Monday, March 31, 2014


1895 Emilio Gallori (1846/1924) who also completed Chiaradia's statue of Victor Emmanuel II on the Victor Emmanuel Monument
It is 22 m (72 feet) high. Gallori began working for the monument in 1886, two years after winning the competition

To make room for the monument in 1895 the CASINO CORSINI (Corsini Mansion) was destroyed, an old building curiously renovated with a neo-medieval appearance and turned into a lookout spot by the Roman section of the Alpine Club 
The posture of Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807/82) has a clear gesture of resentment towards the Vatican he hated so much
On the pedestal FOUR BRONZE GROUPS:
On the right "America"
On the left "Europe"
On the left end side of the base there is a "Bronze Crown", a remainder that Garibaldi was the Master Mason of Italian Freemasonry. The crown was removed during the fascist period and replaced with fascist symbols. A new one was restored after the war

Sunday, March 30, 2014


2011 Oliviero Rainaldi (1956)
5.20 m (17 feet) high, made of bronze with a silver patina of faded green. Inspired by a photo of 1993 when John Paul II wrapped a child in his cloak
It has caused quite a lot of criticism mainly for lack of resemblance with the Pope, so much that it had to be modified and completed in 2012

Saturday, March 29, 2014


1940 Romano Romanelli (1882/1968)
Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg (1405/68) is the national Albanian hero: in the fifteenth century he unified the tribes of Epirus to the ones of Albania and resisted for twenty-five years to the attacks of the Ottoman Empire

Friday, March 28, 2014


1887 Ettore Ferrari (1845/1929)
Bronze statue and pedestal of granite from Baveno
Dedicated in 1889 in the very same place where Giordano Bruno (1548/1600) was burned as a heretic on February 17, 1600
In the base EIGHT MEDALLIONS with faces of heretical thinkers and THREE PANELS with scenes from the life of Giordano Bruno: "The lesson at Oxford", "The Trial" and "The burning at the stake"
"Ferrari was committed to offer his work for free, creating a first draft that showed Bruno with his arm raised in the act of preaching and persuading to revolt. Rejected by the City Council, Ferrari had to change the statue, removing any reference to his revolutionary preaching and so conceiving the severe figure of the 'Philosopher Bruno'" (Alessandra Imbellone)


1974 stela "The idea, the death" by Jorio Vivarelli (1922/2008) commissioned by the Italian Social Democratic Party
It was built on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the socialist deputy who was kidnapped in this spot by members of the fascist police. He had opposed Mussolini in the Parliament
"Vivarelli wanted to represent the dialectical passage from death to life. Death is at the base of the monument, from bone-like shapes as elongated bones that have polished kneecaps at both ends 'physical soaking in a tragic moment in Italian history' as defined by Vivarelli himself. Life is represented by the great chalice from which emerges the bud which, from the trunk, will give rise to a new plant ready to soar high in the sky, a message that reproduces artistically Matteotti's phrase 'You kill me, but the idea that is in me will never die'" (Web Site of the Foundation Jorio Vivarelli -

Thursday, March 27, 2014


1905/06 Eugenio Maccagnani (1852/1930)
The monument was installed only in 1919. Maccagnani was also author of the reliefs on the base of the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II in the Victor Emmanuel Monument
Federico Seismit Doda was a Dalmatian politician, patriot, and several times Minister of Finance

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


1988 Egidio Giaroli (1912/2000)
In front of the ISTITUTO S. FILIPPO NERI founded in 1938 at the behest of Don Luigi Orione (1872/1940)
Don Orione founded the Piccola Opera della Divina Provvidenza (Little Work of Divine Providence) and was declared a saint in 2004

