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Nov 03 2012

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Wandering Rome

Next days were spent visiting some musts like il Colosseo, la Via Appia Antica or la Bocca della Verità, without any common thread.

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Ok that Piazza Spagna is very beautiful but how can people really enjoy this place, so crowded?!

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I also had time to see two sights that I had missed during my previous stays. La Chiesa di Santa Sabina is one of the first Roman Churches ever built, in 410 AD. These first churches adopted the “basilica plan”, a kind of building with a versatile, non well defined role until now. Santa Sabina was built on Aventine Hill, over the remains of the temple of Juno and you can  still see one of its columns on a framed hole on the pavement inside. The tall, spacious nave has 24 columns of Proconnesian marble with perfectly matched Corinthian columns and bases, which were reused from the Temple of Juno. It was crazy to see that, despite being not far from some main sights we were less than ten people visiting that church . . . good for me! 

Santa Sabina is the oldest extant Roman basilica in Rome that preserves its original colonnaded rectangular plan and architectural style. Its decorations have been restored to their original restrained design as well. Other basilicas of the same period, such as Santa Maria Maggiore,  are now heavily decorated with Baroque stuff (bleah).

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On the picture above there is only pure Architecture +light, an intimate atmosphere. In my modest opinion, believers only need this to be closer to God.

The Ara Pacis Museum is quite new, (2.006), and Architecture aficionados will recognise Richard Meier’s style immediately. This glass + travertine box hosts the original Ara Pacis constructed, by Augustus’ own decision, in the northern part of the Field of Mars to commemorate peace. This is an interesting small museum where, apart from the altar itself, there is an interesting introduction about Augustus’ family. 

“When I returned to Rome from Gaul and from Spain, in the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Publius Quintilio, having brought to a satisfactory finish my works in these provinces, the Senate decreed that there should be consecrated in the Field of Mars an altar to the Augustan Peace and ordered that the officials, priests and vestal virgins should celebrate a sacrifice at it every year.”

 

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My Tips :

  • There is a common agreement between the cities of Rome and Paris and Ara Pacis, and other museums of the Comune di Roma, are free for parisians. You only need to show an identity card or some paper like a bill which demonstrates you are resident in Paris.
  • If walking along hidden, narrow streets you see a sign like “oggi lasagna” jump for it! Good home made lasagna is not done in five minutes like most restaurants for tourists propose, a Roman mamma needs to be behind the burners. The lasagna that I ate that day was FANTASTIC.

My Rome Pictures :

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