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Festivals Celebrations & Protests Tips (31)

KING Caught on Carol's Candid Camera

Yes, Italy's royal scandal starring the House of Savoy with KING VITTORIO EMANUELE III - he was deposed - exiled to Switzerland - begged to return - was granted his wish - returned - was arrested and imprisoned recently for criminal activity (gambling and prostitution) - confined to his quarters; but, here we caught him again - this time getting into his car at the Northern end of the street where we live just below Villa Borghese.
I made a swift get-away myself as he saw me take the third photo - started toward me - and is notorious for his mean temper (among other things)..................

*News flash - Feb 2008 - Ahhh - the saga continues as Italy's now-defunct royal family apologized for suing the Italian state for their 56 years of forced exile, the ANSA news agency reported.

"I'm sorry for the unpleasantness caused," Emanuele Filiberto (a good-looking guy - photo 4) told ANSA in an interview three months after his family, the Savoys, filed papers seeking 260 million euros (385 million dollars) in compensation plus interest. Filiberto's father Vittorio Emanuele, now 71, demanded 170 million euros in November and Filiberto, 35, asked for 90 million euros.

The Italian government rejected the demand out of hand, saying the state owed nothing to the former royal family.

"Italians were right to react the way they did," Filiberto said, adding:
"Italy does not need this extra problem. I don't want to create a problem for Italy."

The male heirs of the Savoy family were sent into exile a year after the end of World War II because king Vittorio Emmanuel III had collaborated with the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini on anti-Jewish laws.
After pleading to return to Italy, the family was permitted through a law reforming the constitution that was adopted in 2002.

Emanuele Filiberto was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the only child of Vittorio Emanuele, head of the House of Savoy, and his wife, the former Marina Doria, a Swiss water ski champion.[1]
Emanuele Filiberto married Clotilde Courau, a French actress and daughter of Jean Claude Courau and Catherine du Pontavice des Renardières, in Rome, Italy. Albert II, Prince of Monaco, who introduced the couple in 2003, was the best man. Around 1,200 people are thought to have attended the wedding. The bride, then six months pregnant, wore a Valentino dress, a veil held in place by a diamond tiara and gems belonging to the House of Savoy.
The couple have two daughters:
Princess Vittoria of Savoy, born on 29 December 2003
Princess Luisa of Savoy, born on 16 August 2006
The couple also sponsor two boys from Kenya since January 2011

icunme's Profile Photo
Apr 22, 2011

Marcel's Show A Must See!

Marcel mesmerizes - capitavates - entertains crowds in Piazza Navona. He knows the history of the Piazza as well as he knows the palm of his hands - home to his vast array of puppets. One of the most intriguing shows I have seen - in or out of the formal theatre setting. His family of hand puppets perform joyful animation for you as he interacts with them. We caught his show early on a Saturday evening and he had a crowd of people engaged - a social event in Piazza Navona. Take a photo with Marcel - send it to him - he will add it to his website. We love him!
Look for him - visit his extensive, entertaining website.

icunme's Profile Photo
Apr 22, 2011

Here Comes the Bride

“A husband and wife ought to continue united so long as they love each other. Any law which should bind them to cohabitation for one moment after the decay of their affection would be a most intolerable tyranny, and the most unworthy of toleration.”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Shelley saw the world through a poet’s eyes that included love and marriage. His views were radical for the early 19th century, but they gained popularity in the 20th. Shelley is buried in Rome, in Cimitero acattolico, the Non-Catholic Cemetery, also known as the Protestant Cemetery (see von.otter’s Rome Travelogues #3 “The Protestant Cemetery: So Sweet a Place” for a photo of Shelley’s grave)

It is said to be good luck to see a bride on her wedding day.

When in Rome in the spring it seems that every day is a day for a wedding, and with so may churches every area of the Eternal City plays host to a ceremony on any one day of the week.

