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Archive for the Museums & Exibitions category

Xmas in Rome

Christmas time is coming and Rome is preparing to welcome the Holidays with lights, decorations and events.

Like every year, the markets of the Roman tradition will be the most important attraction of the Holidays. In particular the Christmas market of Piazza Navona will delight adults and children during the month of December, until after Epiphany. The numerous stands that will be among the ancient buildings and the wonderful Bernini’s fountain, the lights and the parfumes will give a unique athmosphere to the famous square.

But also in other places you will find traditional events, such as concerts and exhibitions of cribs in via dei Coronari, in via dell’Orso and in Sant’Eustachio area. Walking in the city centre you could also meet minstrels and fictional characters.

Even Piazza Re di Roma has been honoring this tradition for some years with stands full of sweets, decorations and crafts, in a setting reminiscent of the Advent markets of northen Europe (in fact this square is twinned with the ones of Heidelberg.

The conditions are excellent for nice walks in the heart of the Eternal City, at the sound of pipers and the possibility to warm holding in your hands a bag of roasted chestnuts, drinking a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine.

Alternative Museums in Rome

Is not your first time in Rome and you want to see new and original things?
Then you could schedule a visit to one of the following museums:

National Museum of the musical instruments
The pieces on exhibition are the best preserved in Europe. Inside you can find the famous Barberini harp.
Where: piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme 9/a
When: From Tuesday to Thursday, 8.30 -19.30

Museum of the Roman Walls
A route to follow where you can discover the history of the city.
Where: via di Porta San Sebastiano 18
When:From Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00- 14:00

Vintage Carriages Museum
A private collection with more than 300 carriages from different origins and periods.
Where: via Andrea Millevoli 693
When: From Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 -13:00 and 15:00-19:00

If you want to visit something more like in an english style, try to see the:

Wax Museum
With figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Dante Alighieri, Pavarotti and Francesco Totti.
Where: piazza SS. Apostoli 68
When: Everyday, 9:00-21:00

If after you have seen the wax statue of Bonaparte, you still want to see more about him:

Napoleon Museum
A house-museum that hosts artpieces, relics and memorabilia of the Bonaparte family.
Where: piazza di Ponte Umberto I, 1
When: From Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00-19:00

If you are a fan of supernatural events, then we can recommend you:

Museum of the Souls in Purgatory
A Neo-ghotic little church where you can see “evidence” of the departed that wish to contact this world from beyond.
Where: lungotevere Prati 12
When: From Monday to Saturday, 7:00-11:00 and 18:30-19:00

In case you want a hair-raising experience:

Horror Museum of Dario Argento
You can see the props that the celebrated italian director used on his movies.
Where: via dei Gracchi 260
When: From Monday to Saturday, 10:30-13.00 and 16:00-19:30

May the fun begin!

5 Curiosities about the Colosseum

Did you know that the Colosseum is not round but oval?
It’s 189 meters long and 156 wide with 57 meters of height, its perimeter is 524 meters.

Did you know that the Colosseum is used to support the international campaign against death penalty?
Since the year 2000, every time a convicted to death gets its sentence commuted or is released, no matter the location, or when the death penalty is abolished somewhere in the world, the internal lights of the Colosseum change from white to gold.

Did you know that its real name is Flavian Amphitheater?
It comes from the latin Flavium, the family name of the emperors that began and ended the construction: Vespasian and Titus.

Did you know that it is believed that at least one million of animals died inside and 500,000 humans?
Only for the inaugural games 9,000 animals were slander and 2,000 gladiators lost their life for the battles for 100 days. The combats were between the animals and sometimes animal vs man.

Did you know that only a few celebrities have performed with the Colosseum as background?
Is no possible to host a concert inside the monument, but among the singers that have had this honour we can recall: Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli and Elton John.

Tip: If there is a long cue to buy the ticket and you wish to save time, get the RomaPass or the Archeologia card. The ticket for the Colosseum includes the entrance to the Roman Forum and the Palatin, is valid for 2 days (consecutive) so you can visit one of these monuments first.

Paulina Ceballos

Roman summer: all the links with the info

Colosseum, Saint Peter’s dome, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, many piazzas; Rome is full of fantastic and historical places to visit during the day, for sure your “must to see things” is completely full, but don’t forget about the roman nights. The eternal city has a vivid life,  specially during summer with concerts, open cinema, bars along the river Tiber, markets, ecc.

Here is a list with the most important festivals where you can find details about it:

“July sounds good”:category: music
Until 31st July

“Rome encounters the world” Category: music
Until 28th July

San Lorenzo festival. Category: Music  ***Free concerts
Until August 10th

Rock in Roma Category: Music  
Until August 2nd

Opera in Rome. Category: Opera
Until August 8th

Roma Vintage. Category: Music, dance, sports, theather, restaurants, cinema.***Free entry
Until August 15th


Summer concerts in Rome: Villa Ada

Like every year the summer brings not only the nice weather, gelatto and many flowers in Rome; it’s also usually accompanied by many fun activities including concerts, exhibitions, open cinema, etc.

