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ROME I LOVE YOU

By Antonio Dal Muto

A Walk inside the City as it was

dalmuto_antonio@tin.it

Antonio Dal Muto was born in Rome. He’s Art Critic and Author of Some Italian Towns Histories by Comixs. He got the Diploma in Painting and Drawing and the Specialization in Internal Architecture. He attended at Architecture Faculty in Florence. He’s Art Critic and Caricaturist

PREFACE
This work’s dedicated to everyone who loves Rome. The fascination arising from this City is, all over the world, well Known: the ancient Roman times as first. Infact, all over the World, we mean that world overlapping Europe, North Africa and the west side of Asia, was conditioned by Rome, for a long Time. Anyway, if we consider, at present, as the papacy is managing the Christian world, we can state that Rome is still conditioning all world. The roman action is still on progres!! In the far past, at the time of the Empire, Rome was the center of the world, after the falling of the Empire, starting from the VI-VII century, Rome slowly fell into a extreme decadence situation: The population, which was about three millions during the Empire, arrived at Twenty thousand people after the Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527, a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V. Oftenly we hear, how individualist unreliable, dishonest the italians are, maybe it’d be true in particular cases, well, we invite you to consider the fact that starting from the Fall of the Roman Empire Italy, for about one thousand and four years, was, by the Governors, Kings, people of Europe and not only ( German, Dutch, Spanish, French, Slavian, Turkish, Arab… and various mercenaries ) considered as land of booty and… rapes ( now, these Europeans are criticing us for our behavior, calling us "pizza and mandolino" ) without considering that it’s due to their actions on Italy for centuries, that to Italians had been prevented from developing own national identity, but we, Italians, had been developing a great artistic identity: the 70% of world art heritage is in Italy) So, while the rest of Europe difined their Kingdoms since the XII-XIII century, Italy was divided into many little reigns governed by local and foreingn masters. This long-timed situation didn’t allow to us, Italians, to develop the typical civic sense about the meaning of State. It’s only from 1946 year that we have a democratic-constitutional State, a real short time to get the desiderable sense of the State. But we are going ahead…

Rome, as many cities or towns in Italy, developed and stored its own memory of the past events: looking at Rome means to look at its history: every corner of the ancient town, that town inside the Aurelian walls long about eleven kilometers, is able to give you back part of its memory. But its necessary to be able to catch the answeres to the questions that your own glance asks everytime you visit Rome; until you realize and understand the “soul of the eternal town, Rome”. We tried to set up a path along which you could understand it, sorbing up gradually some of its answers, its faces. We hope to have clearly made you available those elements to get this target, despite we thoght it was better avoiding to overload this path. Have you a good reading!!

the Author

ROME BY ITS NEAR PAST

If you are visiting Rome, you get the real impression of a modern City with all those characterists belonging to all modern ones all over the world. But if we return to the very near past we’d discover and realize how this modern City could be compared to a small town and, for certain particular aspects, considered as country village, where you’d have seen sheeps, cows and wagon pulled by donkeis, going around those places now considered very important and huge just like the Roman-Imperial Forum, or Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, the Pope Basilica, Piazza di Spagna, Via Condotti, Via Veneto a.s.o. This condition lasted until the end of the XIX Century, when the King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, displaced the Capital from Turin to Rome. We have photograps but also the watercolored works by E.Roesler Franz, giving back to us the lost faces of that romantic Rome. So, let’s start with the images of it

The entrance in Rome by San Giovanni in Laterano Door, at present, and next to it the roman time door. By this entrance crossed by the old Appia way, along which walked Saint Peter at the Nero’s Time…

The same door at the end of the XIX century…

What sensation can we get overlapping the two images…?

That’s Saint Paul Out of the Wall. The Church was erected on the site where tradition considers that there had been decapitated Saint Paul. This is the present situation along the road to Ostia…

This is the situation at the end of XIX century. It was a country landscape!!

