Postcards from Italy

Rome’s “The Power of Ruins” Exhibit

We recently visited the excellent “La Forza delle Rovine” exhibition at Rome’s Museo Nazionale Romano in Palazzo Altemps (running through the end of January, 2016), which includes photographs taken by our lead guide in Rome, Alessandro Celani.

power of ruins-rome-cr-brian-dore

(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

This group of over 100 works – including sculptures, paintings, engravings, watercolors, antique books, photographs, music, and films – from private and public collections in Italy and across the globe are united around the topic of “ruins”. Visitors are invited to reflect on the meaning relics of the past have had over time, from ancient civilizations to contemporary tourists, including intellectuals, writers, musicians, and film makers through the centuries.


(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Many of our travelers over the years have experienced Alessandro’s expertise as an art historian and archeologist. He is also an excellent photographer and three of his photos were included in the show. He explained that Marcello Barbanera, professor of Archaeology and Art History at the University La Sapienza in Rome, invited him to participate after seeing original photographs in one of Alessandro’s recently published books on ancient art. Alessandro’s works included “Niobidi”, ancient sculptures and modern visitors at the Uffizi Museum, “Rodin on the Roof”, a copy of Rodin’s Thinker on the roof of a granary in Umbria, and “La Serra”, an abandoned greenhouse used as a laundry.


(Photo by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

Alessandro’s photos were in keeping with the exhibit’s numerous themes, from the concept of “incomplete” and the need to preserve history, to the modern struggle to reconcile the past with progress, and the lasting allure of ancient ruins through the post-industrial age. Other photographs included works by Luigi Ghirri, Martin Parr, Lory Nix, and Robert Mapplethorpe.


(Photo of Celani’s “Niobidi” by Concierge in Umbria via Flickr)

If you are visiting Rome over the winter, we highly recommend stopping in to see “La Forza delle Rovine”, which will give you a unique perspective while touring Italy’s many ruins, from Etruscan to industrial.

Travel Specialists

Maria Landers

Brian Dore