Buon Ferragosto!!

Buon Ferragosto!!

Being confused and amazed by the incredible multiplicity of Italian traditions and holidays is a common feeling when traveling around Italy. Understanding them all could be truly disconcerting, especially since most of them have ancient Roman pagan roots and have at some point converted to Catholic holidays.

August 15th, better known in Italy as “Ferragosto” is a perfect example of that!
It is one of the oldest holidays, which began more than two thousand years ago and is still a day to celebrate for Italians and much awaited every year. It is considered the culmination of the Italian summer, with many people leaving the cities and taking vacations.
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Its particular Italian name derives from the ancient Latin “Feriae Augusti”, which means “Holidays of Augusto”.
Someone might wonder who the man is… none other than the adopted son of Giulio Cesare and the emperor who founded and first made the Roman Empire great!
Augusto was such a great, unforgettable and revered man that the month of August was named after him, a
eternally commemorating the days he became consul and when he always defeated his rivals Marco Antonio and Cleopatra.
In 18 BC Augustus decided to introduce a further holiday to the already existing ancient Roman summer festivals    which fell in the same period and celebrated the harvest.

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The “Feriae Augusti” were therefore established, with the aim of bridging the gap between the festive celebrations of the period and allowing workers to enjoy a longer rest period, called “Augustali”, after the intense agricultural work of the previous weeks.

This day was packed with events, shows, games, horse races across the empire and parades of pack animals freed from their labor and adorned with garlands of flowers.

August 15th coincides with one of the most important Catholic holidays of the year: the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, that is, the day on which Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven body and soul after her death.
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Such an ancient tradition still finds “pagan” echoes today, in the festivals that take place in most cities and countries of Italy to date and are above all a real summer party:
How not to mention the spectacular horse race known as the Palio dell’Assunta in Siena, Tuscany, or the Palio Marinaro all’Argentario. Beach games and hilarious water balloons during the day, traditional lunch, usually a barbecue or picnic, with family and friends, and the magnificent evening fireworks in many coastal towns are just a quick short list of events that happens in each single town all across Italy.

Wherever you will be in Italy on this day, just make sure to check what’s the plan for this celebration!

Discovering Ancient Rome at Ostia Antica

Discovering Ancient Rome at Ostia Antica

Enjoy a wonderful experience walking through the streets of the ancient city of Ostia. You’ll find yourself back two thousand years, immersed in a wonderful Mediterranean vegetation and in all the monumental remains of the main commercial port of the entire region.

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It seems that this fortified citadel was one of the first inhabited settlements in Rome (it is said it was founded by Anco Marzio) which expanded from a small center with a basic function for fleets, gaining importance and prestige, thanks to the commercial activities and the guidance of Augustus .

Preserved in perfect condition, it can be defined as a sort of Roman Pompeii and it gives us a very clear idea of ancient daily life: laundries, private houses and buildings, shops, even a fire station are still standing, together with public buildings , baths, temples and theaters.

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You will discover how the inhabitants of an ancient Roman city lived, then we leave the rest to your curiosity. We bet you will be enchanted!

Click here for more info

Summertime in Rome

Summertime in Rome

The Romans flee the city in the sultry summer months, but there are many reasons to hang around, beat the heat, avoid the crowds and spend a beautiful summer in Rome.

Cool off with the “grattachecca”.

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La granita di Roma is a cup of freshly shaved ice with syrup on top.
The Sora Maria in Prati is the most known place that serves today the “grattachecca”, but you can also find it in a handful of other stalls, including the Tram Depot in Testaccio and Sora Mirella in Trastevere.

Ascent to Monte Mario

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This mini-excursion (about 20 minutes uphill) takes place on a winding path up to the highest hill in Rome to be rewarded with a spectacular view of the city with an ice cream or a coffee on the Lo Zodiaco lookout.

Tiber Expo

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From 6.00 pm in the capital, thanks to the event Tevere expo 2019, the nightlife comes alive: the river light up to parties and you can enjoy the popular side of the city among stalls, cultural events, shows, restaurants and events.

An evening at the theater

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At the ancient ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, once the public baths of the city, the opera house of Rome is a series of highly successful shows that overwhelm the works La traviata and Carmen, the ballet Romeo and Juliet and the concerts of Björk, James Taylor and Joan Baez.
If you prefer the theater, don’t miss the Shakespeare season at The Globe in Villa Borghese, a faithful reproduction of the original in London.

The formula E championship returns to the streets of Rome

The formula E championship returns to the streets of Rome

Rome hosts the second edition of the Formula E electric car race on 13 April at 16:00 with 22 battery-powered electric cars battling it out on the streets of the city’s EUR suburb.

The day of the second E-Prix in Rome will start at 7:00 am on April 13th with the opening of the gates to all the participants. Many activities on the track, with the official test sessions and qualification of the Formula E from 7:30 am that will leave space at 14:00 to the race of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, the first series in the world of international racing for electric cars In production, the drivers will compete on board modified Jaguar I-PACE. 