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


1953/56 Adalberto Libera (1903/63) for ENPAIA (Ente Nazionale per la Previdenza dei Lavoratori Agricoli e Forestali - National Agency for the Welfare of Agricultural and Forestry Workers)
Spectacular architecture of the great Tyrolean architect among the greatest exponents of Rationalism
"I felt the interior of the hall as the interior of a mandolin, but I was not helped by a mathematical formula, so I went ahead for the best with elliptical sections connected by empirical relationships" (Adalberto Libera)
It was decorated with frescoes by the brilliant abstract artist Giuseppe Capogrossi (1900/72) unfortunately partially destroyed and partially degraded by those who ran the movie theater over the years
The cinema had 800 seats and was constructed about 5 m (16.4 feet) below street level, in a housing complex designed and executed in the same years 1953/56 by Leo Calini (1903/85) and Eugenio Montuori (1907/82)
During the years it was demeaned and brutally reconverted as a disco (Charleston, Stellarium) and as a pub (Makumba) before being left abandoned until 2011, when the Municipality of Rome promoted its restoration and its recovery as a cultural center
One hopes that this gem of the art of Rome may shine again one day
"Adalberto Libera, in developing the project, declined the theme dear to him of the collective room. (...) From the stage frame, with the shape of a television of the 1950s, departed rays of green and white silk accompanying the development of the ceiling and imitating, in the intentions of the architect, the rising of the sun. To embellish the interior of the building, Libera wanted a mural created by Giuseppe Capogrossi, illustrious exponent of Italian abstract art. Spectators, entering the cinema, used to admire the beautiful color flow of the Roman painter stretched in dynamic routes on the ceiling of the large entrance stairway" (Associazione di Promozione Sociale Cineairone - Association of Social Promotion Cineairone -
"The basic idea was to create a unified hall, eliminating the gallery. (...) To build a space functionally and psychologically fit for the purpose, Libera had chosen a shape determined on one hand by the curves of visibility, on the other hand by the desire to define a void that would have its completed form, almost with an absolute value, possibly translated into a mathematical equation. The result (...) was an ovoid with the rear deeply lowered and a considerable expansion at the proscenium. A continuous space extremely enveloping because it has no vertical walls, with the character of an animal cavity, almost the pulsating interior of an organ" (Piero Ostilio Rossi)


1907 Ettore Ximenes (1855/1926)
Shown in the moment of his execution in 1849 with his son Lorenzo. The original location of the monument was Lungotevere Arnoldo da Brescia
In 1959 it was moved slightly in Lungotevere in Augusta for the construction of the tunnels along the River Tiber and finally, in 2011, it was placed in the Promenade of the Janiculum Hill
The hero Ciceruacchio from Trastevere district, whose real name was Angelo Brunetti, was shot along with his two children at Ca' Tiepolo during the long march of Giuseppe Garibaldi in the direction of Venice, after the fall of the Roman Republic
Ciceruacchio's other son Luigi was excluded from the monument primarily because he was an embarrassing character: he was suspected of being the perpetrator of the assassination of Pellegrino Rossi, the Interior Minister of the papal government, stabbed in 1848 in Palace of the Chancellery

Monday, March 24, 2014


1900 Raffaello Romanelli (1856/1928)
In the BRONZE BAS-RELIEFS of the base "Drafting of the Statute" and "Battle of 1848" fought at Goito during which the Piedmont Sardinia army led by Carlo Alberto defeated the Austrians
The monument is at the center of the GIARDINO DEL QUIRINALE (Quirinal Hill Garden) created in 1888 in front of the Quirinal Palace Manica Lunga (Long Wing) following the demolition of the churches of St. Clare and St. Mary Magdalene with their monasteries to give a better view to the Kaiser Wilhelm II who was a guest in the palace
Therefore the garden was called by the ever scathing Roman people "Garden of the Kaiser", which in Rome is a pun with a highly derogative sexual meaning

Sunday, March 23, 2014


1885/95 Stefano Galletti (1832/1905) pupil of Pietro Tenerani
Platform of granite, base of bardiglio marble and bronze statues
In the base there are four bronze groups: west side "Thought", east side "Action", north side "Force" with a lion protecting the plebiscitary voting polls and south side "Italy sitting next to Rome"
Reliefs on two sides of the pedestal to the east, behind the Action, "Weapons of the House of Savoy from different periods", in the west, behind the Thought, "Symbols of science, technology, geographical discoveries, political and philosophical thought"

