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In the archeological museum of the Centrale Montemartini in #Rome there are also some reliefs that, according to the scholars, belonged to an ancient temple dedicated to #Apollo, a famous Roman and Greek God who was very loved by the people. That temple was able to be a main character during some important times and facts for Rome, starting from its foundation. It was located close to the Marcellus Theatre, where still today three of its gorgeous columns still standing, and it was made for the first time during the V century BC. It was a dark age for Rome, because several civil and social crisis hit the city. So, sometimes a plague or something like that could spread out the city, and this is the reason why Roman citizens erected a temple dedicated to #Apollo, a God related to the medicine and health. But then, during the I century BC, an important man like Julius Caesar decided to use this temple like a great propaganda tool! He would like to built a theatre close to it, because Apollo was also related to the Arts, but his project never ended due to his assassination. Just Augustus completed what is today known like the Marcellus Theatre, quite to commemorate his famous relative who tried, for the first time, to built something like that in Rome. And now, after thousand of years, scholars tried to rebuilt what it could be the real marble decorations of the ancient facade of this old temple. That marble fragments tell us the Greek epysode of the "Amazzonomachia", the mythological war between the Amazons and the Greek people! Between them, heroes like Teseo or Hercules could be recognized, looking at the fine and detailled marble reliefs. What is really interesting, is that probably that decorations came from another temple set in Greece. A rich Roman man, named Sosio, decided to move them, bringing them here in Rome and using them to embellish this old temple of Apollo, which crosses the centuries...
P.S. If you want to join a private tour in Rome, leading by a local tour guide like me, Eyes of Rome will be the perfect company for you! With passion we will discover with you thee beauties of the city! http://www.eyesofrome.com/
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One of the greatest statues set in the Vatican Museum is this bronze work of art depicting Hercules, the famous Greek and Roman hero! He has is club on the right hand, and the three apples from the Esperidi in the other hand. This masterpiece, coming from the I century BC, was discovered in the area of Campo de Fiori, a famous neighborhood where is located a traditional market place, pubs and good restaurants! Its location could confirm how this statue should be one of the decorations of the ancient Theatre of Pompeo, a great monument built in that area. But there are some curiosities about this statue, with the detailled and muscular bodies and that not proportionate head (Romans would like just to underline the idea of strenght and power of the hero). When it was discovered two centuries ago, it was located inside an underground room, a sort of burial recess. And close to it there were some fragments and pieces of...lambs! It seems that an animal sacrifice was organized, and after that the animals and the statue were hidden and buried! Why? Thanks to the modern technologies, we know how this bronze statue was hit by a lightning. An infamous sign for the Romans, who would like to pray the Gods to save the city, without any punishments for the people and the community! #Rome
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One of the most impressive and big monuments in the archaeological area of Ostia Antica is the so called "Capitolium". It is located in the area of the Forum, the main square which each single Roman city had. It was the business and political centre, usually surrounded by monuments like this one! What does it mean "Capitolium"? This latin world came from the name of one of the central hills of #Rome, a hill where it was built by the kings of the city the main temple for the Romans: that one dedicated to Jupiter! So, some colonies (like Ostia, which was also the port of Rome) started to build some temples in order to remind their motherland, like this one! It is located above a huge marble podium, and we can reach the entrance using 21 marble steps. It seems quite to climb a hill... It's a pity that today we can see just the main walls and structures of this monument, built in #Ostia at the beginning of the ii century AD. The wonderful decorations, like the statues and the marble floor which embellished this place, were reused over the centuries to build other things! At the end, what is interesting is how the Forum area was located just when the two main avenues of a Roman city meet them (avenues coming from north to south and from west to east). Imagine how the people who came from north walked in a long marble avenue flanked by porticos along the long sides, having the red bricks rear of the "Capitolium" in front of us... How Romans used to create gorgeous panoramas! 
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Isola Tiberina, the island of the Tiber, the only river of #Rome! Several legends exist around its origins, and some of them are really strange! What is sure is that this island has a helpful vocation, due to its modern hospital and due to the small, first hospitals which were built here since the IX century AD. According to one of that legends, this island still existed in Rome. But it was an abandoned place, with some trees and nothing more! During the 292 century BC, a strong plague hit the city. Like in other similar cases, the Roman senators tried to find an help reaching some sacred Greek shrines, entrusting the other foreing gods. So, a Roman ship arrived to Epidauro, a famous place where there was a sacred complex. There was located and important temple dedicated to Esculapio, the God of the Medicine. The members of the delegation praied and saw the sacred well of that temple, plenty of snakes! That animals were considered symbol of fertility, and they were sacred to Esculapio. It seems that a snake was able to escape, reaching the Roman ship and arriving in Rome. When that boat was close to the Isola Tiberina, it escaped from that, starting to live in that abandoned place. Since that moment, Romans understood that it was a sign from the God, and he erected a temple dedicated to him.... but according to another version of the same legend, that island during the 292 century BC didn't exist! When the Roman ship came back in Rome, from Epidauro, the boat sank into the river of the #Tiber. Keep in mind that there was a sacred snake...according to the legend, Esculapio helped the animal, carrying the boat to the surface and immortalizing it in the riverbed of the Tiber, creating a new...island! 
