Unique Places in Rome

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Rome

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    Concerts - Tiber's floating stage - Tosca to Blues

    by icunme Written Jul 22, 2006

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    Enchanting - whether Tosca, Pop or Blues - music under the stars - Castel Sant Angelo in the background - river boats drifting by - a more romantic setting could hardly be created. Last night (Friday, July 21st) the Rome Blues Club, Big Mama, collaborated to bring us the rousing blues band Big Bill Morganfield and it was an exhilarating performance with great sounds, a cheering audience, and many encores. You have a choice of seating - cafe/restaurant tables, concert row seating in front of the stage or lounging on the upper decks. Concerts continue throught the summer - check the Rome cultural Portal website below for schedules.

    Tevere concert blues band Big Bill Morganfield This is what you see in the backgound
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    GARIBALDI - Piazzale del Gianicolo (Janiculum)

    by icunme Written Aug 15, 2006

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    Piazzale del Gianicolo and is devoted to Garibaldi and his followers.
    The Janiculum is the site of a battle in 1849 between the forces of Garibaldi and French forces fighting on behalf of the Pope, who sought to restore the dominion of Papal States over Rome. Because of this battle, several monuments to Garibaldi and to the fallen in the wars of Italian independence are on the Janiculum as well.

    A single cannon fires daily at Noon from the Gianicolo toward the Tiber to signal the exact time. This tradition goes back to December 1847 when the cannon of the Castel Sant'Angelo signaled the belltowers to ring at midday. The ritual was transferred in 1904 to the Gianicolo and was discontinued in 1939. The population demanded that the Commune of Rome resume the tradition and it commenced once again on April 21, 1959, after the twenty-year interruption.

    Garibaldi statue silhouette GARIBALDI Lower detail of Garibaldi statue Bronze plaque on beneath statue
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    La Garbatella - my favorite district of Rome

    by sikorka Updated Mar 24, 2008

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    First I've heard about Garbatella while watching the movie "Caro Diario" by Nanni Moretti and I just felt in love with this part of Rome. The first summer in Rome it was basically summer evenings around Garbatella.
    This district was built around 1920 as the place of cheap housing for people who needed to move out from a center of the city, as long as new streets were built at the place of their houses.
    The old part of today Garbatella is amazing. There are not historic monuments and tourist's attractions, but from my point of view this place have something more - has "L'ANIMA" - a soul. If you enjoy walking around and watching buildings full of colors and plants you will like it for sure.
    For me it's a ritual - walking along the streets, looking at people's windows, theirs gardens.
    There are many good, cheap restaurants, where you will not meet anybody else just Romans.
    (see restaurant section: Er Panonto)

    You need to remember to walk a bit from the metro station Garbatella (metro B - Blue Line) towards the old part of the district, the theatre Innocenzo Sabbatini.
    The new part of La Garbatella is nothing really special with new, kind of "match box" buildings.

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    French Embassy at Palazzo Farnese

    by icunme Updated Sep 24, 2006

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    It is generally accepted that one cannot tour the Palazzo Farnese -- not so - difficult, yes - impossible, no - worth the effort to visit - absolutely!

    Palazzo Farnese is a prominent High Renaissance palace in Rome and the current home of the French Embassy in Italy.

    The Palazzo was inherited from the Farnese by the Bourbon kings of Naples, from whom the French government purchased it in 1874. Though the government of Mussolini ransomed it in 1936, the French Embassy remains, under a 99-year lease.

    The palazzo was redesigned in 1534 and 1541, modified under Michelangelo after Sangallo's death in 1546 onwards and completed by Giacomo della Porta in 1589. Several main rooms were frescoed with elaborate allegorical programs including a series of frescoes on Hercules, and The Loves of the Gods by Annibale Carracci and other artists, 1597-1608. For generations the room with Herculean frescoes (Sala d'Ercole) housed the famous sculpture from Greco-Roman antiquity known as the Farnese Hercules.

    Photo 2 - Michelangelo's unfinished Farnese bridge over Via Giulia. (more photos on another tip) On the garden side, which faces the Tiber, Michelangelo proposed to give the palazzo's vast bulk some breathing room with a bridge to link the center of the garden facade with the Pope's villa, the Villa Farnesina on the Trastevere side.

