There is so much to see and live in these fantastic cities.
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Rome is the Eternal City
It is the largest museum in the world, a monumental city, a city of fountains, of palaces, of churches, of piazzas, of ancient monuments, embassies, governmental buildings and even museums.
This is the city of sunshine, romance and culture. It is the undisputed mistress of the world, the supreme and eternal city. The seat of the Roman Empire and Christendom and the Capital of Italy.
The only city in the world that houses 30 centuries of history completely accounted for and never abandoned. All epochs are relived in a multitude of monuments and ruins which still reflect the glory and splendor of her past.
She still possesses all of its treasures and mysteries.
Come and walk with me, let’s discover the mystery of the charm and eternity of this noble city. Let’s go into its winding alleys and be surprised when all of a sudden we come across a monumental Piazza with an astounding fountain with monumental sculptures of the 4 rivers, or turn the corner and find oneself facing the Trevi Fountain and making the three most important wishes, then all of a sudden a majestic Dome is facing us and standing proud for its over 2000 years-the Pantheon.
Rome is Pagan and Christian, the City of the Caesars, the City of the Popes, the City of the Curators of the Arts, of the rich aristocratic families that ruled and contributed to its eternity.
It is the City of Michelangelo, of Bernini, of Julius Caesar, of Cicero, of Federico Fellini, of great engineering and architectural feats such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Roman Colosseum and let’s not forget the Pantheon, the largest dome ever constructed without iron re-enforcement.
All things happened in Rome first and then the rest of the world. FollowLaila and discover her soul and mysteries. Discover her music and her perfumes and hear her songs. Rome has always been Caput Mundi, the center of the world, in the Roman period, in the middle ages, in the Renaissance and even in the Belle Epoque, she was the soul influence to all forms of art.
Let’s discover her many secrets. Roma, the “One and Only”.
Do It Like an Italian!
The Trevi Fountain, our wishing well
Here I am at the Trevi Fountain, living life to the fullest and ready to make the famous three wishes.
Everyone knows that when you come to Rome, the most important stop is the Trevi Fountain to make that special wish to “return to Rome” and it does work!
Everyone that comes to Rome always returns or at least wants to. Where else can such a romantic fountain be found? But there is much more to the Trevi Fountain than that.
This is a special Fountain, it is our “Wishing Well”. Here we can make 3 wishes, but the most important wish is to return to Rome.
Pope Clemens XII had it constructed by Nicola Salvi in the 1700’s. The fountain features Neptune, the god of the sea on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by two horses, each being guided by a Triton, in the act of taming the waters. It is attached to the facade of the Palazzo Poli.
On the two sides we have female statues of Humility and Abundance, 30 species of plants and numerous animals.
It is 20 meters wide and 26 meters high. It is the largest fountain in Rome. It is not surprising that the fountain uses in excess of 2,824,800 cubic feet of water every single day.
The source of the water is an aqueduct dating back to 19 B.C. which is almost entirely underground. The spring water was discovered by Agrippa, brother-in-law and friend of Emperor Augustus. A young maiden revealed the source to the Roman soldiers, thus the water was named Aqua Virgo. It is the only still-functioning Aqueduct of the Roman Empire.
We can trace the fountain waters throughout the city of Rome in elegant basements, archeological sites, on street corners, and in the fields. The coins are collected nightly and donated to charity.
So when you come to visit we shall follow its course and see where it will take us.
Piazza Navona, a spectacular location
Piazza Navona, is the most elegant and beautiful piazza in Rome.
It reminds us of the rich, opulent theatrical period of the 1600’s, the richest period of Papal Rome.
The square was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. There are three fountains. The central fountain steals the scene. It is the Fountain of the 4 Rivers, it represents the world known at that time with 4 continents and their 4 major rivers. Travertine rocks rise to support four river gods and above them, an Egyptian obelisk topped with the Papal Pamphili family emblem of a dove with an olive branch in its beak.
Collectively, they represent four major rivers of the four continents through which papal authority had spread: the Nile in Africa, the Danube in Europe, the Ganges in Asia, and the Rio de la Plata represents the Americas.
The form of the Square is that of an ancient Roman Stadium built by Emperor Domitian at the end of the 1st Cent. A.D. where the athletes raced nude and a variety of athletics were done.
It was richly decorated and painted in bright colors and it held 30,000 spectators.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome’s population declined. Its buildings went into decay or were pilfered to create other buildings.
