Sep 12, 2017

Basilica St. Mary of the Angels

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, splendid church in the center of Rome, designed by Michelangelo and inaugurated in 1562. It was built inside the ruins of the majestic Roman Baths of Diocletian (built between 298 and 306 AD) and is located in Piazza della Repubblica, a few steps from our Hotel Montecarlo Roma and Termini station

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Sep 11, 2017

Temple of Hadrian

The Temple of Hadrian, in Piazza di Pietra, between Via del Corso and the Pantheon, amazing Roman temple built in 145 AD, not so far from our Hotel Montecarlo Roma

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Sep 10, 2017

The Bridge of the Angels

The Bridge of the Angels (Ponte Sant'Angelo), in front of Castel Sant'Angelo, built in 134 AD, the most beautiful bridge in the Eternal City with its ten angels sculpted in the 17th century by Bernini students

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Sep 9, 2017

Stoic thoughts

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Museo Ostiense di Ostia Antica | 2014

Sep 8, 2017

Slow Life

"Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time" ― Voltaire

Sep 7, 2017

The blog of Hotel Montecarlo

Check the blog of Hotel Montecarlo Roma where to find interesting informations, helpful suggestions and tips to discover something more about Rome, the most beautiful city in the world

Sep 6, 2017

The Fountain of the Books

This strange fountain named Fontana dei Libri (Fountain of the Books) is close to Piazza Sant'Eustacchio, between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, and was built in 1927 by the artist Pietro Lombardi. The fountain is whimsical, featuring several giant books, said to be a reference to the University della Sapienza. In between the books is a deer's head, symbolizing the district of Sant’Eustachio where it is located. You'll find other similar, wonderful little fountains throughout Rome, such as the Fountain of the Artists, the Fountain of the Amphorae, and the Fountain of the Tiaras

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Sep 2, 2017

The Symbol of Rome

Never enough to talk about the Colosseum, the symbol of Rome, sited between Esquiline, Palatine and Celian Hills, one of the greatest wonders of Roman civilization. It was begun by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and completed by his son, the Emperor Titus, in 80 AD and still holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest amphitheater, the most visited spot in Italy (after the Vatican) with 6 million of tourists every year. Incredible but true, in the past the Colosseum was abandoned and the Catholic church used it as a quarry, taking stones from here to build the cathedrals of St. Peter and St. John Lateran and the Palazzo Venezia

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Aug 31, 2017

The greatest Roman wonder

Never tired to photograph the Colosseum, the symbol of Rome, sited between Esquiline, Palatine and Celian Hills, one of the greatest wonders of Roman civilization. It was begun by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and completed by his son, the Emperor Titus, in 80 AD

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Aug 30, 2017

Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine, the largest Roman triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, erected in 315 AD to commemorate Constantine Emperor's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD

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Aug 29, 2017

The river under the Colosseum

Incredible but true: under the Colosseum, approximately hundred meters, there is an underground river and two thousand years ago, on the surface, there was a lake that the Romans drained by conveying the waters through artificial ducts up to the Tiber river, before to build the marvelous amphitheater. Some of these ancient ducts are still visible in the basements of the Basilica of San Clemente, an ancient splendid church located just a few meters from the Colosseum

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Aug 28, 2017

The Trajan's Column

Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum. Completed in AD 113, the freestanding column is most famous for its spiral bas relief, which artistically describes the epic wars between the Romans and Dacians (101–102 and 105–106). Its design has inspired numerous victory columns, both ancient and modern