    If you have an interest, contact the Embassy with your request - either in French or Italian (they will, most likely, not respond if you write in English):
    Virginie Pisa
    visitefarnese@france-italia.it
    Centre de ressources
    Tel : 06 68 89 28 18
    fax : 06 68 80 97 91
    www.france-italia.it

    The French Embassy - Palazzo Farnese
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    The craziest toilet in Rome!

    by sue_stone Written Nov 7, 2004

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    Jonathan's Angels is one of the most bizarre bars I have ever been to. And even stranger is the toilet.

    There is a fountain and a crocodile and other odd features - it is hard to describe - you will need to check it out yourself!

    The bar is owned by an ex-circus acrobat, Jonathan, who is also a bit if an artist......the bar is decorated in paintings of the man himself, impersonating famous people - eg. Jonathan as the Pope, Jonathan as Napoleon etc

    Any wall space not covered with paintings of Jonathan is covered with other quirky paraphernalia.

    Via della Fossa 16, Piazza Navona, Rome.
    Close to Piazza Navona, on small street near Piazza del Fico

    part of the bathroom at Jonathan's Angels part of the bathroom at Jonathan's Angels part of the bathroom at Jonathan's Angels part of the bathroom at Jonathan's Angels
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    Burcardo Library of the Performing Arts

    by icunme Updated Apr 21, 2006

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    This facility is recognized by and a member of the International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts (SIBMAS) and regarded as an important cultural and historical collection.
    Located in the Centre of Rome, near the Teatro Argentina at Via del Sudario 44
    00186 Rome, the Burcardo Library and Theatre Collection (an office of the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) is housed in a late 15th Century building. Alongside the Library is a museum where one may view theatrical costumes, photos and set decoration. The reading room is open Monday through Friday, from 9.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. - closed on weekends, on holidays and in August.

    A bit of very interesting Burcardo mansion (a.k.a. "Burckardt" mansion) history: The mansion that is home to the Library and Museum is actually built upon the ruins of Pompey's Roman theatre, the first masonry one in ancient Rome.
    Johannes Burckardt was born in Nieder-Haslach, a village near Strasbourg, between 1445 and 1450. The old Latin name of his Alsatian native town was Argentoratum, from which they took his attribute of argentinensis (or argentinus). (Thus, the name "Argentina" in Torre Argentina is not a reference to the country Argentina; but is derived instead from this association with Johannes Burckardt and his homeland.) He was a scoundrel and convicted of theft and forgery in Strasbourg. His first Roman years are shrouded in mystery, though it is certain that Burckardt soon entered the Pope’s circle, accumulating richness, privileges and hopes of benefits. Burckardt was present at the laying of St. Peter’s basilica foundation-stone, on April 18th 1506. He died less than a month later. He was buried at St. Maria del Popolo’s church, but his tombstone was never found.

    New Gadda Library Restored Courtyard 1st Floor ceiling Costumes on display in the Burcardo Museum
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    English Outdoor Theatre - Emperors of Rome

    by icunme Written Jul 22, 2006

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    The Miracle Players, have been spoofing the Emperors of Rome for eight years now - and they're back this summer (2006) for their very tongue-in-cheek, yet informative plays in English.

    They re-enact the lives of Rome's most famous Emperors at the most fitting outdoor setting at the Roman Forum - Foro Romano.

    Augustus may have ruled the world but did his wife rule him? Tiberius, the sulky Emperor who lived in isolation in Capri. Caligula, decide for yourself if making his horse a senator was the wackiest thing he did (we don't think so). Claudius, were his relatives right in saying the things they did about him? Nero, who at sixteen became the master of the whole known world. Well, what would you have done in his shoes?

    Based on the historical accounts by Suetonius, Cassius Dio, Tacitus and others this true tale is given a contemporary voice in the heart of the ancient Roman Capital. The play is suitable for all ages.

    The Emperors of Rome will be performed every Friday at 7:30 PM (prompt) at the Roman Forum from June 16 to August 11, 2006. Entrance is free (although tips are welcomed!) and you do not need tickets or reservations.

