Rome fetes Piranesi

(ANSA) - Rome, July 30 - A selection of the original plates used by 18th-century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi in etchings that helped reshape popular images of Rome has gone on show in the Italian capital. They are on show at Rome's Palazzo Poli until August 17. [Read More]

Keeping cool - water fountains in Rome

The heat is well and truly on right now. Earlier today, Rome reached temperatures around 38 degree C! Thankfully, Romans have been through all this before and have a pretty handy solution. What do you need when it's baking hot? Water.

(image from

There are over 2000 of these water fountains, called 'nasoni', dotted around Rome. The water is perfectly drinkable, and often lovely and cool (thanks to all those underground channels).

There are a few maps detailing where all these fountains are in Rome, some of which are incomplete. The best I've found so far are on the acea website (they are a water utility company), here. You can even download a map to take around with you on your travels. Let me know if you find a better one somewhere.

All you need is an empty water bottle, and you're good to go!

Rome Day Trip - Sant'Oreste

Need to escape the city heat? You need to get out into the countryside and explore! How about a day-trip to Sant'Oreste?

Heat wave warnings and staying cool in the sun!

Italy is in the middle of a heat wave, but what can you do to keep cool? Well, other than staying out of the sun for as much of the day as possible (leaving it for mad dogs and Englishmen), other suggestions include modifying your diet and drinking plenty of water.

According to the Coldiretti farmers' union (and, meals on hot days should include starches like pasta, rice and bread with ample portions of lettuce, onions, radishes and 'sweet' fruits like peaches and nectarines. Heavy food should be avoided as well as alcohol and foods seasoned with too much black and red pepper as well as salt. Coffee should also be consumed in moderation.

More information is available on the UK NHS website.

The main thing is to use common sense though. Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day (usually lunchtime till dinner time), drink plenty of liquid and eat lots of fruit.

Oh, and of course, apply plenty of sun cream!!

Sagre - local food festivals

According to wikipedia, a sagra (plural: sagre) is a local festival, very often involving food, and frequently a historical pageant and sporting events: when the sporting event is a historical recreation as well, such as a joust or a horse race in costume or armour, it is called a palio.

I've been to one or two, and they are great fun, and, if you go to the less touristy ones, they can be a great window onto local life. If you want to see a few posts I've written about sagre, click on the 'festa' topic on the left-hand sidebar.

There are so many sagre that it's impossible to list them all, but here is a list of Sagre in Lazio compiled by and another, searchable list, courtesy of Sagra in Italia.