Culture,Traditions and Customs in Rome

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The culture and traditions in Rome reflect its historic past and celebrate the modern world. Rome culture is an eclectic mix of high culture, the arts, fashion and historic architecture. Daily life centers around enduring Rome traditions rich in religion and food. It is this contrast of historic and modern culture and traditions that defines Rome as the Eternal City.

Eclectic Culture

The past and present harmoniously existing within steps of each other best defines Rome culture. For example, structures by 17th-century architect Bernini mingle with modern day architecture. Art created by the masters during the Renaissance and Baroque periods coexists with modern-day pieces in art museums and galleries throughout the city. Modern work buildings are steps away from historic monuments, like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. In short, Rome is an eclectic culture of a busy cosmopolitan city that reveres its past. Much of the Roman culture reflects the diverse people who passed through the city at different points in history. Gladiators, pagan deities, master artists and learned men left an influential footprint on the Eternal City. Tourists flock to the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Palatine and Forum Museum, the Galleria Borghese, the Palazzo Altemps, the Piazza di Spagna and the Domus Aurea to gain an appreciation of the stepping stones of today’s Roman culture.

Food and Festivals

Food is an integral part of the culture in Rome, with dishes that are full of flavor and reflective of old Roman traditions. Fresh vegetables, inexpensive cuts of meats, pasta and cheese are typical ingredients in Roman dishes. Food establishments flourish in Rome, with pizzerias, family-run trattorias and trendy restaurants in full supply. Food is further celebrated with food festivals. They are an important part of the culture scene in Rome and typically usher in a season, celebrate the Roman heritage, or simply carry on an age-old tradition. The Sagra del Csarciofo, for instance, celebrates the artichoke, a staple in Roman cooking. The springtime festival showcases the many ways the artichoke can be cooked.

Holiday Traditions

During the Easter and Christmas holiday seasons, Rome traditions exhibit the strong Christian culture of the Eternal City. One such Rome tradition is to go to St. Peter’s Square on Easter and Christmas to receive a blessing from the Pope. During the Lenten season, Good Friday marks the annual Procession of the Cross from the Roman Colosseum to the Palatine and Forum. On Easter Sunday morning, an outdoor mass takes place in St. Peter’s Square. During the Christmas season, churches in Rome display elaborate nativity scenes, and live music is enjoyed in the piazzas. The traditional midnight mass at the Vatican attracts thousands of locals and international visitors.

Sources and Copyrights:  http://traveltips.usatoday.com/culture-traditions-rome-italy-11465.html

Related items

  • Tiziano Exhibition in Rome 2013

    Do not miss the exhibition of the Maestro Tiziano in Rome!

    When: From 5 March to 16 June 2013

    Where: Scuderie del Quirinale, Via XXIV Maggio, 16

    Info: +39 0639967500   http://www.scuderiequirinale.it/Home.aspx

    The Concert and La Bella from Palazzo Pitti, Flora from the Uffizi, the Gozzi Altarpiece from Ancona, Danaë and the Shower of Gold from Capodimonte, Charles V with a Dog and the Self-portrait from the Prado, or the Flaying of Marsyas from Kromeriz are some of the most celebrated works of the great Venetian painter Titian (Pieve di Cadore, circa 1485 - Venice, 1576).  These and many more are to go on display at the Quirinale in an exhibition designed to stand as the ideal conclusion to the sweeping overview of Venetian painting and the debate on the crucial role that it played in the renewal of culture in Italy and in Europe, promoted by the Scuderie del Quirinale in an analysis of the work of the leading players in the modern revolution in painting, from Antonello da Messina to Giovanni Bellini, Lorenzo Lotto and Tintoretto, of which Titian is the last and loftiest witness in his role as the European artist par excellence.

