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Giuseppe Arcimboldo exhibition at Rome’s Palazzo Barberini.

Palazzo Barberini devotes an exhibition to Giuseppe Arcimboldo

19 Oct-11 Feb. Palazzo Barberini presents an exhibition of more than 70 works by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593), an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish and books.

Address: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica a Palazzo Barberini, Via delle Quattro Fontane 13.

Pope to focus on “fake news” in message for World Communications Day 2018‎

Pope Francis will focus on the harmful effects of fake news against journalism for peace, in his message for peace for World Communications Day next year. ““The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace,” is the theme of the annual Catholic Church observance that the Pope announced with a post on Twitter (@Pontifex) on Friday.

World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican ‎Council ‎‎(“Inter Mirifica”, 1963), is marked in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of ‎the ‎world, on the Sunday before Pentecost, which in 2018 will fall on May 13. In some countries, the day is marked as the solemnity of Ascension.

The announcement of the ‎theme is traditionally made on Sept. 29, the feast of the Archangels Michael, ‎Raphael and Gabriel, with ‎Gabriel being designated the patron saint of telecommunications.

The Holy ‎Father’s message for World ‎Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with January ‎‎24, feast of St. Francis de ‎Sales, patron of journalists, to allow bishops’ conferences, diocesan offices and ‎communications ‎organizations sufficient time to prepare audiovisual and other materials for national ‎and local ‎celebrations. ‎ ‎

The first World Communications Day was observed on May 7, 1967, under the pontificate of Blessed Pope Paul VI, who wanted to draw attention to the communications media and the enormous power they have for cultural transformation. Next year’s observance will be the 52nd edition.

Commenting on the theme of next year’s World Communications Day, the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication said that false information contributes to creating and fueling strong polarization of opinions. This often consists in distortion of facts, with possible “repercussions on individual ‎and collective behaviours.” In a situation in which social media groups, institutions and the political world are reacting to this phenomenon, the Secretariat said, “the Church would like make its contribution by proposing a ‎reflection on the causes, logic and consequences of misinformation in the media and helping to promote ‎professional journalism, always seeking the truth, and thus a journalism of peace that promotes ‎understanding among people.‎”

Saturnia and Its Terme

The Terme of Saturnia

Saturnia, near Gosseto in Tuscany, is considered the best spa in the world and is therefore a traditional destination for wellness tourism which accounts for countless visitors.
Saturnia, resting on the high part of the plain within the Albegna Valley, dominates the magical environment of the inland area around Grosseto: think gorgeous green expanses, and typical Tuscan countryside roads offering panorama after panorama of the region’s immense beauty. Founded by the Pelasgians and successively dominated by Romans, Longobards and the Sienese, today Saturnia still boasts traces of the past – remains of its Sienese, Etruscan and Medieval walls, the Castellum Aquarum of Poggio Murella and the archaeological area, with finds from both the Etruscan and Roman ages.
The main attraction of the Tuscan borgo of Saturnia are, of course, its terme, a draw for thousands of visitors every year; they arrive to experience the incredible therapeutic properties of its sulphur springs. It is they that have made Saturnia one of the Maremma’s most sought-out vacation locales.
Beyond the Terme di Saturnia’s luxurious resorts and golf greens, just outside the town center lie Molino Falls – situated near an old mill – as well as Gorello Falls, where the water gurgles at a toasty 98.6°F. This vast natural spa is open to the public throughout the year.

Those visiting these terme will find themselves surrounded by an almost unreal ambience – perhaps it is because according to myth, the natural endowments are a result of Jupiter unleashing his lightning on the god Saturn, with whom he was fighting. Or maybe it’s simply because Saturnia resides amidst the magic that is Tuscany.

Pope Francis calls for migrant children not be seperated from their families.

Politicians who call themselves pro-life must be pro-family and not enact policies that divide families and rob young people of a future, Pope Francis said.

Flying from Colombia back to Rome late September 10, Pope Francis was asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed some 800,000 young people brought to the United States illegally as children to stay in the country, working or going to school.

Trump announced on September 5 that he was phasing out the program; his decision was strongly criticized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pope Francis said he had heard of Trump’s decision, but had not had time to study the details of the issue. However, he said, “uprooting young people from their families is not something that will bear fruit.”

“This law, which I think comes not from the legislature, but from the executive (branch) — if that’s right, I’m not sure — I hope he rethinks it a bit,” the Pope said, “because I’ve heard the president of the United States speak; he presents himself as a man who is pro-life, a good pro-lifer.

“If he is a good pro-lifer, he understands that the family is the cradle of life and its unity must be defended,” the pope said.

