Art & Culture (le cose belle) / Happening Now (quel che succede oggi)

Rainy Day Museuming in Rome: Life-Size Replicas and Miniature Models

Weather forecast for the next three days: Rain :( What’s the perfect rainy day activity? Museuming. But already been to the Capitoline Museum? Tired of Trajan’s Markets? Too rainy for Ostia Antica? Take advantage of La Settimana della Cultura, Rome’s Cultural Week offering free entry to many sites, and do something a little different: Check out … Continue reading

Happening Now (quel che succede oggi)

December 8: Celebrating with the Pope near the Spanish Steps

Pope Benedict XVI, a large crane, and thousands of screaming fans. Ok, so I’m exaggerating a little. But just a little. December 8th is the feast day of the immaculate conception. This is NOT the immaculate conception of Jesus (the idea that Jesus was born pure or free from sin). Rather, it celebrates the immaculate … Continue reading

Historical Sites (l'antichità) / Uncategorized

The Ludus Magnus

Picture this: It’s the year 107 CE and Trajan, one of the most popular and successful emperors of theRoman Empire, has returned from battle against Dacia (modern dayRomania) and decided to celebrate his military victories with 123 straight days of gladiatorial games (yes, that’s over 4 months) in the Colosseum. He has gathered 11,000 animals … Continue reading

Art & Culture (le cose belle)

Who Owns Culture? The “Morgantina Venus”

In the most recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine, Ralph Frammolino, co-author with Jason Felch of Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum, writes about the return of the “Morgantina Venus.” This seven-and-a-half foot tall statue of the goddess Aphrodite (Venus is her Roman name) was sent by the J. Paul … Continue reading

Art & Culture (le cose belle)

Glums and Glows of the 54th Venice Biennale

Venice, Italy. October 2, 2011. Knee-high polka dot stockings, sharply-angled hair, dreads and Birkenstocks, and Louis Vuitton bags and sunglasses: we must be in the right place. Having wound our way through canals, over bridges, and down narrow streets, we had finally made it to one of the entrances of the 54th Venice Biennale. This … Continue reading