardino è accessibile anche a chi soffre di disabilità.
Per arrivare al Roseto Comunale da San Lorenzo Guest House, basta prendere il tram 3 alla fermata Scalo San Lorenzo/Sardi in direzione Trastevere fino al Circo Massimo ed in 25 minuti si giunge alla meta.

Alessia
San Lorenzo Guest House

venerdì 5 maggio 2017

giovedì 4 maggio 2017

ANCIENT ROME LIVE

 Emperor Augustus

The spring and summer appointment with the ancient Rome of Ceasar and Augustus is back. Go back at the birth of the Roman Empire.

domenica 30 aprile 2017

URBEM FECISTI - ENGINEERING 2

The articles of the series Urbem Fecisti are dedicated to the way Rome has shaped the modern world, to its modernity. It's a fact that Roman Empire is still living inside each of us in the western world and not only.

Water Management


Even if my job involved oil refining and petrochemical processes, the main business of the company where I worked for 30 years is water management. Because of that I know that the problems related to water supply and discharge are always challenging, even with today's technologies.
The rise of ancient Rome over the other cities, becoming a super-power and the founder of a new concept of state, a concept that is the one still used, cannot be separated, in my opinion, by the engineering capabilities and by the water managent technologies that Romans developped.

Nile river
Nile river
The fact that water is important was for sure discovered many centuries or millennia before the foundation of Rome. The role of the Nile in the prosperity of Egyptian civilization is, for example, very well known. But, while others focused on the usage of water for agricultural purposes, the Romans extended the focus to civil utilization.

Rome has been the first city to develop a systematic approach to water management. That allowed the city to reach up to 1.5 million inhabitants without suffering the heavy hygienic problems that plagued other important cities of the ancient world. It's enough to mention that the history of ancient Greece changed when Athens was hit by an epidemic (Plague of Athens), mostly due to poor hygienic conditions, during the Peloponnesian War.

Cloaca Maxima
Cloaca Maxima
The first water management work that was made in Rome was the sewer system, with the construction of the Cloaca Maxima (big sewer). Its construction began between the VII and VI century BC with the purpose to deliver to Tiber river the dirty water that stagnated in the valleys among the hills of Rome. It was initially an open channel that was progressively covered.

Several other smaller sewers were connected to the Cloaca Maxima so that all the city was served. We have to consider that the sewer system had to be extremely efficient. Apart from the rain, it had to drain the enormous amout of water that was delivered daily to Rome by its eleven aqueducts. We will discuss about that in a future post..

The greatness of that work is testified by the fact that, still today, it is the main sewer of the center of Rome.
Over the centuries and the millennia it has delivered to the Tiber not only dirty water but also objects that were accidentally lost. In the middle of the twentieth century, the municipality of Rome commissioned the drainage of the Tiber bank to an American company. The company was paid with the finds that were recovered from the bottom of the river.


Vincenzo

St. John Villa
San Lorenzo Guest House
Villa Borghese Guest House

sabato 29 aprile 2017

TRE APPUNTAMENTI A ROMA PER IL 1 MAGGIO


Ecco tre eventi a Roma per festeggiare nella miglior maniera la festa del lavoro

Il Concertone


Il più classico degli appuntamenti romani è il concerto che si tiene ormai da vari anni di fronte alla Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. Il via sarà dato alle 15 e si andrà avanti fino a notte.

Gelato Festival


Dal 29 Aprile al 1 Maggio presso la Terrazza del Pincio, dalle 14 alle 22, si svolge il Gelato Festival,
un appuntamento da non perdere per tutti i golosi.

BeeRoma


Sempre dal 29 Aprile al 1 Maggio, in Viale di Tor di Quinto nello spazio I Meloncini si tiene BeeRoma, festival della birra artigianale

Non possiamo far altro che augurarvi

Buon Divertimento


martedì 25 aprile 2017

ONE WEEK IN ROME -PART 13

FROM THE FICTIONAL DIARY OF A BRITISH TRAVELER


Back to part 12

Going down for the Capitol Hill and proceeding along Via del Teatro Marcello, on the right one can see the Theater of Marcellus, one of the living monuments of Rome. It is dedicated to the nephew of Augustus and it was the biggest theater in ancient Rome. After felling out of use it has been transformed, along the centuries, in a residential building.

Theaterr of Marcellus

The dome on the back blongs to the synagogue of Rome located in the Ghetto, a place where there are several good restaurants offering roman-kosher cuisine, likely the one with the most ancient tradition in Rome.
Foro Boario
Just few hundreds of meters after the Theater of Marcellus, there is the Foro Boario, with its two small temples of the late republican period.

Almost in front of the Foro Boario there is the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The marble mask known as Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is located in its portico. It was probably a drain cover but legend says that if a lier puts the hand in the mouth, the hand will be cut.
Bocca della Verità - Mouth of Truth
Walking along the Tiber you have on your left the Aventine hill. On its top is located the villa of the Grand Priory of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, one of the four sovereign entities that are located in Rome, the other being the Italian Republic, the Holy See and the Vatican City State. It might sound strange but, although connected, Vatican and Holy See are different entities.That is something, again, making this city unique in the world. At my knowledge, no other city in the world is the seat of two sovereign entities, but for sure not of four different ones.
Grand Priory of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Turning left to via Marmorata I finally reached the Pyramid of Caius Cestius.
Caius Cestius was a rich man lived in the I century BC. His last wishes were to be buried in a pyramid as an Egyptian pharao. Romans had just conquered Egypt and got in love with everything just smelling to be Egyptian. What's funny about Caius Cestius is that he stated that the pyramid had to be built in less than 330 days otherwise the heirs were going to lose the right to get the heritage. Having that strong motivation, they managed to complete the work even in a shorter period and that is remembered by an inscription on the stone. When it comes to public works, nowadays Romans are still looking for a similar motivator.  On the side of the pyramid there is the non-catholic cemetery, also known as the Englishmen' cemetery, where the two famous poets Keats and Shelley are buried.
And, even most important, there is also the stop of the tramway line number 3 that brought back my tired legs to San Lorenzo Guest House.

By the way, I will write a short post about the tramway lines 3 and 19 that have their stop almost in front of the guest house because they are excellent as hop on - hop off lines to visit Rome.

Link to part 12