One of the most successful festivals is “Roma encounters the world” (Roma incontra la mondo), hosted in the island of the lake in Villa Ada for the nineteenth time.

The place has also 4 food stations with self service, italian and international dishes, pizza, kebab, snacks, desserts. If you are in the mood for a drink there is also a bar. This area opens from 20:00 hrs, while the concerts start at 22:00.

Performers come from all over Italy, Europe, Latinomerica and the United States. The variety of the music styles suits all tastes: reggae from Jamaica, british indie rock, Joan as a Police woman from USA,  flamenco guitar players, serbian balcanic folk group, Ben l’oncle soul from France, italian rock bands, brazilian singers, etc.

To see the full program click this link:

How to arrive: Metro B1 Conca d’Oro

When: until july 28th.

Infoline: 0641734712, 0641734648 , 3472481011, 3389214142

– Season ticket for 5 concerts: €20
Individual tickets cost from €11 to €28 depending on the concert and can be purchased in the box ticket before the concert in Via di Ponte Salario from 20:00.


Paulina Ceballos




This prestigious exhibit is open until June 29, 2010 inside the Victor Emmanuel Monument.


It’s a trip through the extraordinary innovations of the XIXth century that revolutionized  traditional painting.  These new techniques modernized painting, resulting in Impressionist painting that displays an expanded, broader understanding of nature and the culture of the times.


For the first time in Italy, you will see vintage photos, paintings and drafts from the beginnings of Impressionism of the Barbizon School of to the chromatic triumph of the Water Lilies by Claude Monet.  You will explore the colorful revolution of the Impressionists, admiring the atmospheres of Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley, Gustave Courbet’s Poppy Field, paintings by Auguste Renoir and Camille Pissarro including his Pontoise landscape.


Organized by major art historians from throughout the world, the works come from galleries and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Public Library of New York, the National Gallery of Art and Corcoran Museum of Art of Washington, Toledo Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Musée Fabre of Montpellier, Bibliotèque Nationale de France of Paris and the Hamburger Kunstalle.



Address: Complesso del Vittoriano

Via S.Pietro in carcere (Imperial Forums)


From Monday to Thursday: 9.30AM-7.30PM

Friday and saturday:           9.30AM-11.30PM

Sunday:                               9.30AM-8.30PM


Cost of the ticket: EU 10,00


INFO: 06/6780664 – 06/6780363


Lorenza Faraone

Roman Guide Center





Was Brutus really Caesarʼs son? Lacking any DNA proof, weʼll always be in doubt! But, we like to believe it and recount for you this story: Cleopatraʼs arrival in Rome was the cause of Cassiusʼ and Brutusʼ decision to lay the plot to murder Caesar.


Brutusʼ mother, everybody knows, was Servilia, a member of the patrician family of Servili.   While she was married to Marcus Giunius Brutus, tribune of the people,  Caesar was her young, tall and handsome lover.  We donʼt have any portraits of her, but she was certainly beautiful.  She was clever and, above all, so charming that her passionate love affair with Caesar lasted thirty years.


Servilia became pregnant by Caesar.  Unknown to Caesar, her son, Brutus, was also his.  As time went by, the young Brutus, did not hide his rebellious, oligarchic ideas.  Caesar was the unconquerable General.   Young Brutus was in danger.  As her son was in danger of being defeated and killed by his own father, Servilia revealed the truth to Caesar.  “Spare Brutusʼ life”, were her last words to him.  Caesar honored her wish and on the battle ground he ordered: “Donʼt touch Brutus!”


So the young man came safely back home to his mother who probably told him everything.  Caesar should have come back too, but the war wasn’t over.   His next move was to run after Pompeo to Egypt.  This is where he met Cleopatra.  He was 52 years old, she only 20.   He forgot about the civil war, Rome and…Servilia.


When Caesar finally came back to Rome, Servilia was ready to greet him. But she surely couldn’t compete with her young rival.   However, her daughter, Giunia Terza, was now the stunning beauty that she was at 16, her age when she first met Caesar.  So she offered her daughter to Caesar who was now returning with honors and substantial gifts.


While Caesar left again as a winner, in Rome the Senate’s resentment against him grew stronger, and Brutus firmly supported them.


In the meantime, while Servilia vicariously relived her love for Caesar through her young daughter, Cleopatra arrived in Rome.  She came with her little son, Tolomeus Caesar, fruit of her love affair with Caesar.


