Sara Pandozzi

Do You Know The Municipal Rose Garden in Rome?

Do You Know The Municipal Rose Garden in Rome?

My name is Rosetta and this is my story…

I was born red because red is love… And I am the symbol of love, I have always represented it…

I live in a magnificent place in Rome… On a part of the Aventine, between the Circus Maximus and the Orange Garden…

Vineyards, plants and flowers have always lived here… My ancestors already perfumed this hill in the 3rd century BC and the Roman writer Tacitus (1st-2nd century AD) tells us that on my house there was a temple in honour of Flora, goddess of spring and flowers…

In 1645 this area became the Garden of the Jews and remained so for a long period of time … The garden is then abandoned and forgotten for a long time (from 1934 to 1950) until the Countess Mary Gailey Senni, in love with flowers, turns it into the house where I live today, the Municipal Rose Garden of Rome.

This is the place where lovers walk holding hands…it’s the place where someone admires me, smells me, photographs me or draws me…it’s the place where you can breathe the magic of spring, where my colours “explode”…it’s the place where you stop to think…it’s the place where you can’t help but smile…

Trust me. If you really care about someone, bring them here to me and I’ll take care of everything else!

Admission is free and the garden is easily accessible by bus and metro…

I’ll be waiting for you!




Municipal Rose Garden in Rome: 2019 openings free every day from April 21 to June 16, Sundays and holidays included.


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ROME, 0 comments
The MAAM in Rome: the only inhabited museum in the world.

The MAAM in Rome: the only inhabited museum in the world.

Prenestina, Tor Sapienza. An area in the suburbs that you can’t even recognize as Rome. But then follow the navigator and you arrive at your destination: number 913, a gate full of mailboxes with dozens of names on them… welcome to Metropoliz!


Metropoliz is the mestizo city of Rome born ten years ago, when in March 2009 the Metropolitan Precarious Blocks helped a group of men, women and children to occupy the headquarters of the former Fiorucci factory. These were about 60 families who had lost their homes due to the crisis and were in a fairly critical situation. Italians, Peruvians, Africans, soon joined by the Roma of a community in the area, overcome the initial language difficulties, began to clean up those spaces and, day after day, to create a kind of small town on the eastern outskirts of the capital.


And let’s talk about Metropoliz with the “z”, not with the “s” like the famous film by Fritz Lang. Because here the residents (now more than 600), as my friend and artist Carlo Gori told me, fight daily for their rights, they put their face on it.

Being the result of an abusive occupation, for the mestizo city of Rome the spectre of eviction is always around the corner. Added to this is the fact that the company Salini Impregilo, owner of the building, has filed a lawsuit with the aim of regaining the property to make it yet another shopping center in the area.


But a few years ago, someone decided to look at this kind of Babel.

In 2012, Giorgio de Finis, current director of MACRO in Rome, involved the locals in a new project: “since nobody wants you, why don’t we all go to the Moon?” This is how “Space Metropoliz” was born, the documentary video that tells the story of this place.

The setting up of the set involved the involvement of all the “aliens” of Metropoliz: adults and children had an active part in the realization of the rocket leaving for the terrestrial satellite.
Numerous important street artists were also involved in the production of the set.


When the project was over, says De Finis, the inhabitants themselves asked him to stay. And so, from the experience of the documentary “Space Metropoliz”, the MAAM, the Museum of the Other and the Elsewhere of Metropoliz, was born.

It is a real museum of contemporary art, the only one in the world, among other things, to be inhabited! The success of the initiative was so extraordinary that many artists decided to collect the call of De Finis.
Art becomes the instrument that “sanctifies” and consecrates this illegal city whose walls are now signed by some of the most important contemporary artists in the world: Alice Pasquini, the greatest Roman street artist, Pablo Echaurren, Solo, Lukamaleonte and Kobra, are just some of the big names in the MAAM.


Michelangelo Pistoletto also liked the project, and for a while he exhibited his famous Venus of Rags there. The Castello di Rivoli, one of the most important museums of contemporary art in Italy, has instead donated a work from its collection.

In short, it is composed of a real barricade of art that hopefully will save the fate of the mestizo city of Rome from its destruction. In the meantime, the current Capitoline Council has requested the Superintendence to affix a constraint, given the value of the works contained in the MAAM.


Metropoliz is a strong blow, an experience that leaves you breathless.

Contemporary art and Tosatti’s telescope at the top of the factory really catapult you to the Moon, to another dimension, almost out of the world…but then a child’s smile is enough and you immediately return to Earth, touching with your hands all the drama of the housing emergency in Rome…


The MAAM can be visited every Saturday (guided tour at 11am and a second at 3pm).

