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ROME CULTURAL GUIDE: EVERY DAY LIFE...

This Every Day Life Guide will help you understand terms, traditions, proverbs and curiosities while in Rome:
» Popular Traditions
» Regional Food and Traditional Dishes
» Roman "Proverbi", Expressions and Behaviour
» Roman Secrets and Curiosities
» Individual & Private Tours





Roman Secrets and Curiosities

Most of the ancient Romans lived in apartments, like our modern ones, but…with no bathroom, no water, no kitchen… and mostly in wood…

Actually, only the rich could afford windows in their houses, that means glass…

…and oil was principally used as a lighting element…

One famous Sixties movie starred by Sophia Loren was called “La Ciociara” “Two Women”, by Vittorio De Sica, because it dealt with the miserabile life of this strong woman from the Ciociaria, a region around Rome

The term “ciociaria” derives from “ciocia”, the very ancient name of the shepherds’ shoes.

“Burino” is very commonly used in dialectal Roman to define a rude person; it is a “corruption” of the meaning it used to have until the XIX century to define the Romagna (a central Italian region) peasants who worked in the Roman countryside…

Jewish traditions, culture and above all everyday life customs remain quite rooted in Roman history and everyday customs such as for example …cuisine…

Via Due Macelli was called like this in the XVI century because of two “macelli” (slaughters) that were opened in this street, until Pope Leo XII ordered to move them to the outskirts of the city…

… while the “babuino” of Via del Babuino, derives its name from the deformed appearance of the statue representing the ancient genie of the fountain which Pope Pius V had built in the XVI century. The statue, being that ugly was often called the “babbuino” (baboon).

The masterful fresco of the vault of the Sixtine Chapel commissioned by Pope Julius II Della Rovere to Michelangelo in the Sixtine Chapel, the Universal Judgement, depicted many naked bodies, the tormented souls of the humans, and was considered obscene by the Pope’s entourage in such a measure that Michelangelo, offended by the inappropriate comments on his work, drew one of the devils’ faces with the traits of the Cardinal who had mostly criticized him. Among the criticism, the most common was that the Final Judgement made the Chapel resemble more the public thermal baths than a religious temple… The Cardinal who involuntarily lent his face to one of the devils complained about this with the Pope, who replied that Hell was not under his jurisdiction… and the portrait remained…

…anyway, soon after Michelangelo’s death a new law ordered to cover all the genitals exposed in art pieces and Michelangelo’s naked bodies were covered for ever.

The word circus derives from the Latin “circus”, circle. In ancient times the circus was the place where horse races took place.

Those who wish to return to Rome, throw a coin in the Fountain of Trevi. The origin of Trevi perhaps derives from “trivia”, which means “three streets”, because the place where the fountain was built is the intersection of three streets…

The Bocca della Verità is at the entrance of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The name “cosmedin”, the ancient Greek word for “ornament”, derives from the ornaments Emperor Adriano added to the church. The original name of the Church was Santa Maria in Schola Greca, because the church was built by the Greeks who got refuge in this area of Rome at the times of their persecussions…


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