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Aug 27, 2017

Via della Conciliazione

(From Wikipedia) - Via della Conciliazione (Road of the Conciliation), a famous street in the Rione of Borgo, that roughly 500 metres (1,600 ft) in length, and connects Saint Peter's Square to the Castel Sant'Angelo on the western bank of the Tiber River. The road was constructed between 1936 and 1950, and it is the primary access route to the Square. In addition to shops, it is bordered by a number of historical and religious buildings – including the Palazzo Torlonia, the Palazzo dei Penitenzieri and the Palazzo dei Convertendi, and the churches of Santa Maria in Traspontina and Santo Spirito in Sassia. Despite being one of the few major thoroughfares in Rome able to cope with a high volume of traffic without congestion, it is the subject of much ire both within the Roman community and among historical scholars due to the circumstances under which it was constructed. The area around the church was rebuilt several times following the various Sacks of Rome, and again after having deteriorated due to the loss of prosperity resulting from the Papacy's relocation to Avignon during the 14th century. Through all of these reconstructions, the area in front of the short courtyard of Saint Peter's Basilica remained a maze of densely packed structures overhanging narrow side-streets and alleyways.
Plans were drawn up several times over the years for the construction of a major link between the Vatican City and the centre of Rome; the number of submissions increasing dramatically with the onset of the Italian Renaissance. The first design was submitted by Leone Battista Alberti during the reign of Pope Nicholas V, and formed one of the two perennial designs proposed for the area. Alberti envisioned an "open" plan, consisting of a single voluminous V-shaped boulevard, widest at St. Peter's Basilica itself and tapering as it approached the Tiber. The other scheme of designs submitted by architects was a "closed" plan that would consist of two roads arching outwards in an ellipse, with the Tiber and the Square at opposite ends. Proponents of a closed plan would usually suggest that the space between the two causeways be separated by a colonnade, or by a row of inhabited structures whose designs would be scrutinised and approved by architects employed by the Holy See. Variations on both themes were submitted time and time again. Proponents of an "open" plan included such architects as Giovanni Battista Nolli and Cosimo Morelli. A number of other architects, such as Carlo Fontana, and at least one Pope (Sixtus V) favoured a "closed" design, with a number of streets radiating from the central square, maintaining the "spina", or spine, of the structures of Borgo directly between the square and the Tiber.[9] Neither approach moved beyond sketches and blueprints. Both open and closed designs were considered by the Vatican, but were ultimately discarded for reasons of expense. A thorough examination of the costs of constructing a thoroughfare was made by the Vatican-approved St. Peter's Building Commission in 1651. Their conclusion was that "the cardinals' proposal to demolish all the buildings between the Borgo Nuovo and the Borgo Vecchio for a greater and longer vista to the church" would be infeasible due to inordinately high expropriation costs and vested property interests.

Further momentum was lost when Gian Lorenzo Bernini was commissioned to redesign the terrace in front of the Basilica in 1656. After discarding several sketches, Bernini settled on a colossal open space in the shape of an ellipse. With the potential expense of clearing Borgo, Bernini decided instead to make use of the warren of poorly maintained medieval buildings to obscure any view of the Vatican structures from any significant distance. In this way, pilgrims emerged from the relative darkness of the city into the vast open space and grandeur of the Square and its surrounding buildings – a sight calculated to inspire awe in first-time visitors to the Holy See's seat of power. Bernini had originally planned to demolish a square roughly 100 m to a side directly in front of the square, filling the space with a third colonnade (or "terzo braccio") to match the two still standing today. This would afford a longer vantage point to allow visitors a better viewing angle of the new Basilica. The death of his patron, Pope Alexander VII, put a halt to Bernini's work. The third set of columns was abandoned, and Bernini's piazza remained open-ended and incomplete.

From the final major reconstruction of Borgo in the 15th century, the site which the Via della Conciliazione now covers remained occupied by residential, religious, and historical buildings for nearly 500 years. The final impetus behind the road's construction was primarily political. Borgo, along with the rest of the Papal States outside of the Vatican itself, was taken by the Kingdom of Italy during the Italian unification in the 19th Century – leading to Pope Pius IX's declaration that he had become a prisoner in the Vatican and the formation of the Roman Question. For the next 59 years, the Popes refused to leave the Vatican, in order to avoid any appearance of accepting the authority wielded by the Italian government over Rome as a whole. Initially, parts of the Italian government welcomed this, expecting the influence of the Papacy to fade to the point that enough political support could be gained to abolish it altogether. However, this failed to come to pass, and eventually a compromise acceptable to both states was reached in the Lateran treaty of 1929.

Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, who had signed the accord on behalf of the King, resurrected the idea of a grand thoroughfare symbolically connecting the Vatican to the heart of the Italian capital. To fulfil this vision, Mussolini turned to the prominent Fascist architects Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli. Drawing inspiration from a number of the designs submitted by Carlo Fontana, Piacentini came up with a plan that would preserve the best aspects of both the "open" and "closed" designs – a grand boulevard that would nonetheless obscure the majority of the Vatican buildings per Bernini's intentions. The vast colonnaded street would require the clearance of the whole "spina" of Borgo placed in between the Basilica and the Castle. Since the facades of the buildings lining this space did not align perfectly, in order to create the illusion of a perfectly straight causeway traffic islands would be erected along both sides, with rows of obelisks leading towards the Square, doubling as lampposts. These were also intended to reduce the effect that the funnel-shaped design would have on perspective when facing the Basilica. The wings of those buildings closest to the square would be preserved to form a propylaea, blocking the greater portion of the Vatican City from approaching visitors and framing the Square and Basilica at the head of a grand open space that would allow for easy vehicular access.

