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  • Colosseo at night.
    Colosseo at night.
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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    The Roman "Lupa"- La Louve Romaine.

    by breughel Updated Feb 4, 2012

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    Favorite thing: Any good tourist will have learned that the foundation of Rome goes back to Romulus and Remus (precisely in 753 (!) according to Marcus Varron called "the most learned of the Romans") and that they were children of the princess Rhea Sylvia and the god Mars himself. The princess Rhea was the daughter of the king Numitor of Alba.
    Just like Moses the two babies were put in a basket and entrusted to the floods to escape death. The guides will of course have told you their rescue by a she-wolf, the famous Lupa which became the symbol of Rome.

    But did they tell you that in Latin the word Lupa has two significances: she-wolf and prostitute!
    Now who saved our two cherubim's, a she-wolf or a prostitute?

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    From Myth to Reality. II.

    by breughel Written May 21, 2008

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    Favorite thing: To Romulus, murderer of his brother Remus (I don't know if one should make a link with Cain assassinating Abel?), succeeded as kings Numa Pompilius, Tullius Hostilius (the one of the duel between the Horace's and Curacies) and Ancus Martius who is said to have founded the port of Ostia and have build the first aqueduct of Rome.

    It is here that the myth, the legend, collides with reality.
    At the 7th century before J.C the seven hills of Rome were inhabited by shepherds living in modest huts as one can see at the museum of the Baths of Diocletian's at the section of proto-history (ref. my comment on the museum of the Baths).
    From the myth remains that all the history of ancient Rome was impregnated by a sacred context which directed the life of the Roman society as well as the individuals.
    ===================================
    DU MYTHE A LA REALITE. II.

    Romulus assassin de son frère Remus (je ne sais pas s'il faut faire un rapprochement avec Caïn assassinant Abel ?) fut suivi des rois Numa Pompilius, Tullius Hostilius (celui du duel des Horaces et des Curiaces) et Ancus Martius dont on dit qu'il fonda le port d'Ostie et fit construire le premier aqueduc.

    C'est ici que le mythe, la légende s'entrechoque avec la réalité.
    Au 7e siècle avant J.C. les sept collines de Rome étaient habitées par des bergers logeant dans des modestes cabanes comme on peut voir au musée des Thermes de Dioclétien à la section de protohistoire (ref. mon commentaire sur le musée des Thermes).

    Du mythe il reste que toute l'histoire de la Rome antique est imprégnée d'un contexte sacré qui a dirigé la vie de la société romaine et des individus.

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  • icunme's Profile Photo

    Demonstrations and Rallys

    by icunme Written May 10, 2006

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    Favorite thing: All the rallies end in one of the historical squares of Rome. According to the size of the expected attendance the locations involved are:
    a) Piazza del Campidoglio: small rallies (less than 5,000);
    b) Piazza Navona: small rallies (up to 40,000);
    c) Piazza del Popolo: medium size rallies (up to 150,000);
    d) Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano: large rallies (up to 1,000,000);
    e) Circo Massimo: very large rallies (more than 1,000,000).

    Former Prime Minister (and staunch Bush ally) Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian PM who took office in June 2001 and was just defeated, claimed that the success of a March 2002 mass gathering in Rome to protest against his labour policies was due more to the beauty of Rome, than to a genuine negative opinion about the legislation he wanted to introduce.
    There is an element of truth in this statement: Trade Unions organized and subsidized the trip and many took the occasion to spend a day in Rome.

    The events which led to the 2003 war in Iraq and its violent and never-ending aftermath caused a lot of uneasiness and anxiety in many people. These feelings were behind the massive participation in the rallies organized to prevent the war and subsequently to call for a different approach to the many issues the intervention had raised.
    While rallies organized by the Unions are very structured, these other rallies left more room for individual participation.

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Rome: A City of Contrasts

    by deecat Updated May 11, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Rome is, indeed, a city of contrasts.

    The new with the old, the antique with the modern, the ancient with the contemporary.

    Romans use their cell phones more than Americans! But, it certainly is fun to see locals standing beside an ancient monument, cell phone in hand or up to the ear.

    Also, the roar of scooters resounds in the streets along with the clip clop of the horse-drawn carriages.

    Even though the buildings seem ancient on the outside, once you enter, you are amazed at how modern the interiors are.

    This is especially true in Roman villas and apartments. Their kitchens and bathrooms are marvels!

    Fondest memory: In fashion, Romans are on the cutting edge; yet, classic suit jackets, vests, dresses, and traditional shoes are also evident, especially with the older generation.

