Rome sightseeing and popular attractions

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December 8, 2017 - Rome

Pope Francis is expected to pay a visit to Piazza Mignanelli located just a stone throw away from the world famous ancient Spanish Steps on December 8, Friday at around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon during the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Making a pilgrimage to the square is an important part of paying homage to the Virgin Mary. As part of the ceremony, the pontiff will kneel in prayer and then leave a floral wreath afterward. The wreath will be taken by the firemen and will then be placed into the right hand of the statue of the Madonna situated in Piazza Mignanelli during the ceremony which is typically attended by the mayor of the Italian capital.

Due to the pontiff’s visit, there will be all-day street closures as well as bus detours in the historic center specifically in the surrounding areas of the Spanish Steps.

This annual religious tradition has been observed since 1958. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is regarded as both a national public holiday in Italy and a significant Catholic holy day. And since its a non-working national holiday, all government agencies, banks, post office, public offices, schools (both public and private) from primary to college levels, and other and will be closed.

Most of the shopping centers in the historic center and in the entire country will remain open during the event, though. Since it is a non-working holiday, many people are expected to flock to different shopping centers not only to witness the event or to enjoy the festivity but also to do early Christmas shopping. The feast is regarded as the onset of the Christmas shopping season in Rome.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception is a celebration of the belief of Christians in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is celebrated every 8th of December, exactly 9 months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary on the 8th of September.

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Rome Termini
TerminiThe official Italian name of this station is Termini Stazione di Roma Termini. It is the main metro station of Rome. All the public transportation in Rome come together at the Rome Termini – from the trains, the buses, the taxis and the shuttles. The Rome Termini also hosts […]read more...
Apartments in Rome
Couch Surfing AppertmentOne of the primary concerns that many tourists have is booking for a place to stay. Because there is no significant low season in Rome, it is expected that hotels can be fully occupied any time of the year. With this at hand, you may need to […]read more...
Discos and Clubs in Rome
Disco girlWhen you hear about Rome, you certainly think about its rich culture and beautifully designed ancient buildings. However, did you know that there are other things that you can enjoy in Rome? Certainly, there is a lot more than architecture and great work of arts in Rome. […]read more...




December 6, 2017 - Rome

It has been a tradition for the Vatican to build a gigantic Christmas tree and a life-size crib scene at the center of Saint Peter’s Square. This year, the Vatican will officially unveil and light its colossal Christmas tree and nativity scene on December 7 at around 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

The giant red fir Christmas tree stands 28 meters high and is ornamented with clay baubles and stars. This year’s design is created by the children from the areas in Central Italy that were hit by the earthquake as well as by the young cancer patients from various hospitals in the country.

The Christmas tree is a gift from the Archdiocese of Elk in Poland. It took nearly 1,245 miles and 12-days before the Polish Christmas tree arrived in the Vatican. This is the second time Poland donated a Christmas tree to the city. Twenty years ago, Pope John Paul II also requested to place a Polish tree in St. Peter’s Square.

The nativity scene was donated by the ancient Abbey of Montevergine in the southern Italian region of Campania. Whilst the crib backdrop as well as the terracotta figures that stand 2 meters high and designed with 18th-century Neapolitan costumes were products of the local artisans.

If you want to witness both the monumental Christmas tree and the nativity scene, you can see them standing at the center of St Peter’s Square until January 7, 2018.

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Palazzo Madama
Palazzo MadamaPalazzo Madama is the palace of Rome. It is the seat of the Italian Senate. You can find it next to Piazza Navona. Built in 1503, Palazzo Madama was commissioned by the Medici family. The Medicis were essentially the most powerful families in Florence. The family owns […]read more...
Basic Italian Words
Basic Italian video lessons for your holiday in ItalyBasic Italian words for your holiday in Rome When visiting Rome or any other Italian city it comes in handy if you know a few basic Italian words. In this free video course you’ll learn these basics divided in 3 short lessons: Greetings, Counting and Ordering. See […]read more...
The Mouth of Truth
Mouth Of Truth - Bocca della VeritaLa Bocca della Verità, known in English as the Mouth of Truth, is one of the most interesting sculptures in Rome. It is a huge Pavonazzo marble image that weighs more than 2800 pounds. It’s pretty much a disc carved with a face of a man with […]read more...



