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Ancient Rome Amazing, Interesting & Fun Facts

Here are some amazing and interesting Facts on ROME.

  1. Rome was founded in 735 BC by Romulus.
  2. Modern Rome has 280 Fountains and more than 900 Churches.
  3. Rome became the capital city of unified Italy in 1870, taking the title from Florence.
  4. Rome is known as the “Caput Mundi” or “Capital of the World”.
  5. Rome is also known as the “Eternal City”.
  6. The Vatican City is the smallest generally recognised sovereign state in the world; With an area of just 0.44km2. The papal state has been formally recognised as a sovereign state since 1929.
  7. Saint Peter’s basilica – inside the Vatican City – is the largest church ever constructed.
  8. There is a secret passage that’s leading from Vatican City to Castel Sant’Angelo.
  9. The Ancient city of Rome is about 30 feet (9-meter) below the modern street level.
  10. The Colosseum of Rome is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  11. The symbol SPQR, which is found all over the city of Rome, stands for “Senatus Populusque Romanus” i.e. “The senate and the people of Rome”.
  12. Rome is older than Italy. Founded around 53 B.C. making it 2,500 years older than Italy.
  13. Italy did not become a unified nation until late in the 19th
  14. The Spanish Steps are not Spanish at all. The famous outdoor steps were funded by the French diplomat, Etienne Gueffier; and designed by Italian architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi. Steps are called Spanish after the Spanish Embassy’s location.
  15. Rome’s first university, “La Sapienza”, was established in 1303 AD. It is the largest in Europe and the 2nd largest in the world.
  16. Nearly 700,000 Euros worth of coins are tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain each year. The proceeds are donated to Caritas to help those in need.
  17. Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles by the early 4th Each Roman mile was about 4,800 feet and marked by a milestone, giving birth to the saying “All roads lead to Rome.”
  18. The word “Palace” comes from the Palatine Hill, where Augustus initiated the tradition for Emperors’ to build their palaces.
  19. The mascot of Rome is a she-wolf that cared for brothers Romulus and Remus, Rome mythological Founders.
  20. Cats, by law, are free to roam in Rome.
  21. The Emperor Trajan built, around 107 and 110 AD, the first shopping mall in Rome. It had multiple levels, over 150 outlets.
  22. Rome has a museum dedicated entirely to pasta.
  23. Roman Gladiators rarely fought to death. Instead they were considered celebrities, but many were slaves. These harsh conditions inspired rebellions e.g. Spartacus.
  24. Ancient Romans celebrated a festival called “Saturnalia” in which slaves and their masters switch places.
  25. The Roman Emperor, Gaius Caligula, made his horse a senator, fed prisoners to wild animals, and had conversations with the moon.
  26. In Ancient Rome, only free men wore a Toga, a sign of Roman citizenship. Women wore Stola.
  27. The Purple-coloured clothing was a status symbol reserved only for Emperors or Senators.
  28. In Ancient Rome, women dyed their hair with goat fat and beech wood ashes. Popular colours were blonde and red.
  29. Romans used to eat their dinner lying down, lounging around on couches (sofas).
  30. Romans washed their clothes with urine. The liquid was collected in vessels, called fullos, which stood on the streets.

 

Link: https://www.livitaly.com/20-fun-facts-about-rome/
Links: https://www.isolatedtraveller.com/amazing-facts-about-rome/cts-about-rome/

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Barcelona – The Hip City

Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. It has medieval roots, seen in the Gothic Quarter, but a modernist personality represented by architect Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical Sagrada Família cathedral. Its restaurant scene ranges from fine dining to tiny tapas bars. Barcelona’s to-do list is as plentiful as its sunny days.

Barcelona is defined in 03 zones. Each area has its wealth of historic buildings, fine art, iconic parks, performing arts spaces, and so much more.
Zone 1: Port Vell, La Rambla, El Raval, La Ribera, Placa de Catalunya, Barri Gotic
Zone 2: Eixample, Modernisme, Gaudi
Zone 3: Diagonal, Pedralbes

Below, our list of the very best things to do in Barcelona for when it’s time to go back.

LA SAGRADA FAMÍLIA, Antoni Gaudí’s unparalleled Unesco-listed monument inspires awe by its sheer verticality, it’s still under construction. Work began in 1882 and is hoped to be completed in 2026, a century after the architect’s death.

CATEDRAL DE BARCELONA or Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, housed some 2,000 years a Roman temple.

CASA BATLLÓ, called the “House of Bones” created by Antoni Gaudi and influenced by nature and has no straight lines (because they don’t exist in nature, as per Gaudí), stone pillars that contort like animal bones, and a tall ocean-blue stairwell.