Good By ancient country, able to hear and see the che carriage going to and coming from the Port of Ostia.

Piazza di Spagna, the famous staircase. Here we can only see no tourists but Roman people sitting at the sun with their tipical dressing

Here’s the banks of the Tiber. The ancient Banks remained so as they were used by the ancient Romans, until the construction of “Lungotevere road”

That’s the watercolor of E.Roesler Franz. This Roman artist caught all views destinated to be demolished at the end of the XIX century, when Rome became the Capital of the Italian Kingdom…

The present situation with the new bridge connecting the two “Lungotevere roads”…

The Past and the Present overlap…

Lungotevere at present

Another view…. You can see on the river the typical boats; some of them are used as restaurants. In the past they were much more as in summer time they represented for the Romans the occasion to take baths in the Tiber

To build the elevated roads of Lungotevere, the Port of Ripa was demolished and, with it, many ancient hystorical evidences…

Port of Ripa: another view of that characteristic corner of ancient Rome…

It was really necessery to build the elevated roads of Lungotevere: Floods of the Tiber were frequent. But thanks to them that many treasures of ancient Rome were preserved. This photo shows part of Borgo di Spina, demolished, through which you could reach Saint Peter Place. You can see the Dome…

Here you can see Borgo di Spina on 1911 year, It was demolished to do Via della Conciliazione a symbol which stressed the reconciliation between Church and the State leaded by Mussolini

Via della Conciliazione in its present appearance

Rome ‘s always lived toghether with the River, despite now it got different meanings

This is Porta Maggiore (Main Door), it was not a door but the connection of two Aqueduct made built by Emperor Claudius. In the past, especially in the Middle Age, monuments, just like this one, were used and transformed into houses…

That was its appearance in the last years of the XIX century

THE XIX CENTURY ROME BY THE WATERCOLOUR WORKS BY ETTORE ROESLER FRANZ

Ettore Roesler Franz was born in Rome in 1845, his parents were of German origin. He devoted himself to painting and in 1907 left a series of 120 watercolor paintings acquired by Govern of Rome. These works represent an important testimony of the city that came out of his condition of abandonment and, in some respects of miserable situations, to enter the capital of the Kingdom and capital of Christianity role. Many medieval boroughs were shot down for this purpose.

The demolitions continued, then, under Mussolini Governance, for 20 years ( 1922-1942), causing other damage to Rome.

In this Roesler Franz’s work we can see how, on 1896 year, the Portico d’Ottavia, the jewish popular zone famous for the Fish market.

The region of the Jewish Ghetto is a stone's throw from Lungotevere ; it lived around the Portico d’Ottavia, a bow that belonged to a monumental complex built by Caesar Augustus in his sister's memory. Now it is popular with tourists.

This is via Santa Sabina a monastic complex, as it appeared by a watercolour of XIX century, built on the Aventine major hill, the same hill on which Romulus hear the Auspices to become Rex- Sacerdos Founder of Rome

This is Via Santa Sabina at present…

The hens free to eat wurms, a typical country condition, appears a contrasting situation compared with the present one…

The position of the Monastic Complex of Santa Sabina. You can see the Circus Maximus below

That’s Via della Greca, It clearly appears as a quite country suburb developed by the Tiber River …

Via della Greca at present. The belltower of Santa Maria in Cosmedin…

Via della Greca is at the end of Circus Maximus

The middle aged of the Complex of Anguillara buildings in Trastevere (Trans Tiber). The Anguilaras’ was a power roman family…

The entrance as Franz saw it…

The inner court of Anguillara’s building

You can find it near the Tiberin Isle

The tower of Anguillara’s Buildings from the Tiber By Franz

Remaining in Trastevere: here is Via di Santa Bonosa at present. A very narrow street

This is its medieval appearance, a suburb from which you could see the dome of Saint peter…

What difference!!!