Go there!


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCES, MUSEUMS, 0 comments
Women in Ancient Rome

Women in Ancient Rome

Today, March 8, the day of Women’s Day, I want to dedicate my appointment on Friday to the story of the condition of women in ancient Rome…


Domiseda, casta, univira, lanifica. These were the Latin attributes that characterized the matron, the perfect woman in ancient Rome. She was pretty, refined, played the zither, jumped, was devoted to one man, was the lady of the house, she kept herself pure, spun fabrics and wool.


Roman Matron in a Reconstruction (Credits:


In the ancient Rome, the woman had no rights whatsoever. She had no money and her word counted less than zero, so she could not testify at trials. She went from the potestas of the pater familias (or of her brother) to the manus of her husband. And if her husband died, she would slowly let herself die too. The literature is full of testimonies of desperate women who threw themselves into the funeral pyres of their husbands or who let themselves starve to death on their grave.

Yet, starting from the late Republican age (second half of the first century BC), we see, precisely through literature, a change in the condition of women. A perfect example is Lesbia / Clodia, the woman loved by Catullus, the famous Latin love poet. Wife of Quintus Cecilius Metellus Celere and sister of the tribune Publius Clodius Pulcro, was certainly not an angel of the hearth! Cicero, in the famous Pro Caelio Rufo, sketches her out as a ruthless, immoral woman with easy customs. Yet, according to the malelinguishers of the time, Cicero himself, after having publicly insulted her, did not resist her charm. In her, all the characteristics of the perfect Roman matron are summarized, but at the same time, the image of a woman who was the creator of her own destiny is outlined. Master of her life, Lesbia, with cunning, skill and charm, keeps politicians, poets and powerful men of the time in check.


Clodia and Catullo (Credits:


And women, in fact, are making more and more space on the historical-political scene of Rome. Very often, they even cause great headaches to their fathers! How can we not think of Julia, the exuberant daughter of the Emperor Augustus? While the first Roman emperor passed a whole series of laws on marriage and chastity, Julia delighted in intrigues and festivities at court. And the embarrassment of poor Augustus was such that he had to exile her to the beautiful island of Ventotene, off the coast of Terracina (LT).


Julia Major, daughter of Augustus (Credits:


The model of the caste and upright Roman matron was now beautiful that went when Petronius, in the first century AD, wrote the fairy tale of the Matron of Ephesus. The poor and unfortunate lady of Ephesus, as per script, was tortured in her husband’s tomb. And she cried and really intended to starve to death at the tomb of the poor man. After a couple of days, a soldier, called to do some work in those parts, threw a piece of bread and that, after the first resistance, accepted. Well, gentlemen, the two became intimate and while they were enjoying themselves, someone stole one of the crucified corpses from which the soldier had been called to watch. How did it end? Well, the matron had her husband’s body attached to the cross!


Widow of Ephesus. Scene from Fellini’s Satyricon (Credits:


More and more free and unscrupulous, the women of Rome are manoeuvring the fate of the empire: They choose the new emperors (Livia, Augustus’ wife, obliges her husband to choose her son Tiberius, born from another marriage, as his successor), deceive and kill “uncomfortable” husbands (Agrippina poisons Claudius with a plate of mushrooms to put her son Nero on the throne), annihilate amorous rivals (Sabina, wife of Hadrian, according to the gossip of the time, killed the beautiful Antinous, favorite of her husband), hold the ranks of the empire (Giulia Mesa, Giulia Mamea, Giulia Soemia were very close to some of the Severi).


Agrippina and Nero (Credits:


This quick overview certainly does not outline all the many aspects related to the female condition in ancient Rome (I should write a full book only about divorce for example), but it just wants to be a quick contribution on the history of our ancestors … I hope you enjoyed it!
See you next Friday!


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ART & CULTURE, 0 comments
History By Pictures – 8. MACRO ASILO (Rome)

History By Pictures – 8. MACRO ASILO (Rome)

In Via Nizza, in Rome. is the MACRO, one of the seats of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome.

Since 30 September 2018, under the direction of Giorgio De Finis, the Macro has become a nursery school, a place of welcome for artists.

If you are thinking of a traditional museum, you are definitely off the beaten track. First of all, you don’t have to pay the entrance fee (yes, you read it right) and there is very little fixed and static, just a small exhibition, that of the  photo here. Everything then changes, almost every day … you can come for coffee, to sit and study, to attend the presentation of a book or the screening of a film, to lie down on the deck chairs of the courtyard …


Not by chance, it has been defined as the Non Museum of Rome.
The idea of the Director De Finis is in fact just this: to unhinge the traditional idea of a museum and transform the MACRO into the place where the city of artists meets the rest of Rome and the world.


