Athens in the Roman Empire

The statue of Athena upon the Acropolis suddenly turned to the west and spit blood. – Cassius Dio (AD155-235) In 87 BC, during the 1st of the Mithridatic Wars of Rome vs …

The most beautiful Piazza in Rome

Architects of the Renaissance created the concept of the Piazza in the 15th century, a redesign of the urban landscape into marketplaces and public spaces surrounded by buildings. Piazze (or …

Via Scelerata and the Evil Steps

A foreign visitor stopped me on the via Cavour and with two words he asked one of the most frequent tourist questions in Rome’s Monti District. “Saint Peters?” He phrased …

The Walls and Gates of Rome

The Walls of Rome The Servian Walls If you’re arriving to Rome’s 1930’s Termini Train Station, look to the right as you walk out the front of the station into …

Christmas in Rome

Christmas or Saturnalia? In 336, the Roman Emperor Constantine inserted a celebration of Jesus Christ into the fun and frolic of the Saturnalia, a festival dedicated to Saturn held annually …

September in Rome – 2015

When the ancient Roman year began in March, at the time of the Vernal Equinox, September was the 7th month. Septum is Latin for 7. A lot has changed over …

The Coliseum – Fact and Fiction

We rent an apartment that (literally) overlooks the Coliseum, the ancient Flavian Amphitheater that first opened in 80 AD. We sit on the terrace every evening and watch ‘closing time’ …

Byzantine treasures of Rome

    A short history of Byzantium In 660 BC, Byzantion was an ancient Greek city named for Byzas, one of the many children of Poseidon, there were more than …