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WHEN IN ROME
We have selected 4 THINGS TO DO IN ROME, away from ordinary touristic itineraries, so as to offer you the opportunity to discover the authentic identity of the Eternal City.
1. The Pincian Hill Water Clock at Villa Borghese
A stone's throw from the panoramic terrace of the Pincio, immersed in the magical setting of Villa Borghese, stands a masterpiece of engineering and aesthetics, Rome's Water Clock. It was conceived in 1867 by Giovanni Battista Embriaco, a Dominican friar who had a passion for clocks and engineering. The clock works thanks to the presence of water and of two small leaf-shaped basins, which activate the mechanism that makes the clock hands turn, thus marking the time. The flow of the water also moves the pendulum and loads the bell. In short, a true work of engineering!
2. Casina delle Civette (“Little House of Owls”) at Villa Torlonia
The Casina delle Civette Museum is located within the enchanting park of Villa Torlonia, and is one of the hidden beauties of the capital. Its name derives from the fact that owls are one of the recurring decorations of the stained-glass windows and majolica tiles.
Until 1938, the Casina delle Civette was the home of Prince Giovanni Torlonia junior. Today, however, inserted in an enchanted niche, it is not just one of the best examples of the Liberty style to be found in Rome, but is also a museum which seems to have come right out of a fairytale book. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
3. Rome's Talking Statues
The Talking Statues are probably the best expression of ancient Roman times: true, satirical, cheeky and irreverent, especially towards power and the ostentation thereof. Positioned in various locations throughout the capital's centre, the Talking Statues were born during the Pontifical era of government, when the people of Rome began to hang signs with satirical writings, invectives and humorous dialogues around the neck of these sculptures aimed at deriding various public figures, often including the Pope himself. Obviously, the authors of these invectives were strictly anonymous.
Soon, the Roman people began to give names to these statues, such as Madama Lucrezia, the Facchino (the Porter), the Abate Luigi (Luigi the Abbot), the Babuino, the Marforio and, the most famous of all, the Pasquino.
Can you find them all?
4. The Galleria Sciarra (Sciarra Walkway)
Close by the Trevi Fountain, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the capital's centre that thousands of tourists and Romans pass through daily, there is an architectural masterpiece that appears quite suddenly in the Eternal City: the Galleria Sciarra. It is a covered walkway in perfect Liberty style, built in the late nineteenth century. You will find it hidden on a small side street of Via del Corso.
Will you be able to go through it?