And this meeting also takes place in a truly original way. Upstairs, in fact, in addition to the characteristic “Room of Words”, there are 4 ateliers, or rather boxes, in which the artists come to work.

Take care: the MACRO Asylum is a sort of timed project. This “museum” has a deadline of 31/12/2019 and does not claim to be a right model or replicable in other locations.

You can’t describe the kaleidoscope of emotions that overwhelms you when you open the glass doors of the entrance: disorientation, emotion, amazement… my advice is: take a jump and let me know what you think!



Posted by Sara Pandozzi in MUSEUMS, 0 comments
History By Pictures – 7. The Centrale Montemartini Museum (Rome)

History By Pictures – 7. The Centrale Montemartini Museum (Rome)

The Centrale Montemartini, in the Ostiense district of Rome, is a branch of the Capitoline Museums of Rome.

It is an extraordinary museum where two diametrically opposed worlds meet and merge: that of industrial archaeology and that of classical archaeology.


Its history begins in 1997, when the spaces of the old power plant were restored and recovered to house some works transferred here from the Capitoline Museums (in particular from the Palazzo dei Conservatori) underwent restoration work in those years to create a new layout.

The success of this exhibition, entitled “The Machines and the Gods”, was such that in 2001 it was decided to transform the place into a real museum.

The exhibition is divided into four separate rooms that collect the whole of numerous and interesting exhibits from the excavations carried out during the urban transformations carried out in Rome at the end of the nineteenth century and during the great gutting of the thirties of the twentieth century.

The diesel turbines and the old boilers of gigantic dimensions, seem to blend perfectly with the white classic marbles, composing a very special mix.

If you are looking for a special museum in Rome, this is the place for you!



Posted by Sara Pandozzi in MUSEUMS, 0 comments
History By Pictures – 6. The Area of the Roman Theatre of Terracina in Middle Ages

History By Pictures – 6. The Area of the Roman Theatre of Terracina in Middle Ages

In these days, Terracina is witnessing, in an increasingly feverish way, the rediscovery of its ancient theater.
But what happened to this monument with the end of the Roman Empire?

The arrival of the Barbarians (5th century AD) had a devastating impact on the city. The town contracted drastically and the curtain of history fell on the ancient buildings, now devoid of any form of maintenance.


Odoacre, king of the Eruli, the barbarian king who deposed Romulus Augustulus, last emperor of Rome (Credits:


The archaeological stratigraphy of the theatre documents, for this phase, a strong damage that caused its collapse. A thick layer of earth covered the marble and statues. However, life would have continued along its course and from those ashes the medieval landscape of Terracina was born. The northern front of the Foro Emiliano was in fact occupied by a new district, with many roads, some still existing (Via della Palma), others disappeared (Salita Castello and Piazza Urbano II).


Traces of the block that developed on the area of the ancient Roman theatre of Terracina. Some modern houses damaged by the Second World War also survived.


The traces of this new urban block are still partly evident.

Next to the portico of the theater is in fact the tower house of Orazio Migliore (his name is engraved on the lintel of the entrance), dating from the thirteenth century and built on the ruins of the ancient temple of Vicolo Pertinace. The mighty tower house at the beginning of Via della Palma dates back to the 12th century, to which a Gothic domus (the so-called “house with mullioned windows”) is attached.


The gothic domus called “house with mullioned windows”. Dating back to the 13th century A.D., it bears witness to the new medieval quarter that developed over the area of the ancient Roman theatre of Terracina.

It was thanks to these medieval buildings that the structures of the theater were “protected” from the disastrous bombing of World War II and that have come down to the present day.


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, 0 comments
History By Pictures – 5. The Church Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

History By Pictures – 5. The Church Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

Almost everyone knows this church because in its porch there is the famous Mouth of Truth. Very few people enter the church and visit it. Tourists prefer to be photographed while shoving their hands into the most famous detector of lies in Rome.


A tourist and the Mouth of Truth (Credits:


Yet this church is a real masterpiece!

Born behind the ancient Forum Boarium (the oxen market of ancient Rome), was transformed by Pope Hadrian I in the eighth century AD and delivered to the Greeks escaped from persecution of the East. And it was they who called it “Schola graeca” or “Santa Maria in Cosmedin” (cosmedin = ornament).


The area of the Forum Boarium, whose remains are located in front of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin (Credits:

Don’t miss a visit to the underground crypt.