    Regardless, the Romans I saw were so well dressed and seldom in casual attire such as Americans usually are!

    I appreciate this attention to attire; it indicates self worth and dignity in my estimation. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons why I love Rome so much!

    Top Photo: Allan took this of me beside a horse-drawn carriage in Rome.

    Bottom Photo: Allan took this of me "pretending" to ride the ever-popular scooter in Rome.

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    A Shocking Reminder

    by deecat Updated May 11, 2005

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    Favorite thing: While in Rome with our military friend, Hugh, we did a little window shopping. As we were chatting and pretending to purchase all the lovely items that are readily available in Rome's most exclusive areas around Piazza di Spagna, especially the elegant shoppes around Via Condotti, we were "Stopped Dead In Our Tracks" when we saw a shoe store with a sign that read, "Bruno Magli.

    Why? You might ask. Well, Bruno Magli shoes just happen to be the choice brand and really only brand of shoe that our own O.J.Simpson wears, and this brand of shoe played an important part in his murder trial.

    Well, since all of America, and half of the world, had been watching that infamous trial, we were smirking and pointing to the sign. So I decided to ask Hugh and Allan to pose in front of the store, pointing to the sign. A crowd of tourist gathered round.

    Fondest memory: Not all of them were American, and not all of them knew about the O.J. Simpson murder trial. We attempted to explain why we were taking this photo and why we were laughing. Some people just walked away, shaking their heads and probably thinking, CRAZY AMERICANS!

    It's another of those moments that are really unimportant in the total scheme of life; however, it's a fun time to recollect. It would be impossible for me to purchase a pair of Bruno Magli shoes for Allan knowing that OJ loved them so.

    Besides, I could never afford to buy them!

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  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
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    An expatriot in Rome

    by Pawtuxet Updated Feb 26, 2007

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    Favorite thing: Marianne's cousin lives in Rome now. She left the United States many, many years ago to take a job in Rome. She loved it so, that she has made it her permanent home. She enjoyed hearing about a variety of things happening in the states....NYC was her home when she was young. She lives in a quiet neighborhood outside the city's center. We travelled by bus to find her and enjoyed a lovely lunch in her apartment.
    There are wonderful courtyards filled with gardens behind the buildings, and convenient little shops close by. We walked around the block and enjoyed some of the ordinary daily life of the residents there.
    I have read about VTers who have done as Marianne's cousin, and fallen in love with a city or country to adopt it as their own. It's a curious thing how a place 3,000 miles from where you grew up can sometimes overwhelm you so much as to make you want to stay forever. Is it in the water? Or are there special vibrations?

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  • EllenH's Profile Photo

    Very convienent services

    by EllenH Updated Nov 24, 2004

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    Favorite thing: This laundry is very near the termini, has free internet access if you use their service or very cheap otherwise. (1 euro for 1/2 hour) Has 7 hour luggage storage for 2 euro, and has a couple of very friendly Indian brothers I think running it that speak very good English. It was most helpful for us to do our laundry, use the internet, and on way back into Rome we used the luggage storage.
    They also have an Indian Fast Food restaurant around the corner which we did not eat at but the price was right, 5 euro for 3 courses.

    Fondest memory: Via Milazzo, 20 B
    tel 06.44703096

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  • Escadora7's Profile Photo

    Roman Numerals

    by Escadora7 Updated Sep 27, 2006

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    Favorite thing: Most all the statues and buildings in Rome have dates written on them - in roman numerals. It was fun, but it took us a little while to remember what is what, so here is a short-cut if you don't have the time and patience, or if you just want to be sure.

    Fondest memory: The following web-sites provide tables of Roman Numerals, converters, and other useful information:

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/crossword/romanums.html

    http://www.guernsey.net/~sgibbs/roman.html

    http://www.novaroma.org/via_romana/numbers.html

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Stage/3591/numerals.html

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    Right foot, left foot, repeat.

    by goodfish Updated Feb 5, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Over two trips and 10 days in the city, we've rarely taken public - or any other type - of transport and not because it's inconvenient, expensive or complicated. On our feet, we could wander into narrow rustic streets, up ancient back stairways and into lush green spaces that we would have missed had we taken taxi, bus or Metro. On foot, we were often surrounded by more Romans than tourists, and the music that is Italian conversation. Rambling the backstreets you can smell the aromas of roasting meat and simmering sauces from the kitchens of weathered, cantalope-colored flats, hear children at play in postage stamp-sized courtyards, see the riot of flowers that spill from window boxes and tiny terraces, and experience little corners of the Rome that is home to thousands of people.