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Artificial hill also known as Monte dei Cocci, Mons Testaceum
It was an ancient Roman specialized landfill consisting of many layers of neatly broken oil amphorae
About 30 m (98 feet) high on the surrounding area and about 54 m (177 feet) above sea level
It has a circumference of 1 km (0.62 miles), covering a total area of 20,000 m² (5 acres), forming a sort of irregular triangle
The amphorae (testae in Latin, hence the name of the mountain) were landed in the nearby river port on the Tiber, and destined to be sold in Rome
It is estimated that there are about 40 million pieces of amphorae
A ramp, probably old, was traveled by wagon, and then bifurcated on the northeast corner
The hill was used for about 300 years, from the late republic to the mid-third century AD but the dating of amphorae found to date ranges between 140 and the third century AD
It is estimated that every inhabitant of Rome consumed on average about 22 kg (48.5 pounds) of oil a year, especially for lighting
In later centuries along the base of the hill caves were dug, used as cellars for the wine of the Castelli Romani (Roman Hills) and stables as well (the so-called grottini), on which houses were built renovated today as restaurants and nightclubs
Still in medieval times carnival was celebrated here, with the cruel and bloody games always dear to the Romans. In fact, bullfighting was held here as well as the popular favorite "Ruzzica de li porci": carts of live pigs were thrown down the hill and when they were dashed to pieces at the bottom, people would hunt the stunned animals
From the fifteenth century when the carnival was moved to the Via Lata by the will of Pope Paul II Barbo (1464/71), the hill became the arrival point for the Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, becoming a veritable Golgotha, as shown in the cross still stuck on top. Later it became a favorite destination for the Ottobrate, the typical October Roman feasts, when festively decorated carts were brought to the taverns and wine cellars of Testaccio
In 1931 Raffaele De Vico (1881/1969) structured Monte Testaccio as a public park
The amphorae found during excavations were only the most superficial, mainly from Betica (now Andalusia) and also from Africa with a nearly spherical shape and the trademark on one of the two loops. They are called Dressel 20. The name of the exporter was written with a brush as well as the consular date, and the log of the various controls from start to finish
The deposit was not accidental, it was rather neatly constructed, and it was periodically sprayed with lime to sanitize the decomposition of the organic remains contained in the pieces
From the study of the amphorae in this hill it would be possible to write an economic history of the ancient city of Rome

Friday, March 21, 2014


Tomb mound 12 m (39 feet) high that eventually took on the appearance of a natural hill
The name probably comes from modius grani "bushel of wheat" because of the shape
A corridor 21 m (69 feet) long leads to the burial chamber of 10 m (33 feet) in diameter covered by a vault
The room was divided into two floors by a vault, now collapsed

Some scholars identify it as the probable Mausoleum of Alexander Severus (222/235) for the sarcophagus found here in 1582 and known as the "Sarcophagus of Alexander Severus", now in the Capitoline Museums. Some brick stamps, however, seem to date the tomb to the mid-second century AD

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Trapezoidal hill at the confluence of the River Tiber with the Aniene. There stood the small town of ANTEMNAE linked to the origins of Rome for the rape of the Sabines, because some of the Sabine women were actually from this city that was part of the Sabine reign of Titus Tatius
Varro wrote that Antemnae was so called because it was located ante amnem qui influit in Tiberim, in front of the river that flows into the Tiber
Dionysius of Halicarnassus wrote that it was one of the oldest cities in the Latium region, founded by the Siculi (Sicilians) and, a century later, occupied by the Pelasgians
Virgil gave her the epithet of turrigerae (towered) for its fortifications and mentioned it among the five cities who took up arms against Aeneas when the hero came in Latium after his escape from Troy
In the area bordered no less than three different peoples: the ETRUSCANS, on the north-west of the Tiber, the LATINS and the SABINES, on the south-east, divided among themselves by the River Aniene
According to tradition it was conquered by Romulus and maybe it was one of the city that helped the Tarquins in their attempt to return to Rome
During the work in 1878 for the construction of FORTE ANTENNE came to light votive elements related to a place of worship of the seventh century BC, remains of walls dating from the late sixth and early fifth century BC, housing foundations in blocks of tufa, water works and rooms of a villa from the Republican period

