Historical facts about Rome

Roma Ti Amo- I Love You AS Roma

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“Roma Ti Amo – The exhibition”, a journey of more than 1300 square meters designed to portray all the most important stages of the life of the Club
No fan can resist the first major exhibition of Official AS Roma has an extraordinary array of objects on display, with hundreds of new items between documents, historical shirts, cards, trophies arriving by the Company and major collectors of memorabilia Giallorossa.

The exhibion will be open at Factory Pelanda (Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 4) from February 18 to July 20, 2014.

Unfit to lead: a history of the worst leaders in ancient Rome

 

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The history of Rome has its share of legendary condottieri like Julius Caesar, by example, but on the other hand is also filled with people who put themselves in a position of leadership through cunning and deception even though they were obviously unfit to lead due to their insanity and/or sheer ignorance. Here’s a list for you!

Nero: He famously played the fiddle while Rome burned. Talk about bad government! He is now a symbol for all things decadent and insane.

Caligula: Did you know that his nickname originated from the small military boots crafted for him when he was a child? Obviously such care went to waste, since Caligula has gone down in history as one of the most demented rulers ever. He almost had Incitatus, his favorite horse, named a consul!
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Silvio Berlusconi: Corruption? Check. Deception? Check. Decadence? Check. Silvio is just too happy to keep the old tradition of unfit leaders alive, all while keeping a smile and charming his way through courts.
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If you want to admire the relics of bad leadership, visit Rome and stay in Hotel Des Artistes or Yes Hotel!

 

 

Augustus: The Most Cunning Politician Ever On The 2000th Anniversary Of His Death

Augusto-Pontefice_Palazzo-Massimo-PARTMeasure 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).

The Splendor of Ancient Roman Houses Comes Alive

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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.

Rome Close-Up: The Ace of Cups of the Trevi Fountain


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We’re inaugurating a new section, Roman Close-up. Here’ we’ll try to show you the story behind some details of the city.

The Trevi Fountain is a baroque explosion of stone, muscles and sea-horses. There are enough details on it to write entire books, but there is a specific part of the sculpture around which a little local legend has been created.

The story goes that during the construction of the fountain an overly critical barber who  worked accross the street used to overwhelm Nicola Salvi, the sculptor, with his suggestions and (usually negative) observations about the artist’s work. Understandably annoyed, Salvati proceded then to add to the fountain a vase strategically located to block the view of the fountain from the barbershop to put and end to

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the unrequested artisical feedback.

The story doesn’t mention if a vase was enough to deter the artistically overzealous barber (maybe he was more into classicism– I cannot help but wonder how that reflected in his work), but the tale is popular among Romans, who call the vase “l’asso di coppe”, the ace of cups, after a figure in the Italian deck of cards.

Stayed tune for more Roman close-ups, and don’t forget to check our websites to find the best accomodation in the Eternal City!


The Most Roman of Romans


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It has always puzzled me that many people know about Rome and its greatness but so little is known about Romans. Compared to the Londoner or the Parisian, the Roman remains a mystery, probably because like his food, he is hearty but not sophisticated, shrewd but not always insightful.

Romanity, however, captivates those who get to get to know it. If you want to get a glimpse of it without having to stay a couple of years in the Eternal City then you have to read the sonnets of Gioachino Belli, who is in my book the most Roman of Romans.

Belli was born to a weatlhy family and earned a place in the Italian literary cannon with 2200 sonnets through which the low Roman class of the time its shown as it is, “salacious, sometimes cunning and always self-centerd” as the ruthless Italian Wikipedia article about Belli puts it.

The most striking feature of the sonnets is also the reason why they are not as known as they should: they are written in the Romanesco dialect which gives them a poignantly accurate flavor when read in Italian but also eludes translation. An English version of the sonnets its available at the Anglo-American Bookstore, my bookstore of choice in Rome or online, from this website where you will find gems like this:

PIAZZA NAVONA

Piazza Navona easily stands the comparison
With both St.Peter’s and the Spanish Steps.
This is not a square, it’s like the countryside,
It’s a theatre, it’s a fair, it’s gaiety.
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It runs from Sant’Apollinare 2 to the central pathway,
And from the central pathway to Cuccagna street 3:
Everywhere you see things to eat,
Everywhere you see people who buy them.
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Here three fountains stand in all their might,
Here is a spire 4, as solemn as a judgement,
Here the place is flooded when summertime comes .
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Here the whipping-trestle is raised,
Where those who look for trouble get thirty lashes
On their arse, and five more for charity .