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Here we can see a curious church with a strange stone deer topping that! We are in the Sant'Eustachio district, a small neighborhood in #Rome set very close to the #Pantheon. The symbol of this place is the deer. Why? We should talk about Sant'Eustachio, a Roman centurion who was named Placido. It was his first latin name, and he was really crazy for hunt! Like the other Roman men, he believed that to be a good hunter could mean be a brave warrior. One day, we are during the II century, he was hunting in a forest close to #Tivoli (25 miles far from Rome), when he saw a deer. What is really incredible is that he saw the figure and the face of Jesus Christ between the strong and pronged horns. He changed his faith, becoming a Christian believer! And he decided to change his name, becoming Eustachio. It is the first miracle, but there is something more... when he came back in Rome, after some days his family to was converted. Keep in mind how Christian people were persecuted! So, his family was condemned to be eat by some lions inside an arena. According to the tradition, lions didn't attack them, didn't eat them, and they bow their looks, quite respecting them. So, the Roman authorities thought about a new, cruel, torture. Eustachio and his family were imprisoned inside a big bronze statue having a bull shape, It was placed above a furnice, and it got incandescent....imagine how terrible could be their deaths! But there's another miracle... when the Roman and pagan soldiers removed their bodies, they were unbelievably untouched, in perfect conditions! According to the tradition, this church was erected above the Eustachio's home during the IV century AD! #Rome 
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12/05/17
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Pictures about the wonderful Baroque Church of the Saints Luke and Martina, erected close to the Roman Forum. According to some documents, the first core of the sacred place was made at the beginning of the VII century by Pope Onorio I. But the real history of this place started during the XVI century, when a Federico Zuccari (a famous and active painter in Rome), decided to found the St Luke Academy. It should be, according to him, an institution having one importan aim: to display how an artist, but especially a painter, was something more than a simple artisan. like they were considered. #Michelangelo was the first artist who understood how was important for an artist to be consider like a professional, a man who can receive commissions and important sponsors. At the beginning of the XVI century, the first headquarter of the Academy was closed, and the artists started to find another place for them. Pietro da Cortona, a famous painter who had a lot of important sponsors, like the Pope Urban VIII, asked to him to restore completely the church, building the tombs and crypts of his family too. He had good relatrionships with him, and the Pope accepted. Still today, we can see how Pietro da Cortona changed this church, converting it into one of the most beautiful jewels of the Baroque Age. Take a look to the fine dome, with its stucco and geometrical decorations... but what really was important for this church and its financings was a great event! When Pietro da Cortona started to excavate, just below the main altar, in order to project the underground tunnels of his crypt, he discovered something wonderful. A chest having a carved filigrine, with a sentence which claimed:"Here there's the body of Santa Martina"! So, he discovered the tomb of a martyr! A special news, who quite forced the Pope to borrow money and money in order to restore the church, helping Pietro da Cortona to have his tomb and helping the St Luke Academy to find its new headquarter! For centuries, artists, members and "princeps" (a title meaning for prince, gave to the main members of that institution like Bernini), met and worked here! #Rome 
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10/05/17
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This picture shows us one of the secret curiosities of Rome, located very close to Piazza Navona! You're looking at the facade of the Palazzo Massimo Istoriato, due to its frescos that still today we can try to see. They are there since the XV century, and although they were restored two centuries ago it is very hard to see them. But something they could tell us, because a palace having them underline how the owners were really rich... So, let me introduce the Massimo family, a powerful and noble family who owned several palaces in Rome, during the XIV and XV century. Villas and homes that still today are in #Rome, like Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, which today hosts a namesake and woderful archeological museum! Moreover, according to the legend the forefather of this family was the Roman consul Fabio Massimo "Il Temporeggiatore" ("The Procrastinator"), who was able to defend Rome from the fearsome Hannibal, using some tecniques based on one rule: don't attack Hannibal on a open field! Moreover, they owned the so-called Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, with its facade that is located just behind this palace that you can see in this picture. Its name comes from the ancient columns (Colonne), which embellish it. During the XVI century, this big palace was divided in three small apartment houses, like this one with frescos. That paintings tell us some epysodes from the rich marriage between Angelo Massimo and Antonietta Incoronati, a fashion and famous event which was immortalized on this facade. Another curiosity is the lonely columns, which is the only remain of the ancient Odeon built by the Roman Emperor Domitian, (I century AD). That sort of auditorium was used like a quorry during the Middle Ages, and like the basement of the palaces built by the Massimo family. The last curiosity is that: on the ground floor, during the 1467, the first printing works of Rome was opened! Two German men, Corrado Pannartz and Arnold Sweynheym, opened their first print house. They were Gutenberg's followers, and according to the tradition the first printed book in Rome was "De civitate Dei" by Sant'Agostino! 
