Monday, 9 February 2009

The vase of Trevi's fountain

When you look at Trevi's fountain you admire the scenic beauty of the whole monument, the water effects, the white marbles which evoke the majesty of Baroque Rome and won't probably notice an ornamental vase placed to the right of the fountain itself. It seems that it has been put there by Nicola Salvi, the author of the project of the fountain in 1733. In front of the vase there was a barber shop and the barber while the works were ongoing criticised the project: the fountain wasn't beautiful at all! Nicola Salvi, sick and tired of the critics, created a vase and he placed it just in front of the barber shop so to prevent the barber from criticising his work again! The barber shop isn't there anymore but the vase still is.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Circus Maximus and the obelisks

The Circus Maximus can be considered the biggest circus ever built. It was 600 meters long and 140 meters wide and it could host 250.000 people. It was built in the 6th century B.C. In the 1st century B.C. Augustus placed in the central part of the circus the obelisk of Rhamses II which today dominates Piazza del Popolo. In the year 357 A.D. it was placed at the centre of the circus another obelisk, the highest one in Rome, which can be admired today in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. Both obelisks were stolen by the romans during the occupation of Egypt and both of them reused to decorate two beautiful squares.

Monday, 2 February 2009

The Pantheon and the canopy of St.Peter


Pasquino statue

The Pantheon is an extraordinary monument: it is the best preserved ancient monument of Rome and, among other records, it has the biggest masonry dome ever realised. It was built and destroyed several times until its final version (done in the 2nd century A.D.) arrived till today. The ceiling of the entrance (pronaos) was covered by tons of bronze which were removed in 1625 by pope Urban VIII from Barberini family to realise the canopy of Bernini in S.Peter. Some time later, someone put the following sentence above Pasquino's head  (the most known "talking statue" of Rome): "quod non fecerunt barbari fecerunt Barberini" (what the barbarians never managed to do, the Barberini actually did)!