We saw brides at the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo on the Caelian Hill (photo #1); at Santa Maria in Dominica (photos #2 & #3), also on the Caelian Hill; and at Santa Cecilia in Trastevere (photo #4).

My favorite bride photo is that of the woman ascending la Cordonata of the Campidoglio (photo #5). It appears as if the 1877 bronze of the Mediaeval Roman politician Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354) is either blessing or warning the woman on the brink of her marriage ceremony at Santa Maria in Aracoeli. This spot, between the steps leading to Santa Maria in Aracoeli and the Campidoglio’s Cordonata, is where Rienzo was hanged.

von.otter's Profile Photo
Jun 16, 2009

Picnic along the Appian Way

The Appia Antica serves as a popular Sunday lunch picnic site for Roman families - following the half-forgotten pagan tradition of dining in the presence of one's ancestors on holy days. A 1990s initiative closed the Via Appia Antica to cars on Sundays, brings out the picnickers and bicyclists -- along with in-line skaters and a new Sunday-only bus route to take you there.

icunme's Profile Photo
Jun 11, 2009
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blog about Roman culture life, events and art

who speak some italian, can visit this blog that I've found very useful for who is going to Rome
Cultural events, art exhibitions, cinema, italian delicatessen, musical concerts, holidays events and other information for tourists

Apr 17, 2009

Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to The Unknown Soldier of Italy World War I
By virtue of a joint resolution of Congress, approved 12.October.1921, the Medal of Honor, emblem of highest ideals and virtues, is bestowed in the name of Congress of the United States of America upon the unknown, unidentified Italian soldier to be buried in the National Monument to Victor Emanuel II, in Rome …
The opening from U.S. War Department General Orders, No. 52, 1.December.1922

HOW THE UNKNOWN IS KNOWN That portion of the Victor Emanual Monument where the unidentified soldier rests is known as Altare della Patria. The solider’s remains were selected by the mother of an Italian soldier who never returned home, and was counted among the thousands missing. Her own son was most likely interred somewhere in an unmarked grave, perhaps even in a mass grave.

Members of different branches of the armed forces rotate the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We saw this change around Noon on a Saturday in late May. It lacks the pomp of a Buckingham Palace guard change; with good reason this occasion is much more solemn.

von.otter's Profile Photo
May 31, 2008

Pergamena con Benedizione Papale

The Parchment with the Papal Blessing is something we donate to special people we love and care. Any important occassion can be a good reason to order one of this to the Vatican.
Somebody as to go there personally to make the request, choose the model and provide full details of the person or couple who will get it.
Go to the Sant'Anna door at the Vatican and ask for the Elemosineria Apostolica. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am till 12.

abarbieri's Profile Photo
Mar 18, 2008

See the Pope

You can't go to Rome and not see the Pope, at least that's what they say here in Portugal!

The first time I went to Rome, it was August and the Pope had left to his summer residence, in Castel Gandolfo, so I didn't get the chance to see him.

Even though I'm not a very religious person, being at Saint Peter's square and entering the basilica does make me feel something. And so did seeing the Pope at the sunday Angelus, and all the people gathered in the square.

It happens at noon, every Sunday (except when he is in Castel Gandolfo) and there are big screens focusing the tiny window where he stands. Don't get there too late, though - it lasts only about 10 minutes.

The other possibility, which I didn't have time to do yet, is to attend the mess during the week - but you need to get the tickets before.

rita_simoes's Profile Photo
Feb 02, 2008
icunme's Profile Photo


"R O M E"
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"Roma - Città Eterna"
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"Roma, una citta stupenda"
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"Rome : A Surpise Around Every Corner"
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What? A witch visits Italy on Christmas!?

