Roma, The thousand faces of Italy’s Capital

 

Capital of Italy, cradle of civilization, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities of Italy, a multifaceted city which attracts thanks to its monumentality and the extreme beauty and characterization of each one of its districts. One of its most popular symbolic monuments is the Colosseum, from a few years in the lot of the seven modern wonders of the world. But the Flavian Amphitheater, the name by which it was originally known, besides being the scene of wars, clashes and entertainments, under its arches hide dark secrets which it reveals at nightfall.

In fact, in the Middle Ages, it was considered to be one of the seven gates of hell, and it was believed that during the night, the souls of the slain gladiators in the arena wandered without peace amongst the arches and along the undergrounds, unable to find eternal rest. Another legend tells that, during times when it was abandoned, the arena became a kind of temple of Beelzebub, complete with wizards and sorcerers who ventured there to practice black magic. “Colis Eum?”, that  means “Do you worship Him?”, referred to the devil, was the question addressed to the members of the sect: from here it seems that the word derives Coliseum. These and others are the strange events that lie behind one of the oldest and most visited monuments in the world.

10 THINGS TO DO IN ROME

1. WALK THROUGH THE SUGGESTIVE AND ROMANTIC SQUARES OF THE CAPITAL, amongst beautiful monuments, Baroque fountains and ancient churches. Amongst the most famous, Piazza di Trevi with its namesake Fountain, Piazza Navona, with the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) of Bernini and Piazza di Spagna with the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Ugly Boat).

2. DISCOVER THE TREASURES OF THE VATICAN MUSEUMS, amongst the most beautiful museum complexes in the world, with one of the most beautiful art collections of the planet.

3. VISIT THE PANTHEON, shrine of the kings of Italy and a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Today it houses the tombs of Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia, in addition to the one of the great Raffaello Sanzio.

4. WALKING AMONGST THE LANES OF TRASTEVERE, lively and antique district, popular and international made of cobbled streets, with always open taverns, ivy-clad buildings, bars and pubs with patio, small shops and street performers.

5. SPEND AN AFTERNOON IN THE GREEN VILLA BORGHESE, the green heart of the city that encompasses within its 6 km in circumference, neoclassical statues, exotic buildings, an artificial lake, fountains, gardens and groves, a zoo and several museums. An authentic garden of delights.

6. SHOPPING IN VIA DEL CORSO, the long street full of shops, noble palaces and churches that connects Piazza Venezia, where the majestic Altar of the Fatherland stands, to another of the most important squares of Rome: piazza del Popolo.

7. EAT THE SPECIALTIES OF ROMAN CUISINE AT TAVERN FLAVIO AL VELAVEVODETTO, in Testaccio area. Chef Flavio de Maio treats classics very well: fried zucchini flowers, half sleeves amatriciana, tonnarelli with cacio cheese and pepper, and above all a princely Carbonara, amongst the best in the city.

8. TRY GABRIELE BONCI’S FLAT PIZZA AT PIZZARIUM (via della Meloria, 43), a small pizzeria just few steps from Vatican City, that relies on selected flours – like the company of Frosinone Mulino Iaquone – organic products and cheeses of local companies.

9. HAVE A HAPPY HOUR BETWEEN VINTAGE AND CONTEMPORARY STYLE AT FRENI E FRIZIONI (via del Politeama, 4/6), in the youthful heart of Trastevere. A historical name you can trust, The place is located in the space of a former workshop and is known for its appetizer buffet, that winks to vegetarians. An elegant retro feeling and great cocktails.

10. TASTE ONE OF THE BEST ROMAN AND ITALIAN ICE-CREAMS AT FATAMORGANA (piazza degli Zingari, 5), a kind of small ice-cream holding of the capital with seven outlets. Forerunner of gluten-free ice cream, Agnese Spagnulo puts into her ice-creams a lot of experimentation and all the love for nature, especially for fruit trees.