Tag Archives: Rome

Emperor Nero villa reopens

The first large villa constructed for Emperor Nero (37 – 68 AD) on the Palatine Hill in Rome is opening its doors to public. ‘Domus Transitoria‘ (Transitory House) was opulent and refined, erected with the grandeur inspired by the Ptolemaic palaces.
The villa was closed down and buried at the emperor’s order after the great fire of Rome in 64 AD and replaced with the larger and more sumptuous Domus Aurea (Golden House).

After a decade long restoration, the villa’s 800 square meters will open to the public as part of a new guided tour on Nero daily from Monday to Friday.

The tour is reserved to small groups of visitors who will be able to admire the colored marbles, fountains and red porphyry columns thanks to the new lighting and 3D visors.

The villa is dedicated to water, one of the reasons why it has been confused for a long time with the thermal baths of Livia, archaeologists say.

Columns and niches decorate this opulent space.
Archaeologists explain that Emperor Nero enjoyed to spend the hottest hours of summer days in this room, under a large patio, which was probably covered with a wooden decorated ceiling or perhaps only protected by opulent curtains.

In 59 AD, the Emperor Nero was determined to have his mother assassinated. Historian Suetonius claims Nero tried to poison her 3 times. After a number of failures, he finally plotted a sinking of her boat, the accident she did not survive.

Emperor Nero made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of many of his contemporaries  this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. Nero’s extravagant program of public and private works was funded by a significant rise in taxes that was much resented by the middle and upper classes.

 

 

France-Italy diplomatic clash over Yellow Vests

President Emmanuel Macron’s government recalled France ambassador to Rome Christian Masset on February 7 in an unprecedented act since World War II , saying it had enough with “repeated, baseless” attacks by Italian political leaders against France.

The decision came after a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister and leaders of the French Yellow Vest movement who have been calling for President Macron’s resignation.

Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement welcomed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.

The vise-president of the European Parliament Fabio Castaldo has also taken part in the meeting. (Pictured below: first from right).

In a statement on the decision, France’s foreign ministry blamed Italian officials of making “outrageous statements” and “repeated, baseless attacks” for months.

The statement said the attacks were without precedent since World War II. “Having disagreements is one thing, but manipulating the relationship for electoral aims is another,” it said.

“All of these actions are creating a serious situation which is raising questions about the Italian government’s intentions towards France,” diplomats added, making clear that Paris is increasingly worried by Di Maio and Salvini’s vocal support for the anti-establishments protest movement.

Ambassador Fr Rome

Ambassador Christian Masset (pictured above) arrived to Rome on 6 of December 2017.  As a carreer diplomat he previously served as an Ambassador to Japan, and held other prominent positions in Foreign Affairs Ministry working in Brussels, London, and Pretoria.

 

 

N.Korea diplomat applied for asylum in Italy

North Korea’s top diplomat in Italy has applied for asylum and gone into hiding, Seoul lawmakers told reporters after a closed-door meeting with South Korean intelligence officials.

It would mark the latest high-profile defection by a senior North Korean envoy since the deputy ambassador in London in 2016.

Acting ambassador Jo Song Gil’s term was ending in late November last year and he escaped the diplomatic compound in early November” with his wife, lawmaker Kim Min-ki told reporters.

Jo Song-gil (48), has been acting ambassador in Rome since October 2017 after Italy expelled the then ambassador Mun Jong Nam in protest at a North Korean nuclear test a month earlier in violation of UN resolutions.

Italy is an important diplomatic mission for Pyongyang, as it handles relations with the Rome-headquartered UN Food and Agriculture Organization and North Korea suffers from chronic food shortages.

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A North Korean diplomat in Italy said to be seeking asylum is from a “prestigious diplomatic family” with both his father and father-in-law having worked in Pyongyang‘s foreign ministry,  Agency France press reports.

Pope wishes “path of peace” in conflicts

In his ‘Urbi et Orbi speech Pope Francis addressed a number of issues of conflicts, and protracted conflicts in various places across the world.

For the Israelies and Palestinians, the Pope wishes resumption of the dialogue and path to peace to end the 70-year conflict rending “the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love”.

For Syrians he wishes that they can “find fraternity after long years of war” and that through international cooperation those who have fled may return home.

For Yemen, the hope that the truce will hold and bring relief to her people and children “exhausted by war and famine”.

For Africa, that the “Holy Child, the King of Peace” might “silence the clash of arms” allowing a “new dawn of fraternity to rise over the entire continent”.

For the Korean peninsula he prayed for the consolidation of the “bonds of fraternity” set in motion this year.

For Venezuelans the Pope hopes they might “recover social harmony” so as to “work fraternally” toward the country’s development.

For Ukrainians, he hopes “the Newborn Lord” might “bring relief” and “a lasting peace” which is possible only through respect for the “rights of every nation”.

For Nicaraguans he prayed that they might “see themselves once more as brothers and sisters” through reconciliation and building Nicaragua’s future together.

Pope Francis also mentioned those whose “freedom and identity” are compromised through modern forms of colonialisation, those suffering from hunger, lack of education and health care.

For those celebrating Christmas in hostile situations, Pontifex prayed that all minorities might live peacefully through respect for the right of religious freedom.

Urbi et Orbi  the Papal address to the of Rome and to the World denotes a speech and blessing to the city of Rome and to the entire world by the Pontiff on certain solemn occasions. At present according to the Pew Research there are more than two billion Christians in the world due to the population growth. Among them 1,3 million Catholics, with 40% of them residing in Latin America, where the Argentinian Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergogliocomes from.

Italy budget tussle goes on

European Commission vice president for the euro Valdis Dombrovskis said the EC wants to see a “considerable, and not marginal” correction in Italy‘s budget adjustment from the initial package that was rejected.
Dombrovskis said the direction of the budget was currently “counter-productive“.
It must be revised,” he added.
The government has been sending mixed signals on whether it will cut a planned budget deficit from 2.4% to give some ground to the EC in the budget tussle.

At present Italy is intensely exploring  for ways to contain public spending while supporting flagging economic growth in a bid to head off disciplinary action by the European Commission, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said. The intention to postpone the reprimands is  becoming an increasingly difficult  exercise ahead of the looming European elections.

Tria told the Senate the government was looking for “financial space to improve the balance between the need to support growth and the need to solidify the sustainability of the public accounts”.

Italy at edge of EU infringement procedure

Italy at the edge of an infringement procedure if the government does not change its draft budget plan for 2019, European Commission Vice-President for the Euro Valdis Dombrovskis said. The Commission has rejected the plan, which sees Italy running a deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year, saying it would breach the Stability and Growth Pact. Berlaymont has also requested Rome to change the package by November 13.

The Italian government has repeated it does not intend to revise the budget, arguing an expansive package is needed to boost growth and bring down the debt-to-GDP ratio.

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