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Glimpses of the majestic Arch of Septimus Severus, one of the three triumphal arches in #Rome! It was erected in the Roman Forum area, so just at the city centre, during the III century AD, and it was dedicated to that emperor, coming from Leptis Magna (an ancient city which was located in the modern North Africa) due to his deeds! Looking at that wonderful reliefs which runs along the marble surface of this great masterpiece, we can recognize episodes and scenes of wars: sieges, the building of roads, camps, fortifications, battle and fights, the emperor talking to the soldiers and legions, the defeated enemies and the destroyed city walls. What is interesting is that they couldn't be exactly the chronicles of the wars fought by the emperor, because Romans were real pragmatic and smart people, and they used to follow specific rules and rights while they were preparing a war. Although the differences between the battlefield or the enemies, Romans had a clear training and they used to fight and prepare a battle in the same way (always studying the opportunities, the characteristics and the differences of a single enemy or battlefield) and they used to convert them into marble reliefs! In some degree, keep in mind how Romans didn't have TV, cinemas or breaking news! The only way to know something about the world was a monument like this one. Useful for propaganda purposes too...
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06/05/17
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A reconstruction of the ancient Foro di #Nerva during the Middle Ages, one of the main piazzas which embellished the ancient city centre of ancient #Rome! In this way we can understand how this city changed a lot, and especially how the most important and iconic places of the "Caput Mundi" were converted in many things. Another clear example about how Rome is a sort of lasagna, with historical layers that still today could be seen! Imagine a long corridor, flanked by long and impressive marble colomuns, that are linking with marble walls and reliefs. They run around the entire square, depicting scenes related to Minerva, the Roman goddess of justice and wisdow. Behind you is located the temple dedicated to the goddess, standing on a marble podium. This place was used to create a connection between other two previous Fori (that one of Augustus and the other one of the Peace, made by Vespasian), and it had a specific function: justice! Here took place public executions, in front of the eyes and the temple of Minerva. In this way Romans could underline how important was this value for the Empire, in order to bring peace and stability. But now, take a look to this picture. After the falling of the Roman #Empire, everything changed in Rome. Imagine that here, for example, were there were fantastic columns and reliefs (and still today we can something about them), some porr homes started to be built. Maybe they could be flanked by corrals, for some animals like sheeps. Maybe some small ovens and furnices could be built, in order to melt and take concrete or marble, usufull materials from the ancient Rome which were sold. Why not, maybe think about poor men, with rags, living here hoping for a new life... it was Rome, a city which always changed, but that could show, still today, its monumental shapes!
P.S. If you want to come here in Rome, "using" a local tour guide in order to see and know the beauties of our city, you can contact Eyes of Rome (here the link http://www.eyesofrome.com/), a company of Roman tour guides with could lead us with passion and knowledge! 
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Two historical pictures depicting the deep changements which hit the most important archeological area in #Rome: the Roman Forum! Especially from the 1924 and 1932, the great chief of the #Fascism, Mussolini, decided to commission excavations in order to bring to the light something more about the ancient Rome. More remains, more ruins, more examples of the power of the Roman Empire. Why? Due to an idea which was foundamental for #Mussolini. He strongly believed that he should be the leader of the "Third Rome": after the city ruled by the emperors, and then by the Popes, the new Rome ruled by him and by the Fascism! This is the main reason why he promoted that excavations, changing maybe forever the Roman panorama. There's especially a symbol, a long avenue, that we can considered like the main example of this fact: Via dei Fori Imperiali, the long road that still today links Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum. It is curious how this avenue could bury a large sector of the Roman Forum. This is the reason why, sometimes and since its inauguration, there are several projects around its fate. Some of them forsee to destroy this road, revealing the other wonderful remains of the Roman Forum area. Other projects would like to leave it, maybe just building a road in order to link another time the archeological area. What is interesting is how Rome always changes, also in the modern ages... 
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02/05/17
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