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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

04/09/2019, 12:22

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #statua, #coladirienzo, #statue, #campidoglio, #bronzo, #papa, #pope, #medioevo, #middleages



COLA-DI-RIENZO:-A-MAN-FROM-THE-POPULATION-WHO-BECAME-SENATOR


 Nearby the Campidoglio, headquarter of our mayor, there is a bronze statue depicting a popular hero for Rome: Cola di Rienzo. He fought the Popes but, at the end, he lost his values...



Climbing the so called "Cordonata" at the Capitoline Hill, the impressive stairs designed by Michelangelo, on the left you will find a lonely and little bronze statue. Nobody pays attention but trust me, the man who is depicted through this bronze way was an historical symbol of an hard teime of Rome. This man was Cola di Rienzo. Who was this guy?  He was born in the heart of Rome, so a real Roman, at the XIV century. His life was influenced by an important historical event: the "Captivity of Avignon". In this case we are not talking about a real captivity, but the choice, probably forced and influenced by the King of France, of the Pope Clemente V to move, with his court, to France, in Avignon. For the first time after centuries Rome didn’t have a Pope, its own leader! Why? At the beginning of the XIV century the fights between the different noble families got stronger, mainly when the Pope was Bonifacio VIII. After his death the atmosphere in the Conclave was not so soft, because all the cardinals belonged to different factions: somebody was close to France, others were supporters of the Spanish court or something like that. Clear political choices and games, in some degree. At the end a cardinal was elected as a Pope: Bertrand de Got, with the name of Clemente V. You can clearly understand how the French faction won and how the King of France, Filippo il Bello, became the real boss! He controlled the Pope, because thanks to him Bertrand was able to win the elections. So the king convinced the Pontiff to move in France. Officialy the home of the Holy Church was Rome, when St Peter and St Paul died, but in a political way the capital of the Christian church was moved in France. After one thousand of years in Rome there was not a Pope, but just a vicar. Moreover since the end of the Roman Empire the Eternal City lived in a neverending tension, due to the fights between the noble families which used the Popes as puppets, in order to take the power. The population could not understand why a Pontiff was a wealthy man and why he used to follow his private purposes. It is the reason why in Rome, at the 1143, was born the Comune, a laic institution that could fight, in a political way, the religious power of the Pope. Now turning back to Cola di Rienzo, a man who was born at the 1313 in this hard time for the Romans. He was a real Roman, because he lived in the Regola District, in the real city centre. He was not a wealthy man but a simple one. He lived in a modest home with a modest family. But he was also very curious and, slowly slowly, got closer to political things, being a supporter of the laic faction. But there is something more, because Cola di Rienzo was a real scholar! He studied a lot the ancient Rome, the incredible and powerful Empire which was able to rule the whole world. He started to have this idea and passion in his heart: to restore the ancient greatness of Rome, the Eternal City that could not be manage by noble men or Popes who think about their intentions. Rome could not be a ruin, a ghost of itsels. It must reborn! In this way, thanks to his studies and his passions, he used the "Captivity of Avignon", being loved by the ordinary people. At the 1347 he was elected tribune and then liberator. He became the man who could defeat the two powers which were destroying Rome: the clergy and the elites. He was able to move the integrities of the commoners thanks to a wonderful propaganda, something that seems very modern. He filled Rome with several posters where, in a clearly way, he explained the situation: in one of them, for example, Cola di Rienzo showed a sea during a thunderstorm. In the middle there was the personification of Rome, with around the allegorical pictures of the clergy and the aristocracy in the act of living in the splendor. Something simple that hit the hearts of the Romans. In another poster, according to the literary sources, the commoners could see the city of Rome burning due to a fire of the Hell, provoked always by the aristrocracy and the Church. In this way Cola di Rienzo became Senator at the 1354. He reached the top of the political pyramid, thanks to the occasions that the History gave him. But it seems that Cola di Rienzo was not able to use his power. He really destroyed his enemies, mainly cardinals and noblemen. They were the enemies of the people, in some degree. But then he overdid, allowing to his opponents to organize again. Slowly slowly he became a tyrant, feeling himself as a God. He provided incredible parties, starving the people and asking them more taxes to finance his lifestyle. He started to live exactly as the Popes that he used to criticize. It is the reason why he didn’t have and happy end. Always at the 1354 the same people that he defended attacking the Capitoline Hill, where he was living being a Senator. For the literary sources it seems that Cola di Rienzo tried to escape, dressing as an old and poor man. But although his costume he was found and killed. Let me add how the bronze statue was sculpted at the 1871, and then it was put where you can see it at the 1886. Why? It was another hard time for the Popes who, for different reasons, lost their political powers. For the Risorgimento, the italian name for our unification, Cola di Rienzo was a symbol of freedom a peace. A man who faced the Holy Church in order to bring in Rome a new and laic power, something that could not be rule by God or priests, but simply by the men. The Risorgimento, son of the French Revolution, had also a anticlerical side. And this side made Cola di Rienzo a hero, forgetting of course the last part of his life. Anyway he was a man who had just one dream: restore the ancient greatness of Rome. #unaguidaturisticaroma #romeisus #Rome #Roma #campidoglio #statua #bronzo #statue #bronze #risorgimento




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