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Founded in 1433 by St. Frances of Rome (S. Francesca Romana 1384/1440), whose real name was Francesca Bussa de' Leoni
Born into a noble family in Rome near Piazza Navona, she came to live in the Trastevere district when she was twelve years old after her marriage to a nobleman from the Ponziani family who had become rich with their job as butchers
"It was the strong personality of Francesca Ponziani and her exceptional charisma to make the Tor de' Specchi a unique case. Compared to other local institutions, which would soon become extinct, the founder posed the conditions of development and continuity of a centuries-old house that would be inserted deep into the urban context. The religious project of Francesca was original and innovative, because it tried to combine the essence of the monastic ideal with the values of lay spirituality: the Oblates were not of the world, but they lived in the world and history, through charity and active service in favor of their neighbor" (Website of the Oblates of St. Frances of Rome -
The monastery was extended especially in the first half of 1600, after the canonization of St. Frances of Rome in 1608
It came to include the TORRE DEGLI SPECCHI (Tower of Mirrors), so named for the shape of the windows
Relief "St. Frances of Rome and the Angel" 1756 by Andrea Bergondi (active in Rome XVIII century)
Above the door of the Holy Stairs, "Madonna and Child with Sts. Benedict and Frances of Rome" by an anonymous artist of the eighteenth century
Frescoes on the walls of the SCALA SANTA "Madonna and Child with Sts. Benedict and Frances of Rome" and "Christ leaving the tomb" maybe by Antonio Aquili aka Antonio Romano (about 1435-40/1508) and his school, including decorations of the seventeenth century
In the CLOISTER plaster copy of the statue "St. Frances of Rome and the Angel" 1850 by Pietro Galli (1804/77) a pupil of Bertel Thorvaldsen. The original is in the left upper apse of St. Peter's Basilica
Fully painted in about 1468 with the wonderful cycle of 25 panels "Stories of St. Frances of Rome" and the main panel "Madonna and Child with Sts. Benedict and Frances" maybe by Antoniazzo Romano and his school
"The cycle still shows strong ties with the medieval tradition for a taste for plain and simple narrative that flows between the tones of folk tale and the rigor of religious devotion, for the respect for the religious hierarchies through the proportional scale of the figures and for the limited ability in the foreshortening of the scenes. The component owing to Piero della Francesca is present in the faces, with simplified features in comparison with the faces painted by the artist from Borgo, and in the large landscape openings present in some scenes" (Anna Cavallaro)
On the altar "Madonna and Child with Sts. Benedict and Frances of Rome" by Antoniazzo Romano
"The frescoes are rather attributable to employees of Antoniazzo Romano's workshop who followed the style of the master, while it is relevant to Antoniazzo's hand of the Madonna and Child with Sts. Benedict and Francesca Romana on the altar for the similarity to the triptych of Subiaco from which the model of St. Benedict was taken. This cycle proves to be linked to the style of Piero della Francesca and Benozzo Gozzoli which Antoniazzo was following during the same years for his paintings on board, a language à la Piero della Francesca but simpler and more down to earth and a Benozzo Gozzoli style invigorated by the inspiration of the frescoes of S. Rosa in Viterbo" (Anna Cavallaro)
The cycle has been attributed to Antoniazzo Romano and his school by Roberto Longhi. Other scholars attributed it to Benozzo Gozzoli or to an unidentified follower of Piero della Francesca. Under each scene there are captions written in an interesting Roman Vulgar language of the fifteenth century
In a niche in the wall at the entrance dramatic "Inferno" probably painted after 1468 by an anonymous artist
Wall frescoes in dominant green monochrome "Ten Temptations of St. Frances of Rome" maybe 1485 probably by different artists considering the diversity of style, maybe from the schools of Antoniazzo Romano and Benozzo Gozzoli
First half of 1600s. On the walls "Fantasy landscapes of Roman countryside" dating back to mid-1700. On the back wall "Madonna and Child with Sts. John the Baptist and Catherine of the Wheel" by an anonymous artist of the eighteenth-century
Atrium of the eighteenth century painted with frescos. In one of the walls the tomb of St. Frances of Rome is embedded
WOODEN CEILING 1601 covered in gold and colors with a central wooden sculpture "St. Francis and the Angel"
On the WALLS "Angels" 1749 by Sebastiano Ceccarini (1703/83) and Lorenzo Gramiccia (1702/95)
ALTAR "Annunciation" by Alessandro Allori aka Bronzino (1533/1607) pupil of Agnolo di Cosimo aka Bronzino. Rich Baroque tabernacle on the altar. On the sides "Adoration of the Magi" and "Adoration of the Shepherds" by an anonymous artist of the seventeenth-century
Under the Choir of SS. Annunziata with identical dimensions. Originally known as S. MARIA DE CURTE attached to the monastery in 1594 with a different orientation not to have anymore access from the road
In the APSE panels in white and gilded stucco "Presentation in the Temple" and "Presentation of the Virgin" 1662. At the center "Madonna with Child" by an anonymous artist of the seventeenth-century enclosed in an elaborate cornice supported by gilded stucco angels