November 15, 2017 - Rome

Out of the more than 4,400 cities in the world, Rome ranks as the 12th most popular destination. In the result of the latest “2017 Top 100 City Destinations” survey done by Euromonitor International which was presented on November 7 during the World Travel Market event in London, the Italian capital got the 12th place.

A total of approximately 9.6 million tourists from all the around the world are expected to visit the Eternal City by the end of 2017. As compared to last year, there will be an increase of 1.8% number of tourist who will be visiting the city this year.

Hong Kong still got the number 1 spot with expected 25.7 million expected international tourists. Hong Kong has been marked as the most visited city destination in the world for nine consecutive years already. Following Hong Kong is Bangkok with 23.27 million expected international tourists. The third placer is London with 19.8 million expected international tourists.

Aside from Rome, there are three other Italian cities that are listed in the top 100 city destinations in the world. Milan which has expected international tourists of 6.8 million got the 27th spot. Venice is in the 38th spot with 5.2 million expected international tourists. The third Italian city is Florence. With 4.9 million expected international tourists, Florence ranked as number 44 most visited city in the world.

Rome is such a majestic city. It has always something interesting and exciting to offer both to the locals and tourists alike: from rich history to ancient arts, from amazing architecture to nature parks, from spacious piazzas to theaters and museums, from shopping to gastronomy, and everything in between. No wonder why millions of people from different countries dream of visiting the city.

Among the most popular landmarks in Rome are the over 2,000 years old gigantic amphitheater known as the Colosseum which used to accommodate around 50,000 to 80,000 viewers at a time; the world-renowned Trevi Fountai which is known as the largest and most popular Baroque-style fountain in the city; the elaborately designed Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City which is famous for Michelangelo’s spectacular paintings of the story of “The Creation” and “The Last Judgment”; and the iconic Saint Peter’s Basilica and its impressive dome.

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Palazzo Madama
Palazzo MadamaPalazzo Madama is the palace of Rome. It is the seat of the Italian Senate. You can find it next to Piazza Navona. Built in 1503, Palazzo Madama was commissioned by the Medici family. The Medicis were essentially the most powerful families in Florence. The family owns […]read more...
Rome Ghost Walk tour
The Colosseum, the world famous landmark in RomeTake a tour of Rome in a totally different perspective and join in a walking evening excursion – the Rome Ghost Walk. Since Rome dates back to many millenniums, it’s bound to be an eerie tour. However, the Ghost Walk is also the best way to appreciate […]read more...
Shopping in Rome
Woman with shopping bagMost people come to Rome for sightseeing and learning. There is probably nothing more enjoyable than learning about Rome’s culture, art and history. However, Rome offers more than that. After visiting a number of monuments, churches, buildings and museums, you may as well enjoy shopping in Rome. […]read more...



October 31, 2017 - Rome

After a decade, the waters of Italian capital’s famous 18th-century fountain known as Trevi Fountain has turned to red again. It happened when the anarchic activist-artist Graziano Cecchini poured red dye into the landmark basin on the afternoon of October 26 in protest to the city’s 2017 film festival which was opened on Thursday.

According to reports, Cecchini was immediately arrested by the local police and is currently awaiting appropriate charges. Meanwhile, the local government is still assessing the Baroque monument for possible damage.

Cecchini has done the same ‘vandalism-art’ stunt as a protest against the cost of hosting an international film festival last 2007. Just like this year, the 64-year-old anarchic activist-artist also dyed the fountain in the historic center of Rome which gave him a spotlight in different international news portals.

Graziano Cecchini is also the same person who is responsible for the 500,000 plastic balls which were rolled down the Spanish Steps in 2008. According to the artist, each of the plastic balls represents the lie being told by a politician. Such act of protest also garnered Cecchini a lot of attention.

