Rome, Italy

rome context for webNOVEMBER 15, 2008 – DECEMBER 06, 2008

Rome is one of the world’s truly great cities. It is the capital city of Italy and is known as one of the founding cities of western civilization. It is also one of only a few major European cities to have emerged from World War II relatively intact. Today it is a bustling metropolis and center of Italian politics, economy, in addition to containing seemingly countless historical, artistic, and cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also the third most visited city within the European Union (EU), with the Vatican Museums and Colosseum among the world’s fifty most visited tourist destinations … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]

Campo dei Fiori

Rome, Italy

fiori

The Campo dei Fiori literally translated means, “Field of Flowers,” although this reference is obviously not associated with the current configuration of the space. The name actually originates from the Middle Ages when the area was a natural meadow. It was not until many years later in 1456 that the area was paved as part of a city improvement project and has remained a paved public open space in the center of Rome ever since. It was also an important passage between the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano and the Vatican, allowing for a flourishing market, hotels, and shops to prosper and thus bring a significant amount of wealth to the area … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]

Piazza Navona

Rome, Italy

navona

Piazza Navona has been a public open space in the center of Rome since the 15th century when the market was moved here from the Campidoglio (now located at the Campo dei Fiori). Its unique linear composition comes from the former Domitian’s stadium that once occupied the site, built by emperor Domitian in 86 AD. With a seating capacity larger than that of the Colosseum, this arena was commonly referred to as ‘Circus Agonalis,’ translated to ‘Competition Arena’. In fact, the modern day name given to this piazza comes from this title; first ‘Circus Agonalis,’ later shortened to ‘In Agone,’ and eventually shortened even further to simply ‘Navona’ … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]

Piazza del Campidoglio

Rome, Italy

campidoglio image

Piazza del Campidoglio sits atop Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, a particularly important hill in the city’s history, dating back to Ancient times. During this period several important religious temples occupied the site, including the Temple of Jupiter, which was almost as large as the Parthenon in Athens. However, it was not until the Middle Ages that it became a place for civic government in Rome. In fact, the English word capitol is derived from Capitoline and is also why the name Capitol Hill was given to the United States Congress, as a way of emulating this ancient location. Even still, it was not until the 16th century when Michelangelo was asked to complete a new design for the area that this site became the important piece of architecture and urbanism that we see today. The entire site was reorganized in order to change its symbolic gesture from the Ancient Forum, which sits at the eastern base of the hill, toward what is referred to now as the Centro Storico of Rome, or toward the people of Rome to the east … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]