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Piazza di Pasquino, Rome

3.8
#149 of 462 in Historic Sites in Rome
Pasquino or Pasquin is the name used by Romans since the early modern period to describe a battered Hellenistic-style statue dating to the third century BC, which was unearthed in the Parione district of Rome in the fifteenth century. It is located in a piazza of the same name on the southwest corner of the Palazzo Braschi ; near the site where it was unearthed. The statue is known as the first of the talking statues of Rome, because of the tradition of attaching anonymous criticisms to its base.HistoryThe statue's fame dates to the early sixteenth century, when Cardinal Oliviero Carafa draped the marble torso of the statue in a toga and decorated it with Latin epigrams on the occasion of Saint Mark's Day.The Cardinal's actions led to a custom of criticizing the pope or his government by the writing of satirical poems in broad Roman dialect—called "pasquinades" from the Italian "pasquinate"—and attaching them to the statue "Pasquino".Thus Pasquino became the first "talking statue" of Rome. He spoke out about the people's dissatisfaction, denounced injustice, and assaulted misgovernment by members of the Church. From this tradition are derived the English-language terms pasquinade and pasquil, which refer to an anonymous lampoon in verse or prose.
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  • A rather small piazza that holds a huge part of Roman history: Paquino- Rome’s first talking statue! I think Wikipedia describes it best, “a battered Hellenistic-style statue dating to the third centu...  more »
  • In the early 16th century, in the course of the restructuring of the current Palazzo Braschi (then owned by the family Orsini) was discovered an ancient statue badly damaged in the face and lacks much of the extremities. It was a Hellenistic original of the third century. BC, perhaps part of a larger group of sculptures depicting Menelaus in the Act of holding the young Patroclus mortally wounded (but there are also other hypotheses). Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, the workspace owner, wanted the exhibit was cleaned and installed adjacent to the Palace. Almost immediately, probably stimulated by looking a bit grotesque of mutilated sculpture, someone began to attack secretly on the statue leaflets with satirical verses, often trivial, playful, sacrilegious, directed against the richest people and powerful of the city (especially Popes and Cardinals) to denounce corruption, Vice and iniquity. The few citizens then can read the satires to voice carries throughout the city, prompting anywhere fun and laughter. The custom became a sort of mocking and easygoing challenge to papal power. The Papal authorities attempted in various ways to stem the phenomenon, by oversee continuously the statue by the cops, hypothesizing the removal or destruction, threatening to severe penalties the authors of the verses. However, the only result of such measures was that irony and sarcasm multiplied, appearing in other locations around the city. Afterwards the authorities maintained a more tolerant attitude, realizing that a fierce repression of the phenomenon, albeit useless, would have exacerbated popular discontent depriving it of an essential outlet. There is no certainty about the origin of the name of the statue. Various hypotheses have been made; one of the most reliable it does go back to Mastro Pasquino ", a tailor who had the shop nearby, famous for his witty jokes. In that case he would maybe was also the author of the first successful "pasquinate" (as were defined after the verses illegals). Almost never discovered with certainty the author of the verses, but in some cases, since the style and precision of scholar get reported, had to be educated and well versed to the papal court. Some historians believe that some of those messages were not simple satire, but rather real tools of denigration of political opponents which resorted the same men of power. Sometimes the verses were written in the form of a dialogue between Pasquino and Marforio (other less known "talking statue" which depicted the God Neptune lying on its side, now on display at the Capitoline museums). Among the most famous and successful Lampoons remembers that against Clement VII on the occasion of his death, where he welcomes ironically papal doctor who failed to cure him: "ecce qui tollit peccata mundi" (who takes away the sins of the world). By Paul III, known for its heavy taxation, was written: "he was Paul Farnese/that never anything donated, which all sockets Make for him prayer:/poor man, died of indigestion". And even Donna Olimpia Pamphilj, corrupt and chat courtesan of the time of Pope Innocent X, "Olympia, olim pia, nunc impia" (Olympia, formerly pia, now evil). In 1570 a scurrilous pasquinata helped hang the adventurer and poet Niccolò Franco, accused of having it hanging on a newly built latrine: "Pius V, having compassion to everything she has on the stomach/erected as noble work this shithole ". Nevertheless, the statue remained in place and the irreverent Lampoons went on for nearly four centuries, until the capture of Rome by the Piedmontese army (1870). Probably with the advent of the unitary State was the favorite target of the satire, the temporal power of the Popes. There was some sporadic but brilliant shooting, like the one coined by an unknown author on the occasion of the visit of Hitler in the capital: "poor Roma mia de travertine/you're dressed all de carton/pe ' sees ' made by ' no painter/came from master!". The statue of Pasquino is near Piazza Navona, in the small square that today, by extension, ended up taking the name (formerly called Piazza di Parione). For some time, as can be seen, the use of those messages is resumed, albeit at a lower level. To avoid that the statue be smeared by adhesives the municipality has installed next to it a special bulletin board where anyone can leave his verses.
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  • It is located just off piazza navona, behind the Consulate of Brazil, is probably what remains of a statue of Menelaus. At the time of the temporal power there were written that challenged the work of the Popes. Yet today there is always a few sheets with words against politicians.
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For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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