    Visitors to the exhibition will be able to retrace the salient moments of this great Italian painter's uncontainable rise, from his early days in the workshops of Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione in Venice to the independence that he won with his large canvases for the Doges and for the D'Este and Della Rovere families, and ultimately with his imperial commissions from Charles V and his son Philip II.  Titian's entire artistic career will be represented at the highest level, decade by decade, underscoring his masterly sense of colour and the development of his brushwork, which proved capable of surpassing the boundaries of painterly imagination. Through iconographic comparisons - particularly emblematic, among the many that the exhibition will be hosting, is a comparison between the Crucifixion from the Dominican church in Ancona, the Crucifixion for the Escorial in Madrid, and the fragmentary Crucifixion now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna - visitors will be able to gain a direct perception of the master's innovative approach and compositional structure, in an exhibition designed to convey not only his crucial role as a religious painter but also his complex career as portrait-painter extraordinary to the nobility and aristocracy of his day.  Thanks to the support of, and loans from, many leading museums both in Italy and overseas, the exhibition sets out to permit a broader audience to grasp the exceptional nature of an artist who was capable of merging "the greatness and the power of Michel Agnolo, the sweetness and the beauty of Raphael and the very colours of Nature herself", as Ludovico Dolce, a contemporary writer and fervent admirer of the master, so aptly put it.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by the results of an extensive campaign of scientific analysis which has encompassed a large part of the artist's output.  Conducted by the Centro di Ateneo di Arti Visive at the Università degli Studi di Bergamo, the campaign has achieved results of the utmost importance in defining the relationship between autograph works and workshop products, and in fully documenting Titian's technical development from the earliest days of his apprenticeship.


    Source: http://english.scuderiequirinale.it/categorie/exhibition-tiziano-rome

  • The truth about the Emperor's Dishes..

    Ancient Roman Recipes

    • Ingredients and cooking instructions for Roman Recipes

    • The life and times of the people of Ancient Rome

    • Cooking Recipes

    • The society, culture and life of the Romans

    • The Romans and life in Ancient Rome

    • Roman Dessert Recipes

    • Recipes

    • Recipes for Starters, Main Course, Dinner and Desserts

    Ancient Roman Recipes

    History, Facts and Information about Ancient Roman Recipes
    What type of food did the Ancient Romans eat? What ingredients did they use? What cooking methods did they employ? What were the Ancient Roman Dessert recipes like? The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about life in Ancient Rome including original recipes.

    Roman Burgers - Isicia Omentata
    Souffle of Small Fish - Patina de pisciculis
    Seafood Fricassee - Minutal marinum
    Green Beans - Fabaciae virides et baianae
    Chicken and Leek - Pullum frontonianum
    Chicken with Stuffing - Pullus fusilis
    Boiled Eggs - In ovis apalis
    Mussels - In mitulis
    Tuna - Sarda ita fit
    Big Shrimps - Scillas
    Fried Veal - Vitellina fricta
    Boiled Veal - In vitulinam elixam
    Steamed Lamb Cutlets - Aliter baedinam

    Ancient Roman Dessert Recipes

    Pear Souffle - Patina de piris
    Apricot Starter - Gustum de praecoquis
    Honey and Nut Dessert - Dulcia domestica
    Grape and Nut Dessert - Aliter dulcia
    Water and Honey Melons - Pepones et melones

      

      

    Famous Ancient Roman Recipes - Apicius - On the subject of Cooking
    The content of this section provides details of Ancient Roman food recipes for main courses and desserts. They are taken from a collection of Ancient Roman Food Recipes. The cookery book, containing these old Roman recipes, is called Apicius, a name that has long been associated with the love of food. The famous Greek equivalent to this name is Epicurus from which the word 'epicure' is derived meaning a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink). Marcus Gavius Apicius was the name of an extravagant Roman who loved expensive food and luxury. His liking for food was famous and eventually the name of Apicius was eventually thought appropriate for a collection of Ancient Roman recipes which at first was commonly known as known as Apicius. In the earliest printed editions of this ancient book of Roman recipes it was given the overall title 'De re coquinaria' which means "On the Subject of Cooking". The Roman food recipes contained in this cookery book includes fish, meat, dessert, vegetable and soup recipes.

    Ancient Roman Recipes - The Dormouse!
    One of the most intriguing of the Ancient Roman recipes is for the dormouse. Probably because the thought of it feels us with horror! The edible dormouse was farmed by the Romans in large pits or in terra cotta containers and eaten by the ancient Romans as a snack or as part of the first course of the Roman main meal called the Coena. Dormouse recipe serving instructions: Dormice were sprinkled with poppy-seed and honey and were served with hot sausages on a silver gridiron, underneath which were damson plums and pomegranate seeds.

