This is a legend now.
Once, when the coliseum was fully accessible with no tickets, no security line, no crowds there used to be a cat colony inside the amphitheater. I was a child then. It seems a remote past, a mythological era, but the idea of the coliseum cats still persist today.
Since many years the roman cats who are abandoned reside in an another archeological location, in largo Torre Argentina.
It is true that we have a cat inside the coliseum, a fiery black cat I have seen in the venue in the past three years. We are fiends.
Some 4 years ago, I saw the first rabbit on the palatine hill and since then, while touring with my clients the remains of the imperial palaces; I always look around for them.
The palatine hill is the site of Rome origins... where our story started 28 hundreds years ago. It is where Romulus, Rome founder, created the city. Because of this symbolic value, the hill later become the residence of Octavian Augustus and of the later emperors.
The site has majestic ruins and it is fascinating to immerse ourselves in this mixture of history, nature and power.
I love the idea that this historical place has new inhabitants now...the bunnies.
They are big... brown, grey and black colors, very calm, and not scared of people.
I do not know how many rabbits are there, I’m always wondering, as the area is very extensive.
I saw them first time in 2015. In 2016, I counted four, but the following year I saw none. I was worried, of course. Then I saw them again last year and few weeks ago.
I just love them.
Every March 15th we got an appointment.
In Largo Argentina square, where the Curia of Pompey used to be, we meet and participate to the re-enactment of the assassination of Julius Caesar that occurred 2061 years ago now!
The Curia of Pompey is not visible but we know that it lies underneath the Teatro Argentina. The square is fascinating and keeps a vivid memory of the past due to the remains of four republican temples visible in its centre on a lower street level.
I can understand, looking at this sculpture, the fascination the minotaur’s had in the past and over the centuries.
This splendid sculpture displayed in Rome in the Palazzo Massimo museum, shows the great contrast between beauty and the wild, intellect and nature.
The torso is really astounding while the head is so brutal!
It also depicts the inner essence of human beings, where both intellect or passions and violence coexist.
It was done on purpose back then, over 2000 years ago.
This is an ancient roman copy of a sculpture by the famous Miron. The minotaur bust was part of a sculptural group depicting Theseus fighting and eventually winning over the beast.
The inclination of the minotaur’s head suggests he’s going to be hit by Theseus.
The mythological story is aimed to assert Athens independence over the Cretan influence.
The king of Crete’s wife got this love affair with a bull (this story deserves another blog) and gave birth to the minotaur: half man half bull.
Since the Athenians had lost a war with Crete (or had killed the son of Crete’s king Minos –there are different version of the myth), together with the minotaur heating only humans, the Athenians had to send 7 boys and 7 maidens to Crete to fed the beast.
Theseus, the son of Athens’s king Aegeus, went to Crete to kill the minotaur and eventually succeeded.
Palazzo Massimo Museum
As you know in the circuses were large valleys, with seats all around, used in the ancient roman times for chariot races. The chariots were turning around a central line called ‘spina’.
The most famous hippodrome of the past is the Circus Maximus in Rome. Augustus in 10bc brought an obelisk from Egypt to decorate the ‘spina’.
The obelisks were considered, by both Egyptian and Romans, to represent the connection between the sky and the earth.
The hippodrome was a little model of the cosmos:
The obelisk was the sun, the ground represented the earth and the canal running in the middle of the spina was the sea.
The four factions of chariot raiders represented the 4 seasons.
The roman museum Centrale Montemartini houses a larger selection of ancient artworks, part of the Capitoline collection.
This large floor mosaic was found while creating a car tunnel below the Termini railways station.
It belonged to a large hall only partially unearthed. According to professor Coarelli the room was part of a large imperial residence built for emperor Constantine after his roman conquer at the beginning of the IV century AD, and finished later on by emperor Costante.
The scene depicted is extremely interesting as it displays the capture of wild beast to be used in the anphitheatre during the morning hunting.
Same subject can be found in the famous villa Armellina in Sicily.
Centrale Montemartini Museum
The famous Keyhole is located in a gateway leading to the Knights of Malta gardens in piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta on the Aventine hill in Rome.
The square was designed by the famous architect and painter Giovan Battista Piranesi, a 18th century famous architect and engraver also known for his
romantic etchings depicting Rome, who also realized the palace and the small church called Santa Maria del Priorato, both within the extraterritorial properties.
The beautiful and impressive square has splendid decorations rich in obelisks and military trophies full of symbols and
references and the famous doorway with the keyhole.
Every Sunday morning in the trastevere roman neighborhood is held the traditional streetmarket of Porta Portese.
Today while going to meet Margaret and her family I stopped for a coffee and was pleased by the animated atmosphere...
It's very alive and you can really find every kind of stuff there. Even pickpockets!
In any case it's worth a visit
Rome in December is wonderful for kids as Christmas approaches. There are several Christmas events that are not to be missed, particularly when visiting Rome with children.
Lots of small markets can be found throughout Rome at Christmas time. However, by far the largest and most popular is the Navona Christmas market… we traditionally bring our children there, and they love it. Kids can meet Santa Claus, see nativity scenes and browse the many stalls for Christmas goodies in the enchanting atmosphere of one of Rome’s most beautiful squares.
The origin of the gladiatorial games must likely be found in Etruria, where they formed part of the funereal ceremonies, replacing the older custom of human sacrifices. It seems they were connected to the cult of the god Saturn – an opinion confirmed by the fact that in Rome similar duels were organized during the saturnalia celebrations.
This blog is aimed to share with you my Roman experiences, reflections and researches.