Monday, February 14, 2011

My passion for Rome and art

From the top of the Spanish Step

A particular of the Four River Fountain's By Gianlorenzo Bernini

Here is a small article I wrote a few years ago on Rome:

by Simona Albanese
October 2008

As a native of Rome, art historian and curator, I would like to tell you something about my city.
trevi.jpgTrevi Fountain
All images by the author

As the saying goes 'all roads lead to Rome', and in my opinion Rome is one of the places on earth necessary to visit at least once during your lifetime. Rome is a city for Romans, tourists and visitors, a place where everyone can stop, see and do something during their journey. Every visitor to the city will leave with something special etched in their memory.
romanruins.jpgRoman ruins

Rome is celebrated for its major attractions, such as the Coliseum, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, but Rome has so much more to offer. Books and tourist guides can provide you with specific information on the city and it's best known attractions but this is a city of subtleties and quiet discoveries as well.
romanfountain.jpgWater fountain in Trastevere

Being a historical city with well over 2,000 years of history Rome can't be revealed in just one visit. In order to understand what I want to convey, it is best to have a slow and lengthy stay in Rome. Romans like to be in company,to visit places and talk to people, they like to go to the places not everyone goes and so I think there are some places that should be visited or noticed while you are in Rome.
beataludovicaalbertoni.jpgBeata Ludovica Albertoni by Gianlorenzo Bernini in San Francesco a Ripa

Rome is a great place to enjoy and to inhabit starting from one of the most picturesque and distinctive areas, such as Trastevere, for its old streets, colour, students, vagabonds and famous people - a place where everyone goes to meet friends or to go out and have fun.
santamariaintrastevere.jpgSanta Maria in Trastevere
spqr.jpgSPQR - symbol of the city of Rome

There is sufficient street-life and things to see in this neighbourhood without even stopping to visit such wonders as the Beata Ludovica Albertoni by Gianlorenzo Bernini in San Francesco a Ripa or the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. This is one of the oldest churches of Rome, containing 13th-century mosaics by Pietro Cavallini on the Life of the Virgin Mary. The main square where the basilica and the fountain sit is a meeting place, one of the centres of Trastevere nightlife in both winter and summer. In Trastevere even the old streets full of graffiti are a form of art. So too is the iconic Fiat Cinquecento; the symbol of the city or a glimpse of old buildings with the flags between some more modern constructions.
oldcarandgraffiti.jpgFiat Cinquecento

At the top of Trastevere is the Janiculum - one of the best locations from which to see the city below - the domes, gardens and bell towers. From Janiculum is it also possible to hear the 12 o'clock cannon fire coming from the direction of the Tiber signalling the correct time.
janiculum.jpgJaniculum overlooking Rome

Moving from Trastevere, crossing the Ponte Sisto bridge is Via Giulia, leading to Via del Gonfalone, with the Oratorium of Gonfalone - a special place where concerts are held. The Oratorium is thoroughly decorated inside with mannerist frescoes showing the cycle of Christ's Passion, restored at the end of last century for the year 2000 Jubilee.
oratoriodelgonfalone.jpgOratorium of Gonfalone

And then there is another important place to visit in the centre of Rome, The Triumph of Divine Providence by Pietro da Cortona in the Palazzo Barberini, the second largest ceiling in size decorated in Rome after the Sistine Chapel Ceiling depicted by Michelangelo.
divineprovidence.jpgThe Triumph of Divine Providence by Pietro da Cortona in the Palazzo Barberini

The places I have mentioned are just some of my favourite places that I visit every time I return to Rome. Naturally there are many other attractions and treasures, but I'd need a book to list them all. 

If you want to have an Intro to Italian Art don't forget to join my course starting next Thursday February 17th at New Farm State School Community from 6.30pm. 

You have still got time to enroll!!

The Trevi's Fountain

Ciao ci vediamo in classe!!!
Bye, see you in class!!


  1. Cara Simona,
    grazie per aver scritto questo articolo. Mi manca cosi' tanto Roma!!! Sono anni che non torno, ma sicuramente la prossima volta che andro' trovero' del tempo per vedere Pietro da Cortona, non sono mai stata a Palazzo Barberini.
    Continuero' a seguirti,
    Marcella da Bologna

  2. Non c'e' problema. Sono contenta tu abbia buoni ricordi.L'affresco di cui parlo e' veramente da andare a visitare.


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