    Ancient Roman Recipes
    The content of this Ancient Roman Recipes category on life in Ancient Rome provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework. Refer to the Colosseum Sitemap for a comprehensive search on interesting different categories containing the history, facts and information about Ancient Rome.

    Sources and Copyrights:   http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-life/ancient-roman-recipes.htm

      

     

  • Understanding more about the Renaissance

    Man Knowledge: The Basics of Art-The Renaissance

    by Brett & Kate McKay on July 16, 2010 · 20 comments

    in Manly Knowledge

    We live in a world that’s highly technical and specialized. When a man goes to college these days, he spends his time learning the skills that will allow him to seek gainful employment. Little time is spent studying art or literature. These subjects are often seen as “pointless” because they don’t have any practical application when it comes to paying the bills. On top of that, many men see art appreciation as wussy and effeminate and thus steer clear of it.

    But it’s a shame that many men feel this way about art because they’re missing out on poignant insights about what it means to be human and what it means to be a man. Art can capture the emotions of the human experience when words fail us, give us insight into positive madness, expand our minds, and help us learn more about the world and ourselves.

    If you feel like you missed out on a basic art education or if you learned plenty about art history, but you need a refresher, this series we’re starting today is just for you. Over the next few months, we’ll be covering some of the simple basics of the important periods of Western art. Next time you’re on a date at a museum, you’ll have a few things to add to the conversation. But more importantly, you’ll be able to get more out of the art yourself and hopefully be inspired to delve deeper into the fruits of man’s infinite creativity. As you take time to ponder and mediate on some of history’s greatest works of art, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for art’s manly heritage, experience uplift and edification, and find yourself closer to becoming a true Renaissance Man.

    Speaking of the Renaissance, let’s get started talking about that period’s art.

    An Introduction to the Basics of Renaissance Art

    Time Period: 1400s-1600s

    Background: The 14th century was a time of great crisis; the plague, the Hundred Years war, and the turmoil in the Catholic Church all shook people’s faith in government, religion, and their fellow man. In this dark period Europeans sought a new start, a cultural rebirth, a renaissance.

    The Renaissance began in Italy where the culture was surrounded by the remnants of a once glorious empire. Italians rediscovered the writings, philosophy, art, and architecture of the ancient Greeks and Romans and began to see antiquity as a golden age which held the answers to reinvigorating their society. Humanistic education, based on rhetoric, ethics and the liberal arts, was pushed as a way to create well-rounded citizens who could actively participate in the political process. Humanists celebrated the mind, beauty, power, and enormous potential of human beings. They believed that people were able to experience God directly and should have a personal, emotional relationship to their faith. God had made the world but humans were able to share in his glory by becoming creators themselves.

    These new cultural movements gave inspiration to artists, while Italy’s trade with Europe and Asia produced wealth that created a large market for art. Prior to the Renaissance Period, art was largely commissioned by the Catholic Church, which gave artists strict guidelines about what the finished product was to look like. Medieval art was decorative, stylized,  flat, and two-dimensional and did not depict the world or human beings very realistically. But a thriving commercial economy distributed wealth not just to the nobility but to merchants and bankers who were eager to show their status by purchasing works of art (the Church remained a large patron of the arts as well). Artists were allowed greater flexibility in what they were to produce, and they took advantage of it by exploring new themes and techniques.

    • Perspective. To add three-dimensional depth and space to their work, Renaissance artists rediscovered and greatly expanded on the ideas of linear perspective, horizon line, and vanishing point.
      • Linear perspective: Rendering a painting with linear perspective is like looking through a window and painting exactly what you see on the window pane. Instead of every object in the picture being the same size, objects that were further away would be smaller, while those closer to you would be larger.
      • Horizon line: Horizon line refers to the point in the distance where objects become so infinitely small, that they have shrunken to the size of a line.
      • Vanishing point: The vanishing point is the point at which parallel lines appear to converge far in the distance, often on the horizon line. This is the effect you can see when standing on railroad tracks and looking at the tracks recede into the distance.
    • Shadows and light. Artists were interested in playing with the way light hits objects and creates shadows. The shadows and light could be used to draw the viewer’s eye to a particular point in the painting.
    • Emotion. Renaissance artists wanted the viewer to feel something while looking at their work, to have an emotional experience from it. It was a form of visual rhetoric, where the viewer felt inspired in their faith or encouraged to be a better citizen.
    • Realism and naturalism. In addition to perspective, artists sought to make objects, especially people, look more realistic. They studied human anatomy, measuring proportions and seeking the ideal human form. People looked solid and displayed real emotions, allowing the viewer to connect with what the depicted persons were thinking and feeling.

