Italy’s 150th birthday celebrations are not over with the March 17 events! There is still a lot going on in Rome. Let’s have a look to the most interesting events marking the Bel Paese’s 150th anniversary and telling about the story of the foundation of this young country which rose on the shoulders of an ancient civilization and unrivalled culture.
One of the most longed-for opening was the inauguration of the Roman Republic Museum in Porta San Pancrazio with plenty of documents, maps, relics and magazines telling the story of this one-year political experience which was one of the most heroic moments of the Risorgimento movement. And the area around Porta San Pancrazio, the Janiculum hill, is one of those places that, more and better than others, tell the tale of the events that brought to the creation of the Italian country. Janiculum is not only an ideal point to admire Rome’s skyline but it is now also the site of the Heroes Park since the fiercest battles versus the foreign invaders (the French) and the Papacy’s troops were fought in this area. The park features Garibaldi’s statue, and his wife’s, Anita, recently restored for the occasion and dozens of marble busts of the people who during the 19th century devoted their life to the freedom and independence of Italy, with their ideas, skills, actions and resources. Nearby you can also find the Mausoleum with the remains of those who died for the Roman Republic. Admission to the Ossarium is free.
Another key celebration of our national heroes is the exhibition “Alle radici dell’identità nazionale” at the Vittoriano, with the portraits, documents and stories of the major Risorgimento figures (running until June 2). The same huge, white, impressive building towering over Piazza Venezia also hosts a military showing with the models of the main Risorgimento battles and has renovated its Risorgimento Museum. Free admission to all these displays.
On April 5 an exhibit on the old Italian coin, the lira, will be open to the public in Palazzo delle Esposizioni, in Via Nazionale 194. “La moneta dell’Italia unita” will tell the story of the very complicated process of currency unification – each little state had its own money before a single Italian country was created in 1861- and then the adventures of the lira to finally describe the birth of the euro. Free entrance. Until July 3.
On April 27 the Architecture House, in Piazza Manfredo Fanti 47, will shed light on the role of public buildings in making a sense of national awareness and pride in the newly-created Italian state with the exhibition “Designing Italy” in which 18 case-studies, i.e. 18 key buildings all over Italy, will be analyzed and explained from this interesting point of view. Until May 25.
From May 30 to August 31 two displays on the “Made in Italy” will contribute to the understanding of the Italian identity. One, in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni will track the main artworks, films and songs that forged Italian-ness between 1961 and 2011. The other, at Pelanda MACRO Testaccio, will deal with the current and future features of the Italian identity focusing on research, innovation and new technologies.
Train lovers will have the chance to see an old and a brand new locomotive underlining the differences in transportation between the 1860s and nowadays in Valle Giulia, in front of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna. A Steam Locomotive – model 640, whose nickname was Young Lady – and a FrecciaRossa ETR 500 series Y will be on show along with multimedia workstations with movies and photos outlining the development of Italy’s railways network.
Finally, something out of Rome. In Ariccia, in the massive 17th century Palazzo Chigi, a very peculiar exposition, “Dall’Aspromonte a Porta Pia” will tell the story of Italy’s unification from the point of view of the defeated, those who lost their power because of the new political situation, especially the Pope and Southern Italy’s royal house, the Borbone. Paintings, medals, relics, sculptures from private collections will be shown to the public for the first time on the occasion. Until May 1st.