The present via di Santa Bonosa is just behind the Anguillaras’ Buildings

Via dei Cappellari, near Piazza Navona, is still existing, but, of course, what no more exists is the “roman popular soul” living into this narrow street…

Via dei Cappellari at present

Inside that red circle there is Via dei Cappellari a narrowed-street suburb

The medieval building on the right was taken by Franz in his work , but, of course, inside a lost atmosphere…

That’s the building in Via della Lungaretta. Many ancient buildings were demolished due to the realization of the elevated road of Lungotevere…

Inside the red circle is the Bulding. Before it Tiberin Isle

An Arch at Via del Corridoio del Borgo

We are in Via Corridoio di Borgo, a suburb between St Peter and Castel Santangelo. These two places are connected with the wall you see here, on which there is a corridor, in ancient time used by the Pope to escape from his enemies, taking refuge in Castel Santangelo, the papacy fortress.

Here you can see the corridor starting from St peter…

Via di Porta Angelica is just on the right side of the long St Peter Porch, You can see the columns beyond the Arches of the Door…

That’s Largo Magnanapoli, near Piazza Venezia

No cows at present… only Car… Horses Power Behind the Church, the XVI century Militian Tower, facing on Traiano’s markets

This is Via Giulia a 1 km street long planned by pope Jiulius II, that Pope who started the Contsruction of the New Basilica of St Peter and who compelled Michelangelo to paint the Sistina Chapel…

Those faggots of wood means there was a baker…

Via dell’orso. The olnly poor means were the wagons pulled by donkeys or cows.

Saint Peter in Vincoli (chained) is near the Colosseum. In this church there is the famous Michelangelo’s Moses. The sad destiny of many important squares is to store cars…

In the past it was destinated to store wagons…

In St Peter in Vincoli Square, there’s this arch by which you cross the building of famous family such as the Borgia…

Vicolo del Campanile is near St Peter. It was part of the Borgo di Spina, that suburb which was demolished to build Via della Conciliazione.

This is the zone where there was Porto di Ripa Grande, large Ripa Port…

Few words about St Peter Basilica: here you can see the situation on 1550 year, when the Dome was not yet erected and the Facade not yet planned – the Dome and the Facade will be erected on XVII century by Giacomo della Porta and Carlo Maderno -

St Peter in a XVI century Print

This is St Peter in the first part of the XVII century, the two armlike Porch by Bernini has still to be erected. They’ll be done on 1657 year.

St Peter in a XVIII century Print by Piranesi

Ripa Port in a old XVIII century Print

The Port was near Porta Portese where there was the Papacy Arsenal. Look at the small red circle…

The papacy Arsenal at present, as private store

Well, we have had a glimpse about the near roman past, by which I hope, You got that necessary feeling to realize how simple was the roman identity at the end of the XIX century. Around the Power centers, rapresented by the Church State with the noble Families, there was the simple and popular roman soul which, we must not forget, it was the son of a more ancient identity: the Roman Empire. We’re just going to see recostructions of the far past, but still present with a lot of its evidences. I’m going to help you to understand them. Follow me, please.

THE FAR PAST OF ROME

That’s the main zone, restrained between the Colosseum and Campidoglio hill ( the ancient Capitolium hill)…

Starting from 1924, Mussolini decided to built Via dei Fori Imperiali (red Lines), to get this target he had to demolish the ancient suburbs built over the Imperial ruins. Was this decision a good or bad thing? Truth is in the middle!!

Buildings on the ruins of the Traian’s Foro before the demolitions…

Demolitions in progress…

As you can see here the so told Alessandrino suburb conpletely covered the Traiano’s Foro. The famos Column was partially hidden

This suburb complitely covered Caeser and Augustus’ Forum as well…

Infact you could enter Augustus’s Forum by Pantani’s Arch; it was an entrance situated behind the powerfull wall built by Augustus to defend the Foro from the Suburra Fires…

That’s the same zone by a XVIII print. Suburra was the popular zone where the fires was not rare. Next to it, on the right, there’s a door, It was the entrance in a church built in Mars’ Temple …

Well, the demolitions were usefull to enjoy the Roman Imperial ruins. So let’s go to see the splendour of that far past, comparing with the present city situation. A good method to “read” the present landascape.

