Seasonal Events at Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is busy all year round as it has seasonal events both for locals and tourists who frequents this famous place.
This famous Piazza which is famous world wide and is part of the infamous Angels and Demons Tour and the Movie, is a quadrangular plaza which was originally built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian (some ruins are present in the piazza) and was formerly called the "Circus Agonalis" of which the early romans watched various games and even some of the early Christian martyrs were executed in the area as well during those times.
The area became a public market after the fall of the empire until the 15th century when Pope Innocent X started to make the plaza a huge public work of art, transforming it into a famous Baroque Roman architecture and artwork to beautify the surroundings of his family's palace, the Palazzo Pamphilj, which is in the Piazza.
This pedestrian Piazza now boast of various public artworks and sculptures and other attractions such as Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Fontana del Moro by Giacomo Porta, Fountain of Neptune, also by Giacomo Porta, Palazzo Pamphilj (now the Brazilian embassy), Chiesa Sant'Agnese in Agone, Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore, Palazzo De Cupis, Chiesa Saint Nicolas des Lorrains , Museo - Stadio di Domiziano, Palazzo Braschi (Museo di Roma, etc. and various cafe's and restaurants and seasonal fairs and lots of painters, caricaturists, fortune-tellers and souvenir sellers. The area also has a variety of retail shops and artisanal stores.
Address: Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma, Lazio, ItalyRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
even before I've been to Italy, Loacker Wafers were a favorite item of mine to munch on as the quality and taste of these heavenly wafers are such a delight and off course, here in Rome and on the other areas of Italy that I've visited, I made it a point to buy these favorite wafers of mine.
Loacker Wafers is one of Italy's famous export product and it was originally founded in 1926 as a family company by Alfons Loacker in Bolzano in South Tyrol Province (part of Italy while north tryol is part of Austria) and since then it became famous internationally.
you can buy the assorted kinds of loacker wafers everywhere in rome but my favorite flavors are the hazelnut and the chocolate and it cost 2 euros for a large resealable bag and 0.80 euros for the small packets.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
San Pellegrino Drinks
San Pellegrino Brand of Italy is famous the world over for it's mineral water and assorted real-fruit sodas (of which my favorites are the sparkling orange and lemonade) of which I often buy everywhere and off course, being in Italy, I have to buy my favorite San Pellegrino Beverages and Sparkling Water (which competes with Volvic and Evian in the luxury bottled mineral water business around the world) and this favorite beverages of mine are available everywhere in Rome, at supermarkets, mercatos, convenience stores and restaurants and cost 1.50 euros for a 330 ml aluminum can or 1.70 euros for a 500 ml mineral bottle.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
Motorcycles Abound in Rome
you would not be surprised to see lots of motorcycles plying around Rome owned by the locals as Italy is fond of motorcycles as this is where the Iconic Vespa Scooter was founded. You can even rent a motorbike to go around if you want as there are many bike rental shops around the city that rents various kinds of motor bikes, including variants of the Iconic Vespa at rental rates of 60 euros and up per day. since the streets of the old towns and attractions of western Europe are small and narrow and some are pebbled streets, it is more economical to own a motorcycle for a local than a larger sedan or an SUV are parking rates are expensive and it is hard to have street parking for large vehicles,Related to:
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
Fontana di Trevi
Fontana di Trevi became wide world famous after its setting was used in several very popular movies that were recorded in the mid of last century. Many older members of this site probably still remember for that time, controversial and dissipated swimming in the fountain recorded in Fellini's film "La Dolce Vita". The scene is regarded as the iconography of avant-garde tendencies in breaking old taboos of Puritanism in the movies.
Another will be happy to remember innocent and happy comedy "Roman Holiday", which was at time very popular.
In my opinion, the greatest impression left the movie "Three Coins in the Fountain", which reached an exceptional and world wide fame. Specifically it refers to the eponymous song that became a mega hit and we all gladly hummed it.Add to your Trip Planner
The Trevi fountain.
A legend says that if you throw a coin into this fountain, over your left shoulder you' ll come back to Rome.
This huge fountain is situated at the end of an aqueduct built in 19 B. C. and it lies where three roads intersect. Hence the name; Trevi (tre vie means “three roads” in Italian). This fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi from an earlier plan by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, but it was finished by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762. The central figure of this monument is Neptune; god of the sea. He rides a shell shaped chariot drawn by two sea horses. One is calm and the other one wild. They simbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea. To the sides are statues of abundance and salubrity.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
So many historical treasures left to uncover!