Trevi fountain is one of the most well-known fountains not only in Rome but also in the world. It is especially famous among tourists. As the legend tells, if you want a return visit to Rome, you will have to throw coins into the 18th-century marble fountain’s basin.

The Baroque masterpiece has recently gone through a €2 million restoration work which was sponsored by fashion house Fendi and was just reopened in 2015 after a long restoration work.

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Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius SaturninusLucius Antonius Saturninus was known as a great Roman commander of the Upper Germany army and as an ancient governor of the province of Germania Superior. He held his position as an army commander during the time in power of Emperor Domitian at the later part of […]read more...
Circus Maximus
Forum Romanum in RomeCircus Maximus was once the largest race course for chariot races. It was built in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills in the 6th Century BC. In 329 BC, permanent starting gates were added. And in 174 BC, they were rebuilt and seven large wooden […]read more...
Basilica of San Clemente
Basilica of San ClementeThe Basilica of San Clemente is a complex layer of churches whose ruins date back from the twelfth century. Built by the cardinal priest of San Clemente, Anastasius, the basilica was dedicated to Pope Clement I. From an archeological perspective, despite all the renovations that it has […]read more...



October 24, 2017 - Rome

It was during the first months of 1917 when the notable Spanish poet, sculptor, playwright, printmaker, painter, ceramicist, and stage designer Pablo Picasso traveled to Italy in hope of finding an inspiration for the “Parade” ballet sets that he was designing.

This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Picasso’s journey in Italy. To commemorate his contribution to the history, Rome held a new exhibition called “Picasso between Cubism and Neo-Classicism: 1915-1925”. The exhibition displays 100 pieces of Picasso’s masterpieces including stage costumes, drawings, paintings, sketches, and watercolors.

Apart from the exhibition of the 100 masterpieces at the Quirinal Stables, there is also a separate event entitled the “Parade” at the Palazzo Barberini.

With a dimension of 52.5 feet by 33.8 feet or 16.5 meters by 10.5 meters, the “Parade” is considered as the most monumental work of Picasso. It also marks the end of the Spanish artist’s Cubist period and his return to figurative. The gigantic painting features a winged horse together with some street performers and a mammoth stage curtain.

For Picasso, his grand journey to Italy was one of the most memorable and important parts of his life. Initially, one of the main purposes, why he traveled to Italy in February 1917, is to meet the founder of the Ballets Russes named Serge de Diaghilev. After his arrival in Rome, he met the ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova who eventually became his wife.

Picasso, who was based in Paris, used to be really interested not only in Baroque painting and sculpture but also in artists like Bernini. He was also interested in classic monumental sculpture and popular shows. Picasso was one of the most inspiring, influential, and well-known artists of the 20th century.

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Rome to Pompeii Day Trip
Rome to Pompeii Day TripAnother interesting spot you can visit near the Eternal City is Pompeii. It is an ancient Roman city located just nearby the modern Naples in Campania region. Pompeii was among the many villas in the region that was demolished and covered by four to six meters thick […]read more...
Public Transport in Rome
Rome metro with AngelinaNo matter how much you want to, you cannot simply walk throughout Rome without having any means of transportation. While it is true that the city of Rome is a one big museum in itself, you still need some vehicle to travel, unless you wanna carry your […]read more...
Mausoleum of Augustus
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October 19, 2017 - Rome

For the first time in 40 years, the top floors of the iconic Roman Colosseum are now open to the public.

After the completion of the major restoration project, the top levels of Rome’s ancient amphitheater, which have never been accessible to tourists and locals alike, are now made available for public visits through guided tours.

During the ancient times, the top levels (specifically the fourth and fifth) of the Roman Colosseum were offered to the lower class audience. Since these levels are located relatively far from the central arena where performances and fights were held, they used to be the cheapest seats in the entire amphitheater.

The restoration works have brought these levels back to their former glory. Today, they will no longer be seen as the cheapest part of the gigantic amphitheater and the place for the lower class people, but a special spot where tourists can enjoy the incredibly stunning view not only of the entire Colosseum but also of the Italian capital as well. At the height of 40 meters above the ground, these areas offer the most amazing view of the entire city.

