Friday, 11 July 2014

Rome unknown...the situation

In Rome, the works of art and archaeological evidence are many and there is a sector of Roman citizens who likes to know as much as possible. Typically these people adhere to cultural associations.
One of the most important reasons is that many places are very private or are owned by the Church or are owned by foreign states. Some countries such as France have properties in Rome for centuries. Finally, there are also ancient monasteries.
So many things are often visible only after agreeing an appointment or rarely.
The same municipality opens several places only if there is a request of a group. The custodial staff obviously has a cost.
The Roman municipality to help tourists has created a website ( and a telephone switchboard
Still many places are not well known. In some places, there are also long restoration operations and allow a few visitors with many precautions. And finally there are beautiful places where the entrance is allowed only to a few experts. Thus, the associations are concerned with making appointments, and sometimes to pay/subdivid the high costs of special access.
But the situation is generally very complex and there are often long waits. Here we make only a few examples.
Villa Albani-Torlonia: sometimes the private administration allows a few visitors
In the villa there are  very important collections of art and archeology
Basement of the Lateran: the large archaeological site is managed by the Vatican. Visitors only in groups. Reservations can also be made online, but only for groups. The same for the excavation called "via Triumphalis" in the Vatican. For the necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica  there is always a long queue of waiting,
Villa dei Cavalieri on the Aventine. The villa  belongs to the Sovereign Order of Malta. Visitors come to a few hours. The same for the "Priorato" church .
Palazzo Pamphili in Piazza Navona. There are several rooms with beautiful frescoes, but in the palace there is also the Embassy of Brazil. Visitors are welcome every 15 days. There are more opportunities for those who know the Portuguese language.
Villa Strohl Fern belongs to the French state. Every summer there is a schedule of visits. A few months ago it is easier to get into the beautiful Palazzo Farnese where there is the French Embassy. For the Villa Medici, seat of the French Academy there are timetables.
Church of St. John the Beheaded (San Giovanni Decollato). There are beautiful paintings of the late Renaissance. Tourists can enter when the nuns have time. You enter instead only twice a year in the convent of Tor De' Specchi near the Capitol. At the moment there are long waits to visit the Gothic frescoes of the monastery of the Santi Quattro Coronati. These frescoes (called Aula Gotica) were restored a few years ago but the nuns had problems.
Mausoleum of Lucius Peto. It is one of the archaeological sites managed by the municipality of Rome. To visit these places is often necessary to book . The most important archaeological sites in Rome are managed by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of the  italian State.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Rome and tourists are waiting to see the beautiful church of Santa Maria Antiqua. The restorations were long and are not yet complete. We do not know when they finish the restoration of the Domus Aurea. But the writer many years ago had the luck to get into a particular place as the underground Basilica di Porta Maggiore (you know ??) and a few little-known catacombs.
For some of your reading: Roma, luoghi d'arte

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The floor of the cathedral of Siena

From 14 August to 27 October 2014, tourists will be able to better admire the Duomo of Siena.
The sexton of the cathedral rise up the mats that protect the area with a spray of tenacity herbicide on the marble floor.
This floor is indeed a great work of art but at the same time the cathedral is visited by many people for religious functions.
photos by Civita
To visit the fine details of the floor tourists will have tour guides. In addition to the cathedral in Siena obviously there are many things to see. For example, in some rooms of the Town Hall there are beautiful frescoes. But the younger tourists will be happy to reach the top of Torre del Mangia.
the town hall and the tower. Photo alpav

Friday, 4 July 2014

Re-opening of a museum in Tuscany

After many years tourists can visit an art gallery in Prato. The art collection of the "Palazzo Pretorio" has been closed since 1998 and is visible only from April 2014.
Palazzo Pretorio, Prato-photo ap 2012
The works of art of the museum in Prato are numerous and are usually of artists such as Bernardo Daddi, Giovanni da Milano, Lorenzo Monaco, Filippo Lippi and many others.
painting by Bernardo Daddi-photo by Studio Esseci
painting by Filippo Lippi-photo by Studio Esseci
The museum also exhibits some archaeological finds and paintings of more recent artists. Some rooms are also available for temporary exhibitions.
From October 5, 2014 to January 6, 2015, the museum is organizing an exhibition with some paintings of few artists in the history of Italy

Prato is a city about 25- 30 minutes by train from Florence and here tourists can see many works of art in the cathedral or other places.
Prato cathedral -photos a.p. 2013
Prato is also famous for being home for many years a large Chinese community.

hotels in Prato 


Friday, 27 June 2014

Etruscan enchantement

It 's time of Etruscan art. In addition to the exhibition in Rome dedicated to the Etruscans of Cerveteri, in Cortona is scheduled until July 31, another important initiative. Cortona is a beautiful town in Tuscany, a few kilometers from Umbria and Lake Trasimeno. For this exhibition the British Museum has lent many pieces Etruscans.

