This is the first stop in our countdown to Halloween. In this cementery, located just beside the Caio Cestio piramid, lie buried people from non-catholic religions. The atmosphere is more suggestive than scary, but if you were to meet a ghost you could call yourself fortunate: this is the burial place of many famous artists, like John Keats ( “Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water”) and the the beatnick poet Gregory Corso:
1.- As many of our guests have confirmed, wen he was a bishop in Argentina he used the public means of transportation to get around. He hasn’t tried to do the same in Rome but keep your eyes open if you visit the city!
2.- The man seriously challenges John Paul II as the coolest pope ever: To pay for his studies he worked as a nightclub bouncer in Buenos Aires.
3.- He is a rennaisance man: he studied chemistry, but is also a professor of literature and psychology.
4.- He is missing a part of his right lung. When he was young he got really sick and at the time antibiotic treatments weren’t that common so in such cases the tissue was removed to stop the infection from spreading.
5.- The motto he chose to put on his coat of arms when he became a bishop is taken from the homilies of the Venerable Bede: Miserando atque eligendo ( literally in Latin ‘by having mercy, by choosing him’.). As a pope, he has kept the phrase and the design, with some slight modifications.
If your visit to the Eternal City includes a Thursday don’t forget to buy the newspaper La Repubblica (1,20 Eur). Along with it you will get a little weekly magazine called TrovaRoma, where you will be able to find the most interesting things going on in the city (cinema, theatre, restaurants, concerts and then some!). Of course, most of it is written in Italian, but they have also an English summary with the most interesting appointments.
The Ara Pacis (”Altar of Peace” in Latin) it’s not as popular as other Roman monuments, but deserves a spot in any itinerary.
The altar was a public homage, a monument to celebrate Augustus’ return from Hispania and Gaul (Spain and France) and to thank him for bringing peace with his military victories.
The altar is an outstanding example of Roman sculpture. All the figures are depictions of actual Roman citizens presented with such detail that historians believe they can recognize some of them.
Originally the altar was located near the Tiber, so it didn’t take long for it to be covered in mud. It was unearthed during the thirties and put in a pavillion than became inadecuate over time due to the increase of traffic and smog. A new building designed by American architect Richard Meier opened in 2006. The new structure includes a museum, but the altar itself, surrounded by glass walls through wich you can see the Tiber it’s something you have to experience while in Rome.
The Ara Pacis is located in Lungotevere in Augusta (corner with via Tomacelli) and can be easily reached from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes taking the red subway line from the Station Termini and getting off at Flaminio.
As we have said somewhere else, we are unabashed fans of the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio.
Their story would be worth telling all the same had they disbanded after the release of the remarkable documentary that tells the tale of Mario Tronco, the director who assembled the orchestra recluting foreign musicians who lived in Rome -many of them in the multicultural neighbourhood of Piazza Vittorio- and brought their own sensibilities and personal idiosincracies into the mix.
But the Orchestra was more than a one-off, and it’s ready to perform its most recent project: an 80-minute musical journey through time, space and culture, a feat they are more than well-suited to accomplish.
The Orchestra will be playing at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome from January 21 to 26, 2014.
Measure wasn’t Augustus thing: he turned the Roman Republic into an empire with him as its first emperor, rebuilt much of Rome and was so popular that he got a month named after him. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say he is the most cunning politician ever.
This year Rome will be celebrating the 2000th (!) anniversary of Augustus death with an exposition at the Scuderie del Quirinale. The exhibition will be open from October 18 2013 to 9 February 2014. The Scuderie del Quirinale Museum is located at Via XXIV Maggio 16, and can be easily reached from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes taking the bus 40 from the Termini Station (get off at the stop Nazionale/Quirinale).
When it comes to eating in Rome there are many places where the guides and even locals will usually direct you: Trastevere, San Lorenzo and recently Pignetto. But there’s a place ( a couple of streets) not that famous that I would like to introduce you to.
Via del Boschetto and Via Dei Serpenti are located just off Via Nazionale (the big avenue that starts on Repubblica square, just beside Termini). The area is right in the center of the City, but is quiet and the atmosphere is easygoing. During the evenings you can see people sitting beside a fountain, having a beer, just like the more radical crowd do in San Lorenzo.
There are many places to eat and even some pleasant surprises: a takeaway Sushi place, a Japanese restaurant and a couple of Indian restaurants. If what you are after is Italian food you can try Osteria al 16, on Via del Boschetto 16. I have been there with friends a couple of times and I have never been disappointed. If like me, you enjoy a hearty meal, you will appreciate the spaghetti all’amatriciana (spaghetti with tomato sauce and bacon) and the meatballs with tomato sauce.
The best is that this area is just a blocks away from the Colosseum, so if you are in the mood you can walk over there to put a perfect ending to your Roman serata.
A couple of days ago a client asked me about a visit to Palazzo Valentini. “I’ve read somewhere it’s the best kept secret in Rome”, she said. “Not for long”, I thought.
In fact, her request surprised me: I thought of palazzo Valentini as the bureaucratic headquarters of the local government. Certainly not the kind of thing you want to see while on vacation!
It turns out that recent archeological excavations have unearthed a group of ancient Roman houses now open for visit. A multimedia installation of light and sound brings back the houses to their luxurious splendor through which we can read a story of the domestic life of the upper classes of ancient Rome.
Palazzo Valentini, located at Via IV Setembre (near Piazza Venezia), is open Wedenesday through Monday from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM and can be easily reached from Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes taking the bus 40 from Termini. Reservations are not mandatory but highly encouraged.
When it comes to coffee it’s difficult to go wrong in Rome: almost avery little Bar (as cafés are known in Italy) has good or even great coffee, but as in everything else there is always one that stands above all the others.
In Rome, the place that is regarded as the best for espresso is Bar Sant’Eustachio. The place was opened in 1938 and it’s almost mythical among the horde of caffeine consumers in the capital. They have their own website where you can buy their celebrated blend to enjoy the best coffee in the eternal city even if you cannot come here personally!
But of course, there is nothing like the real deal: even if the place might seem hardly out of the ordinary from the outside, you cannot help but feel as if you are steping into a sort of temple when you walk into Sant’ Eustachio. The employees have a sacerdotal gravitas to them and clients are advised to let the personel known if they want their espresso without sugar, since you get your coffee with the right amount of sugar already on it- something not many cafes in the city do. Maybe it has to do with the fact that some suspect that the sugar is actually an important part of their secret!
Sant’Eustachio is located at Piazza Sant’Eustachio 32, near Navona square. If you are staying at Yes Hotel or Hotel Des Artistes, or anywhere near the Termini station you can take the bus 40 from the station to get there (get off at the station “Argentina”). Here you have a map showing the bus route and the part you would have to do walking from the bus stop.
Have a great vacation and do not hesitate to contact us for accomodation if you are staying in Rome!
When they decided to make a film about Bob Dylan’s life they nedded 6 actors to play him. Probably is the only case in which such an exaggeration seems justified: Dylan has gone thorugh such an staggering number of phases througout his career that probably no single living actor would have been able to offer a convincing performance.
The title of the film seemed to summarize Dylan’s career as a whole: “I’m not there”. Everytime audiences or critics have believed to have Dylan ready to be pigeonholed, the man has escaped and then come back with an unexpected musical direction, an unexpected look: he has gone all the way through from earnest young folk singer and then bohemian guru to his most recent incarnation as a somewhat demonic wild-west singer.
Mr. Dylan will be performing in Rome November 6, 2013 at Atlantico Roma. Get a glimpse of him while you can, or at least try: knowing him you can be sure that, somehow, he won’t be there. At least not in the way you expect.