    Examples:

    Let’s start out by looking at two different paintings of the Virgin Mary, one from the Byzantine period, and one from the Renaissance period, so that you can get a feel for the profound transformation art went through during the Renaissance:

    Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne, 1200′s. In this wood panel painting from the Byzantine period, the bodies of Mary and Jesus are bodiless and hidden in drapery. The folds of the drapery are represented by gold leaf striations; even where you would see knees, you have an accumulation of gold instead of light and shadow. The picture lacks the feeling of depth and space. Also, Jesus is portrayed as an infant, but looks like a miniature adult.

    Madonna del Cardellino, by Raphael, 1506. Now we’re well into the Renaissance and the changes in style are readily apparent. Mary has become much more realistically human; she has a real form, real limbs, a real expression on her face. Not only does she look natural, but she is placed is a natural setting. Jesus and John the Baptist look like real babies, not miniature adults. Raphael utilized perspective to give the painting depth. He also captured the Renaissance’s love of combining beauty and science-bringing back things like geometry from the ancient Greeks: Mary, Christ, and John the Baptist form a pyramid.

    Tribute Money, by Masaccio, 1425. Masaccio was a pioneer in the technique of one point perspective; the painting is an image of what one person looking at the scene would see. Notice how Peter, next to the water, and the mountains are paler and less clear than the objects in the foreground. The lines in the painting meet atop Jesus’ head in a vanishing point. It appears that the figures are lit by light from the chapel, as their shadows all fall away in the same direction. Such a touch seems basic to us today, but incorporating a light from a specific source and using it to lend figures three-dimensionality was groundbreaking for the time.

    The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci, 1498.  An example of the way in which Renaissance artists wished to draw the viewer into the painting by depicting a vibrant scene filled with real psychology and emotion. All the apostles have different reactions to Christ revealing that one will betray him. Like in the Tribute Money, Jesus’ head is located at the vanishing point for all the perspective lines.

    The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo, 1511. In this most famous section of the Sistine Chapel, the personal nature of faith, the divine potential of man, and the idea of man being co-creator with God is vividly depicted. So is the Renaissance interest in anatomy; God is resting on the outline of the human brain. Michelangelo, like Leonardo, performed numerous dissections of human corpses in order to gain an in-depth and realistic look at the parts and structure of the human body.

    David, by Michelangelo, 1504. Renaissance artists created the first free-standing nude statutes since the days of antiquity. Michelangelo believed that sculpture was the highest form of art as it echoes the process of divine creation. His David is the perfect example of the Renaissance’s celebration of the ideal human form. The statue conveys rich realism in form, motion, and feeling. The upper body and hands are not quite proportional, perhaps owing to the fact that the work was meant to be put on a pedestal and viewed by looking upwards. Michelangelo was a master at portraying subjects at moments of psychological transition, as if they had just thought of something, and this statue is often believed to be depicting the moment when David decides to slay Goliath.

    School of Athens, by Raphael, 1510. This painting, which depicts all the great philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome, serves as an example of the way in which Renaissance artists were inspired by and hearkened back to the days of antiquity. The perspective lines draw the viewer to the center of the painting and the vanishing point where history’s two greatest philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, stand. In line with their philosophies, Plato points to the heavens and the realm of Forms, while Aristotle points to the earth and the realm of things.

