31 January 2006

Roma sotterranea

The new Arion bookshop opened under piazza Fiume boasts a Roman wall in opus reticulatum with terracotta draining pipes. All around, books about Rome.

26 January 2006

Guard post near piazza Fiume

Mediaval remains of a guard post near Porta Salaria, one of Rome gates damaged by cannon balls in 1870 and destroyed in early 20th century. On the right of this small, badly maintained area surrounded by traffic, the copy of the tomb of Quintus Sulpicious Maximus, very young poet from the 1st century AD.

25 January 2006

Street signs

Street signs in Rome are made from travertine, a variety of marble extensively used in the Colosseum (and in the Getty Center in Los Angeles). But the reason that made the gas pipe respectfully bend around the street sign in via Magenta, near Termini central railway station, is probably bureaucratic rather than economic.

22 January 2006

Palazzo Madama

Palazzo Madama is the seat of the Italian senate since 1870. The building, originally erected in the 15th century by the Bishop of Chiusi, became later a property of the Popes from Medici and Farnese families.

20 January 2006

Resting seagull

Seagull resting on top of a building in via Crescenzio, quartiere Prati.

18 January 2006

Balcony facing south

Outdoor exposition of citruses and succulents on a sun-bathed balcony facing south in via Zanardelli, near piazza Navona.

17 January 2006

Plane trees in villa Borghese park

A very old plane tree in villa Borghese park, just a few hundred metres from via Veneto.

15 January 2006

Assorted road signs

Road signs assortment in viale della Milizie, quartiere Prati: one of the ubiquitous signs directing to the nearest INAIL office, a rather unexpected skid danger sign, advertisement of a caviar-based beauty treatment and others.

14 January 2006

Old stones of Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo, once the tomb of Emperor Hadrian, was later transformed in a fortress.

11 January 2006

An angel on Sant'Angelo bridge

"Angel with the sponge" (inscription "Potaverunt me aceto" / "They gave me vinegar to drink"), from a series of ten angels holding instruments of the Passion on Ponte Sant'Angelo. Spanning from the city centre to Emperor Hadrian's monumental tomb (now Castel Sant'Angelo), the bridge was built in 133 AD and embellished with ten statues from Bernini's studio in 1669.

10 January 2006

Flood effects on the Tevere quay

Heavy rains during November through January caused a spectualar rise of the Tevere water level. Here is one of many vehicles caught by the flood while on the quay.

8 January 2006

Ice skating at Roman Auditorium

The ice-skating rink among the three concert halls of the Roman Auditorium designed by Renzo Piano. The small rink only opens during Christmas holidays and is usually packed with people of all ages.

7 January 2006

Sant'Agnese in Agone

Modern heroes flying behind the church of St. Agnes in piazza Navona, designed by Francesco Borromini in the 1650s. The Italian name of the Basilica is Sant'Agnese in Agone, a hint to the origin of the piazza as a stadium in ancient Rome.

6 January 2006

The House of Befana

Befane (witch-like old women) on display in piazza Navona at the Epiphany. Until a few decades ago, Christmas had no relations with gifts in Italy, and Befana day was boxing day. Nowadays, on the morning of January 6th children find small toys and sweets inside the long stockings their parents hung the night before. The very bad ones may also receive the now rare, politically uncorrect piece of charcoal.

1 January 2006

The casino Borghese

The recently renovated casino Borghese in December sunlight. In sunny summer days, due to the bright color of its facade, it is difficult to walk near this beautiful 17th century palace without sunglasses.