Archive for June 4th, 2019

June 4, 2019

The Via Ostiense museum at Porta San Paolo, Rome!

So why not staying off the beaten path trail in my eternal Roma! As said, we have come here several times and we enjoy it mostly the architecture and the food. However, there are many nice things to see off the beaten path that are worth looking into me think.

That is why I am given them a single post credit for all to know there is more than the Coliseum for Rome. I like to tell you a bit more on the Via Ostiense museum at Porta San Paolo ! 

The Via Ostiense museum is located at Porta San Paolo or Porta Ostiense in Rome. There are exhibited important finds relating to the ancient Via Ostiense connecting route between Rome and Ostia and a model depicting the ancient city of Ostia. The Porta San Paolo or gate of St Paul is the gate of the Aurelian wall ,and the beginning of the street Via Ostiense that connects Rome to Ostia.

The Via Ostiense museum was built in 1954 to illustrate the topography of the area between Rome and Ostia. It is set up inside Porta San Paolo and there are exhibited the most important finds, found in the last 40 years of excavations, related to the Via Ostiense, that is to the territory between Rome and Ostia. It contains numerous objects of daily life, marble and terracotta reliefs, sculptures inspired by oriental cults, Roman copies of Greek and Hellenistic originals, a large repertoire of imperial portraits and sarcophagi , relevant to that of a child with dancing putti, paintings and mosaics, including the one in “opus sectile” 4C.



A bit on the description:

First Hall: This room is located on the first floor of the west tower of Porta San Paolo. A model depicting Ostia built by Italo Gismondi in the 1930s and an oil painting by G. Marelli depicting Via Ostiense and the territory that from Rome reached the sea

The Galleria della Saracinesca (or rolling shutter gallery).  There are three acropolis built in the 3C BC originating from a tomb at the Basilica of San Paolo outside the walls. They represent: Prometheus who creates man, a pheasant and a peacock, who in Christian symbolism want to symbolize the afterlife. Also in the same room there is a cast of the milestone of the 11th mile of the Via Ostiense dating back to the 3C BC. Oil paintings  related to a sepulcher of Saint Paul and various funerary objects in the same area

Second room: There is a model that reconstructs the hexagonal port of Trajan and the port of Claudius. Through the Cella Muroniana you cross the external walkway from which you can admire a view of the Pyramid of Cestius.

Third Room: It is used as an exhibition hall and / or conference room. Furthermore, there is a structure dating back to the 18C representing the ancient duty, later restored. In the garden in front of the entrance there are some funerary marble ruins from the imperial era found in the same Via Ostiense.

As it is really off the beaten path, here is some practical information on it.

The museum gate is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9h  to 13h30. Closed on Mondays, December 25th, January 1st and May 1st and the remaining holidays. On the first Saturday and Sunday of the month at 10h30 the Superintendence organizes guided visits to the Museum of the Via Ostiense with subsequent entry to the ‘Piramide Cestia’, by reservation by calling +39  06 5743193. Free entry.  Located at Via Raffaele Persichetti 1 | San Saba, Rome.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Rome on the museum

Rome cultural site on the museum

And there you go , you are all set for a nice tour of the off the beaten path or trails of Rome. There are many, just giving you a taste. Hope you enjoy coming to the Via Ostiense museum and the wonderful gate of St Paul. Enjoy it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 4, 2019

Foro Romano in Rome of course!

Ok so let’s take a plane or ride or train and follow the road to Rome! Eternal Rome is loaded with goodies not only food but monuments even if a bit old they remind us of who we are in many cases, real stories. I have been lucky to have visited the country several times and Rome of course with family vacations.

I have written many posts on Italy and of course Rome but need to do justice to one area even if the pictures are not too many or not show and tell types. I need to tell you about the Foro Romano or Roman forum of Rome.


The Roman Forum , also called Forum Magnum or Forum Vetus (old forum), is located in the most important archaeological site of Rome, between the Capitol hills, and the Palatine Hill. The Forum was the main square of ancient Rome. The place of the Forum was first arranged in 616 BC  or shortly thereafter, simply covered with clay. From this time onwards, the Forum is no longer a peripheral zone to the villages but becomes the central place of the surrounding villages. The part of the Forum closer to the Capitol, the public part, is first divided into two distinct sections: to the north, at the foot of the Arx, the Comitium becomes the political and judicial center of the city, while the commercial activities are concentrated in the south, on the Forum itself. A third section appears with the construction of the regia, near the Temple of Vesta, which constitutes the religious area.



