One thing you learn quickly in Rome is that there is not a lot of contemporary architecture in the historic center. Newer high profile works tend to be clumped at the edges, like Renzo Piano’s Parco della Musica and Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum. So it’s notable when a bold new work, like the Ara Pacis Museum, muscles its way into the historic core.
The Ara Pacis, or “altar of peace” is a remarkable artifact. Lost for over a thousand years, it was discovered piece by piece, over centuries, and involved everyone from archaeologists to members of nobility and even Mussolini himself. (more…)
Did you know that Roman Holiday, the 1953 film that launched Audrey Hepburn‘s career, was the first American movie to be shot entirely in Italy? In addition to Hepburn’s career, it also launched Rome onto the world stage as a major cultural destination once more. Today, we’re touring of some of Roman Holiday‘s most memorable filming locations. (more…)
Of all the places you might find the Capuchin crypt, the Via Veneto in Rome seems to be the unlikeliest location. But amid this district of four star hotels, expensive restaurants and swanky habitués, there resides a strange ossuary that has survived the centuries. Here, five successive chambers are decorated in carefully wrought patterns and vignettes constructed entirely of human bones and mummified corpses. (more…)
Right now it’s exploring Rome while my husband completes his felllowship at the American Academy here. Previously I was interim executive director at openhousenewyork and before that I was a senior staff member at three great organizations: Brooklyn Bridge Park, the NYC Department of City Planning and the Municipal Art Society.
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Pamphili Park is a true gem, a local park the way only Rome can do them. A former estate of one of the city’s wealthy Renaissance families, Pamphili is lush, filled with decrepid follies and the perfect retreat from the constant hum of motorinos and carabinieri.
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Centrale Montemartini, a beautifully restored thermoelectric plant filled with imperial era sculpture. This museum is the perfect pairing of industrial architecture and classical archaeology. (more…)
Originally named E42, EUR stands for Esposizione Universale Roma, a worlds fair that Benito Mussolini and his administration planned for 1942, to celebrate 20 years of Fascist rule in Italy. The exposition, of course, never happened, due to the intervening of World War II. This district, located on the edge of Rome’s historical center, was intended to showcase the new Italy and its leadership, and was built according to a master plan by architect Marcello Piacentini. (more…)
Paris may be most famous for its catacombs, explored officially by tourists in some areas, illicitly by “cataphiles” in others, but did you know that catacombs exist all around the world, including in New York City? Originally the term “catacomb,” in its singular form, only applied to a group of underground tombs on Appian Way in Rome under the Basilica of St. Sebastian, where the bodies of apostles Peter and Paul were believed to have been interred. By 1705, the word was being used to describe subterranean cemeteries elsewhere, and by 1836, it also included the catacombs of Paris.