Monthly Archives: March 2011

An olive grove in the middle of the city

Italy is well known for its many monasteries, usually located in beautiful and peaceful settings to favour a life of meditation.  However, one such monastery exists in a very urban part of Rome: the Abbazia delle Tre Fontane or Abbey … Continue reading

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A shining light from the Dark Ages

For a period of a thousand years, from the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 to the 15th century Renaissance, Rome went through its own dark ages. The city was no longer the centre of the known world, the … Continue reading

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The Caravaggio enigma

The early 17th century painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, was somewhat rediscovered in the 20th century, when he became highly fashionable again. His dark and powerful style of painting corresponded more to contemporary taste than the idealised Madonnas painted before … Continue reading

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Open doors at Rome’s most prestigious palace

Many of Rome’s best palaces remain closed to the public most of the time. This is the case in particular with the Palazzo Farnese, prestigious seat of the French embassy in Rome. To break with the tradition, the Palace has … Continue reading

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Italy celebrates…

All shops and offices are closed today in Rome for the 150th anniversary of the Italian Unity. On that very day in 1861, the newly formed Italian Parliament proclaimed Vittorio Emmanuele II the new King of a unified Italy. They … Continue reading

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The weight of tradition

Rome is a city of traditions, a city of the past, where rituals stay alive century after century. Among the odd ones in my view is the celebration held every year on the 16th of March at Palazzo Massimo alle … Continue reading

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Relaxing in a thermal pool

Italy is well known for its thermal baths and spa resorts. After all, the tradition started two thousand years ago, when the Romans developed sophisticated water systems and aqueducts. The tradition is very much alive today with many thermal spa … Continue reading

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Creating heaven on earth

The villa d’Este in Tivoli on the outskirts of Rome is famous for its amazing 16th century terraced gardens, which on a steep hill of only about four hectares, include a multitude of fountains, grottos, sculptures, secret paths and secular … Continue reading

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