    Busses to Piazza Venezia: 64, 70, 170, 492, 175, 40, 63, 95, 85, 628, 87, 715, 716, 60, 44, 81, 117, 119, 62, walk toward the coliseum and turn right.
    Metro B to Colosseo, walk down Via dei Fori Imperiali toward Piazza Venezia and turn left before the piazza.

    MAP Photo 4

    From Friday, June 16, 2006
    To Friday, August 11, 2006
    Times Every Friday at 7.30 pm
    Price FREE (gratuities accepted and you should be pleased to support them)

    Emperors of Rome Map
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    The Orange Park

    by melissa_bel Updated Jun 18, 2004

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    Carry on your walk from the Knights of Malta Keyhole and you will soon reach the Orange Park, an old orange trees grove overlooking the south-side of the city. You can have a great view from there, and in May-June, when the orange trees are in bloom, the fragrance and the thousands of white flowers feel like you’re in a fairy tale. You’ll probably find some oranges still attached to the trees. Don’t try to eat one. I did and discovered they are bitter oranges. Well suited for perfumes and pastry but not for eating!

    The orange tress are in bloom

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    Roseto Comunale

    by melissa_bel Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    June is the best month to visit the rose garden. If you walk down from the Orange Park, not far from the Circus Maximus, you will find the city's rose garden. It has 2 sections. The most beautiful one is with the tea roses. It is a real enchantment. They come in every colors and shapes imaginable: yellow, red, orange, white, pink, even blue! Climbing roses, dwarf roses, bush roses, etc. You can go smell them but don’t touch! The flowers will wither faster if you do.

    The main section of Rome's Roseto Comunale.

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    Veni, vidi, vici - VEGAS

    by icunme Updated Apr 21, 2006

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    Theatre in Roma - This particular theatre is the Salon Margherita, Via Due Macelli, 75 (near Piazza Spagna). It really should be posted as a "deal." With a 30 Euro ticket we received an excellent front row seat for a Vegas style variety show production - juice or soda soft drinks as soon as we took our seats (gratis) - then, pasta was served during intermission (gratis) and there was a lovely open bar where you could buy drinks.
    Check brochures "Vieni a Teatro News" on counters of many bars in Rome or any of the Theatres - Teatro Olimpico (Piazza Gentile da Fabriano 17), Teatro Vittorio Gassman Quirino, Brancaccio Teatro (Via Merulana 244), Teatro Valle, Teatro Ambra Jovinelli (Via Guglielmo Pepe 43/47), Teatro Petrolini (Via Rubattino, 5), Teatro delle Muse (Via Forli, 43), Teatro Ghione (Via delle Fornaci, 37), Teatro Eliseo ( Via Nazionale, 183), Teatro Prati (Via della Scipione, 98), Teatro Rossini (Piazza Santa Chiara, 14 Pantheon), Teatro Vittoria, Teatro della Cometa (Via del Teatro Marcello, 4). In Italian language.

    Salon Margherita interior Dinner if you choose before the show
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    Villa Medici - now home to the French Academy

    by icunme Written Jul 8, 2006

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    Photo 1 - Villa Medici was erected in 1540 by Annibale Lippi for Cardinal Ricci da Montepulciano. It was acquired by Cardinal Alessandro de' Medici and the inner court reflects the mannerist taste for a rich decoration. It then became property of his relatives, the grand-dukes of Tuscany and the embassy of these sovereigns in Rome. In 1801 the French Academy of art was transferred there and this is still the use of the building. This brief history explains why the Villa has been so well preserved.

    Photo 2 - Villa Medici is has been home to the French Academy of art since 1801.
    I have always thought of Villa Medici as part of Villa Borghese. However, it does sit on the Pincio facing the top of Piazza Spagna next to Chiesa Trinita due Monti. With the facade facing Rome center from the Pincio, it has the look of a severe fortress with very limited decoration and only the little balcony gives any hint to the lavish interior.

    Villa vs Casino - "Casino" is literally a little house (i.e. the building) and "Villa" (most likely from vineyard i.e. the garden) means both i.e. a building with a garden.