The model of Ancient Rome is by The Roman Civilization Museum

Under Campidoglio hill there was the Jiulia Basilica, a place were the civil justice was managed…

On the left of the Basilica we see Castors’ Temple (V century b.C); on the right Saturn’s Temple…

As backgrond we see the hill of Capitolium (left side) and the Arx hill ( right side, where there’s the church) in the middle the rests of the Tabularium, The Senate Palace used to store all Documents…

On the left side we see Jupiter Temple, on the right one Giunone Moneta Temple; in the middle in a low position the Tabularium (at present on the Tabularium there is the Municipal Building, the Campidoglio, which square was set up definitively by Michelangelo)

In front of the Basilica Jiulia there is the Basilica Aemilia: on its left side the Curia, on the right The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, on the right side the little temple of Romulus, Massenzio’s son, behinde which the Basilica Ulpia. Under the church on the left, there’s Mamertinum Jail…

The Curia still exists due to the fact that it was, in the middle age, used as church. Behind the Curia, Caesar’s Foro: it belonged toghether with the buildings we ‘ve just seen, to the Roman Foro…

Caesar’s Foro with Venus Genitrix Temple…

The Yellow line: Caesar’s Foro zone; the Red Line: Traiano’s Foro zone. This last one forms the Imperial Foro….

Up in the middle Traiano’s markets…

Another point of view of Traiano’s Foro…

These powerfull remains belong to Massenzius’s and Constantine’s Emperors’ Basilica. The renaissance Architect Brunelleschi took inspiration from it to plan the first part of the new St Peter Basilica

Massenzius’s Basilica structures from Via dei Fori Imperiali

Near the rests of Massenzius’s Basilica there’s the little Temple of Romulus (Massenzius’s son) which was partially incorporated, in the VI century, by the Church of St Cosma and Damianus, using the Building of Basilica Ulpia

Part of this church was erected on the area of the Temple of Peace as well

This is the temple of Peace, behind The Romulus’s Temple and, on the left the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, inside which the Church of St Miranda was erected, so, preserving it from demolition to get material just like the bricks

Behind the Temple of Peace there was the Temple of Mars and Augustus’s Foro. Here we can see the powerfull wall erected by Augustus’s will to protect the foro by the Suburra fires…

Near Colosseum, just after Massenzius’s Basilica there is the big Venus Temple; it was personally planned by Adrianus Emperor…

Before the temple there is the giant statue of Nero, known as the Colossus. This name identified, then, the Amphiteater known as Colosseum

These high columns, with the big niche, are part of the remains of the Venus’s Temple

As usual in the middle age, new buliding were built on the ancient roman time structure remains, so it was for the Nunentry of St Romana Francesca. In this image we can see that it is behinde Venus Temple…

The Nunentry of St Romana Francesca in a print of 1774 year

The Nunentry at present

Here’s an air general view of the Roman and Imperial Foro, on the left side the Suburra area…

Behinde the Temple of Romulus the Basilica Ulpia; In front of the Temple of Romulus there’s the Vestal Virgins House. At the bottom of the Capitol Hill

Outside the Foro we can see The Colosseum; up on the right Traianus’s Thermae ( built on Nero’s Domus Aurea), at the Bottom, we see the Temple of Divus Claudius, part of the Aqueduct and many houses on the Aventine Hill…

We can see here the Circus maximus, under the Palatine Hill…

Palatine hill was the residence of the Emperors and their Families: facing the Circus, in the middle, we see the Domus Augustana; on its right Septimius Severo Palace; on the extreme left the Temple of Magna Mater: here, in this area, the legend says there was the Hut of Faustulo, the shepherd, and his wife Acca Larentia, who found the Twins… The large square with a temple, facing Venus Temple is the Temple of the Caesars.

