Ostia Antica

The amazing archaeological park of Ostia is the Rome's answer to Pompeii . It was the first Roman colony and the first river port in Italy. The name of Ostia derives from "Ostium" that in Latin means "mouth of the river" and it's far 25 km from the Eternal City...

Ostia Antica is easily reachable from our HOTEL MONTECARLO ROMA, only 35-40 minutes by metro, Castro Pretorio stop (a few meters from us) to Piramide stop, then suburban train at the unique cost of Euro 1,50 for metro-bus ticket...

The name "Ostia" derives from "Ostium", mouth of the river. Founded by the Quirites (the earliest name of the citizens of Ancient Rome) who sought a natural outlet to the sea, it was the first Roman colony and the first river port in Italy...

It underwent huge economic and demographic development, above all during the Imperial Age. It became the ideal site for an enterprising middle class dedicated to production and trade...

In 1575, a flood altered the course of the Roman's sacred river by about two kilometers and from that moment on it curved in a northerly direction...

Founded in the 4th century BC, Ostia's decline began in the 3rd century AD, coming out to a head in the 5th century AD. Little by little it was abandoned and by the 9th century AD the population had finally migrated to Gregoriopolis, nearby fortified village...

Recently archaeologists have discovered a secret part of Ostia, the ancient seaport close to Rome, which they say is bigger than Pompeii...

Not far from HOTEL MONTECARLO ROMA, the amazing archeological park of Ostia Antica is worth visiting...

It's like a real time travel walking around Ostia Antica, the amazing archeological site of the ancient port of Rome, with beautifully preserved ruins...

When in Rome, don't forget to visit it...

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This amazing ancient monument was built and rebuilt several times, first by Agrippa who began it in 27 BC

The presente structure is the result  of an early 2nd century A.D. reconstruction by the Emperor Hadrian

The Pantheon stands on Piazza della rotonda, which is complete with obelisk and baroque  fountain

 It is in an astonishing state of preservation, considering nearly two millennia of vandalism

Sporting original bronze doors, it's the dome that takes the breath away: a perfect semisphere and the ancient Romans' finest architectural feat. Lit by a 9m oculus, it's a surreal sight when rain falls through in a mesmerising column

Until the 20th century, the Pantheon was the largest concrete structure in the world. Michelangelo studied its great dome before starting work on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

The Pantheon was dedicated to pan theos, "all the gods." When it became a church, it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all the martyrs.

The Pantheon is the burial place of several important Italians (including the artist Raphael), and it remains an active church. It is a major tourist destination and a popular place for weddings

The Pantheon is widely praised for its feats of architecture and concept of space. At 43m (142 ft) wide and 43m (142 ft) high, it is a perfect sphere resting in a cylinder.

The Pantheon's huge dome is a perfect hemisphere of cast concrete, resting on a solid ring wall. Outside, the dome is covered in almost weightless cantilevered brick.

With a span of 43.2 m (142 feet), it was the largest dome in the world until Brunelleschi's dome in Florence of 1420-36.

The portico (porch) is made of 16 monolithic Corinthian columns topped by a pediment. The inscription M·AGRIPPA·L·F·COS·TERTIUM·FECIT means: "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, during his third consulate, built this."

The bronze doors leading into the building (which are original and were once covered in gold) weigh 20 tons each. The walls of the Pantheon are 7.5m (25 ft.) thick.

The oculus, the only source of natural light in the Pantheon, is a round opening in the center of the dome. It is 27 feet in diameter and open to the sky (the floor is gently sloped to allow for runoff of rainwater).

The main altar of the church is opposite the entrance, and the original 7th-century icon of the Madonna and Child can be seen above it. This was previously dated to the 13th century, but the 7th-century original was recently recovered under layers of overpainting. It is a rare survival of an icon from a period when they were a common feature in Roman churches. The apse is decorated with a golden mosaic featuring crosses.

Some 2nd-century decoration from the temple can be seen in the niche just to the right of the apse. The niche just to the right of the entrance carries a fresco of the Annunciation by Melozzo da Forli (15th century).

Monumental tombs are set into the walls of Pantheon, including that of the artist Raphael (on the left side as you enter). Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of a unified Italy, and his successor, Umberto I, are interred here as well.

In the plaza outside the Pantheon is a lovely fountain topped by an ancient Egyptian obelisk. The obelisk and its base were erected by Pope Clement XI

The Pantheon was originally built in 27-25 BC by the magistrate Marcus Agrippa (his name appears on the inscription outside), to commemorate the victory of Actium over Antony and Cleopatra. This original temple burned down in 80 AD.

The Pantheon was completely reconstructed in 125 AD by Hadrian, a cosmopolitan emperor who had traveled widely in the East. The second temple was dedicated to every known god, from which the Pantheon gets its name. Hadrian himself is credited with the basic plan, an architectural design that was unique for the time.

The Pantheon was maintained and restored by the emperors Septimus Severus (193-211) and Caracalla (211-17). During its two centuries as a functioning temple, statues of gods filled the niches. Animals were sacrificed and burned in the center; the smoke escaped through the only means of light, the oculus.

After Christianity replaced paganism in Rome, the Pantheon was abandoned for a time. Public pagan worship was prohibited in 346 and most pagan temples were closed in 356. Fortunately, a decree of 408 ordered that temples were to be put to new use; thus some have been preserved and were used as secular buildings

The Pantheon remained unused until the Byzantine emperor Phocas (602-10) gave it to Pope Boniface IV (608-15). In 609 AD, the Pantheon was consecrated as a Christian church. It was the first pagan temple in Rome to be Christianized, although the practice had been common in the East since the 4th century. The church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all the martyrs, thus continuing the tradition of a "catch-all" place of worship.