    Photos and reference text by permission Roberto Piperno for non-commercial use only

    Villa Medici facing Borghese French Academy facade facing Rome center Gardens of Villa Borghese
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    A day in the Park at Villa Pamphili

    by icunme Written Jun 16, 2009

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    Villa Pamphili Park is the most expansive park of Rome with the perimeter of 9km.
    Founded in 1630 for Pamphilius Pamphili, but a pivotal moment in the development and extension of it was between 1644 and 1652. Two artists from Bolonia, A. Algardi and G.F. Grimaldi, created the villa's palace, called "Casino dell'Allegrezza" (House of Mirth), a beautiful and impressive example of Baroque architectural masterpiece. Now it is a residence of the Chair of the Cabinet.
    The villa was purchased by the Italian State in 1957 and the city of Rome in 1965-71, thus it is open to public and it is a favorite Roman place of rest, picnic and sport.

    A rainy day in the Park at Villa Pamphili Vassi drawing of Villa Pamphili Two people enjoy a rainy day at Villa Pamphili
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    Walking by the Tevere

    by craic Written Oct 13, 2007

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    This is such a pleasant thing to do - and it is totally free.
    For much of its course through Rome the Tiber is accessible for pedestrians, and joggers, and bicyclists. As you can see from the first pic there is a broad pathway and every so often a set of stairs so you can return to street level. We walked from Ponte Garibaldi in Trastevere up to the Vatican and it was a pleasant respite from Rome - which can be so full on. Just crossing the street can be an adventure.
    From the second pic you will see that from time to time it becomes more rural. Behind my flat in Trastevere there was only a narrow dirt track. I was very tempted to walk there - but I was a sook and just didn't risk it. I wouldn't walk down by the river on my own at night for sure.
    The river is of course rather polluted - but really not all that bad. You don't see swimmers, but you see water birds and canoeists. It doesn't flow very fast, and it isn't as big as I expected, but it is the Tevere. That's a thrill.

    Down by the river

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    A haven for non-Catholics also

    by icunme Updated Jun 28, 2006

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    The cemetery is usually called Cimitero degli Inglesi, but its proper name is Cimitero Acattolico (non-Catholic), because in addition to Protestants it serves as burial ground for Greek Orthodox, Jews, Zoroastrians and atheists.
    Photo 1 - Keats tomb - here John Keats lies in an unnamed monument: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water is the epitaph he dictated to his friend Joseph Severn, a painter who wanted to be buried next to him. A relief portraying Keats is accompanied by verses, the acronym of which reads K-E-A-T-S.
    K-eats! if thy cherished name be "writ in water"
    E-ach drop has fallen from some mourner's cheek;
    A-sacred tribute; such as heroes seek,
    T-hough oft in vain - for dazzling deeds of slaughter
    S-leep on! Not honoured less for Epitaph so meek!

    Photos and reference text by permission of Roberto Piperno for non-commercial purposes only.
    Photo 2 - Monuments to Rosa Bathurst, Goethe's son and Antonio Gramsci
    Photo 3 - Although most graves are very simple, a few are rather monumental and especially those of the early XIXth century have fine Neoclassic reliefs: the image above shows on the left a relief portraying the Angel of Death bringing away a woman (Elisa, wife of George Watson, a lady from Massachusetts, or to be consistent with the Latin epitaph "Massachusettensis") mourned by her husband and children: all dressed as ancient Romans; the sculpture on the right portrays Psyche.

    Keats buried in the Protestant Cemetary Rosa Bathurst, Goethe's son and Antonio Gramsci Neoclassic reliefs
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    Fellini for film faces

    by icunme Updated Apr 21, 2006

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    Rome's International Museum of Film and Entertainment, 101 Via Portuense, 370-0266, is a small, serendipitous place in Trastevere with Fellini memorabilia and exhibits chronicling the full history of Italian moviemaking; open at 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, guided visits in English by appointment.
    Curios of international filmmaking: cameras, projectors, posters etc. An important collection of Italian silent films.

    Hours: guided tours only, Tuesday, Thursday 16 - 17.30 (French),
    and Saturday 17 (Italian). Other languages only by appointment.

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