A bit further on its history I like

In 509 BC, the monarchy was abolished, leaving room for the Roman Republic. On each invasion each time, the new paving is based on the old one, resulting in an elevation of the soil. Some of the oldest sanctuaries, such as Lapis Niger or Lacus Curtius, are found in the basement before being covered because of the high difference of its level. At the beginning of the 1C BC.,Sylla closed the prospect to the west by constructing on the slopes of the Capitol the great façade of the Tabularium. With the Sempronia and Aemilia basilicas on the sides, the Forum becomes a closed place. This tendency to make the monumental square is further strengthened with the urban projects of Caesar and Augustus at the end of the 1C BC. and the beginning of the 1C AD. Under the Empire, on both sides of the temple are elevated triumphal arches that serve as monumental entrances for who accesses the Forum from Via Sacra or the Vicus Vestae. The Forum then adopts its definitive form,  that of a closed quadrilateral on its four sides, surrounded on two sides by porting ,those of the basilicas of Julia and Aemilia, and closed on the other two by a temple.


During the early Middle Ages, the Forum was progressively abandoned from the 7C onwards. The return of Pope Urban V to Rome from Avignon in 1367 leads to a revival of interest in the ruins of the Forum. The Forum is then slowly stripped of its last columns and statues that are destroyed in lime kilns in order to recover the marble. The Roman Forum, which has long been invaded by grass and where cattle herds are allowed to graze, is now known under the name of Campo Vaccino (Bovine field) , until the excavations conducted under Napoleon III. The Roman Forum gradually developed throughout almost a Millennium !


Some of the merry go round you can do in the Roman Forum are

As of the end of the Empire, arriving from Via Sacra, one follows first the great Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine then the Temple of Romulus and the Temple of Antonin and Faustina that faces the Regia. We then pass under one of the two arches of Augustus which covers the narrow passage between the Temple of Caesar on the left and the Basilica Aemilia on the right.  At the end of the portico of the Basilica Aemilia starts to the right the Argiletum which crosses first the Transitorium forum before sinking into Subure. The way is bounded on the other side of the Basilica by the Julia Curia, whose orientation is slightly different. Further on, the Mamertine prison is built on the slopes of the Arx Hill at the top of which is accessed by a long staircase that starts between the prison and the Temple of Concord. In front is the three arches of Septime Severa. Turning left behind the arches, we follow the Clivus Capitolinus which allows access to the terrace of the Capitol. On the right, the slope of the Hill is occupied by the Temple of Concord and the Temple of Vespasian which hides the basement of the large façade of the Tabularium. The Clivus Capitolinus shrinks to pass between the Temple of Vespasian then the portico of the gods counselors and the Temple of Saturn.Arriving at the height of the high podium of the Temple of Saturn, turn left to pass between the Rostres and the Basilica Julia. The path is bounded on one side by the portico of the Basilica and on the other by the succession of seven great honorary columns. Arriving at the end of the portico, a street, the Vicus Tuscus opens to the right and descends towards the Tiber river  passing through the Velabrum. In front, a second Arch of Augustus marks a second entrance to the Forum, between the grandstand preceding the Temple of the Dioscuri and the Temple of Caesar. After crossing this arch, we are located near the shrine of Vesta, at the foot of the Palatine.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and it is a must while in Rome are

Colisseum webpage on the Roman Forum in English

Rome webpage with info on the Roman Forum

Tourist office of Rome on the Roman Forum in English

There you go another gem of Rome ,Italy. We love it to walk around the Roman Forum and  this whole complex even on its outside perimeter so much nice architecture and history around you and couple with some nice eateries and shops ,superb. Hope you enjoy the brief tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 4, 2019

Museums of Cuenca!

Ok so even thus told you about them briefly in previous general posts on Cuenca, I feel that on one of my favorite cities in Spain to tell you about their museums we like in a bit more details. So, therefore, here are my version of the museums of Cuenca, in Castilla La Mancha of course!

The Museum of Spanish Abstract Art . The bit of history is that in 1961 Fernando Zóbel (full name Fernando Zóbel de Ayala y Montojo Torrontegui ) looking for the right location for an abstract art museum, and in June 1963 his friend, the Cuenca artist Gustavo Torner (see his art center post San Pablo), suggested the location of the museum in one of the Hanging Houses of Cuenca, where the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art (Museo de Arte Abstracto Espanol) was opened to the public on July 1, 1966. The property of the building is the City of Cuenca, who rented it for a symbolic amount. Initially there were a dozen sculptures and a hundred paintings that Fernando Zobel had previously gathered, although not less than half were exhibited, with the intention of always applying a slow rotation of the funds. In 1978 an extension was carried out, so that the Museum reopened. That same year of 1978, the Fundación Juan March took charge of the funds and its management, by donation from Fernando Zóbel, who also delivered more than 3,500 specialized books. The current manager, the Juan March Foundation, has continued to expand the funds, so that now there are more than 1,500 works belonging to the Museum’s funds, of which 515 are paintings or sculptures. An important collection of printed graphic work, in its beginnings by Abel Martín, later by other screen printers such as Javier Cebrián. Since 1994, and as a result of a series of improvements and extensions, the Museum has a specific room for temporary exhibitions that complements the permanent exhibition. And of course, the Casas Colgadas are in additional attraction to come here!

