Treasure Chest Known as Rome

One of the things I love about living in Rome is having access to such amazing art and history.  The city itself is like a museum, giving wonderful exposure to history, art and architecture. 


Ceiling painting, inside the Vatican Museum



Walk by the 2,000 year old Coliseum where gladiator fights took place in front of 50,000 spectators.  I have passed by it hundreds of times, and I am still in awe of the magnificent, grand structure.  I always wonder how the ancient Romans were able to build such a structure capable of sustaining the tests of time for so many years.


Coliseum

  
Stop in Piazza Navona to enjoy a gelato and imagine the games being played in the Domitian Stadium at the very spot during the 1st century, or fast forward to the 15th century and think what it would be like to visit the square when Bernini was creating his masterpiece, the Fountain of the Four Rivers.  


Piazza Navona



Visit the Trevi Fountain which celebrates and marks the ending point of an ancient aqueduct discovered in 19BC.  While you enjoy the enormously magnificent fountain, recall the story of how a virgin girl showed Agrippa’s soldiers the location of the aqueduct and the abundance of water so many, many years ago.  The story is a legend, so it may or may not be true, but it sure is cool to sit and imagine.  


Trevi Fountain



Rome itself lends enough art, sculpture, history, architecture and magic at no charge, but the city takes it a step further by offering free access to the city museums on a regular basis.  The city is currently sponsoring ‘Martedi in Arte’, with museums being free to enter from 7:00pm – 11:00pm, on the last Tuesday of every month.  The Vatican Museum is also open for no charge on the last Sunday of every month from 8:00am – 2:00pm, with the last entrance at 12:30pm.  In addition to these set days each month, the city also opens its museums for special celebrations throughout the year.  


Vatican Museum Entrance



It’s definitely sweet to be able to view the work of some of the world’s great artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini (just to name a very few). . .all for the low, low price of FREE!


Michelangelo’s Pietà, inside St. Peter’s Basilica

 

FESTA DE’ NOANTRI

Getting ready for the night’s festivities. . .



Festa de’ Noantri is a festival that takes place in Trastevere each year.  The festival dates back to the early 1500’s.  The story is that there was a great storm, and after the storm settled several fisherman went down to the Tiber River and found a statue of the Virgin Mary carved from cedar wood.  The statue was given to the Carmelites and to the Church of St. Chrysogonus in Trastevere.  This is where the name ‘Our Lady of Mount Caramel’ originated.  Each year during June, a statue of the Virgin Mary is carried in procession through the streets and neighborhoods of Trastevere and along the Tiber River.  The festival began as a religious celebration, but over time it has transformed into much more.  The procession still takes place and religious services are held, but the streets of Trastevere are also filled with entertainment.  You will find musical acts, concerts, plays, films, games and even a firework display.  The firework display is scheduled to take place tonight, Sunday, July 24th at 11:30 PM. If you haven’t been to Trastevere to take in the fun of the festival, you still have a few more days, as the festival ends on the 26th.  The festival is also free to attend.  

Have You Stopped to Smell the Roses Lately?

Located across from the Circus Maximus

All the roses have fun, whimsical names. . .

A garden full of history, wonder & delight.

Rome’s Rose Garden, Il Roseto Cumunale di Roma, is located on the Aventine Hill across from the Circus Maximus.  The public garden was established in 1931, but the space was used as a Jewish cemetery in the 17th century.  There are more than 1,200 varieties of roses deriving from all over the world featured in the garden.  The upper part of the garden contains the permanent collection, while the lower part features floral contestants from the international competition of ‘Premio Roma’, an annual competition among international floriculturists.  It is a treat of beauty, peace and quietness in the heart of the city.  
Entrance to the garden is free.  It is open from May throughout the summer months from 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM, although the best time to visit is during the May – June flowering season.