    Sources and Copyrights:   http://artofmanliness.com/2010/07/16/man-knowledge-the-basics-of-art-the-renaissance/

  • Roman culture differs from the Greek in many ways…

    Roman Culture and the Aeneid

    753 BC: Traditional date for the founding of Rome (just before Greek colonies).
    ca. 500 BC: Expulsion of Kings from Rome.
    509-264 BC: Early Roman Republic.
    264-134 BC: Middle Republic; wars of conquest; senatorial government.
    134-27 BC: Late Republic; breakdown of republican government.
    27 BC-AD 235: Early Empire (Principate) [Virgil 70-19 BC].
    (Links)
    Roman culture differs from the Greek in many ways: the Romans prided themselves on their practicality and traditional morality, and on their military, organizational, and engineering skills. In what we call "culture", the Romans often seem derivative: their art, philosophy, literature, and in many respects religion all look as if they were borrowed from the Greeks. Yet appearances can be deceiving. Take the matter of religion, for example. Though the Romans borrowed some deities from the Greeks (Apollo) and grafted the personalities of others onto already existing Italic deities (Zeus became Jove, Hera became Juno, Hermes became Mercury, Aphrodite became Venus, etc.), the Romans retained their own particular beliefs, especially those centered around the household gods and the family hearth. Each household had its own, rather vague, protective deities of the hearth, called Lares and Penates. Edith Hamilton writes: Every Roman family had a Lar, who was the spirit of an ancestor, and several Penates, gods of the hearth and guardians of the storehouse. They were the family's own gods, belonging only to it, really the most important part of it, protectors and defenders of the entire household. They were never worshipped in temples, but only in the home, where some of the food of each meal was offered to them. There were also public Lares and Penates, who did for the city what the others did for the family. (64)Notice how Virgil stresses these gods in Book II of the Aeneid: Priam is killed in front of his son and household gods (51-52); and, just as Panthus, priest of Apollo, tries to save the city of Troy's gods (44-45), so does Aeneas carry his father and "hearthgods, our Penatës" (58) out of the burning city.

    Notice, too, that is the father, the head of the family (paterfamilias), who has charge of these gods. The Romans believed that a father's authority came from what they called his genius, or guiding spirit and wisdom. This genius was handed down from father to son (women need not apply) and assured that the head of the family would exercise his power wisely and well. In later times, pious Romans often carried masks or busts of fathers and grandfathers at funerals and other religious ceremonies. Thus when Aeneas has a vision of his father on page 151, he is receiving guidance from the family genius. When directly after this vision, he makes a small offering to the "Lar of Troy," we see that Aeneas is responsible not only for his own household, but for all past Trojan households and all future Roman ones as well. Aeneas is on a mission (from the gods) to found the greatest empire in the world: that's why his epithet is pius ("pious") and not polymetis ("resourceful"), like Odysseus. For a Roman, piety means responsibility towards the ancestors, towards one's extended family, and towards generations of unborn descendants. Aeneas is responsible for an entire empire of descendants, so he must stick to his mission and not get sidetracked by North African queens like Dido. (Besides, he needs an Italian wife to marry the genius of Troy to native Italian stock.)

    Despite their later reputation for decadence and every sort of sybaritic indulgence, the Romans in general liked to think of themselves as extremely moral people. Not unlike Americans, they thought of their way of life as just, moral, upright, honest, and suitable for others to adopt. The Roman Empire was founded by Augustus (reigned 27 BC-AD 14), the title of a fellow named Octavian. This Octavian was the adopted son of Julius Caesar (murdered 44 BC), and he proved to be quite adept at power politics. Augustus (Octavian) became sole ruler of Rome by defeating Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius) in 31 BC at the battle of Actium, off the western coast of Greece. (Aeneas passes through the area on p. 75.) As head of state, Augustus (which means "revered and majestic one") was head of the Roman "family," and genius for the entire Roman people. In other words, he was big daddy dictator. He ordered Virgil to write a poem glorifying himself and the Roman state. Virgil produced the Aeneid, which in some ways fills the bill. At other times (especially at the end of Books 6 and 12), Virgil seems to hint that peace obtained at the price of a despotic, militaristic empire may not be the best peace.

    Sources and Copyrights:   

  • Do you know the origin of the Pyramid Cestius?

    Pyramid of Cestius, Rome

    Pyramid of Cestius history

    The massive monument that is Pyramid of Cestius has a rich history. The pyramid was built on request by Gaius Cestius Epulo; a rich magistrate, praetor and a member of one of the four great religious corporations at Rome. It is believed to have been built around year 15 BC as an extraordinary tomb.

