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posts tagged ‘ ART IN ROME ’

COPPEDÈ QUARTER, THE HIDDEN TREASURE OF ROME

posted by Home In Italy on September 12th, 2016

It seems that most of the inhabitants of Rome never has been there. Or they are not even aware of its existence. But during a vacation in the capital city, including the Collosseum, Trevi fountain and Piazza San Pietro, it would be good to leave some space for the Coppedè quarter. It is a most ambitious artistic- architectural experiment ever undertaken in Rome, if not in whole Italy: here blends an eclectic mix of different styles: nouveau, neo-gothic, kitsch, baroque and modernism, all to perfection. In fact, the definition of ‘quarter’, for this complex of buildings around the nucleus square Mincio, between the street Tagliamento and square Buenos Aires, is excessive. In fact the area called “Coppedè” is part of the quarter called Trieste.

It owes its name to Luigi Coppedè, an architect, sculptor and decorator, mixing different styles, has given endless life to a corner of Rome. The entire quarter can be considered a milestone of eclecticism: it combines the dark style of the Gothic to the classical Greek inspiration, as well as gates and towers from the Medieval time to Baroque and decoration Liberty. Needless to give any definition: walking through the streets of the Coppedè neighborhood gives you the impression of being in a bubble: caused by the silence, so different from the chaos of the surrounding streets, but also by the atmosphere, just like in a movie.
Overall, the quarter Coppedè is made up of eighteen buildings and twenty-seven other houses and structures. The most charming way to get there is through the big arch that connects the buildings of the Ambassadors at the corner between the street Arno and Tagliamento: the particular aspect is that under the internal vault of the Arch, decorated with asymmetrical architectural elements, there is a large iron chandelier. Once past the arch that connects the buildings of the Ambassadors, you find the square Mincio, the heart of the quarter. At the center you found the fountain ‘delle Rane’, with the main pond slightly higher than the street level: perhaps that is why, according to the legend, the Beatles bathed there after an evenings pent at Piper in 1965. Decorated with numerous frogs, from each of them gushes out water.
There are not only fountains dedicated to frogs. Even the buildings of Coppedè have their own name. There are so-called “Villini delle Fate”, from the refined exterior golden facades and with numerous golden women painted above. In these building alternate with travertine, tile, glass, wrought iron and wood, is enhanced Florence, with the words “you are beautiful Fiorenza”: not by coincidence, from a short distance you can recognize the figures of Dante and Petrarch. There is also “Palazzo del Ragno”: named after a giant arachnid, a decoration above the main entrance door. Not to miss on the third level is the balcony: above there is an ochre-black colored painting of a rider between two griffins, topped by the word “Labor”.


To list all the details and decoration of this quarter would be impossible. You have to arm yourself with patience and maybe binoculars and, with calm, discover every corner of the Coppedè. The atmosphere, as mentioned, is suggestive. It is not a coincidence that these roads were used for filming several feature films of the atmosphere noir, if not worse. This is the case of “The girl who knew too much” by Mario Bava, but above all the two horror films of Dario Argento such as “The bird with the crystal feather” and “Hell”. In these streets, movies have been shot such as “The Omen” and “The perfume of the woman in black”.

TO EAT: In Rome there is no shortage of restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine. In the area we recommend to try the specialties of Larysa, which brings you back to the original way of the Mediterranean tradition. In particular those based on fish, such as salmon tartar with pistachio and Tabasco, or rolls of sesame potatoes with a yoghurt dressing. But even the prawns in coconut cover with cous cous and Gazpacho sauce. In the street called Po you find Bucavino: its shops are below the street level. Worth going down to enjoy the facilities of this restaurant, that does not betray the regional gastronomic tradition. Do not miss the fried potato skins. In both cases a complete dinner costs about 30 Euros.

TO ARRIVE: the quarter of Coppedè is not far from the Termini train rail station. To get there, just get off the train and take the buses 86 and 92: in about 15 minutes you arrive at the square Buenos Aires. On the other side stands the church of Santa Maria Addolorata and is behind the arch with the chandelier. You can also walk if preferred: it will take you only two kilometers along the streets Goito, Piave, then Salaria and finally turning right in the street Po.

