Tag Archives: Rome

The porphyry disc in St. Peter where Charlemagne was crowned in the year 800 is still there

A photo of the Red Porphyry Disk by Linda C. McCabe

A photo of the Red Porphyry Disk by Linda C. McCabe from Legends of Medieval France and Italy.



There is a place in Rome where you can walk over a floor that had Charlemagne on his knees on it.

The most amusing thing about it is that most people don’t even know that. In fact, if you’ve ever been inside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, you’ve probably already walked on it.

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All you wanted to know about the Papal Conclave

During a conclave, Catholic Church cardinals are confined in the Sistine chapel and in their quarters for all the duration of new pope’s election. They are not allowed any contact with the rest of the world.
Let’s take a look at some little-known details.


1. Conclave is an Italianization of the Latin words cum + clavis, literally meaning “with a key”, that is, “locked inside.”

2. Conclave is the oldest method of election in the world among the ones still in use.

3. Nowadays a Faraday cage is installed to shield mobile phone or Wi-Fi communication in and out. Failing in obeying the no-external-contact rule can result in excommunication.

4. Current electoral body for the election of a new pope–the College of Cardinals–was designated nearly 1000 years ago, in 1059.
Before that, popes could be elected by either the people, noble families, or any kind of then-powerful lobby. German emperors and Italian kings usually made a lot of pressure as to who should be elected.

5. Any baptized catholic could be theoretically elected pope. However, last election of a non-cardinal pope took place in 1378. Therefore, if you hoped of being the new pope and you’re not a cardinal, give up your hopes. It’s their business.

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Do Italians really like Berlusconi? Are they going to elect him again?

A view of Italy's capital, Rome

A view of Italy’s capital, Rome

Since more than ten years the world wonders how Italians could vote — often by a landslide — for an unreliable, tried for multiple crimes, embarrassing character like Mr. Berlusconi.

People and analysts outside of Italy also cannot understand why Italians are going to vote for him again in the next elections due to be held on February, 2013.

Recently anchor Jon Stewart said “Italy what are you doing? Berlusconi even doesn’t want this! [watch the video].

Do most Italians really want Mr. Berlusconi back and are they going to enthusiastically vote for him again?

There is a lot of misconception and simplification around about Italy and Mr. Berlusconi. Let’s check some facts.

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Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo is 500 year old

Sistine Chapel Ceiling by MichelangeloThe Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo reaches the remarkable age of five hundred.

Exactly five hundred years ago the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was brought to completion. This unique, extraordinary and unparalleled work has been there, almost intact during the last five hundred years, for us to admire.

It was late October, early November 1512 AD, when Michelangelo, after four intense years of work, finally completed the frescoes on the ceiling.

Five hundred year old without not showing its age at all. In fact, to me the Sistine Chapel looks like it’s almost brand-new. Probably restoration that took place between 1984 and 1994 also played a role on that.

Today Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums, and it is visited by five million people a year.
The chapel is also famous for being the election location of catholic popes.

High speed train running at 300 Km/h, or 185 MPH

This video was recorded on the Italian High-speed train “Frecciarossa”, while it was crossing a bridge on the Po River.

The location is northern Italy’s Po Valley, on the high-speed railway line connecting Rome to Milan (Here a longer video).


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