The guided tour was started last October 4, 2017. Aside from the top levels, you can also be able to visit the connecting gallery. Just like the top levels, the connecting gallery was also never been opened to the public before. Apart from the well-preserved corridor, you can as well see some traces of the six ancient Roman toilets.

For the whole month of October, visits to the fourth and fifth levels will be included in the underground guided tour. If you wish to visit the top levels only, you can book and reserve your slot for the uppermost floors tour starting November 1. For safety reasons, each tour group should have a maximum of only 25 members including the guide.

The Roman Colosseum is still under restoration. This multi-million-euro project is funded by shoemaker Tods. During the first phase of the project, the barriers and the metal gates in the arches at the ground level were replaced. The southern and northern facades were also strengthened. Part of the project was to spray clean the entire structure to remove centuries’ worth of grime.

Future plans for the restoration project include the renovation of the underground vaults as well as the construction of the new visitor center. The underground vaults are chambers located below the arena where the prisoners and wild animals were kept before they enter the arena to fight against their opponents during Gladiator matches.



Other articles

The Spanish Steps
The Spanish StepsThe Spanish Steps or Scalla di Spagna or Scalinata della Trinita’ dei Monti is one of the most known places where Rome comes together. The stairs starts at the Piazza di Spagna and leads up to the French church, Trinità dei Monti. Although almost always full-packed, the […]read more...
Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius SaturninusLucius Antonius Saturninus was known as a great Roman commander of the Upper Germany army and as an ancient governor of the province of Germania Superior. He held his position as an army commander during the time in power of Emperor Domitian at the later part of […]read more...
Pyramid of Cestius
Pyramid of Cestius in RomeSmall at a distance yet gigantic up close. This is how the Pyramid of Cestius was labelled. The Pyramid of Cestius is so large that you keep looking upward. Spectators did not expect that it would be as big as those pyramids in Egypt but then it […]read more...



October 9, 2017 - Rome

It was more than a century already when we last saw wolves roaming around the borders and territory of the Italian capital. Wolves have played an important part in Rome’s founding myth. The symbol of the city is a female wolf suckling two infants who are said to be the brothers Remus and Romulus.

And now, after more than a hundred years, two mature cubs have been captured on camera earlier last month outside the busy three-lane ring road not far from the international airport of the city, the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.

As stated by the local wildlife protection group, they set up a hidden camera in a nature reserve at Castel di Guido known as Oasi Lipu situated just outside the city. This nature reserve is being managed and run by the Italian League for the Protection of Birds (LIPU). The two wolf pups were photographed while drinking from a watering hole. They were also captured loping through the protected area’s undergrowth.

According to biologists, they believe that at least two wolf adults and two mature cubs are living in the nature reserve. Researchers named the male adult Romulus. They also believe that the pair of mature wolves have arrived in the vicinity somewhere from the areas around the northern part of Rome, specifically from Lake Bracciano, where the species have been living despite being pushed towards extinction.

Back then, it was just normal for us to see wolves in and around the city. However, due to excessive hunting and human interaction, the numbers of wolves living in Rome was greatly reduced over time. In order to survive, the wolves were forced to live only in one area, specifically in the mountain areas of central Italy.

Italy used to encourage haunting of wolves until their number has dropped to around 100 in the 1970s in entire Italy. In 1971, wolves are given protected status. Since then, their population has grown to around 1,500 to 2,000 all throughout Italy. A large percentage of the population is living in the Alps as well as in the Apennines.

Many people in Rome are getting worried about the threat that these species can pose to their livestock. However, people should not worry about wolves killing their livestock because according to the recent study and analysis of their excreta, their diet exclusively includes eating wild boar which can abundantly be found roaming around the countryside.

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Palatine Hill
House of Augustus in Palatine Hill RomeThe Palatine Hill is the frontrunner of the Seven Hills of Rome. Previously, several emperors established their palaces on the Palatine. There were also several temples, including the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Magna Mater. The hill Today, these temples are but ruins, nothing compared […]read more...
Vatican City
Pop speaks at Saint PeterOccupying a large area in central and eastern Italy, Vatican City is a small state in Rome. It is a state within a state. It is the smallest country in the world and is ruled by the Pope. History Vatican City is the Papal residence. It began […]read more...
Camping Sites near the Beach
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September 17, 2017 - Rome

Archeologists have discovered by chance two ancient Roman sarcophagi right behind the iconic football stadium in Rome.

