italy 2: top attractions of roman, renaissance, baroque, modern rome

Eternal Rome, with its ancient Roman monuments (© Lozzi Roma)

Roman Rome

Though most of the buildings in Michelangelo’s piazza on Campidoglio [Capitoline hill] date from the Renaissance, the hill was once the epicentre of the Roman Empire, the place where the city’s first and holiest temples stood, including its most sacred, the Tempio di Giove [Temple of Jupiter]. By the Middle Ages, the Campidoglio had fallen into ruin. In 1547, Pope Paul III (1468-1549) decided to restore its grandeur for the triumphal entry into the city of Charles V (1500-1558), the Holy Roman Emperor. He called upon Michelangelo to create the Cordonata [the monumental staircase ramp], the edifices and facades on the three sides of the Campidoglio, the slightly convex pavement and its decoration, and the pedestal for the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the only surviving example of the many bronze equestrian statues which once adorned Rome. As Michelangelo’s pre-eminent urban set piece, the piazza and its buildings sums up all the majesty of High Renaissance Rome. In spite of changing events and historic conditions, it has remained at the very centre of Roman life. Today, it is the headquarters of the mayor and municipality of modern Rome. Continue reading

italy 1: eternal roma and the vatican

St. Peter’s Square (© Lozzi Roma)

Rome is like a tapestry of time. Ancient Roman ruins blending into medieval churches, Renaissance domes, Baroque fountains and fascist buildings, whilst the vivacity and vigour of modern Rome sparkles in the foreground. Eternal Roma. Time from all times stand here on display. Ancient Romans, Vandals, Popes and the Borgias, Michelangelo and Bernini, Napoleon, and Mussolini, all have left their physical and spiritual mark on this city by the banks of the river Tiber. Modern Rome has one foot in the past and one in the present—a wonderful stance that allows you to have an expresso in a square designed by Bernini, then walk back to your hotel room in a renovated Renaissance palace. Continue reading