You can buy any type of ticket by visiting the Formula E website in the section dedicated to the E-Prix of Rome, at the following links: http://fiaformulae.com/rome-tickets  and https://www.ticketone.it 

 

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Dive into a fairy-tale in the Coppedè district

Dive into a fairy-tale in the Coppedè district

Rome is full of picturesque buildings, squares and fountains, but there is a particular neighborhood that not only deserves to be called picturesque, but also seems to embody the definition of the word. In reality it is not a real neighborhood, but a corner of Rome with unexpected and bizarre features which takes its name from the flamboyant architect who designed it between 1913 and 1927, Gino Coppedè, and it is one of the most exclusive and smallest neighborhoods in Rome.

What makes this area so fascinating, anyway, is its delightful mix of architectural styles: taking inspiration from medieval styles, ancient Greeks, Art Nouveau, neoclassical and baroque, the architect built a residential area that makes you feel like you entered in a world of fantasy and magic. The whole of the buildings, the incredible “pastiche” of architectural languages, which immerse the visitor in the sumptuous atmosphere, and even a little fictitious, of the early ‘900 is articulated around Piazza Mincio, where the central space is occupied by the Fontana delle Rane, an imposing fountain populated by 12 frogs, also known for the bath the Beatles had dressed after their concert in the nearby Piper nightclub.

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The entire neighborhood is located between Piazza Buenos Aires and Via Tagliamento – and although it is out of the way, it is still easy to reach, either by tram 3 or tram 19, both with stops at Piazza Buenos Aires.

It’s worth a visit!

The Centrale Montermartini between machines and Gods

The Centrale Montermartini between machines and Gods

The Centrale Montemartini is located along the Via Ostiense on the left bank of the Tiber in front of the former Mercati Generali and it is an extraordinary example of an industrial archeology building, first public plant for the production of electricity converted in a museum. It is in fact the second exhibition pole of the Capitoline Museums and houses a considerable part of the sculptures of classical antiquity that came to light during the excavations carried out in Rome between the end of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century.

The exhibition reconstructs the ancient monumental complexes tracing the development of the city from the Republican age up to the late imperial one with significant episodes often almost unknown to the general public, as about the huge mosaic with hunting scenes from S. Bibiana.

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The great rooms of the Centrale and in particular the Machine Room with its precious Art Nouveau furniture, preserve unaltered turbines, Diesel engines and the colossal steam boiler: the ancient marbles shine for their brilliance and refinement of carving in this fascinating and suggestive scenery and in this atmosphere which recalls on one side the monumental grandeur of ancient Rome and on the other a more recent past and the memory of one of the first Roman industrial environments.

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The Jewish Ghetto of Rome

The Jewish Ghetto of Rome

Hidden in the heart of the city, the Jewish Ghetto is one of the best attractions in Rome and also one of the least known. Being the oldest Jewish community in all of Europe, this beautiful and thriving neighborhood is the hub of the city’s history and of the Jewish faith.

The Ghetto was founded in 1555 in the Sant’Angelo district, near the river Tiber in the southern part of Campo de ‘Fiori. Its borders were established in a papal bull along with various discriminatory laws on which professions Jews could and could not do. One of the accepted professions, that of selling fish, still lends its name to the streets in the area of the old fish market.

Although the neighborhood now has some of the highest property prices in Rome, the original Jewish Ghetto was walled up and crowded. It was built on a low malarial land subject to regular floods from the Tiber: life was hard until the walls of the Ghetto were demolished in 1888.

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Jewish culture grew and prospered in the Roman Ghetto, but the district also witnessed one of the most excruciating episodes of Nazi occupation during the Second World War when the Nazi soldiers, October 16, 1943, entered the neighborhood and deported among the 1,000 and 2,000 people. Only 16 survived.

Over the years the area has become a beautiful neighborhood full of kosher restaurants, churches and synagogues that combine Jewish culture with the grandeur of Roman architecture.

The ruins of the enormous ancient Portico, the Portico d’Ottavia, rise from below 20 feet below street level, at the same time a testimony to the history and times of change.

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Six Nations Championship 2019

Six Nations Championship 2019

The appointment with the prestigious Six Nations tournament is back to the Olympic Stadium in Rome, in a calendar featuring the four National British Isles (Wales, England, Ireland and Scotland) to which France and Italy will join.

There are three internal matches that mark the 6 Nations calendar for Italy: at the Stadio Olimpico the Azzurri will challenge Wales (9 February), Ireland (24 February), defending champions of the Six Nations 2018, and France (16 March).

Here the complete Six Nations calendar:

Data Squadre Ora Stadio
Round 1
Friday 1 February France v Galles 20 Stade de France
Scotland v Italy 14.15 Murrayfield
Saturday 2 February Ireland v England 16.45 Aviva Stadium
Round 2
Saturday 9 February Scotland v Ireland 14.15 Murrayfield
Italy v Galles 16.45 Stadio Olimpico
Sunday 10 February England v France 15 Twickenham
Round 3
Saturday 23 February France v Scotland 14.15 Stade de France
Galles v England 16.45 Principality
Sunday 24 February Italy v  Ireland 15 Stadio Olimpico
Round 4
Saturday 9 March Scotland v Galles 14.15 Murrayfield
England v Italy 16.45 Twickenham
Ireland v France 15 Aviva Stadium
Round 5
Saturday 16 March Italy v France 12.30 Stadio Olimpico
Galles v Ireland 14.45 Principality
England v Scotland 17.00 Twickenham

To buy tickets for the games click here

For more information about the Six Nations 2019 visit the official website

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