Monday, September 22, 2014

Red Roses in Rome

If you have ever wondered how the sellers manage to keep their red roses in pristine condition in the heat of Rome, here's the answer.
 In Piazza del Popolo there are several appealing animals sprouting clean fresh water into the troughs below. Along comes the seller with a bunch of roses a little the worse for wear, dips them in the water, holds them under, shakes a few times, then, proudly continues his work with born again roses.

Music, Architecture, and Rome: Scarab Beetles

If you love music and modern architecture you'll surely want to visit the so-called "Scarab Beetles" in Rome. The most lauded architect in Italy (and since last year a "Senator for Life") Renzo Piano designed the Auditorium Parco della Musica which was inaugurated in 2002 and has become the most visited music facility in Europe.

 There are 3 main separate concert halls, and a fourth external semicircular space, the cavea, which represents the ancient Roman theatres. The whole is designed using materials of Roman tradition: traventine for the terrace and Roman brickwork for the basement. My fotos do not do it justice.

It's not difficult to get to: for example, from Rome's Stazione Termini (the main station) take the "A" Metro (train) towards Battistini for 4 stops, getting off at Flaminio.  From there take the Tram Number 2, for 4 stops.  On alighting  wait for the all- clear  before crossing the road, as you will be in the middle of a road when you get of the tram.  Then follow your nose for about 200 metres (at right angles from the tram platform, and towards what looks like a huge overpass), and the auditorium is on your right.  It is open most days from 11am. Remember to buy your ticket (newspaper stall or tabaccheria) before getting to the Metro where it is usually busier (you can use the same ticket for the tram, just re-validate).  A ticket for 100 minutes costs Euro 1.50.

We also visited another magnificent modern building designed by Renzo Piano, the winery La Rocca in Gavorrano, when in the South West of Tuscany earlier this year.