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


1913/24 Emilio Saffi who had Austro-Hungarians prisoners of war as bricklayers
The area of the market is 8.5 hectares (21 acres)
In 2002 the functions of the general market of Rome for fruits, vegetables and fish were transferred to the new CENTRO AGROALIMENTARE ROMA (Food Center of Rome) in Guidonia
The market is currently being converted to a commercial and cultural center called "Città dei Giovani" (City of Youth) with a project of the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas

Monday, March 17, 2014


2003/10 Zaha Hadid (1950) Anglo-Iraqi architect, winner of the contest of 1998 among 273 candidates from around the world
"The project proposes a quasi-urban campus, a world in which to dive, rather than a building as a signed object. The campus is organized - and can be visited - on the basis of directional drifts and density distribution, instead of key points. This is indicative of the character of the Centre: porous, a place to dive into, spatial extension" (Zaha Hadid)
Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo
National Museum of Art in the XXI Century
Opened in May 2010. Divided into two sections:
First national museum of architecture in Italy exclusively for temporary exhibitions
GALLERY 1 ON THE GROUND FLOOR - Exhibitions of architecture of the twentieth century
GALLERY 2 ON THE FIRST FLOOR - Exhibitions of architecture of the twenty-first century. Signed drawings and sketches of Italian and foreign architects acquired during the exhibitions at the museum or through donations and loans, such as the funds of Alessandro Anselmi, Giancarlo De Carlo, Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito and Italo Rota (1953)
Collection of photography including about 1,000 photos of documentary and artistic value acquired since 2003 through projects included in programs of research and analysis of the Italian territory. Some of the more than 60 photographers in the collection: Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Letizia Battaglia, John Davies, Mimmo Jodice, Armin Linke, Guido Guidi, Walter Niedermayr and Massimo Vitali
All of the assets are always available at the Archive Centre containing archives of great architects like Carlo Scarpa, Enrico Del Debbio, Sergio Musmeci, Pier Luigi Nervi (1891/1979), Aldo Rossi, Carlo Aymonimo and Vittorio De Feo
"The collections of MAXXI Architecture include all those products and documents which, in various forms, represent the material and conceptual complexity of architecture through its evolution: from the development of a design, to the physical implementation, its use, and its inclusion in the physical and cultural context. The acquisition mode to increase the Museum's collections ranges from purchasing to donations, to sponsoring operations through competitions and awards. The collections are also related to the management system of a true 'virtual heritage', consisting of the network of museums and the public and private archives in Italy" (Maxxi's Website -
GALLERIES 3, 4, and 5 with more than 300 works on display in rotation testifing the international artistic production, with an emphasis on Italian experiences and on foreign artists whose research is related to the Italian context
There are also works dated from 1958 to 2000 of international artists including: Alighiero Boetti, Francesco Clemente, William Kentridge, Mario Merz, Maurizio Mochetti, Sol LeWitt, Anish Kapoor, Vedovamazzei, Lara Favaretto, Stefano Arienti, Giuseppe Penone, Mario Merz, Alighiero Boetti, Ilya ed Emilia Kabakov, Nunzio, Gilbert & George, Anselm Kiefer, Gino De Dominicis, Gerard Richter e Andy Warhol (1928/87)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


1941 Giovanni Jacobucci (1895/1970)
In the crypt there are the remains of the fallen for the defense of the Roman Republic in 1849, during the uprising in 1867 and for the liberation of Rome in 1870
During the battle of the September 20, 1870, that lasted about five hours, there were 49 dead among Italian "Bersaglieri" soldiers and 19 dead among the papal soldiers. The latter are remembered in a plaque in front of the Mausoleum of S. Costanza on Via Nomentana
Among the graves there is the one of the poet Goffredo Mameli (1827/49) who died at the age of 21. He was aide de camp of Giuseppe Garibaldi and was the author of the words of the Italian National Anthem

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Monumental tomb built in about 20 BC with a diameter of about 34 m (112 feet)
It was discovered in 1887. It belonged to the military tribune, and prefect of the genius commander of the cavalry Lucilius Paetus and his sister Lucilia Polla
It is covered with travertine marble and there is a small burial chamber with a cross vault and three niches for three funeral beds of which only one is preserved
In the fourth century under the tomb a small catacomb was excavated