PARK GÜELL is an almost make-believe landscape, home to Barcelona’s famous mosaic lizard—the image on a thousand postcards—plus spiral towers that look like fairground slides. The park is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PARC DE LA CIUTADELLA, is Barcelona’s urban “green lung” of 280,000m2. It holds the: Catalan Parliament, Zoo, fountain, museum, small lake for rowing boats, Triumph Arche, century-old trees and abundant flora, sculptures.

PARC DEL LABERINT D’HORTA, its labyrinth is definitely the standout feature, a maze made of elaborate swirls of thick foliage.

LA BOQUERIA, Barcelona’s oldest market since year 1217, with more than 200 stands united like a foodie’s choir: traders’ shouts, the clink of glasses, welcome greetings sung out (“holaaaa”).

LA RAMBLA, Barcelona’s most famous street and its one of the main arteries of the city — is nearly one-mile (1.2Km) pedestrianized boulevard from PLAÇA CATALUYNA to PORT VELL. It is still the strolling route for the city’s visitors offering the charm of the old-school florists, gelaterías, and candy stalls offering bites of crema catalana along the way.

SANT PAU ART NOUVEAU SITE, built by the legendary Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner featuring Catalan Art Nouveau with extravagant domes, stained glass windows, epic pillars; with grounds scented by the medicinal fragrance of lavender, laurel and lemon. It was designed as a hospital that could heal by the power of its aesthetics.
BARCELONETA is a traditional district of Sailors & fishermen and 5km stretch of beaches. Millions of tons of sands were pumped onto 02 miles of shoreline lifting Barcelona into the rank of the world’s great beach cities.
CAMP NOU, Barcelona Football Club Stadium (largest in Europe and the 2nd biggest stadium in the world)
The “Kiss” Mural
EXPIATORI DEL SAGRAT COR or Sacred Heart church and the Tibidabo mountain
SANTA MARIA DEL MAR
PICASSO MUSEUM
OLYMPIC VILLAGE at the Sea Front: Water Sports, Discotheques, Bars …a place in effervescence

MONTJUIC is a mountain inside the city. A true bowl of Air. Hillsides covered with flowers, exotic trees & giant Cactus. The luminous fountains of Gaieta Buigas created magic environment.

LA RIBERA is a small village in the city, a very Authentic one. It forms with Barrio Gotico the Old City. (You can see Violin Makers, Glass Makers & Designers. Pensioners play cards, young people discuss at the edge of the fountain).

MONTSERRAT, the sacred saw-toothed Montserrat Mountain Range; its Monastery and 16th century Renaissance Basilica where you will view La Moreneta, known as the Black Madonna, the Patron Saint of Catalonia and a pilgrimage site.

 

EIXAMPLE:

 

La Casa Calvet Monument – Gaudi

Passeig de Gracia Monument

Museu de la Musica

La Casa Mila Monument

La Manzana de la Discordia (Casa Ileo Morero, Casa Batllo, Casa Amatller)

Tapies Foundation Museum

Avinguda del Tibidabo Monument

Park Guell

 

RAMBLAS:

 

Placa Catalunya Monument

Church Betlem Monument

Palace Virreina Monument

Boqueria Market

Grun

Placa Reial, Royal Square

Maritine Museum (Av. De les Dressanes)

BARRIO GOTICO:

 

Cathedral Santa Creu

La Placa Sant Jaume

Center Excursionist of Catalunia

Barcelona City Museum

La Placa del Rei

Frederic Mares Museum

Placa Nova

Placa del Pi

 

EL BORN:

 

Music Palace

Picasso Museum

Textile Museum

Santa Maria del Mar

El Passeig del Born (nightlife, bars, the Miramelindo Bar remains unchanged since years)

Maeght Galery

RAVAL:

 

Palau Guell

Monasteri Sant Pau del Camp

Hospital de la Santa Creu

Barcelona Contenporary Culture Center

Boqueria Market

 

SEA FRONT:

 

Christopher Columbus 60m Monument

Church of La Merce

Moll d’Espanya

MONTJUIC:

 

The Spanish Village

National Catalan Art Museum (MNAC)

Sant Jordi Palace

Calatrava tower (Telecommunications Tower)

Olympic Stadium

Joan Miro Foundation

Montjuic Castle

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?
1. Millions of tons of sands were pumped onto 02 miles of shoreline lifting Barcelona into the rank of the world’s great beach cities.
2. 7 out of 9 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES in Barcelona waere created by Antoni Gaudi, called God’s Architect. And they are:

1) Casa Vicens
2) Palau Guell (La Rambla)
3) Casa Battlo (Passeig de Gracia)
4) Casa Mila
5) Park Guell
6) Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia
7) Crypt in Colonia Güell

Links:

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LOUVRE MUSEUM, PARIS

Musee du Louvre was originally commissioned as a fortress. In 1793 it opened its doors as a museum.
In 1682, Louis XIV moved the royal court to the Palace of Versailles.
In 1797, Napoleon raided Italy’s monasteries and churches and brought back artwork …mainly the masterpiece Veronese’s “Wedding Feast at Cana” and had to cut it in half as it was more than 700 square feet.
In 1882, Ecole du Louvre was founded and it is the training ground for future curators and excavators.
In 1911, the Painter Pablo Picasso was accused of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre.
During the German occupation, the Louvre moved around 4,000 artwork to Château de Chambord.
The Ministry of Economy occupied the building until the President Francois Mitterand dedicated the entire space to Arts.
It will take you 200 days to see each of the 35,000 works of art on display.