The Olympic Stadium or Stadio Olimpico is popularly known as home to football rival teams Lazio and Roma. This major modern-day football stadium in Rome has always been considered as both club’s cemetery of dreams. Just recently, it was found out that the area nearby the stadium was indeed a cemetery or a burial ground as two ancient Roman archeological bodies were unearthed by chance just behind the contemporary sports facility.

The ancient tombs were accidentally revealed when an energy utility company held a routine digging operation behind the Curva Nord to lay cables and pipelines. Upon discovery, the energy utility company immediately sent a notification to the authorities regarding their discovery. A team of archeologists was then promptly sent by Rome’s cultural authority to carefully excavate the two Roman sarcophagi.

The two coffins were both made of marble. One of the coffins features an elaborate bas-reliefs decoration while the other sarcophagi boast simpler yet impressive emblem. Because of their elaborate designs, Rome’s cultural authority believes that the tombs were most probably the final resting place of two children of wealthy Roman families.

The burial sites were discovered around 10 feet below the earth’s surface, near the northern end of the contemporary stadium where the hard-line football fans typically gather during tournaments.

The archeologists said that if they were not reported and removed right away, they could have been vandalized or looted. The archeological findings were taken out of the site and were brought to Rome’s study center where they will be taken cared for, dated, cleaned, restored, and analyzed. The cultural authorities will release the results of the studies in the next few months.

The Archaeological Area of Central Rome and the Special Superintendency for the Colosseum issued an announcement regarding the latest discovery. The Archaeological Area of Central Rome is an organization and a government body in Rome that is officially in charge of the city’s cultural heritage. They are likewise part of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Heritage of Italy.

Archeological findings such as this are not any more unusual in Rome. From time to time, archeologists receive reports of discovered ancient relics during maintenance and construction works.

Just this July, a carbonized solarium was accidentally discovered during the excavation for the metro line extension. Last summer, archeologists also received reports of a possible ancient Roman relics. Archeologists found out that they were prehistoric Roman tombs and baths.

During the routine operation held last 2015 to check and fix gas pipes located underneath a cobbled street on the Esquiline Hill, a 2,000-year-old villa was unearthed. The ancient Roman villa still has its frescoed walls which were decorated with flower motifs painted in green, purple, red, and other colors.

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St. John Lateran Archbasilica
St. John Lateran ArchbasilicaOf the four papal basilicas in Rome, the St. John Lateran Archbasilica is the oldest. It is also considered as the main basilica and one of the seven pilgrimage churches. The other three papal basilicas are the Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major), St. Paul Outside the […]read more...
Shopping in Rome
Woman with shopping bagMost people come to Rome for sightseeing and learning. There is probably nothing more enjoyable than learning about Rome’s culture, art and history. However, Rome offers more than that. After visiting a number of monuments, churches, buildings and museums, you may as well enjoy shopping in Rome. […]read more...
The Colosseum
Colosseum RomeThe Colosseum or Amphitheatrum Flavium is an amphitheater and the largest architecture ever erected by the Roman Empire. It was built during the Flavian Dynasty by order of Emperor Vespasian in the 72 AD and finished by Titus, his son, in 80 AD. It was originally a […]read more...



August 27, 2017 - Rome

Rome, Italy– Rome’s Terme di Caracalla, also popularly known as Baths of Caracalla, will be opened for public visits at night through Italian and English guided tours which will be available until October 18, 2017.

The general public can visit the Roman baths every Tuesday and Friday night from 7:30 o’clock in the evening until 10:30 o’clock in the evening. The tour lasts for 75 minutes.