Official March foundation on the Museum

Tourist office Province of Cuenca on the Museum

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha region on the Museum



Museo de Cuenca museum is located in the Casa del Curato in the San Martín neighborhood, it is a space created to deepen the history, traditions and culture of the province of Cuenca. Inaugurated in 1974, it has three sections: Archeology, Ethnology and Fine Arts. It’s numismatic collection is also remarkable.  Each floor of the building shows a different historical period, the first is reserved for archaeological discoveries of prehistory and the second shows the passage of the Romans through the province. Finally, the third floor covers the period from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 18C.

The breakdown is as follows:

Ground floor (1fl US): It is dedicated to Prehistory, from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age. The findings of the Verdelpino shelter (Valdecabras) stand out, which is a very significant deposit of the Neolithic peninsular. Of the Bronze Age  the idol of Chillarón and the sword of Carboneras stand out, whereas of the Iron Age  a model of the deposit of the source of the Mota is exposed , and diverse findings of the necropolis of the Hill of the Virgin.

First floor (2fl US): It is dedicated to the Roman world, being of special interest the three rooms dedicated to the three main Roman cities of the province of Cuenca: Segóbriga, Ercávica and Valeria. In them, in addition to a good number of materials found in the sites, you can see how a Roman city was born, how its public and private spaces are and what activities were developed in them. Also worth mentioning is the statue of Lucio César, executed in marble.

Second floor (3fl US): Rests from the 3C to the 18C are exhibited and the countryside of the Roman world and the traces left by the Visigoths, the Arabs and the later Christian settlers in the territory of Cuenca can be seen through the exposed materials.

Province of Cuenca tourism on the museum

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha region on the museum


Museo Tesoro-Catedral museum (Cathedral’s treasury) is located in the Episcopal Palace, adjacent to the Cathedral of Santa María and San Julián (see post), it houses a collection of paintings, tapestries and ancient ecclesiastical documents from the entire Diocese of Cuenca.The entrance is done thru the street Calle Obispo Valero.  It is the appropriate complement to the visit of the Cathedral, since it contains important works of art of all kinds: painting, altarpieces, goldsmiths, tapestries, carpets, etc., from churches throughout the diocese, with a modern museum organization and very attractive. It will highlight a collection of tables by Juan de Borgoña, two works by El Greco, paintings by Martín Gómez, Gerard David and many other anonymous works; Among the imagery, we highlight a Resurrection by Diego de Tiedra; impressive collection of chalices and monstrance’s, with special mention to those worn by the punches of the Becerril family, as well as liturgical utensils: incense burners, processional crosses, bells, etc. Perhaps the most outstanding piece is the so-called Byzantine Diptych or Reliquary of the Despots of Epirus, from the 16C. It possesses an extraordinary collection of tapestries and another one of carpets, exhibited in its greater part of the Conquense School that reached its culminating point of production between the 16C and 18C.

Official Cathedral of Cuenca treasury museum

Province of Cuenca tourism on the Treasury museum



Museo Fundación Antonio Pérez . In 1998 it began its history located in the former Convent of the Discalced Carmelites, it houses the particular collection of contemporary works of art by the artist Antonio Pérez. The important art collection of Antonio Pérez composed of paintings by painters as important as Saura, Millares, Feito or Gordillo. A museum whose initial collection of painting, sculpture, photography, graphic work and artist’s books has increased dramatically during the  years the museum has been in operation. Today there are already more than three thousand works of art, the result of this initial collection and other acquisitions and donations that the museum has been obtaining over the years. The Antonio Pérez Foundation has had its offsprings such as in San Clemente with the Museum of Graphic Art, and in Huete , the Photography museum. Both easily reach from Cuenca.

Official Antonio Perez Foundation on the museum

Province of Cuenca tourism on the Foundation museum

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha region on the foundation museum


Another nice museum that not the time to see inside just walk around it and read about but it might be useful for others and for me a reminder to stop by is the Museo Palenteologico de Castilla La Mancha inCuenca.

On the Cerro Molina hill there is the Palaeontology Museum of Castilla La Mancha, a space that also offers excellent panoramic views of the city. In its almost 4,000 square meters are exposed more than 200 fossils, from the paleontological sites of Las Hoyas and Lo Hueco. There are also life-size replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric species, being an essential stop on the Ruta de los Dinosaurios (dinosaurs route) in Cuenca.

Official MUPA of Castilla La Mancha on the museum

Province of Cuenca tourism on the museum

There you go, some nice museums to see in lovely Cuenca Unesco heritage site and very quant,nice, as a typical Castilian town should be. Enjoy the museums of Cuenca !

The tourist office of Cuenca general view on its museums is here : Tourist office of Cuenca on its museums

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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