Did you know that the museum has roughly 550,000 works, most of which it keeps locked up in storage.

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6 Greek Destinations Where the Locals Love to Go.

The Greeks are actually the world’s best vacationers: With one of Europe’s longest coastlines, hundreds of dreamy islands (over 200 of which are inhabited), mountains fit for adventurers, and ruins strewn about, most outings can turn historical even unintentionally.
Greeks will happily travel for food, festivities, nature, and spiritual pilgrimage.
6 Places are: 1. Mount Pilio 2. Kimolos 3. Mount Olympus 4. Tinos 5. Metsovo 6. Lefkada.
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Egypt tomb: Sarcophagi buried for 2,500 years unearthed in Saqqara

For Archaeologists aficionados

Egypt tomb: Sarcophagi buried for 2,500 years unearthed in Saqqara, The Largest Discovery of its kind.

A total of 27 sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago have been unearthed by archaeologists in an ancient Egyptian necropolis.
They were found inside a newly-discovered well at a sacred site in Saqqara, Unesco World Heritage Site, south of the capital, Cairo.

13 coffins (completely closed and haven’t been opened since they were buried) were discovered earlier this month… and more than 100 painted coffins sealed and intact, and were found along with funerary masks, canopic jars—used to store mummified internal organs—and statues, says Khaled El-Enany, Egypt’s minister of tourism and antiquities. The discovery included mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.

The collection will be sent to the Egyptian Museum, the Grand Egyptian Museum, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation and the New Administrative Capital Museum.

Netflix streamed a 113-minute documentary on October 28th & released it globally in 190 countries with over 30 subtitles and dubbed into English. Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb follows the decoding of the tomb of an Old Kingdom priest Wahtye, unopened for 4,500  years, and the excavation of five shafts to uncover an ancient mystery. The film offers a window into the lives – and deaths – of one man and his family.

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54227282

Watch the Excavation: www.facebook.com/watch/?v=770515713506311

 

 

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Italy’s Hidden Gem

Article from CondeNast (cntraveller).

“Italy’s great art cities attract millions of visitors each year, and quite rightly so. But this extraordinarily diverse country is stuffed with glorious, lesser-known destinations, many of which lie well off the beaten tourist trail. This is our choice of some of the best small towns and villages covering sleepy, sun-drenched fishing communities, splendid bastions of the Baroque and medieval hilltop set-pieces. Efforts will be rewarded by fabulous food and wine, warm hospitality and a sense of having discovered something a bit different”.

My pick:


MATERA, BASILICATA
It’s difficult to believe that Matera, located in the little-visited region of Basilicata and now glowing from its 2019 stint as European Capital of Culture, was one of western Europe’s most deprived towns until the 1950s. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the honeycomb of ancient troglodyte dwellings (sassi) that lies below the honey-hued medieval town is now largely restored and occupied by galleries, restaurants and hotels. But to get an idea of what cave living must have been like, you can visit the fascinating Casa Grotta di vico Solitario, or even sleep in one if you don’t mind windowless rooms.
STAY: Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, sextantio.it
EAT: Dimora Ulmo, dimoraulmo.it

 


PIETRASANTA, TUSCANY
Lying just inland from the wide strip of lido-occupied beaches that fringe the Versilia coastline north of Pisa and backed by the majestic, marble-rich Apuanian Alps, mellow old Pietrasanta has long been home to a vibrant community of artists and sculptors, its bronze foundries and marble studios attracting the likes of Mitoraj, Botero and Henry Moore. It is dozy off-season, but busier in warmer weather when a cool, arty crowd drifts up from the coast to explore its galleries and independent boutiques and sip Campari spritz in the lovely Piazza del Duomo.
STAY: Albergo Pietrasanta, albergopietrasanta.com
EAT: L’Enoteca Marcucci, enotecamarcucci.it