“Hidden” under the floor of the presbytery of the church, was built by Pope Hadrian I (772-795 AD) by digging the large tufa base of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to Ceres.


The crypt of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.


The central nave ends in a small apse with an altar carved into a Roman stone that contained the relics of St. Cyril.

The crypt also housed other relics, as evidenced by the sixteen niches arranged along the side walls and on the inside of the entrance wall.


Some of the niches that open along the aisles of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.


All you have to do is come to Rome and admire this splendid masterpiece of medieval art!



See you next Tuesday with a new episode of History by Pictures!


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in CHURCHES & HOLY SITES, ROME, 0 comments
History By Pictures – 4. The Water Source of Feronia in Terracina

History By Pictures – 4. The Water Source of Feronia in Terracina

Once upon a time there was a nymph. Her name was Feronia, she lived on the outskirts of Terracina and she lived cultivating flowers and plants. Despite her beauty, she disdained the company of all her suitors. But Jupiter, who fell in love with her, took on the appearance of a child and made it his own. From that day on she became one of her lovers and gave her immortality. Feronia then began to be venerated as a goddess, making the cities and fields of her devotees rich, prosperous and flourishing. Juno, Jupiter’s jealous wife, however, discovered her husband’s infidelity and, coming down from the sky, drove Feronia out of her lands, asking the rivers Ufente, Astura and Ninfeo to help her in her vengeance. They broke in and transformed Feronia’s happy world into the sad and unhealthy Palude Pontina.


Sketch reproducing the sources of Feronia and the head of the goddess found near the sanctuary (Credits:


This story is told to us by the poet Vincenzo Monti in the poem “Feroniade”, inspired by the hunting trips around Terracina organized by Prince Luigi Braschi – Onesti, nephew of Pope Pius VI, promoter of the work of reclamation of the Pontine Marshes at the end of the eighteenth century.


The poem “La Feroniade” written by Vincenzo Monti (Credits:


In fact, at the gates of Terracina, exactly in “Le Mole”, there is a place called “The water source of Feronia”. The place, near the “Punta di Leano” and along the route of the Appian Way, is rich in vegetation and water sources. This must have been the habitat of Feronia, or rather the seat of its sanctuary mentioned by Horace in the V Satire and of which today almost nothing remains.


The Water Source of Feronia in the place called “Le Mole” at the entrance of Terracina.


Goddess of Sabine origin, Feronia was the protector of fields and crops. Her bond with the libertines was also strong. In the Lucus Feroniae of Terracina, in fact, the ceremony of liberation of the slaves took place and, according to the sources, there was a stone seat with the inscription: “The slaves who have well deserved, follow here and stand up from free men”.


Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, 0 comments
History By Pictures – 3. The Roman Forum of Terracina

History By Pictures – 3. The Roman Forum of Terracina

The Roman Forum of Terracina (also known as the Emilian Forum from the name of the magistrate who paved it), is one of the few in the world to preserve such a large portion of the ancient Roman pavement.


Reconstruction of the aspect of the Emilian Forum in Roman times (Credits:


The function of the square has also survived.

Fulcrum of the political, religious and social life of Tarracina – Anxur, Piazza Municipio (this is the actual name of the ancient square) confirms itself as the religious heart of the modern city, hosting the Cathedral (from whose porch I took the picture), but also the political one, given the presence of the town hall.


The Piazza of the Roman Forum of Terracina (now Piazza Municipio) photographed from the porch of the Cathedral of Terracina.


Have you ever been to Terracina? Discover the wonders of this seaside town just 100 km from Rome!

Come for a walk with Sara! 


The Piazza of the Roman Forum of Terracina (now Piazza Municipio) in a current photo.

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History by Pictures – 2. Constantine

History by Pictures – 2. Constantine

He is one of the most fascinating characters of ancient Rome. Some historians say that he was the illegitimate son of an innkeeper. What is certain is that his father was the general of one of the four parts into which the empire had been divided.

When the father died, he was acclaimed emperor in York and while Maxentius declared himself emperor, he reunited all the north-western lands in his hands and established his headquarters in Trier.

The decisive clash with Maxentius took place in the famous battle of the Milvian Bridge, then just outside Rome.

Constantine, the absolute master of the West, entered Rome as a triumphant man, exhibiting Maxentius’ head on a lance.

He was depicted in a giant statue (now in the Capitoline Museums) once located in a civil basilica, a kind of prefecture built by Maxentius.

The colossal statue of Constantine is a kind of visual example of a message that was to be strong and clear: “I am the emperor!



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