We can still visit the ancient stadium by going underground to the ruins of the Stadium.
Remember that ancient Rome is still here, it is either underground or englobed somehow in the Rome of today.
Rome is a marvel of hidden secrets.
FollowLaila and discover
Spanish Steps Square
Just imagine you are at the top of the Steps, in front of the French Church, Trinity of the Mountains, and you are looking down at the Square with the famous fountain of the Old Boat, la Barcaccia, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini made in the 1600’s and representing Tiber Island in the center of the Tiber River.
Imagine you are a butterfly and you spread your wings and slowly glide down to the Square.
There are 135 steps that flow down both sides and end at the fountain. You are in a culturally rich area of town where in the Romantic period and Grand Tour period (from the 1700’s on to the early 20th century) this was a center of culture in the world. Italy did not have any romantic writers per say, but it influenced the world of Romantic Literature and music. Rich travelers came to Italy to learn and see the ruins of the past and be influenced by the culture.
Literary Salons were in all the important palaces of the area and made this Square a center of the world. Napoleon was King of Italy for a short period from 1804-1814 and brought his architects to study the Roman ruins and consequently a large number of artifacts and sculptures were sent to France.
Today this Piazza is one of the world centers of High Fashion and Via Condotti is the Hotspot for haute couture. The literary Salons and Palaces now house the Jet Set and Aristocrats. Movie sets are always in the area. The home of Keats and Shelley is now a Museum.
The Literary Salons of the 1700’s and 1800’s are now historical landmarks and Coffee and Tea Houses that are a must-see. In April and May, the Square is even more beautiful than usual because potted azaleas are brought in to cover the midsection of the Steps. It is spectacular.
So much more to see and to say- Be a butterfly….I will be waiting for you here …
The Roman Pantheon is one of the best preserved of all the Ancient Roman buildings.
It was originally constructed by Agrippa the end of the 1st century B.C. and subsequently restored several times. It went through heavy restructuring during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. In the year 609 A.D it was converted into a Catholic church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs. It is a perfect elliptical form that measures 142 ft. in diameter and has an open oculus to the sky.
The building is a rotunda with a portico and large granite columns from Egypt. It is famous as the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. 2000 years old and it still looks majestic.
It is a functioning Roman Catholic Church today and houses the monumental tombs of the first and second king of Italy and the tomb of the Renaissance painter, Raphael Sanzio.
But to learn more about this amazing building you have to come here and we can visit it together.
It is too important for just words.
The Pantheon is like a god.
It is eternal and will always be here.
There is a mystery to its eternity. Would you like to know what it is?
Come and feel its magic and let me introduce you to this eternal god and reveal some of its secrets.
The Marvels of Ancient Rome
Today we are on the oldest paved highway in the world.
We are going to take a walk along this ancient road. It is the famous Ancient Appian Way that was built in 313 B.C.
From this Highway many other highways were constructed by the Roman armies that conquered the whole Mediterranean World.
Thus, all of the Roman territories were connected by a network of 250,000 miles of roads.
Today, walking along this road, you find ancient Roman tombs, ancient Roman villas, 20th century villas built on the ruins of ancient tombs, catacombs, ancient monuments, and Roman aqueducts.
This is one of the most interesting and pleasureful strolls and this is where I want to take you.
Rome is a city of many hidden treasures.
Let’s take a walk in the Ghetto, or shall we call it Kosher Rome in the city of the Popes?
It is a patchwork of history, ancient buildings transformed and readapted from over 2000 years ago, facades that remind us of the glory of Rome’s great past.
This neighborhood is a little jewel hidden between Venice Square and the Tiber River. It is a cultural, religious and gastronomical experience. The Ghetto is the oldest Jewish settlement in Rome. Their traditions go as far back as Egypt. The first Jews came in the 2nd Cent. B.C., and then again, a large number came at the end of the 1st Cent. A.D. and primarily settled in that neighborhood since.
You have probably heard of the Jewish artichokes, this specialty was born in the Ghetto after WWII.
They were quite a success from the 1st day. You must try one before you leave; they are irresistible!
All the food here is different from any part of the Jewish world or any part of Rome.
Portico D’Ottavia is the main street.
It is a the neighborhood village center for gathering and visiting and the Synagogue is the main religious and cultural center.
This is the Jewish neighborhood, but it is so much more.
It is one of the most interesting, lively and busy locations in Rome, except for Saturdays of course.