The Temple of the Caesars can be seen by this other point of view. Up, on the extreme left side you can see the “Septimontium” dedicated to the Seven Roman Hills

About the Circus we can see on the right side the remains of the “Carceres”, that’s the plase where the Horses were guested, to wait for the Horse contests, about which Nero was very fond.

Another point of view of the Circus. The Palatine Hill is on the right

Walking down from piazza Venezia – under the Capitol - Campidoglio Hill - we reach Marcello’s Theatre, with the rest of bellona Temple and the rest of the Portico d’Ottavia… On its left there’s the Jewesh Synagogue.

The Jewish Ghetto with the Portico d’Ottavia we’ve already seen by the Watercolour of Ettore Roesler Franz.

The two Columns belonged to Bellona’s Temple

Behinde the Theatre we see the Ottavia Porch with double Temples inside. We also can see the little Balbo’s Theatre… Look at the Tiber Isle.

No traces about the complex of Balbo’s Theatre and about the Ottavia’s Porch remain only a couple of archs. Everything is coverd by “recents” constructions

Going to Tiberin Isle by another bridge, we could see the round Hercules’s temple: its the oldest marble Temple built in Rome

The crossing of Tiber were by the bridge, known, actually, as broken bridge, It fell down in the XVI century. Near Hercule’s Temple there is another one, known as Portunus’s Temple, known, as well as, The Fortune Temple. Between the two temples we can see the mouth of Cloaca Maxima, a sewer, built on the VI centuruy b.C. still on working.

Hercule’s temple by the Tiber. . Next to it the Belltower of St Maria in Cosmedin. You can see the mouth of the Cloaca Maxima. By E.Roesler Franz

The mouth of the Cloaca Maxima at present.

On the right you see Hercules’s Temple, on the left the Portunus’ or Fortune’s Temple in a 1774 year Print: it’s been well maintened as it was used as church for a long time. Far, you recognise the Belltower of St Mary in Cosmedin

Sometimes, despite the modern Buildings, some traces of the Roman past remain. We can see, inside the red Circle a semicircular structure, it’s the remain of the Agrippa’s Thermae, which were near the Pantheon…

Here you can see it inside the facade of this building, in Via dell’Arco della Ciambella. “Ciambella” in Roman language is a ring-shaped cake; This name, probably, came from the form of this remain…

So, the central round part of the Thermae still show itself inside a building…

Here is the Pantheon zone: behinde Agrippa’s Thermae; on the left Minerva Temple on which area there’s the Church of St Maria on Minerva…

The facade of the Church St Maria on Minerva

Near Pantheon – bordering on Balbo’s Theater area - there is a complex of Temple’s remains in zone known as largo Argentina

The four temples, originally designated by the letters A, B, C, and D, front onto a paved street, which was reconstructed in the imperial era, after the fire of AD 80. The area was delineated to the North by the Hecatostylum (one-hundred columns porch) and the Thermae of Agrippa, and to the South by the buildings related to the Circus Flaminius, to the East by the great porched square of Porticus Minucia Frumentaria, and to the West by the Theatre of Pompey. Temple A was built in the 3rd century BC, and is probably the Temple of Juturna built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus after his Victory against the Carthaginians in 241 BC. It was later rebuilt into a church, whose apse is still present. Temple B, a circular temple with six columns remaining, was built by Quintus Lutatius Catulus in 101 BC to celebrate his Victory over Cimbri; it was Aedes Fortunae Huiusce Diei, a temple devoted to the "Luck of the Current Day". The colossal statue found during excavations and now kept in the Capitoline Museum was the statue of the goddess herself. Only the head, the arms, and the legs were of marble: the other parts, covered by the dress, were of bronze. Temple C is the most ancient of the three, dating back to 4th or 3rd century BC, and was probably devoted to Feronia the ancient Italic goddess of fertility. After the fire of 80 AD, this temple was restored, and the white and black mosaic of the inner temple cell dates back to this restoration. Temple D is the largest of the four, dates back to 2nd century BC with Late Republican restorations, and was devoted to Lares Permarini, but only a small part of it has been excavated (a street covers the most of it).

