We hope that you are enjoying our series of articles and guest articles on Italian tourist attractions, covering the entire country except for its major cities. In a sense we have left the best for last. We will describe what to see in Italy’s great cities neighborhood by neighborhood. You may not realize it, but Rome is divided into 20 districts. And each and every one of these districts boasts its own sightseeing attractions. If you have time, visit them all. In any case, read these articles to help plan your trip to The Eternal City. You may be in for some real surprises. Roma, Non Basta una Vita (Rome, a Lifetime is not Enough) .
The Piazza Campo de’ Fiori has been a meeting place for centuries. In the center of the plaza is a statue of Giordano Bruno, a monk burned for heresy in the year 1600. The not as well known Croatian born scientist Marco Antonio Dominis managed to die a natural death in September, 1624 but a few months later his heresy was declared manifest, and by order of the Inquisition his body was taken from the coffin, dragged through the streets of Rome, and publicly burnt in the Campo di Fiori, along with his works, a few days before Christmas of that same year. Some say that Dominis was the first to develop the theory of the rainbow, and he was an expert on tides, but that wasn’t what got him in trouble. For over one hundred fifty years the piazza has hosted a fish and produce market. This is an in spot at night.
In 1536 Michelangelo started designing the Piazza del Campidoglio plaza on top of the Capitoline hill in central Rome. Instead of facing the Roman Forum, the plaza faced Saint Peter’s Basilica and the design was to mark a new trend in city planning. The centerpieces were the Capitoline Museums. However, these magnificent edifices were not ready on time for the visit of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. In fact, they weren’t completed until the Seventeenth Century. In fact the paving design itself was completed only in 1940, under the orders of Benito Mussolini. The three main buildings are the Twelfth Century Palazzo Senatorio modified by Michelangelo, the Sixteenth Century Palazzo dei Conservatori, also redesigned by Michelangelo, and the Seventeenth Century Palazzo Nuovo whose exterior is identical to the Palazzo dei Conservatori. In addition the Palazzo Caffarelli Clementino hosts short-term exhibitions, until World War I it hosted the German Embassy.
What about the contents? The art collection predates the museums; a Pope donated ancient bronzes to the people of Rome and placed them on the Capitoline Hill. The collections include some of the most celebrated sculptures of the ancient world, including the original of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius that once stood in the piazza. Many beautiful sculptures are copies of Greek’s masterpieces. There is a bronze statue of a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, the twins who founded Rome. The Galleria Congiunzione links the three palaces and contains the remains of Second Century Roman dwellings. There’s lots more.And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Latium or other Italian wines.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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