Demolition of the spina of Borgo began with Mussolini's symbolic strike of the first building with a pickaxe on 29 October 1936 and continued for twelve months. Even at the time, the demolition proved controversial, with many Borgo residents displaced en masse to settlements ("borgate") outside of the city. Among the buildings dismantled, either totally or in part, and rebuilt in another position, were the Palazzo dei Convertendi, the house of Giacomo Bartolomeo da Brescia, the Church of the Nunziatina, the palaces Rusticucci-Accoramboni and degli Alicorni (the latter had been already demolished in 1931). Other buildings, like the palace of the Governatore di Borgo and the Churches of San Giacomo Scossacavalli and Sant'Angelo al Corridore, were destroyed. Facing into the cleared area are five other historical buildings, the Palazzo Giraud Torlonia, the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, the Palazzo dei Penitenzieri, Palazzo Serristori, and Palazzo Cesi (which was mutilated).
The construction of the road was only a small feature in the reconstruction of Rome ordered by Mussolini, which ranged from the restoration of the Castel Sant'Angelo, the clearance of the Mausoleum of Augustus, to the vastly more complicated site of the Via dell'Impero through Rome's ancient imperial remains. His plan was to transform Rome into a monument to Italian fascism.
In five years, Rome must appear marvellous to all the peoples of the world; vast, orderly, powerful, as it was in the time of the first empire of Augustus.

Construction of the road continued long after Mussolini's death and the abolition of Italian Fascism. The obelisks along the road were installed in time for the Jubilee of 1950
Since its completion, the road has acted as the primary access point to St. Peter's Square, and by extension to the Vatican City itself. At times, such as during the funeral of Pope John Paul II, it has acted as an extension to the square itself, allowing a greater number of visitors to attend functions conducted there

(From Wikipedia)

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Aug 26, 2017

Fontana di Trevi

La fontana più bella di Roma e una delle più celebri del mondo, realizzata tra il 1732 e il 1762 su una precedente "vasca" realizzata nel Quattrocento, a sua volta costruita sui resti di un antico monumento realizzato nel I secolo a.C. dall'architetto Agrippa, genero dell'imperatore Augusto, per celebrare l'apertura dell'acquedotto Virgo e lo sgorgare delle sue acque nell'Urbe. Il nome Trevi deriva dal fatto che in passato qui esisteva un trivio, cioè tre vie che si diramavano da un unico punto. La Fontana di Trevi è assolutamente la prima meta da visitare della Città Eterna

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Aug 11, 2017


A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not” ― Ernest Hemingway

What greater gift than the love of a cat” ― Charles Dickens

Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat” ― Mark Twain

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior
― Hippolyte Taine

Aug 8, 2017


"I collect records. And cats. I don't have any cats right now. But if I'm taking a walk and I see a cat, I'm happy" - Haruki Murakami

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Aug 3, 2017

August in Rome

 “All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice” – Elliott Erwitt

Aug 1, 2017

August in Rome

"Every year, August lashes out in volcanic fury, rising with the din of morning traffic, its great metallic wings smashing against the ground, heating the air with ever-increasing intensity" -  Henry Rollins

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Jul 31, 2017

Country road at night

"It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness" - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Ostia Antica (Rome), Italy, 31 July 2017

Jul 30, 2017

About Photography

The less gear you use, the more you grow as a photographer. Although there are fewer options available, you'll find more creative ways to capture what you feel! In a way, all your technical options before turn into creative solutions that improve your photography even more” ― Marius Vieth

Jul 28, 2017

The black and white cat

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life... music and cats”  ― Albert Schweitzer

Jul 27, 2017

Pastori d'Abruzzo

Poesia di Gabriele D'Annunzio


Settembre. Andiamo è tempo di migrare.
Ora in terra d’Abruzzo i miei pastori
lascian gli stazzi e vanno verso il mare,
vanno verso l’Adriatico selvaggio 
che verde è come i pascoli dei monti.
Han bevuto profondamente ai fonti alpestri
ché sapor d’acqua natia
rimanga nei cuori esuli a conforto,
che lungo illuda la lor sete in via.
Rinnovato hanno verga d’avellano.
E vanno pel tratturo antico al piano
quasi per un erbal fiume silente,
su le vestigia degli antichi padri.
Oh voce di colui che primamente
conobbe il tremolar della marina!
Ora lungh’esso il litoral
cammina la greggia.
Senza mutamento è l’aria
e il sole imbionda sì la viva lana 
che quasi dalla sabbia non divaria.
Isciacquìo, calpestìo, dolci rumori,
ah perché non son io coi miei pastori?

Rosciolo dei Marsi (Abruzzo), Italy, July 2017