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Beginning of the IV century AD. Round building with an outside diameter of 28 m (92 feet)
The original height was 25 m (82 feet)
The dome was lightened with empty jars (pignatte) still visible, which gave the name to the Torpignattara district
It was part of one of the most important imperial possessions known as AD DUAS LAUROS
Here it was found the "Sarcophagus of St. Helena" in red porphyry marble, now in the Greek Cross Room of the Vatican Museums. Maybe it had been originally prepared with reliefs representing warriors on horseback for Helena's "significant other" Costantius Chlorus or more probably for their son Constantine (306/337)
St. Helena was probably born in Bithynia in northern Turkey, and was a waitress, according to St. Ambrose, when she met Costantius Chlorus with whom she had Constantine. Costantius for dynastic reasons married Theodora, daughter of Maximian
In the area there was also the EQUITES SINGULARES CEMETERY, the imperial horse guard that was dissolved by Constantine and the FUNERARY BASILICA OF Sts. MARCELLINUS AND PETER built in 320 measuring 65 x 29 m (213 x 95 feet) to honor the tombs of the two martyrs of 303 under Diocletian (284/305) very popular in the early centuries of Christianity but now almost forgotten
According to Pope St. Damasus I (366/384), the two were led into a place called Selva Nera (Black Forest) on the Via Cornelia (later renamed Selva Candida, White Forest) and beheaded after being tortured. Their bodies were reassembled by the matron Lucilla and placed in the catacombs d duas lauros
Since 2000, the area is included in the CASILINO LABICANO PARK but it is still desperately waiting for a redevelopment of the site appropriate to its importance and magnitude
Sts. Marcellinus and Peter Ad Duas Lauros
1922 Guglielmo Palombi who extended a church built in the years 1632/38 on the ruins of the ancient funerary basilica and expanded in 1765
Catacomb of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter
Entry to the left of the church
It is up to 16 m deep (53 feet) and for extension it is the third largest in Rome
The first burials date back from the second half of the third century and it is extremely rich in paintings
It is a veritable gallery of Constantinian paintings covering an area of about 18,000 m² (4.5 acres). Among the spectacular paintings:
Huge "Maiestas Domini (Regality of God)" beginning of the fifth century. Below the four martyrs Tiburzio, Gorgonio, Peter and Marcellinus and above Christ between Sts. Peter and Paul
"Banquet scene" in the arcosolium of Sabina
"Some pieces of furniture and composition (...) should be considered as remnants of the typical scenes of hedonistic and hunting banquets that in late antiquity persist especially in the mosaics of the rustic villas and on the cover of the sarcophagi. (...) The amphora, the pans, the serving dishes, as well as the strong gestures of the diners, lead us to the anecdotal vein, sensitive to detail, typical of Italic and Roman tradition" (Fabrizio Bisconti)
Arcosolium with "Orpheus with lyre"
CUBICLE OF THE SEASONS early fourth century
In a cubicle there are beautiful and substantial traces consisting of marble floors and wall coverings shaped as four petals flowers in red porphyry and serpentine marble inserted in pavonazzetto marble

Monday, March 10, 2014


Begun in 29 BC at the behest of Augustus (27 BC/14 AD) as a tomb for himself and for his family
The diameter is about 87 m (285 feet) and it was probably 30 m (100 feet) high
At the top maybe there was a bronze statue of Augustus, a copy of which may be the '"Augustus of Prima Porta" in the Vatican Museums
It was not a burial mound of Etruscan origin, but a complex structure in superimposed layers derived from Hellenistic funerary monuments like the tomb of Alexander the Great in Alexandria that Augustus had visited the year before or the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus itself, built in 351 BC for Mausolus, who gave his name to this type of monumental tombs
Here were buried, in chronological order:
Marcellus, Agrippa, Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar (sons of Agrippa and Julia, the daughter of Augustus, who was not buried here because she was deemed unworthy for her sexual behavior too promiscuous), Augustus himself, Drusus Minor, Augustus' wife Livia, Agrippina Maggiore mother of Caligula and the emperors Tiberius (14/37), maybe Caligula (37/41), Claudius (41/54) and Nerva (96/98)
For a short time the mausoleum housed the ashes of Vespasian (69/79) and after over a century since the last deposition it was reopened to house the ashes of Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus (193/211)
The door that opened to the south was preceded by TWO OBELISKS Roman imitation of the Egyptian ones, now in Piazza del Quirinale and Piazza Esquilino
On two pillars at the side of the entrance there were brass plates with the official autobiography of Augustus, the RES GESTAE, known from a copy found in Ankara, Turkey
On the paving slabs there are graffiti used to work the marble blocks of the Pantheon
In the twelfth century it was turned into a DEFENSIVE STRONGHOLD OF THE COLONNA FAMILY (Agosta) stormed in 1241 by the Conti family
It passed later to the Orsini family, and in 1550 to the Soderini family, who transformed it into a hanging garden, after the upper part had collapsed
The Mausoleum then became a vineyard, an arena for bull fights, an arena for shows during the day under the name of ANFITEATRO UMBERTO (Humbert Amphitheater) until 1888, a warehouse, a workshop of the sculptor Enrico Chiaradia (1851/1901) who modeled here the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II for the Victor Emmanuel Monument, an auditorium for classical music with the name of AUGUSTEO for the orchestra and choir of the Academy of St. Cecilia from 1905 to 1936, when the mausoleum was restored to its original structure
In the years 1934/40 the old neighborhood around it was dismantled
It seems incredible the difference between the amount of money spent for the nearby Ara Pacis, which is not even located in its original site, and the lack of funds, resulting in total abandonment, suffered by the Tomb of Augustus and of the Roman emperors