In the Senate, spirits got excited.  Cassius suspected that Caesar could take Cleopatra as his legitimate wife and recognize Tolomeus as his son.   This would mean the return of the kings, the end of the Republic… Certainly, this would be the end for Giunia Terza and, above all, Servilia.  This time, however, while she suspected the plot against him, Servilia didn’t side with Caesar, but let her son Brutus punish the betrayer.


Maria Elena Mastroiacovo

Roman Guide Center



centuries of neglect, part of the area beneath the Colosseum stage is being restaured and cleaned. Thanks to a couple of hoists faithfully reconstructed according to ancient models starting next July 2010 it will be open for viewing.


Visitors, who so far could only catch a glimpse of it, will be able to explore the underground of the famous “Blood and arena”. Gladiators used to reach it through a tunnel connecting it with their school, the “Ludus magnus”. In addition to the athletes for  gladiatoral combats, the subterranean maze of galleries, ramps and cells, were the waiting room for hunters and wild animals and condemned prisoners. Also housed  here were scene-shifters, operators, workmen ready to give life to the show with the striking noises of machines, screams, cries and roars.


One will shiver watching one of the most exciting and dreadful places of all times.
Now from the point of view of the service staff and the applauded gladiators, you will be looking up at the massive architecture of the Flavian Amphitheatre.

Also for the first time, you will see the advanced engineering of the Ancient Romans: the reconstructed underground machinery and the cruel ways of turning death into a show. This will be a thrilling experience from the very heart of the Circus.



Guide Centre



This is one of the most famous medioeval legends: Joan is a young English woman, educated at Magonza. Because of her love for theology, she decides to dress-up like a monk and thanks to her great culture, once i Rome, rising through the Church hierarchy, she is chosen as Pope. She took the name of John VIII and reigned between 855 and 857.
Joan became pregnant by one of her lovers. While in Easter procession between Saint Peterʼs and Saint Joan the Lateranʼs Basilicas, meanwhile the crowd was growing its pressure, her horse got scared, frisked and she fell off. People watched in horror and astonishment when she gave birth to a child, revealing her female nature. The angry mob tied her feet at her same horse and dragged her to Ripa Grande. There she was stoned to death together with her baby.
it is a harsh story which takes us back to the darkest centuries of Rome. According to some scholars this legend, this is what it is, could have born as a “satire” against papacy and a ferocious criticism of some female personages as the corrupt noble ladies Teodora and her daughter Marozia, who during the 10th Century were at the same time lovers, mothers and killers of several popes.
The story of “popess Joan” gave rise to the following odd legend: since then, to avoid a repeat of such a shaming event, as soon as elected, popes had to sit on one of the thrones, with a potty-style hole in the seat, while an examining cleric felt under it to check his sex. Though, one of these two thrones, the so-called “sedes curules or prophyreticae”, according to recent studies, was actually established to be a thermal de-luxe water-closet, dating back the time of Emperor Hadrian.
The result is a complicated plot we better leave to historians. Lovers of Rome can satisfie their curiosity in Via dei querceti, by looking up at the niche on the wall with a Vergin Mary with child, which was built up on the same spot where our heroine is said to have given birth to her child.



The legend tells that Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome, were adopted by a
she-wolf (lupa) hence ‘she-wolf’ became the symbol of Rome. She-wolf is an
ambiguous word by which the roman prostitutes were referred and the word
‘lupanare’ (brothel) is also derived from lupa.
The legend suggests that Acca Laurentia, the wife of Faustulus, shepherd of
Numitor, saved the lives of Romulus and Remus. The shepherd’s wife who had
found the twins and who very likely adopted them, was she-wolf, a prostitute.
The populace passed on the origins of the Eternal City with many tales; we can say
metaphorically, that Rome is born with an inclination towards chaos. Ancient
Rome, both republican and imperial, had plenty of brothels, even though they
were placed in the suburbs of the town. Romans paid frequent visits to the
brothels mainly for erotic purposes. They favoured the mercenary love intended
as a peculiar pleasure, and in their turn, many women –honest matrons –
disguised themselves as ‘she-wolves’ in order to attend the brothels and enjoy
the unidentified services. Messalina, the wife of, Emperor Claudius, camouflaged
herself under false names and common dresses in order to participate in the
brothels’ life.
Not to overly dwell on dark images of sexuality, this form of ‘eroticism’, besides a
state of heritage of the origins of Rome, was due to the cult of Venus Ericina, who
was the symbol of fertility, therefore, of sensual love and as such, was the reason
why she was worshipped, unlike the Hellenic Venus who was the symbol of beauty
and chastity.
According to Aristotle and his syllogisms, the practice of the prostitution in Rome
at the time of its Empire comes from religious reasons.
Grazia Brasi
Centro Guide Roma

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