MONTEFALCO, UMBRIA
In the wine world, the charming little medieval hilltown of Montefalco is synonymous with Sagrantino, the full-bodied and highly prized local red wine, its vines turning the surrounding hills deep russet-red just before the grape harvest. Known as ‘the balcony of Umbria’ because of its far-reaching views, the town has five entrance gates, each of which leads, via a cobbled lane, up to the round-ish central piazza. Don’t leave without tasting the wine and seeing Benozzo Gozzoli’s exquisite 1452 fresco cycle depicting the life of St Francis in the Convento di San Fortunato.
STAY: Palazzo Bontadosi, hotelbontadosi.it
EAT: Coccorone, coccorone.it

 

To read more, click on the link: https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/prettiest-small-towns-italy

https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/beautiful-pictures-of-italy

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Paris & Must-See Sites

Paris deserves its reputation as the most Romantic City in the World. Every turn reveals a famous landmark, a cozy café, a smart Boutique, and historical buildings situated at one of the busiest boulevard. Live and experience La Vie a la Française: French cancan, painters in Montmartre, chateau of Versailles, Garnier Opera … and simply write your story sous le Ciel de Paris.

Arc de Triomphe, La Grande Arche
Champ de Mars
Chapelle Expiatoire
Chateau Versailles
Conciergerie, Palais de la Cite
Domaine National du Palais-Royal
La Bastille
La Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
La Cité des Sciences à La Villette
La Defense
La Seine & Croisière
La Tour Montparnasse
Le Marais
Le Marais & Le Centre Pompidou “Beaubourg”: Contemporary Museum
Le Musée du Quai d’Orsay
Le Parc Monceau
Le petit et Grand Palais near Champs Elysées
Le Trocadero
Le Village de Bercy: a typical southern French place, with great restaurants
Les Buttes Chaumont: a wonderful green park Quartier Latin
Les Halles – rue de Rivoli
Les Invalides
Les Jardins de Tuileries
Les Jardins du Luxembourg
Montmartre: le Sacré Cœur et la place du Tertre, encompass Artists, Painters, etc
Musee du Louvre
Opera National de Paris – Palais Garnier
Pantheon
Paris Zoological Park
Place Concorde
Sainte-Chapelle, Palais de la Cite
Tour Eiffel

 

Links:

  1. https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-see-in-paris/info/guides/european-heritage-days

2. https://journeesdupatrimoine.culture.gouv.fr/

3. https://photo.capital.fr/les-42-sites-francais-classes-au-patrimoine-mondial-de-l-unesco-17364#le-centre-historique-d-avignon-palais-des-papes-ensemble-episcopal-et-pont-d-avignon-310047

4. https://whc.unesco.org/fr/etatsparties/fr

5. https://www.visitacity.com/en/paris/attractions-map?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4OeU4oe95wIVBLTtCh325gXfEAAYASAAEgIvSPD_BwE

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PARIS, Shopping Addresses & Quotes

Fancy shopping? There is more to the Capital of Luxury. Outlets, small shops and flea markets also coexist in the city of lights.
Coco Chanel’s Famous Quotes:

  • Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.
  • Simplicity is the key note of all True Elegance.
  • You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.
  • Adornment, what a science! Beauty, what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance!They Say:
    “I could give up shopping but I am not a quitter.”
    “Honestly, shopping beats therapy anytime. It costs the same and you get a dress out of it.”
    “I’m not a shopaholic, I’m helping the economy.”
    “Shortest horror story ever: Sold Out.”
    “Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.”
    …and they are Right!

SHOPPING CENTERS
Top Range

  • Les Galeries LaFayette
  • Le Printemps Haussmann
  • Le Bon Marche
  • Beaugrenelle
  • Le Carrousel du Louvre

 

Middle Range

  • Forum des Halles
  • Italie Deux
  • Les 4 Temps & Le CNIT
  • So Ouest
  • Aeroville

Outlets near Paris

  • La Vallee Village
  • Usine center (Paris Nord II) (Avenue de la Plaine de France, 95500 Gonesse)
  • One Nation Paris (1 rue du Président Kennedy, 78340 Les Clayes Sous Bois)

Best addresses to shop in Paris:

  • Avenue des Champs Elysees
  • Rue de Passy
  • Rue St Honore
  • Rue de Rennes
  • Rue de Rivoli – Le Marais
  • Boulevard Haussmann
  • Boulevards Saint Michel & Saint Germain
  • Avenue Montaigne
  • Avenue des Ternes
  • Quartier Beaubourg et les Halles

Shopping Tips
For bargain shoppers, you should know that Paris has two sales periods:

  • Summer sales begin June 25th and ends July 29th.
  • Winter sales start around 8 January each year. For a period of six weeks, all the shops in Paris offer many discounts to liquidate their stocks of the past season. (Discounts can sometimes reach – 70%).
  • The main stores in Paris usually open from 10:00 till 19:00. They close on Sundays, except for the shops in Carrousel du Louvre, Avenue Champs-Elysées, Marais district or Sevres-Babylone.

 

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