Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Miracles of Ancient Rome

While strolling through Rome's city centre, I happened to pass the Colosseum while a crew of workers was attempting to lift a small piece of marble column. When I say small, I mean about as tall as I am, and a few times rounder. One cubic foot of marble weighs about 160 lbs. I don't know how many lbs. this slab of rock could possibly weigh, but it took the largest crane I have ever seen to move it.

While watching these men slowly but surely strap it in and move it ever so carefully, it got me thinking. If this is what it takes to move about 1/10 of a marble column in 2012, imagine what it involved 2000 years ago! All of the material I have ready suggests that marble was most often moved by barge, with the help of complicated hoisting gear and surely an army of men and animals to assist. What I wouldn't give to witness a tour of the Colosseum when it was being built!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bartering for Food in Florence

As the saying goes, drastic times call for drastic measures. In the midst of a crippling economic crisis in Italy, one new Florentine restaurant is making headlines by allowing clients to return to the ancient practice of bartering for meals.

Instead of paying money for a meal at “L'e' Maiala,” a new trattoria in downtown Florence, clients will be able to offer a barter. When calling to reserve a table, hopeful guests will be able to negotiate how and what to offer in exchange for their dinner. Items considered appropriate for exchange include locally grown fresh or jarred goods, handicrafts, and even antiques. Some of the goods exchanged will be used to decorate the new restaurant.

L'e' Maiala will specialize in traditional Tuscan cuisine with generous portions and modest prices. It's something unique and well worth experiencing, in a charming city where local character is often missed by visitors who are touring Florence in a day or even less.

For more information on this new Florentine eatery, check out this link (Italian).

When in Rome Tours © 2008. Design by :Yanku Templates Sponsored by: Tutorial87 Commentcute