Historical Coffee Houses in Rome

posted by Home In Italy on February 15th, 2016

If we are asked to mention an historical coffee house in Italy, our mind goes to the Florian café in Venice (see our previous blog here). But, what about Rome?


Located in the elegant Via Condotti, in the very heart of Rome, is the Antco Caffe Greco; the second oldest coffee house in Italy, after the venetian Florian café. Meeting point for artists and intellectuals since the nineteenth century, it has been repeatedly portrayed in sketches and paintings, and had among its patrons even Schopenhauer, Franz Liszt, Stendhal, Wagner and Orson Welles. The Antico caffe’ Greco, with 300 ar works on display, is also one of the largest private art galleries open to public .
A few minutes walking from Via Condotti you can find Coffee Museum Atelier Canova Tadolini, in Via del Babbuino, where at the end of XVIII century Antonio Canova, the greatest exponent of Italian Neoclassicism, had set up his laboratory. Here, you can sip good coffee surrounded by an exceptional collection of sculptures.

In Via della Pace, located a few steps from Piazza Navona, you can find the Antico Caffè della Pace. Art Nouveau style for this nineteenth century coffee house, characterized by the ancient wooden furniture and facade covered with Virginia creeper. It was once a very trendy place, and it is still frequented by intellectuals and international stars.
Near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, right in front of the Senate of the Italian Republic, there is the Caffè Sant’Eustachio. This coffee shop dates back to 1930’s and it still has the same furniture and the same floor of that era. Its emblem is the deer, the symbol of Sant’Eustachio.
Finally, the first tea room in Rome: Babington tea Room. Established in 1893 by Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington, this tea and reading room was the result of the many Anglo-Saxons living in Rome who needed a place where they could drink their favourite beverage. Even today, this place overlooking the Spanish Steps is beloved by tea lovers who can find all the tea qualities and can breathe a quiet and reserved atmosphere. The XIX century style furniture , the wooden tables the teapots and exclusive porcelain make Babington tea room even more magical.

Rome. A permanent exhibition illustrating 70 years of film history

posted by Home In Italy on December 2nd, 2015

The magic of the Seventh Art in one of the places that have seen the birth of masterpieces known worldwide: Cinecittà, the temple of Italian cinema, opens with an exhibition that describes 70 years of cinema.

Girando a Cinecittà - Shooting in Cinecittà is the name of the exhibition that will drive you in the enchanting atmosphere of the “Hollywood on the Tiber”. From the great films of the origins to the war movies, from the Renaissance though the neorealism and the golden age of the the 60s to the foreign productions, Shooting in Cinecittà shows photographs, costumes, set design, objects of films shot in the Roman soundstages, such as “Quo Vadis?” directed by Mervyn LeRoy, “Senso” by Luchino Visconti, “Fistful of Dollars” and “Once upon a time in America” by Sergio Leone, or Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”.

Visiting the exhibition is a time-and-space travel in one of the least known area of the Italian capital which contains the secrets of one of the largest film industries of Europe. Not to mention that Italy is one of the favourite sets of the most famous film directors around the world.

The two most beautiful parks in Italy: the Garden of Ninfa and the garden of Villa Medici

posted by Home In Italy on November 25th, 2015

Written by Piero Carlesi – Touring club
The XIII edition of “The most beautiful park of Italy” competition awarded the Garden of Ninfa in the category private parks and the Gardens of Villa Medici in the category of public parks. The scientific committee selected these two natural jewels among more than thousand candidates, all of them part of the network of the Most Beautiful Parks of Italy (Parchi Più Belli d’Italia) and reviewed on the online guide www.ilparcopiubello.it, which has been promoting a naturalistic tourism in Italy for the past thirteen years.
The two parks can be visited during the same weekend, since they are about seventy Kms away from each other.

The Garden of Ninfa, in Cisterna di Latina, Lazio, was founded on the ruins of the ancient city, respecting the balance of the ecosystem and combining colours. Villa Medici is locatd in Rome, next to Trinità dei Monti. The villa is now property of the French State and houses the French Academy. The 7 hectares – garden still maintains much of the look it had in the sixteenth century.