During the tour, the visitors can enjoy and admire not only the amazing beauty of the floodlit ancient bath complex but also the maze of underground areas. For as low as €18 for advance booking or €20 for on the spot booking, the visitors can enjoy touring around the different areas of the bath complex including the frigidarium, gymnasium, tepidarium, caldarium and changing rooms.

The Baths of Caracalla are one of the Roman thermal bath complexes in Rome. They are known as the second largest public baths in Rome and are considered as among the best preserved historical structures in the city. The baths were constructed during the time of emperors Caracalla and Septimius Severus, between AD 211/212 and 216/217 and they have the capacity to accommodate around 1600 bathers at a time.

They are located in the southern part of the historic center of the city along a corridor of the historical archeological attractions that stretch from Via Appia Antica or Appian Way to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. The entrance of the Baths of Caracalla is located on the Appian Way, just 5 minutes walk away from the Circo Massimo Metro station.

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TivoliTivoli is an ancient Italian town in Lazio that is around 30 kilometers away east of Rome. It has a total land area of 68 square kilometers and a population of 53,195. This ancient town is among the popular travel destinations in Rome because of its nice […]read more...
Rome Segway Tour
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Santa Maria dell’ Anima
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December 11, 2016 - Rome

Are you planning to visit Rome with your kids this Christmas season? Aside from the museums, monuments, theme parks, and other sightseeing spots that you can visit with your kids anytime of the year, they will surely also have fun with the different activities and events specifically intended for kids. Because Christmas season is for kids, the different establishments and institutions in Rome have prepared a handful of activities for them to explore and enjoy. Here is a compilation of some of the most sought after events for this year’s yuletide season.

Trastevere– Teatro Le Maschere

If your kids love theater presentations like you do, try Teatro Le Maschere’s Italian musical performance called Un Fantasma per Natale. This production is good both for kids and for the whole family. You can watch and enjoy Un Fantasma per Natale until December 18. The musical showcase comedy, drama, suspense, and music.

Viale P. de Coubertin- Disney in Concert: Frozen

Are your kids a fan of the famous Disney movie Frozen? Now is the time for you and your kids to enjoy the smash-hit film as it is played on the big screen. What makes this Disney concert more exciting is that you can listen live to the movie’s soundtrack being played by an orchestra that is composed of 4 soloists, 20 singers, and 30 musicians. Catch Disney in Concert on December 29 and 30 at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica located in Viale P. de Coubertin.


Bioparco is one of the must-visit landmarks in Rome where your whole family can enjoy all throughout the year. But Bioparco becomes more lively and festive during the yuletide season because of the handful of events they hold for children. One of their events is the Tombola degli animali. Your kids will enjoy a quiz and raffle during this fun event  to be held on December 26, from 12:30 o’clock noon until 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Bioparco will be holding a lot more activities for kids until January 6.

Flaminio- City Lego

Kids, in general, love Lego. If your kids love Lego too, you can treat them with a visit to the gigantic city of Lego in the district if Flamino. The event will run from December 8 to January 29.

Piazza del Popolo- 100 Presepi Exhibition

The 100 Presepi exhibition annual activity is one of the most popular international nativity crib exhibitions in Europe. This year, they are celebrating their 41st edition. They are currently hosting over 190  nativity scenes of which 150 are from Italy and over 40 are from other countries. The nativity scenes are displayed at Sala del Bramante in Piazza del Popolo and are available for public visits every day from 9:30 o’clock in the morning until 8:00 o’clock in the evening. The annual exhibition and the crib-building workshops for kids were opened last November 24 and will run until January 8, 2017. They will be open on Christmas day.

Included in the exhibition are the contemporary reproductions of the traditional Roman mangers of the19th century, Sicilian and Neapolitan cribs of the 18th century, and some modern versions created  out of terracotta, wood, nuts and bolts, sand, papier-mâché, pasta, and rice.

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Fontana della Barcaccia
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The Mouth of Truth
Mouth Of Truth - Bocca della VeritaLa Bocca della Verità, known in English as the Mouth of Truth, is one of the most interesting sculptures in Rome. It is a huge Pavonazzo marble image that weighs more than 2800 pounds. It’s pretty much a disc carved with a face of a man with […]read more...
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