We like Santa - but we wait for the Befana - or if we have not been that good, we don't anticipate her arrival on the Eve of Epiphany January 5th, or the morning of January 6th. She is a witch-like character who rides around on a broom. The legend is that the Three Wise Men, I re magi, stopped at Befana's hut to ask directions on their way to Bethlehem and asked her to join them.
She said no, she was too busy. Later a shepherd asked her to join him in
paying respect to the Baby Jesus. Again, Befana said no. Later when it
was dark, she saw a great light in the sky and she thought maybe
she should have gone with the Wise Men. So, she gathered some toys
that had belonged to her own baby, who had died, and ran to find the
kings and the shepherd. But Befana could not find them or the stable.
Now, each year she looks for the Christ Child. And each year since
she can not find him, she leaves the gifts for the good children of Italy
and pieces of charcoal for the bad ones.....

icunme's Profile Photo
Dec 23, 2007

La Befana, a Beloved Tradition

La Befana, one of Italy's oldest and most beloved traditions takes the form of a kindly, elderly woman.

Legend tells us that the Three Wise Men were searching for the Christ child when they stopped at a small house to ask directions. When they knocked, an old woman with a broom opened the door. She did not know who these gaily dressed men were looking for and could not point the way. They asked her to join them. She declined because she was busy with her housework. After they left she reconsidered and tried to catch up with the men; but she could not find them. To make up for her error, the old woman stopped all the children along the way to give them each a small treat, hoping that one was the Christ child.

Each year on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, the 6th of January, Italian children are visited by La Befana. If they had been good the previous year, she leaves candy; if they had been naughty she leaves a lump of coal. The name Befana is a corruption of the Italian word epifania, which means epiphany.

It is believed that the tradition of La Befana got its start in Rome, and then spread throughout Italy. In Rome's glorious Piazza Navona an outdoor market is set up each year in December through the Epiphany. Toys, sugar coal, and candy are sold for the Roman children.

The Epiphany, the day that the Three Wise Men arrived at the manger of the Christ child, marks the end of the Christmas season, and has traditionally been the day when gifts are given, rather than on the more solemn Christmas Day as in America. Sadly, the lovely, quaint tradition of La Befana is losing ground to American consumerism and Santa Claus bringing presents on Christmas Day is gaining popularity.

von.otter's Profile Photo
Nov 08, 2007


Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m are the time when the holy father greets the crowds and gives his blessings in front of thousands. each seating area is split into sections and you can get a seat if you have the right coloured ticket.if you look smart just walk throughthe crowds early and take a seat at the front I did and was sat 4 rows from the front. The speaches and messages fro the pope area amazing and you must see him.

TONY786's Profile Photo
Oct 11, 2007

New Year atmosphere everywhere

To some visitors, Rome looks as it is New Year there every day in a year, and its not wrong opinion. During the high summer season it really looks alike, probably thats why most of its inhabitants, if possible, run away from it.
The New Year atmosphere in the city is great and can be noticed all around the town, especially during the night. Meeting New Year, however, might be a nightmare if you don't book your restaurant in advance. Number of places is limited, that is what you have to know before getting here. Make sure your agent adviced you about.

croisbeauty's Profile Photo
Jul 15, 2007

Things To Do Near Rome

Things to Do

Trevi Fountain - Fontana di Trevi

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Fontana del Facchino – ‘The Porter’

One of the things we loved in Rome was the fact that in between 2 major sites we were facing here and there some beautiful corners, small details on the walls, sculptures, beautiful facades of unknown...
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Time Elevator

If you're hot and tired and feel like resting your feet for a while, the Time Elevator is an entertaining distraction. You are seated on a moving platform and experience an audio visual show. The...
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Piazza Barberini

After checking in at the hotel we took the metro into the city center and Barberini square was the first thing we saw. Piazza Barberini was created in the 16th century and took its name from the...
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Museo Delle Cere

Think we paid Eu7 entry August 2009 I understand was Eu8 by 2010. Could walk through in 10 minutes! Figures likenesses range from the unremarkable to the fairly bad. There is a 1940s ensemble of...
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Chiesa San Ignazio di Loyola

Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola was built in 1626 by pope Gregory XV on the site of an older church. It is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, and is thus a...
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Getting to Rome


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