Big and small archeological sites are scattered pretty much around the city. Ancient buildings were often used as foundations for new constructions, which means there basically are several layers of cities still hidden beneath what is now street level. The most important sites have been uncovered for the most part, but as our guide explained on the way to the Roman Forum, archeological digs are often halted due to lack of funding. As you wander through the streets of Rome, it is rather mindblowing to think about the fact that over 2000 years of history still lies beneath your feet...Related to:
Oranges in December
Benefits of climate, when it comes to European destinations, can be observed only when the place is visited in winter season. Apart of quilted jacket I took one lighter jacket that was more than enough for the Roman winter. Even in that jacket, during a day, it was hot so I had to remove the sleeves. On January 1st it was sunny and I felt very comfortable walking in Vatican in jeans shirt only.
The best indicator for mild climate conditions in Rome is the surrounding vegetation, which is very green even in January. Palm trees, which are all over the city, it is not necessary to be protected by the cold, while the mandarin trees at the stage of ripening fruit.
San Bernardino, in rione Campitell, was commissioned by the cardinal Francesco Barberini and built in 1675 on the remains of an antique Roman cistern.Add to your Trip Planner
Church hours in Rome -closed for lunch
If you are interested in visiting the many churches in Rome to view the amazing art on display, please be aware that most churches close for several hours in the middle of each day. This means that you should plan your visits in such a way that allows you to get into all the places you wish to see.
For us, that meant working out a schedule so that we started with the earliest opening churches and we tried to stay in one central area to see everything in one spot during the morning hours. Most of the churches we wanted to see were near the Piazza Navona and Pantheon, so we checked out the churches and then during lunch when the churches were closed is when we went to the piazza and the Pantheon, both of which are open all day long. Other sites such as the Trevi Fountain or Spanish Steps can be viewed during this lunch period. Later in the day, we wandered towards the second area of churches to complete our tour. There were a couple churches that were more out of the way from these two locations and knowing the schedules ahead of time, we visited these on other days on our way to some of the other sites we were visiting.
The best thing to do is map out what you hope to see – prioritize if necessary so that you don’t miss your must-see churches. Then obtain the current hours from the web or your guide books. List these all on a piece of paper or your map that you can take with you. After several churches, the times all seem to blur together so don’t trust your memory. Get an early start and be at the first church when they open. Allow some extra time for your final church so you aren’t trying to slide in as they are closing the doors. Then repeat in the afternoon after the churches reopen.Related to:
- Museum Visits
Taking photos – flash damages the paintings
There is lots of great art in Rome – in museums, in churches, in other buildings, outside. And there are lots of people that want to take pictures of this art.
Many places will permit you to take photos but without a flash. And that is with good reason – over time the constant flashes will damage the paintings. It would be the same as keeping the lights on it – over time, damage occurs. And we want these wonderful pieces of art to remain as is so future generations can enjoy them. And even if flash is allowed, if you don’t need to use it, then try to get along without it – think of it as prolonging the life of the artwork.
However, a number of places do not permit photography or videos of any kind – not cameras, not cell phone cameras, nothing, nada, zero. Please adhere to these restrictions. Many of the more well attended tourist attractions have guards that look for cameras – and they do not hesitate to call you out. I personally watched several people have these guards come right up to them and get in their faces about taking photos.
Most places have a sign at the entrance that lets you know if photography is allowed, permitted without flash, or prohibited. If in doubt, ask.
Be mindful of other people in your photos – not everyone likes their picture taken. And try to take your photo quickly so you do not disturb others. Most places do not allow tripods, so you may not want to even bring one with you. In churches, be mindful of those who are actually there to worship.
If you can’t take photos in the place you are in, just relax and enjoy the reason you came – to see the beautiful artwork and architecture in Rome!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
A living church
Visiting Rome's wonderful churches, I wonder how many tourists see them as anything more than repositories of a venerable history or magnificent art? Of course they are that, but they also play an important part in the lives of the folk who live within their parish boundaries as we saw when we visited the Basilica of St Agnes (The Basilica di Sant'Agnese Fuori le Mura -St. Agnes Outside the Walls) and the adjacent Mausoleum of Santa Constanza, a church itself these days.