Etruscan enchantement 
the landscape and the lake Trasimeno, photo a.p. 2011

M.a.e.c  museum in Cortona, photo a.p. 2011

Cortona is a town of Etruscan origins and many objects are visible in the MAEC museum and the ancient Etruscan Academy. In the district of Camucia there are also some Etruscan tombs.
Etruscan tomb in an old photo 
In 1840, some residents discovered a famous and big chandelier in bronze.

Sometimes in museums Cortona tourists can see works of Etruscan art that have long been in foreign countries. This time, visitors can see nice objects from the British Museum.
Many works of Etruscan civilization were purchased  three hundred years ago by Thomas Coke during his stay in Florence and Rome. In the exhibition are also documented studies that  Thomas Dempster reported, ​​on behalf of Lord Coke, with the book very rare and precious De Etruria Regali.
Askos, duck. From the British Museum
                                            photo by the press office of the exhibition

Etruscan statue of a young man, from the British Museum
photo by the press office of the exhibition

The Etruscans loved music and dance
Stone tablet from the British Museum
photo by the press office of the exhibition

De Etruria Regali, written by Thomas Dempster in Pisa between 1616 and 1619,
 but published in Florence  between 1720 and 1726
Photo by the press office of the exhibition

Tourists love very Cortona and the many works of Renaissance art that can be seen in museums and churches.
tourists in a museum of art-photo a.p. 2011
Some great artists were born in Cortona. But many tourists admire a large painting by Fra Angelico. For more, see article and some photos (Cortona art
For some time tourists arrive in Tuscany with low-cost flights arriving in Pisa or other cities. Some trains stop at stations Cortona-Camucia or Terontola-Cortona but the town is in the high position. So you have to take a bus or book a taxi.
For those who love the Etruscan history are other important destinations in Volterra, Tarquinia, Perugia, Vatican museums, Orvieto, many Etruscan sites in Lazio, etc

Monday, 23 June 2014

Summer in Rome and surroundings

On June 21, with a concert at the Capitol (Campidoglio) began the Summer Festival of the Municipality of Rome.

In the program there will be concerts, outdoor movie screenings, cultural events, special openings of monuments, art exhibitions and so on.
In every district of Rome are organized events and the detailed program is very extensive.
until July 20, however, continues the great exhibition on the Etruscans of Cerveteri
 Exhibition Palace Via Nazionale 

until September 14: exhibition of works by Michelangelo in the Capitoline Museums

Tourists sometimes can get into the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in the evening. 

In the summer, many inhabitants of Rome are moved to the nearby seaside towns: Circeo, Sperlonga, Santa Marinella, Terracina, Nettuno, Tarquinia Lido etc. Some also go to the nearby island of Ponza. Those who have little time prefer the beaches of Ostia. So many events and activities are organized in these places by different municipalities. Tourists can then choose between a lot of fun.
In many places in the Lazio region there are archaeological evidence, medieval castles and works of art.
Many tourists in the summer are very fond of gardens and beautiful fountains of Tivoli(about 30 kilometres east-north-east of Rome, at the falls of the Aniene river)


Friday, 20 June 2014

Raphael and Bramante in a church in Rome

Not far from the famous Piazza Navona is situated the church of Santa Maria della Pace. In this place, tourists can see many works of art.

baroque facade of Pietro da Cortona
to the side of the church entrance to the spaces of the Cloister of Bramante
detail of a fresco by Raphael in the Chigi Chapel
Cloister of Bramante
the cloister was completed around the year 1504

old decorations in the cloister

entrance to an exhibition in the Cloister of Bramante

Inside the church there are several frescoes but the most popular are the Sibyls of Raphael. The famous painter worked in this church on behalf of the banker Chigi. Other painters who painted in this church are Baldassare Peruzzi, Rosso Fiorentino, etc..
Next to the church is the beautiful cloister built by Bramante. In the annex to the cloister are often temporary exhibitions of art. And some of these events are very popular among the inhabitants of Rome who love art or history.
When the church is closed people can see the Sibyls of Raphael from the top floor of the cloister.
For more info and other photos, see the article: Santa Maria della Pace e chiostro del Bramante
The photos above are by alpav 2012