Thursday, 24 February 2011
Monday, 21 February 2011
Why there is a fountain with the shape of an old boat in front of the Spanish steps? The fountain was built in 1627, a century before the Spanish steps, by Pietro Bernini (father of the more known Gian Lorenzo) with the help of his son. It was commissioned by the pope Urbano VIII who seems to have been impressed by a boat who was found exactly where today we see the fountain after a big flood of the Tiber. To remember this particular episode, the pope decided to commission this fountain which is now called by the romans Barcaccia, old ugly boat.
Friday, 11 February 2011
According to the tradition, who throws a coin from the back inside Trevi's Fountain, one day will come back to Rome. Thousands of people every day throw a coin hoping one day to see Rome again. But where all these coins end up? Every day early in the morning, few cops surround the fountain and draw all the coins in with some pumps. They gather all the coins in bags and then they hand them over to some employees of the Caritas, one the biggest charity organizations in Rome. The tourists who throw the coins in the fountain hoping one day to come back to Rome, don't know that they are helping the poor and the homeless people of the city. The coins are eventually counted, separated and invested in charity by the Caritas. The coins of foreign currencies are periodically sent with some trucks in Germany and England where there are special organizations which can change them in euro. But how much money Trevi's Fountain can "produce"? A huge amount: roughly 700,000 euros per year, on average a bit less than 2,000 euros per day. This fountain doesn't only delight who looks at it but also helps plenty of needful people.
Monday, 7 February 2011
San Clemente, very close by the Colosseum, is a church built on three levels: the upper and lower basilica and a roman house (II century A.D.). In the lower basilica it has been represented the legend of Sisinnio. He was the prefect of Rome and he married a woman called Teodora who has been convinced by Clemente, the saint to whom the church is dedicated, to remain virgin. Sisinnio, angry at his wife, decided one day to follow her with his soldiers and he found her in a catacomb attending a mess by Clemente. He then ordered to his soldiers to tie Clemente up and take him away but, according to the legend, he became istantaneously a marble column and because of his weight he couldn't be brought anywhere. The expressions readable from the fresco, which they make looking the story as a "comics", are from 1100 ca and they are the oldest known artistic utilization of the so called "vulgar" (a language between latin and italian). The most famous expression is "fili de la pute traite" meaning: son of a bitch pull him up! One of the first expressions in "vulgar" is an insult!