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 precious marble of the 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