In the middle the Temple “B”

Piazza Navona, one of the most known long square in the world. It took the place of the Domitian’s Circus. Very famous in this piazza are the monuments of the XVII architects Bernini and Borromini

Beside the Circus there were Nero’s Thermae. The ancient buildings, around the circus, were erected on what remained of the staircases.

Castel Santangelo, the papacy Fortress in origin was a Mausoleum, exactly, the Emperor Hadrian’s Mausoleum…

This was the original look of the Mausoleum…

About Harian there’s still another testimony, that’s the significative rest of the Hadrian’s Temple. It’s inside the red circle, near Pantheon in Campo Martius area…

Of the Temple we still have the Columned wall you see, and the buildings on its right side were erected on the rests of the Porch. This building, in Via della Pietra, now, is the seat of the Stock Exchange

We’re going to conclude this short, but significative trip or voyage, inside the Eternal City, Rome. Let’s give a look to a general vision of it

This is the area known as Campo Marzio

Marcello’s Theatre area

The Olitorium Foro (Hercules’ Temple), the Palatine an the Roman-Imperial Foro

Colosseum zone with Aventinus and Easquilinus Hills

Up side we see the Suburra, the very popular suburb

Going outside Rome, along Appia way, we meet the remains of the wide Caracalla’s Thermae, a complex built for “Men Sana in Corpore sano”…

We cross the Aurelian walls by St Sebastian Door…

…A powerfull Door which saw two tousand years of History crossing it…

This is the old Appia way which arrived till Brindisi town far more than 500 kms

Along it the big Massenzius’s Circus…

…and next to it the famous Cecilia Metella’s Grave…

….and not only…. We could visit the St Sebastian Catacombs , a very long and wide expression of the post-mortem christian rite…

Going ahead we meet St Callistus’s Catacombs, a very important site as here…

… many saints, martyres and popes, of the early Church, were buried…

The Catacomb(s) of Callixtus (also known as the Cemetery of Callixtus) was most notable for containing the Crypt of the Popes, which contained the Tombs of sevreral popes from the 2nd to 4th centuries. The crypt fell into disuse and decay as the remaining relics were translated from the catacombs to the various churches of Rome; the final wave of translations from the crypt occurred under pope Sergius II in the 6th century before the Lombard Invasion primarily to St Silvestro in Capite, which unlike the Catacomb was within the Aurelian Walls. The Catacomb is believed to have been created by future Pope Callixtus I, then a deacon of Rome, under the direction of pope Zephyrinus, enlarging pre-existing early Christian Hypogea. Callixtus himself was entombed in the Catacomb of Calpodius on the Aurelian Way. The Catacomb and Crypt were rediscovered in 1854 by the pioneering Italian archaeologist Giovan Battista de Rossi. At its peak, the fifteen hectare site would have held the remains of sixteen popes and fifty martyrs. Nine of those popes were buried in the Crypt of the Popes itself, to which pope Damasus I built a staircase in the 4th century. Among the discovered Greek language inscriptions are those associated with: Pope Pontian, Pope Anterus, Pope Fabian, Pope Lucius I, and pope Eutychian. A more lengthy inscription to Pope Sixtus II by Furius Dionisius Filocalus has also been discovered

Well, we stop, here despite the History of Rome ‘s continuing along the ancient roads. We hope we succeded to give you the essential of “Rome soul” by the image we set up for you . Thank you indeed!

THE END

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