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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

24/12/2018, 13:53

#romeisus, #rome, #roma, #pope, #navonasquare



THE-MARBLE-HEAD-OF-THE-NAVONA-SQUARE


 Navona Square is famous for its monuments, like the so called Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini. But if you see better, you will find something small and special...



Go to the Navona Square and try to forget the great basilica made by #Borromini or the fountain of the Four Rivers by #Bernini. I suggest to look around you trying to find this anonymous marble head. It seems somebody who is trying to come out from a wall. What is it? Why? Let me tell you a strange history... we are at the end of the XVI century, when the Pope was Sixtus V. He ruled Rome only for five years (1585 - 1590) and according to the chronicles the public executions increased very much! It seems that Sixtus V would like to bring new stability in Rome, showing to the ordinary people how he took care about justice. So much that a lot of headsman’s blocks were erected. We know how at that time Rome was not a safety city, due to all the criminals, the prostitues or other bad guys who used to live in the city of the Popes. Moreover Sixtus V would really like to understand what the ordinary people thought about him and his politics. So he usually travelled undercover taking stroll and visiting ordinary places. In some degree, a sort of personal way to listen, directly from his people, if Sixtus V was considered a good Pope or not. One day he went to a tavern in Navona Square and he started to talk with the innkeeper. The Pope asked him what he thought about Sixtus V and the poor man really said his thoughts. And it seems that the innkeeper said a lot of bad things about his Pope... the next day the innkeeper saw a headsman’s block just in front of his tavers, asking to himself why something like that. He couldn’t know how it was reserved to him... When he understood his fate, and knowing the reasons of his executions, he tried to ask to the Pope to be forgiven. But it seems that the Pope denied everything. At the end the poor innkeeper was beheaded. His friends, in order to remember him and challenging the Pope, put this marble head just above the tavern. A way to understand how that poor innkeeper died just due to his words... #romeisus #Rome #navonasquare #pope


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