Fiesole Streets

Fiesole, the Crown of Florence

The narrow and crowded streets of Florence are filled with delights but you may find, as we do, four nights into our stay, that we need a respite and Fiesole is the perfect solution. On the heights above Florence, the ancient town of Fiesole welcomes with amazing views, a small historical area with an evocative Roman amphitheatre, Etruscan temple and two nice, small museums. Continue reading


Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne: Unrequited Love

Apollo and Daphne is a life-sized baroque sculpture by renowned sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.  An extraordinary masterwork, the sculpture depicts the mythical story of unrequited love and can be found in Galleria Borghese in Rome. The Galleria Borghese is also home to Bernini’s David, paintings by Caravaggio and many other masterpieces.  It is no surprise the Galleria is one of the most popular museums in Rome. Enjoy the myth of Apollo and Daphne as well as our tips for getting Galleria Borghese tickets in advance of your trip to Rome.

Apollo and Daphne

The Story of Apollo and Daphne

Apollo, the god of light, one the most influential divine beings and an extraordinary warrior, ridiculed the god of affection, Eros, for his use of a bow and arrow. “What are you doing with  warriors’ weapons? Leave them for hands deserving of them. Be content with your torch, kid, and kindle up your fires, as you call them, where you will. Do not presume to meddle with my armaments.” (paraphrased from Ovid, Metamorphoses)

The offended Eros took two arrows, one of lead and one of gold. With the leaden shaft, to instigate hatred, he shot the nymph Daphne. With the golden one, to promote love, he shot Apollo through the heart. Apollo was seized with affection for the beutiful Daphne, and thanks to the lead arrow, she despised him. Actually, she spurned her numerous potential beaus, inclining toward investigating the forested areas. Her father, Peneus, requested that she marry so that she may provide for him grandchildren and she pleaded with her father to allow her to stay unmarried.

Apollo followed her ceaselessly, imploring her to stay with him, but she fled. They were equally matched in the race until Eros intervened and helped Apollo gain up upon Daphne.Christoph_Murer_Apollo_and_Daphne Seeing that Apollo was certain to catch her, she called upon her father, “Help me, Peneus! Open the earth to protect me, or reshape my form, which has brought me into this peril! Let me be free of this man from this moment forward!”

Peneus answered her frightened plea and cast upon her a charm of extraordinary force: her skin transformed into bark, her hair turned into leaves, and her arms were changed into branches that shrank from from Apollo’s grasp. She quit running as her feet became rooted to the earth.  Since Apollo could no more take her as his wife, he promised to tend her as his tree, to drive away all beasts and animals of the earth that attempted to do her damage. He guaranteed that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns, and that her leaves would be portrayed on weapons. Apollo used his powers of eternal youth to render her ever green. From that point forward, the leaves of the bay laurel tree have never known rot.

Advance Tickets for Galleria Borghese Required

The Galleria Borghese is well known and popular destination for tourists in Rome. It is a good idea to purchase tickets well in advance of your trip, even a month ahead. Here is the site:

Where to stay nearby

Nobile Living Room

Italy Perfect has some very nice vacation rental offerings near Via Veneto, which is short walk from the Galleria Borghese and the Spanish Steps. Via Veneto is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Rome, gaining great fame in Fellini’s classic film “La Dolce Vita.”

Nunzio: Lovers Loft

This charming one bedroom (sleeps 2 + 2) lofted apartment is decorated with Italian art. The large windows that ascend all the way to the bedroom loft make this a bright and welcoming home away from home. A good value, it is by the Borghese Gardens and Gallery as well as the fascinating Coppedé district.

Nobile: Elegance

Old world elegance and modern amenities in a large and gracious apartment in one of the most prestigious addresses in Rome. The apartment is filled with European art and Chinese objets d’art. This three bedroom sleeps 5 +1 and includes all of the modern amenities you can expect from Italy Perfect.

Lombardia: Comfort for Four

The apartment has been freshly updated with modern amenities, comfortable, tasteful decor. The layout works well and it is remarkably quiet for such a convenient, central location.


Pasquino, the Talking Statue, and his Congress of Wits

The talking statues of Rome acted as avatars for the voices of the people, the dissidents and outliers who the fell between the cracks of the Pope’s rule, that could voice their opinions by posting notes on these well-known marble figures. In the early 14th century the Pope ascended to power as King of the Roman Empire. In response to his seemingly limitless power, the Romans of the day created an early form of social media subversion that echoes through the centuries to today’s electronic media managed uprisings.

Satirical poems and polemics were posted on Pasquino, a weathered statue of Melanus King of Sparta from the 3rd century that was unearthed in the 14th centure.  It was the first talking statue, now found in the eponymous Piazza del Pasquino. We named our Pasquino vacation rental after it. You can see the statue from the living room window.

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