Rome Celebrates Machiavelli’s “The Prince”


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Machiavelli is an Italian icon. His shrewdness, pragmatism and fascination with power are all trademarks of the Italian temperament. With his elucidations about power and the means to preserve it he created almost single-handedly what we know as political science, securing himself a place in history and beside the beds of many leaders (Napolean among them)  who have turned to him for guidance.

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Even though Machiavelli’s name is almost universally associated with coldness and power-for.the-sake-of-power, there is much more to him than that and he has been object of an operation of rehabilitation in Italy. As a part of said operation an exhibition has just been opened at the Complesso del Vittoriano to celebrate the 500th anniversay of The Prince, Macchiaveli’s most famous work.

Visitors will be able to see on display one of the 19 known original manuscripts of the book and learn more about the Machiavelli’s relationshipo with both classic culture and contemporary popular culture. The Complesso del Vittoriano is located at Via San Pietro in Carcere, right beside Piazza Venezia. The exhibition is open everyday from 9.30 to 19.30 (until Jully 16, 2013) and the entrance is free.

Roma se Prepara para Dar la Bienvenida a Papa Francisco

Il nuovo Papa Jorge Mario Bergoglio con il nome di Francesco I

Finalmente Roma tiene un nuevo papa.

El mundo se mostro sorprendido al descubrir que la eleccion habia sido mas rapida de lo esperado, pero la sopresa mayor fue descubrir que el nuevo papa – que tomara el nombre de Francesco, o Francisco en espanol- no era otro que Jorge Mario Bergoglio, arzobispo de Buenos Aires, quien no habia sido incluido en ninguna de las listas preliminares elaboradas por expertos en cuestiones vaticanas y por los genios de las probabilidades de las casas de apuestas de todo el mundo. Como se dice en Roma, quien entra al conclave como papa sale como cardenal.

Vista en retrospectiva, la eleccion del arzobispo Bergoglio- quien sera el primer papa “extra-europeo”-  es una eleccion inteligente. Se trata de un hombre austero, quien eligio su nombre como homenaje a San Francisco de Asis y que sin duda dara a la iglesia catolica calor humano y fuerza, eso sin mencionar las inmensas reservas de apoyo y devocion que lo respaldan en America Latina, donde la mayor parte de la pobacion profesa la fe catolica.

El proximo domingo el papa Francisco ofrecera su primer Angelus, la bendicion publica que los papas ofrecen cada semana a medio dia. Sera sin duda una gran oportunidad para presenciar un evento historico! Si necesita ayuda o informacion para encontrar alojamiento en Roma, no dude en contactarnos por e-mail. o usando nuestro sitio de internet, para que asi obtenga las tarifas mas convenientes en la Ciudad Eterna.

Rome Weolcomes Pope Francis

Il nuovo Papa Jorge Mario Bergoglio con il nome di Francesco I

So, we finally have a Pope.

The world was surprised to learn the election was so quick, but was even more surprised to learn that the new pope – who will go under the name Francesco, or Francis in English- was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, who wasn’t included in any of the preliminary lists made by Vatican experts and probability whizzes at the gambling companies around the world. As the  Roman saying  goes, whoever enters the conclave as a pope, leaves as a cardinal.

With hindsight, the election of archbishop Bergoglio, who will become the first pope to arrive from outside Europe, is a smart one. An austere man who chose his papal name inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi, he is sure to bring warmth and vigour to the church he is called to lead, that without mentioning the immense reserve of devotion and support he will find in Latin America, where the majority of the population is catholic.

Next Sunday, Pope Francis will offer his first Angelus, the public blessing the pope offers every week at noon. It will be a great opportunity to be part of a historical event! If you need help with your accomodation in Rome, don’t hesitate to contact us, or check our website to get the  best rates in the Eternal City!

Rome: Conclave to Elect New Pope Starts Today


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Today, cardinals from all around the world will meet in Rome to elect a new leader for the catholic church.

According to the Italian media there are a couple of strong names, namely cardinal Scola from Milano and cardinal Scherer from Sao Paolo but none of them seems to be able to get the 77 votes that are necessary to reach the majority of the preferences. Specialists do not expect a quick decision but it’s almost certain that the new pope will be elected before the week ends, probably on Sunday, a possibility that the city council has already contemplated, making arrangements to move the annual city marathonf from the morning to the evening in case Sunday turns out to be the big day.

Tonight rains in Rome and there is in the air a feel of anticipation while the eyes and cameras of the world turn to the Sistine chapel waiting for the white smoke signal that will open the next chapter in the history of catholicism.
Want to witness history? check our availability on-line or send us an e-mail to book your accommodation for this memorable day.