Friday, March 7, 2014


1945/49 Nello Aprile, Cino Calcaprina, Aldo Cardelli, Uga De Plaisant (1917), Mario Fiorentino (1918/82) e Giuseppe Perugini (1914)
Bronze gates 1951 Mirko (Mirko Basaldella) (1910/69)
Sculptural group "The Three Ages" 1951 Francesco Coccia (1902/81)
"The project is based on a few elements that synthesize the austerity and the drama of the 335 coffins 'compressed' by the weight of the immense stone which 'floats' metaphysically one meter from the ground and covers it with his shadow space excavated below the level soil. It is an orderly space defined in contrast to the tortuosity of the tufa quarries connected to it by a single path that leads the visitor from the place of burial to the place of the slaughter. This contrast can also be seen in the twisted and expressive gates by Mirko Basaldella in contrast with the neat and pure expression of the tombstone" (Francesco Gatti - Arch'it)
On the 24th of March 1944 335 Italians were killed here in retaliation for the attack in Via Rasella on the day before when 33 German soldiers were killed as well as two Italian civilians who were just passing by
Documents and memorabilia related to the German occupation in Rome

Thursday, March 6, 2014


1888/91 Gioacchino Ersoch (1815/1902) Roman architect whose family was of Swiss origin
10 hectares (25 acres) area
Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome - Macro Testaccio
Branch of the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art in Via Nizza, whose permanent collection consists of about 600 works
The two pavilions were opened respectively in 2003 and 2007 and cover an area of about 1,000 square meters each. They are ideally suited to host works of contemporary art

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


1909/12 Tullio Passarelli (1869/1941)
They were built to store the goods arriving at the river port. They were one of the first examples of use of reinforced concrete in Rome
They were restored and converted in the years 1986/94 to become the headquarters of ISTITUTO SUPERIORE ANTINCENDI (Superior Istitute for Firefighters), a multi-purpose training school for firefighters

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


1924 early work by Vincenzo Fasolo (1885/1969), a student of Gustavo Giovannoni
Inspired by the Roman Baroque with large sections connected smoothly
During the student protests of 1968 the first students meeting organized legally in Italy was held here and it was also the first Roman school to be occupied by students
Museum of Physical and Natural Sciences
About 2,200 objects and scientific instruments relating to Mechanics, Acoustics, Optics, Thermology, Electromagnetism, Botany, Zoology, Paleontology, Lithomineralogical, Astronomy, Chemistry, Microscopy and Stereoscopy

Monday, March 3, 2014


1933 Gino Cipriani and the Dutch Jan Stuyt (1868/1934)
The architecture and the materials that have been used refer to the Roman palaces
In 1958 it was raised with an extra floor to accommodate students and researchers
The LIBRARY contains about 60,000 volumes relating to history, art history and archeology of Rome and Italy. There are also sections about the relations between the Vatican and the Netherlands and about Dutch cultural history

Sunday, March 2, 2014


1902/03 Tullio Passarelli (1869/1941), a student of Gaetano Koch and exponent of Roman Eclecticism
"The Passarelli studio is a Roman studio, in the sense that through its production it explains well the kind of language widespread in the city space, so as to become archetypal without ever falling into the regime rhetoric, historicism or worse in the vernacular" (Alessandro Anselmi)