Stony Conversations: Rome’s Talking Statues
“Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini (“What barbarians did not do, the Barberini did.”)
— One of the more well-known pasquinades
This pasquinade was leveled against Pope Urban VIII, a member of the Barberini family, who, in 1633, allowed Gianlorenzo Bernini to remove the bronze from the Pantheon to cast the baldaquino that now stands over the main altar in St. Peter’s.
Toward the beginning of the 15th century, once they assumed control over Rome’s government, the popes took on two roles: spiritual and civil leader. As king, the pope opened himself to criticism; Romans expressed their dissatisfaction with the pontiff, other officials and with government policy through ridiculing verses.
In 1501 Oliviero Cardinal Carafa placed an ancient torso of a statue in a small square near Piazza Navona. Annually on the 25th of April His Eminence presided over a poetry competition; the poems for consideration were placed on the torso. Sometimes poems were put up at other times of the year. Named for a nearby barber, the statue was given the name Pasquino, and he became the first Talking Statue of Rome. Even today messages are posted here commenting on local and world events. The square, Piazza di Pasquino, is named for him; and a pasquinata (pasquinade) is the word used for a short satire displayed in a public place.
The authorities considered tossing Pasquino into the River Tiber. They thought better of it, fearing public ridicule for punishing a statue! Once the practice of posting pasquinades on Pasquino became popular the statue and the square were put under close surveillance. Resourceful Romans turned to other statues to express their point of view.
One of these was Marforio (see photo #3), who reclines in a fountain in the courtyard of Palazzo Nuovo di Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill. He and Pasquino would have conversations about Rome’s leaders. This very large marble sculpture represents a river god or Neptune, god of the sea. Marforio got his name from where he was discovered, in the Forum of Mars.
Il Facchino (see photo #4), the Porter, is the only Talking Statue that is not ancient. It ought to be called L’Acquaiolo, the Water Seller, because it is a Renaissance water seller with his little water cask. This trade declined toward the end of the 1500s when Pope Sixtus V reactivated Ancient Rome’s aqueducts. Located in Via del Corso near Palazzo Decarolis, Il Facchino may be the only Talking Statue based a real person, Abbondio Rizio, who sold water from casks as Il Facchino does. It’s said that Michelangelo carved the cask; and the his face is that of Martin Luther, who lodged nearby during his 1511 visit to Rome.
Just as Pasquino gave his name to the piazza where he stands, so Il Babbuino (see photo #5) gave the street where he reclines its name. Via del Babbuino is named after an old blackened statue of Silenus, which, because of its condition, was referred to as il Babbuino, the Baboon. Il Babbuino is the least famous Talking Statue; he’s not a baboon, though. Once a ﬁgure of the wine-drinker Silenus, (a Greek woodland deity, similar to a satyr), Pope Pius V used him, in the 16th century, to decorate a fountain. Located in the Strangers’ Quarter of Rome, posting pasquinades here did not carry a high degree of being caught. Foreigners, too, posted pasquinades, using Il Babbuino to ridicule other foreigners and locals alike!
Another Talking Statue of Rome, located near S. Andrea della Valle, is that of an unidentified emperor. The statue is commonly known as l’Abate Luigi, Abbott Louis. And the fifth Talking Statue is known as Madama Lucrezia, Madam Lucretia; she stands in a corner of Palazzetto Venezia, in piazza San Marco, a small square adjoining piazza Venezia.,
TIVOLI Visit Villa Adriana,...
TIVOLI Visit Villa Adriana, Emperor Hadrian's summer hideaway. Although the site was plundered over the millennia, enough remains to convey its general magnificence. Highlights include an island villa, the Imperial palace with its piazza of gold, and the remains of the baths complex.
Renaissance glories are still intact at the Villa d'Este, famous for its fabulous landscaped gardens and mischievous fountains. Its prime attractions lie in the views of the gardens and fountains gained from its windows. In the gardens, water cascades into the air, pours down terraces, glides in horizontal pools and shoots from the mouths and nipples of statues.
Besides these attractions, Tivoli is also just a nice place to wander around or shop; prices are cheaper than in Roma. I’d say this is a very nice day trip if you're staying in Rome.
ok so we knew that we could get train tickets at the stations or at the newspaper stalls.. but what abt bus tickets... in other countries you just push the change in to the machine once u board the bus and out pops a ticket... hey in Rome, the Romans do it differently... so after realizing my mistake, i promptly got off at the next stop before the long-hand of the law could catch up with me... it was abit embarrasing tho... a local teenage couple just smiled and said that the cops dont usually check, and that they too were travelling without tickets!!! you buy the bus ticket once agin from these stall or the best option - BUY THE 12 EURO WHOLE DAY PASS... this entitles you to travel any number of times, on any transportation - bus or train...
Phone Box Food
As you walk up Via Vittorio Veneto just before a large bookshop opposite the Lambourgini show room is what a first glance looks like a large telephone box.
Do not be fooled!
The 'phone box is linked to small resturant in more convential surroundings and seems to act as somewhere to put the overspill of customers. It was suprisingly large inside and well air conditioned, being right next a main road didn't prove a problem either as our perspex surroundings proved good and thick.
As this was the last night we spent in Rome it was decided to have bit of a blow out adn indulge in a full five course meal.All the food was fantsatic - and the spacing between the courses just right. ranging from a sliced sword fish starter - very light but full of flavour with silver skin onions, to a tomato pasta dish, something else involving meat and then a fish course - to be fair i can't remember exactly what was eaten but it was all presented beautifully and the service was excellent. Don't be put off by the surroundings!
It make the evening a little different being able to see people walking past you and enjoying themselves. Also, if like me you could watch the Italians driving for hours this place is perfect! there's a good view of roundabout which always proves exciting!
"Are you not entertained!?" Welcome to the most recognizable symbol of the Roman Empire. The place where the Emporer entertained the citizens of Rome with games of life and death. Welcome to the Roman Colosseum.
Of course this is the place where gladiators used to battle. Games were held by the Emporer for a whole day or even several days in a row. They usually started with comical acts and displays of exotic animals and ended with fights to the death between animals and gladiators or between gladiators. These fighters were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Sometimes free Romans and even Emperors took part in the action. If a gladiator had fallen and managed to live he would ask for mercy from the Emporer, and he having consulted the crowd, gave his verdict:...thumbs up - life..., thumbs down - death!
The Flavian Amphitheater, as it was originally known, was built by the emperor Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasianus). It was inauguated by the emperor Titus in the year 80 A.D. At the time, the seating capacity was around 50,000 people
The Colosseum was covered in ancient times with an ernormous awning known as the velarium. This protected the spectators from the sun. It was attached to large poles on top of the Colosseum and anchored to the ground by large ropes. A team of some 1,000 men was used to install the awning.