    Here are a couple areas that have been particular favorites (so far):

    • Trastevere: considered by its population to be "authentic" Rome. Very rustic, very beautiful; take a wander to Santa Maria in Trastevere, see the church and explore at least the 5-6 block area surrounding the piazza.

    • Via Giulia: a roughly 10-block stroll of 16th - 18th-century pallazi, churches and antique shops, it's included in many guidebooks but there were almost no tourists around when we were there

    • Any of the routes right along the Tiber - especially in the evening and early morning

    • Villa Borghese and bits of Parco Colle Oppio

    • Portico d'Ottavia area in the Jewish Ghetto: Roman ruins, medieval and renaissance buildings

    • Aventine Hill

    • Ponte Sant'Angelo

    • Anywhere on the Appia Antica

    Fondest memory: A favorite memory is of walking to the Capitoline very early on our first morning in Rome; the slow-moving Tiber reflecting Bernini's angels on the Ponte Sant'Angelo, passing shuttered shops along quiet, cobbled streets and trading buon giornos with a few locals on their way to work. Too early for the museums to be open, we wandered into a virtually deserted Forum to marvel, in the grey mist of a light rain, at the crumbled, silent remains of what was once the center of the most powerful empire on earth.

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  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    The Appian Way

    by Paul2001 Written Oct 20, 2004

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    Favorite thing: Probably one of the wilder walks I took while in Rome was from the Baths of Caracalla to the Catacombs of St. Sebastian on what is more commonly known as the Appian Way or Via Appia Antica. The famed road was built in 312 B.C. and led from Rome to the seaport of Brindisi. Much of the road where I walked, especially around the catacombs, was flanked by impressive ancient monuments. Amongst them was a hippodrome, some ancient fortifications and the Tomb of Cecilia Metela. This latter monument was built during the time of Caesar. Cecilia was a wife of one of his more important generals. The tomb is the best preserved of the many tombs along the road.

    Fondest memory: Walking along the Appian Way was a crazy event for me. There are no sidewalks!. Cars wiz by a great speeds. Therefore take the bus. Bus 218 will get you to all the catacombs from the San Giovanni Metro stop. I took this bus back. The Tomb of Cecilia of Metela is virtually across the road from the Catacombs of St. Sebastian.

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  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo

    Sunset on terra cotta

    by Pawtuxet Updated Feb 26, 2007

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    Favorite thing: Some of my favorite colors are on the stucco buildings of Rome. There is something very special about the light just before sunset... which brings out the color of these umber and sienna structures. Architecture doesn't have to be grand memorials for me...I find such satisfaction in seeing simpler buildings which are done well and contribute so much to the atmosphere of the city. I'm not sure if it is the pigment in the paints or the rays of the sun that make these sights so special to me, but it's that warm feeling and color that stays with me long after the visit.

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    Ruins of Rome

    by Pawtuxet Written Feb 26, 2007

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    Favorite thing: Tossed about like children's toys, the remnants of ancient temples lie strewn around the ground. . . waiting for further study or identification or just because they are treasured as historic elements. Hard to imagine most cities assigning this valuable city space to architectural remnants of the past. I'm so glad the Italians have been gentle with their history.

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  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo

    Density

    by Pawtuxet Written Feb 27, 2007

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    Favorite thing: I include this photo to give an idea of the density of art and architecture within the city. It seems that they have packed it tightly with as much art as anyone could possibly absorb. It just keeps on coming. I felt like a wet sponge..at total capacity...every night.

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    Piazza Farnese

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 26, 2011

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    Fondest memory: Palazzo Farnese is named after Alessando Farnese, a member of minor noble family who was appointed cardinal in 1493 at the age of 23 only. Later on in 1534 Cardinal Farnese became Pope Paul III and comissioned Antonio de Sangallo the Younger to enlarge his private small palace which stood on this spot. Sangallo redesigned palace to reflect the change in status of its owner. After Sangallo's death the palace was yet to be completed and Michelangelo was asked by the pope to take over.
    Michelangelo modified Sangallo's project in the design of the first floor windows and in the overall height of the building. The cental window is in particularly beautiful and the coat of arm of the Pope Paul III above it.
    After pope's death his heirs entrusted Il Vignola and later on Giacomo della Porta with the completion of the palace.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Birds!!

    by sue_stone Written Nov 10, 2004

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    Favorite thing: When we were enjoying the view from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo (or Hadrian's Mausoleum) we saw a strange sight in the sky across the city.

    It was a dark shape that was moving and winding like a tornado.

    After watching it transfixed for a while we realised that it was a huge flock of birds!

    Amazing!!

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