Books

Villa Borghese and the “Temple of Asclepius”

One of the must visit places in Rome that combines nature, pleasure, history and physical excercise. You can spent a lot of hours walking, drinking coffee etc. You can ride your bike and enjoy! The Villa is a great place to cycle around and the cafe’s are definitely worth stopping at while taking in the scenery. It’d also be a great place for a picnic, however, there’s not a whole lot else to keep you entertained. It’s only a short walk from the Spagna metro station and the Spanish Steps though so it’s definitely worth stopping at if you’re in the area.

The lake is circled by the walking path “Viale del Lago,” but you won’t be able to miss the centerpiece – “Temple of Asclepius.” Asclepius  was the Greek god of medicine and healing – exactly what your legs will need after all this time exploring Rome & Italy!IMG_6694

From Piazza del Popolo ­- The wide open Piazza is very popular with Romans as well as tourists, for its beautiful statuary and Egyptian obelisk. To the east of the Piazza is the massive Borghese Gardens, a quiet green spot among the big city hustle and bustle. This park is great for strolling, jogging, etc, and I believe you can rent a bicycle to ride around on. On the east side of the park is the most excellent Villa Borghese, a prime site to view art, especially, in my opinion, sculpture. There is no lack of magnificent art in Rome, but don’t miss this place.

Our Blogger: Joseph

Book Recommendation

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This is not a blog about books, but I just came across one that’s too good to be ignored.

Elena Bonora’s “Roma 1564″ is authoritative and educational but is also as entertaining as the best thriller. The book documents with great historical rigour a conspiracy to kill pope Pious IV and unveils through its reconstructions the sometimes brutal past of the city and the peculiar worldview of its inhabitants (there are astrologers and treasure hunts involved!)

Unfortunately the book is yet to be translated in English. If you know italian, get it; if you don’t, keep checking for the translation: it’s an indispensable read for those who believe that reality is stranger (and sometimes more intriguing) than fiction.

Book Advice

512739Books and travel go together naturally; both are journeys: one mental, the other physical. Reading a book while traveling is a journey within a journey, an activity much more rich and rewarding than any of the two undertaken separately.

This considerations come to mind because a couple of days ago I noticed that Borri Books, the bookshop located inside the Station Termini has a small but very interesting selection of books about Italy and ancient Rome.

The whole third floor is dedicated to books in foreign languages (English, Spanish, French, German and Russian) with the English section being the largest covering topics that range from humor to literature and current affairs.The Ancient Rome section (the second aisle counting from left to right with the elevator or stairs behind you) includes many rather academic books but also volumes that offer useful information using a very light tone, like the one pictured here that promises to teach you  “the Latin you need to know for surviving the 21st century”.

Borri Books is located inside the Termini Station and is open from 8.00 am until 10.00 pm, and from 8.00 am until 22.00 pm on Sundays and holidays.