Saint Agnes's martyrdom came early when she refused to marry the son of one of Diocletian's prefects at the height of the empire's persecution of Christians. The chapel in the catacombs where she was buried became a place of pilgrimage where Constanza (the daughter of Constantine the Great and one of the Imperial family's earliest converts to Christianity) chose to be buried. The imperial mausoleum above Constanza's tomb - now a church - was raised in a half a century later. The basilica was built above the catcombs in the 7th century. It features a lovely mosaic of the little saint in the apse and access to the catacombs - all of which would seem to place it in the church-as-museum category of scores of other churches around the city.
We were privileged to experience a little of the community life of these churches - not only seeing a wedding party at Santa Constanza's but spending some time watching the bocce games being played out at the Saint Agnes Community Centre in the garden between the two churches where elderly card players and the mothers and children who were taking part in holiday activities there gathered in the bar at the end of their games. How lovely to see the generations together and to see the part this ancient church plays in their lives.
Just 12 years old when she was martyred, Saint Agnes became the patron saint of young girls, a lamb the symbol of her purity and innocence ("agnus" - lamb in Latin - is also a play of words on her name). Traditionally, young girls have played out a ritual on the eve of her martyrdom to see who their husband will be. On the Feast Day itself, January 21, two lambs are brought to the church to be blessed by the pope after a pontifical high Mass there. They are shorn on Holy Thursday and their wool is woven into pallia, ceremonial neck-stoles, which are then sent by the Pope to newly-appointed Metropolitan archbishops who wear them to symbolise their union with the papacy.
The church and catacombs are open daily from 09000 -1200 and 1600-1800. Entry to the church is, of course, free. Guided tours of the catacomb cost 5 euro.
Open: Monday 0900-1200; Tuesday-Saturday: 0900-1200, 1600-1800; Sunday: 1600-1800
The church can be found in the area known as Nomentana, a short distance outside the city walls, north-east of Termini
Address: Via Nomentana 349. Take Bus #36 from Termini or #60 from Piazza VeneziaRelated to:
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
I happen to love cappuccino, but had heard that it is only drank at breakfast and that if you ask for it at any other time the waiter might look at you like you escaped from an insane asylum.
Generally cappuccino is drank in the morning, however, if you ask for it they will serve you some any time of day or night:)
Was it good in Rome? Oh God yes!Related to:
- Food and Dining
You need a dictionary
Unless you master Italian you’ll struggle. I attended an Italian course some years ago, but it was barely enough to communicate with the locals. I was surprised that very few Italians in the centre of Rome were able to communicate in English at a basic level. I have had one year of sign language interpreting at the university, but it didn’t help very much, so a dictionary will come in handy.
You should also learn the Italian words for public transport and learn to count in Italian.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
Acrobats with the fire
One thing is for sure, Rome is never boring place especially around Christmas and New Year times. There are plenty of musicians, artists and acrobats all over the city, trying to make some extra money for spending more enjoyable end of the year. This international group of youngsters performed their fire show at Piazza Spagna, nothing spectacular but attractive to watch.Add to your Trip Planner
Cola di Rienzo
Nicola di Renzo Gabrini (1313-1354), best known as Cola di Rienzo was medieval politician and popular leader, Tribune of the Roman people in the mid of 14th century. He was of humble origins but managed to get very good education. Cola di Rienzo became a notary and a person of some importance in the city, and was sent on a public errand to Pope Clement VI in Avignon. There at Avignon he won the favour and esteem of the pope, who gave him an official position at his court. After one year of serving pope Cola returned to Rome gathering there a band of supporters. Very soon, after eloquent speech in the parliament against the aristocracy a new series of laws was published and accepted, giving authority and power to Rienzo. Rienzo took the title of tribune without stricking a blow, while the nobles left the city or went into hiding.
Very soon the new tribune was accepted by all classes because Rienzo governed the city with the stearn justice. Under his rule the city streets were cleared of robbers and the tranquillity was restored at homes. The tribune was regarded by all the people as the destined restorer of Rome and Italy.
As it usually happens with people on power, Rienzo in time become the victim of his own extravagant pretensions. His government was costly and to meet its many expensies he was obliged to lay heavy taxes upon the people. He ofended the pope by his arrogancy and pride and Clement gave power to a legate to depose him and and gring him to trial. In his bull the pope denunced Cola as a criminal, a pagan and a heretic. Soon after Cola was forced to abdicate his government and fled from Rome.
The statue of tribune, by Girolamo Masini, was erected in 1877 at the foot of Capitoline Hill.Add to your Trip Planner
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