As part of the consecration in 609, an altar was placed in the main apse opposite the entrance, with an icon of the Virgin and Child placed above it. Legend has it that Pope Boniface transferred "cartloads" of martyrs' relics to the newly consecrated church, but this is unlikely. At that time, the presence of human remains inside a city was an Eastern practice frowned upon in Rome. The earliest documented transfer of relics into Rome is in the 640s (by popes of Eastern origin) but the practice did not really become accepted in Rome until the 8th century. Future excavations may reveal whether the legend is based in fact or not.

In 667, the Pantheon was stripped of its golden roof tiles and looted of anything of value, but the building was partially restored by Pope Benedict II (684-85). It was subsequently robbed and restored again several times.

In the 16th century, Michelangelocame to the Pantheon to study its dome before he began work on the dome of St. Peter's (whose dome is 2 feet smaller), and the Pantheon's roof was stripped of bronze for use in Bernini's baldacchino in St. Peter's. In 1563, the bronze doors were restored.

Among the many buildings influenced by the Pantheon's design are the British Museum Reading Room, Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda at the University of Virginia, Low Library at Columbia University and the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The "Historic Centre of Rome," with specific mention of the Pantheon, was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980

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Birthday of Rome

Our little reportage during the celebration of the Rome's birthday (it was founded in April, 21, 753 BC) at the Circus Maximus, not far from our hotel, with the Gruppo Storico Romano.

The Gruppo Storico Romano is a cultural non -profit organization with the principal goal to studies and disseminates the habits and customs of the ancient Romans, in particular those of the first centuries of the empire (I and II century AD). Enjoy!


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Terme di Diocleziano

 ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ The Baths of Diocletian are the most imposing thermal complex ever built in Rome. Erected between 298 and 306 CE, they spanned more than 13 hectares and could accommodate up to 3000 people at the same time, within a structure consisting of a series of environments such as gymnasia, libraries, a swimming pool of more than 3500 square metres and those rooms that were the heart of every thermal complex: the frigidarium (cold bath), the tepidarium (lukewarm bath) and the calidarium (hot bath)

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Erette tra il 298 e il 306 d.C., avevano un'estensione di oltre 13 ettari e potevano accogliere fino a 3000 persone contemporaneamente, in un percorso che si snodava tra palestre, biblioteche, una piscina di oltre 3500 metri quadrati e gli ambienti che costituivano il cuore di ogni impianto termale: il frigidarium, il tepidarium e il calidarium

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ It was precisely these latter spacious rooms the ones converted by Michelangelo into the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels and the Christian Martyrs: in the other environments arose the Carthusian Monastery, conceived by the artist himself

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Proprio queste ampie sale furono trasformate da Michelangelo per la realizzazione della Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri Cristiani: negli altri ambienti delle Terme sorse, ideato dallo stesso artista, il Convento dei Certosini

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Original seat of the Museo Nazionale Romano (National Roman Museum) since its institution in 1889, the Baths and the Charter-house are currently undergoing a restoration process that has thus far permitted the reopening of a part of the monumental complex and of the two sections of such a composite museum, the Section of Protohistory of the Latin Peoples and the Epigraphic Section, this one pertaining to Written Communication in the Roman World

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Sede originaria del Museo Nazionale Romano fin dalla sua istituzione nel 1889, le Terme e la Certosa sono oggetto di un processo di restauro che ha finora permesso la riapertura di una parte del complesso monumentale e di due sezioni espositive di un articolato museo, la Sezione di Proto-storia dei Popoli Latini e quella Epigrafica sulla Comunicazione Scritta nel Mondo Romano

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Besides the exhibition, visitors can enjoy, therefore, the sumptuous and imposing Aula Decima, wherein are exhibited the big tomb of the Platorini and two chamber tombs, decorated with frescoes and stuccoes, originally from the Necropolis of the Via Portuensis

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นIl visitatore puรฒ dunque, oltre al percorso museale di visita, godere anche della sontuosa e imponente Aula Decima, all'interno della quale sono esposte la grande tomba dei Platorini e due tombe a camera provenienti dalla Necropoli della via Portuense con affreschi e stucchi

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ It is possible then possible to have a stroll in the large Michelangelo's Cloister of the Charter house, which today is an unexpected haven of peace and silence despite being only a few steps from the bustling Termini Train Station; in it are on display more than 400 artworks such as statues, reliefs, altars, sarcophagi, all coming from the Roman environs

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น E' poi possibile passeggiare nel grande Chiostro Michelangiolesco della Certosa, oggi inattesa oasi di pace e silenzio a pochi passi dall'affollatissima stazione Termini, dove sono esposte piรน di 400 opere tra statue, rilievi, altari, sarcofagi provenienti dal territorio romano

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ All the pictures in this blog (and also on our Facebook page and Instagram page too) are taken by the Hotel Montecarlo's staff. The Baths of Diocletian are very near to our Hotel Montecarlo, only a few steps, when in Rome don't miss out to visit it! Check our official website www.hotelmontecarlo.it discover all the fantastic offers and come to visit us! Wonderful Roman Holidays are waiting for you!

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Tutte le foto su questo blog (e anche sulle nostre pagine di Facebook e Instagram) sono scattate dallo staff dell'Hotel Montecarlo. Le Terme di Diocleziano sono molto all'Hotel Montecarlo, solo pochi passi, quando siete a Roma non dimenticate di visitarle! Visitate il nostro sito ufficiale www.hotelmontecarlo.it scoprite tutte le fantastiche offerte e venite a trovarci. Meravigliose Vacanze Romane vi stanno aspettando!