    A Roman pyramid

    One might think it is strange to find an old pyramid in the center of Rome and in a sense – it is. However, after the Roman conquest of Egypt in year 30 BC, Rome was going through a fad for all things Egyptian. Several obelisks were taken from Egypt and placed at Circuses and Forums all around Rome. There was also another pyramid raised in Rome, the pyramid of Romulus, which was demolished in the 16th century.

    Nubian inspiration

    Despite the Egyptian craze and in contrast to popular belief, the Pyramid of Cestius is not based upon the famous pyramids in Giza. If you think about it, the Giza pyramids are all much shallower than this rather steep pyramid.

    The Pyramid of Cestius is instead believed to have been based upon the more pointy Nubian pyramids. One Nubian kingdom was attacked shortly before the construction of this pyramid, which suggests that Gaius Cestius possibly served in that campaign and became inspired. Historians suggest the purpose of the tomb’s pyramid-shape was to serve as a commemoration to the Roman victories in Africa.

    A marble marvel

    The Pyramid of Cestius stands an impressive 37 meters high and almost 30 meters wide. It was built using concrete and brick on a travertine foundation and covered with marble blocks. Today, the pyramid is located in the city but during the time of its construction, it stood in open countryside. During this period, large tombs were not allowed within the city walls.

    Incorporated

    However, Rome grew at a rapid and by the 3rd century, The Pyramid of Cestius had been surrounded by buildings and thus it became a part of the city. The pyramid was even incorporated into the city wall during the construction of the Aurelian Walls towards the end of the 3rd century.

    The inclusion of the pyramid into the wall is the main reason why it is so well preserved. The inclusion made it hard to demolish the Pyramid of Cestius without also destroying the Aurelian Wall.

    Why visit Pyramid of Cestius ?

    The Pyramid of Cestius is a beautiful site. Anyone looking closely at the outer walls of the pyramid should be able to spot inscriptions. There inscriptions dedicate the pyramid to Cestius. They read;

    C · CESTIVS · L · F · POB · EPULO · PR · TR · PL

    VII · VIR · EPOLONVM

    OPVS · APSOLVTVM · EX · TESTAMENTO · DIEBVS ·

    CCXXX

    ARBITRATV

    PONTI · P · F · CLA · MELAE · HEREDIS · ET · POTHI · L

    These inscriptions says;

    “Gaius Cestius Epulo, son of Lucius, praetor, tribune of the plebs, septemvir epulonum “ – with the latter referring to his religious group. “The work was completed, in accordance with the will, in 330 days, by the decision of the heir Pontus Mela, son of Publius of the Claudia and Pothus, freedman”

    There is also an additional inscription on the east side, added in the 17th century. This inscription commemorates the excavation and restoration work carried during the time on orders of Pope Alexander the 7th.

    The burial chamber

    The tomb of Gaius Cestius was located inside the pyramid within a small burial chamber. The chamber was rediscovered in year 1660, during the pope’s restoration. They discovered that the small room was decorated with several detailed wall paintings - so called frescoes.

    The wall painitings were however in bad condition and only parts of them remain today. These paintings are some of the first examples in Rome of the so called Third Style Roman painting.

    A family tomb

    They found no traces of any other contents in the tomb, as it most likely had been plundered in the past. During the excavations, they also found traces of several columns and statues outside the pyramid – remains which today can be found at Musei Capitolini. Inscriptions on the bases of the statues imply that the burial chamber, despite its small size, served as a family tomb for several members of Cestius’s family.

    An appreciated pyramid

    The pyramid has been much admired by architects throughout history and it became the primary model for pyramids built in the West during the 18th and 19th century. Today, it is the only ancient roman pyramid standing in Rome, making it a truly unique sight. It is also one of the very best preserved ancient buildings in Rome.

    Pyramid of Cestius location

    The Pyramid of Cestius is located in Rome, Italy. The cemetery is situated in southern parts of the city, next to the Aurelian Wall and the Pyramid of Cestius. For the exact location of the Pyramid of Cestius, check out the location map to the right.

    Sources and Copyrights:   http://www.worldsiteguides.com/europe/italy/rome/pyramid-of-cestius/