Roma twitter

Friday, August 14, 2009

When I was in Rome, I made a special trip to see a small, almost ignored statue in the corner of a small square. It's called Pasquino, and is in Piazza di Pasquino.

The ancient statue, which probably dates to the 3rd century BC, was dug up when paving part of Rome. In 1501, on April 25, Saint Mark's Day, a cardinal draped the statue in a toga, and attached epigrams in Latin to it.

A custom soon arose for those who wanted to criticize the Pope or individuals in his government to write satirical poems in broad Roman dialect and attach them to this statue.

Pasquino was, thus, Rome's first talking statue (and many more appeared), and a neat Roman-style Twitter. Even today, satirical notes are attached to the statue.

Pasquino statue, Rome

Pasquino statue, Rome

Notes attached to Pasquino statue, Rome