martedì 30 aprile 2013

My desk is a mess!

Una volta ero una persona molto ordinata, ma ora... partecipo con piacere all'iniziativa di Topogina - che una ne pensa e cento ne combina - e vi presento "My desk is a mess!"

In realtà, io non ho una scrivania, ma uno scrittoio che ormai chiamo "libroio" - il motivo purtroppo è evidente: non ho più spazio per me, i libri si sono impossessati anche del mio piano. Se volete sapere cosa si cela dietro queste tre colonnine, non posso aiutarvi, anzi, ora che ci penso, me lo chiedo anch'io! Forse ci sarà qualche colonia di qualche parassita che si nutre di carta. O il mio alter ego. O forse i miei neuroni - sembra che alcuni siano fuggiti tempo fa. Vi risparmio gli altri sei piani e, per stasera, vi auguro una bonne nuit! ^_^

sabato 27 aprile 2013

Rome wasn't built in a day: the Liberation of Italy & Villa Borghese gardens

On Thursday, I had a nice picnic with some friends of mine in Villa Borghese, so today I'd like to share some information and pics with you.

First of all, Thursday was April 25th, the day we celebrate the Liberation of Italy, that is the end of the Nazy occupation as well as the end of the Ventennio era of fascist government. On that day, back in 1945, the Italian Resistance Movement chased away the occupation in Northern Italy and that day was taken as a symbol of the end of the Second World War. What I would like to convey to my non-Italian readers is that the 25th of April 1945 is an important day  - a national holiday from 1946 onwards - for my country and it's a day to remember.

Google Images - Partisan women belonging to the Resistance Movement

But what do the Italians do to remember?
We usually spend that day with our families and friends, we celebrate love and friendship, we cook and eat together and play and have fun. And since in April the weather is fine - sometimes, I'd say it's gorgeous, but others it unfortunately rains - we have picnics in the town parks or outside the town/city or we go to the lake or to the hills/mountains or to the seaside or we visit some cities of art or we stay at home and have barbecues with our friends and chill out.

As for me, I had a nice picnic in Villa Borghese and chilled out and talked a lot and played Dixit with A., C., and D.,

while our neighbours were playing Twister,

And we were not alone!

My pics could probably strengthen the stereotype that we are lazy people and we eat a lot and we are talkative, but it's not like that. A few hours later, we had a nice walk to get an ice cream! ;) LOL

(I'm sorry for the next pics - they are not bright, 'cause they were taken at around 7 p.m. and the sun was almost gone. We were too busy to eat and relax before! LOL) 
This place is called Giardino del Lago and the little temple on the background is the Temple of Aesculapius, aren't the lovely?

As you can see, it is possible to rent a lttle boat and have a ride - it's 3 euros per person for 20 minutes; 1,50 euros for children.

Watch out for tiny sharks disguised as huge goldfish! ;)

So, as I mentioned before, we had an ice cream here,

but I don't recommend it, because it's too expensive - 3 euros for an ice cream and just 5 or 6 flavours to choose -, the whipped cream was not as cold as it should be and then, the ice cream guy ran out of cones and took a broken one from the bin asking me: "Is that ok, even though it's broken?" And I replied: "Did you take it from the bin?" "I ran out of cones, this is the last one!" "Did you take it from the bin?" He pretended not to understand me (he was not Italian) and, of course, I went for a cup. I think I had to complain with the boss, but now it's too late. Anyway, there are loads of gelaterie, so have a good gelato before entering Villa Borghese gardens or after your walk in the park, when you'll need something to get refreshed. ^_^

Villa Borghese is a large park in the heart of Rome which can boast several kinds of landscape gardens (Italian, English, and so on) and contains several buildings, museums, fountains, lakes and attractions - did you know there's a reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre? ;)
With its 80 hectares, Villa Borghese is one of the largest parks of the city and has got 9 entrances - I got in by the entrance located in piazzale Flaminio (metro A, orange line), where, after a 3-minute walk, you can find the Fountain of Aesculapius (aka Fontana del Fiocco),

isn't it beautiful? ^_^
As soon as I get back, I'll show you something more of this amazing park. We'll discover it together little by little.

In the end, let me spend some lines for a personal consideration.
Since time went by and new generations were born, the feeling we have for this holiday has changed a bit and I have to say that we can't fully realize what our ancestors did almost 70 years ago, because we weren't there. At the same time, nowadays, my generation aims for a new Liberation Day - without arms, but armed with culture -, because we want, need and deserve a better future. 

Google Images

domenica 21 aprile 2013

Rome wasn't built in a day: the Palatine Hill & the Roman Forum

A couple of days ago, I went to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum with a friend of mine, L..
So, I thought it could be helpful to write some tips for you and whoever would like to visit Rome - that's why I decided to write this post in English. ^_^

The area we visited is the one enclosed between via dei Fori Imperiali, via di San Gregorio, via dei Cerchi and via di San Teodoro. You can get off the metro B (blue line) at Colosseo or Circo Massimo - it depends on which one you want to visit first. If you want to visit the Colosseum first, get off at Colosseo, otherwise you can get off at Circo Massimo, 'cause the entrance to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum is in via di San Gregorio.

Google Maps

You can get a ticket to visit the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum plus the Colosseum for 12 euros, which is valid for 2 days. One entrance each only. If you don't have time enough, you can make it in one day, but if you can, spend there two days - and bring a beach towel with you, chill out on the Palatine Hill, and get a nice tan. It's worth it! ^_^

My ticket

The tour to the Palatine Hill and The Roman Forum will take longer than the Colosseum's. So, now you know that and you can manage your time. Once you exit, you can't enter again - even though the ticket is valid for 2 days, remember it is valid 1 entrance for the Colosseum and 1 entrance for the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum! The two entrances are detatched, so you have to get out of one to get in the other.
Pay attention: if you start your tour with the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, make sure you visit the Palatine first (it's on the left) and then the Roman Forum (on the right), so you'll get out at the exit in front of the Arch of Titus, the closest exit to get to the Colosseum.
Don't worry, it's more complicated to write it than to do it! ;)

Let's have a look at some views.

Outside: Palatine, from via del Circo Massimo.

Inside: Palatine. Views on the Colosseum.

Palatine. Views on St. Peter's dome.

Palatine. Views on the Vittoriano and the Capitol (back).

The Palatine Hill was one of the seven ancient hills of Rome.

Palatine. View on the Roman Forum.

The Roman Forum was the centre of Roman public life.

The Roman Forum. Views on the Colosseum.

Outside: the Arch of Constantine, the Colosseum - on its right - and the Roman Forum - on its left.

Some Japanese taking pics at the Colosseum. Isn't it funny? ^_^

And me! ^_^

I'm so pale that I can reflect the sun and you can't see my face! ^_^

Hope you enjoyed this little tour in my good old city! If this is the case, I'll post more pics and tips - let me know! ^_^
By the way, today is a special anniversary, so...

Happy 2766th, Rome! 

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