"The Lion’s Share" Top 5 Page for this destination Rome Off The Beaten Path Tip by von.otter
Rome Off The Beaten Path: 783 reviews and 1,341 photos
“War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it.”
— Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
THE COURAGE OF A LEO Perhaps Italy’s most infamous Leo, Il Duce, was born on the 29th of July.
Is your astrological sign Leo, the lion? If it is, or if you travel with some who is a Leo as I do, here is a fun way to honor that person and that birth sign and to make unique photos: pose with lions, not real ones, but architectural ones, decorative ones.
The Eternal City does not want for lions: indoor, outdoor, ancient, modern, large and small, on doors as knockers and integrated into fountains, in Rome, there’s a lion for every Leo.
The lion, the king of animals, was mainly associated by the Romans with Hercules, who was always portrayed wearing a lion’s skin. This association was not lost and was used again in many Renaissance works. Lions protected the dead in the Roman sarcophagi. Ancient Romans were fond of scenes that showed a lion hunting and killing a deer.
Photo #1 — The lions that flank the steps leading to the gardens of the Villa Medici are copies. The originals had stood there since they were sculpted by Flaminio Vacca in 1600. At the end of the 18th century, Villa Medici was sold by Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and the originals were moved to Florence. When, in 1803, Napoleon relocated the French Academy to the Villa Medici, the copies were added.
Photo #2 — The lion detail from Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s 1650 marble grouping “Daniel in the Lions’ Den” in the Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo.
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