The Pope meets the young people of the Shalom community in Rome

“Young boys and girls, break the mirror! But if you do look at yourself in the mirror, I’ll give you a piece of advice: Let’s laugh about ourselves, it will give us joy and free us from the temptation of narcissism.” Pope Francis said while addressing the young people of the Shalom Catholic community in Rome for the 35th anniversary of its foundation. He urged them not to give into today’s “narcissistic and consumerist culture” and recommended to start a dialogue with the elderly. Responding to a young Brazilian, who used to be a drug addict, Francis, who started off with a football-joke (”Better Pelé or Maradona?”), said that drug addiction “cuts the roots of the heart.”

The Shalom Catholic community, born in Brazil in the early 1980s with a pizza restaurant and a library next to the main building for the reception and evangelization of young people, received in 2007 the recognition of the Pontifical Council for the Laity as an international congregation of faithful.

“One thing that characterizes youth and God’s eternal youth” the Pope said in response to the question of a French girl who was baptized during the recent Jubilee of Mercy, “both for young people and for those who are living a second youth , is cheerfulness and joy. Cheerfulness against sadness, a sadness from which you have to come out. A young person who remains (closed in) on themselves, who lives for themselves only, ends up – I will use an Argentine verb – empachado (constipated, e.d.) of self-referentiality. There is an image that comes to my mind when I think of someone selfish, a person who has a great deal of narcissism, who contemplates themselves and ignores others, who puts make up on their soul, worried only to look better than what he or she is: it is a “soul illness”.

Young people – the Pope said – break that mirror! Do not look in the mirror because the mirror deceives. We live in a culture of self-referentialism, a consumerist and narcissistic culture. And if you do look at yourself in the mirror, I’ll give you a piece of advice: Let’s laugh about ourselves, it will give us joy and free us from the temptation of narcissism.”

Jorge Mario Bergoglio then replied in Spanish to three questions from a Frenchwoman and a Brazilian and a Chilean man, ironically saying that he would be mixing some Italian and Portuguese together talking then “a little bit of Portagnol.” The Argentinean Pope turned to the young Brazilian man, who had told about his drug addiction, first making a football joke that made everyone laugh: “Who is the best, Pelé or Maradona?” then continuing: “You’ve been through the “tunnel of drugs” for a long time. It’s one of the instruments that the culture, in which we are living, holds to ruin us. It makes us invisible to ourselves, as if we were in made of air. Drugs lead us to deny all that we have, drugs cut the roots of our heart off, the carnal roots, historical roots, and problematic roots, and lets you live in a root-free world, uprooted from everything, from the project, from the present, your personal story, your homeland, your family, your love, from everything. To live in a world with no roots: this is the tragedy of drugs. Young people who are totally uprooted. Without real commitments, no flesh commitments.”

“Having been through the experience of “being invisible” and then having become aware of it – Francis said to the Brazilian boy – tells you how many roots you have in your heart. Ask yourselves: are you aware of your projects, your love, your creative ability? Because you are like poets called to create new things in the world.” The Pope continued “To match God’s plan”, who wants to “comfort the pains of humanity,” it is necessary to give free of charge. We give free of charge what we have received. This helps you to “dis-commercialize yourself”, it teaches you to embrace, it makes you find your roots, it shelters you from all selfish interests. Give for free what you have received for free.”

The Pope then replied to a Chilean boy who spoke of a “world marked by despair and indifference,” citing the parable of the prodigal Son and his merciful father: “His father saw him coming from afar. He had left many years before. It makes me think that this father would watch every day from the terrace to see if his son was coming back, and so is God, waiting for us in every difficult, sinful time. Whatever worst situation, the Father is always waiting for us with mercy and tenderness: do not ever despair.” “Agreed?” Said the Pontiff, who before the faint answer coming from the young crowd, remarked: “My God, how are you? It seems that instead of giving you a pep talk, I’m giving you a chill pill to sleep!”

Pope Francis finally addressed the adult members of the Shalom community, wondering “what service the world is asking to this charism today”: “Dialogue: one of the challenges of today’s world is dialogue between young people and the elderly. Young people need to listen to the elderly, who have wisdom, and the elderly need to listen to the young, to dream and encourage them to go forward. The elder should not be kept hidden. This dialogue is a promise for the future.”

The Shalom community in these days celebrates with 35,000 pilgrims in Rome its 35th anniversary: “I had no idea where God was taking us,” the founder of the Moysés Azevedo community recalled, “but we were surrounded by blessings much larger than ourselves. Young people have arrived. And along with them, the people.” The community renewed its mission with the Pope.

The Pope: at 42 I consulted a Jewish psychoanalyst

When Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio was 42, he met with a psychoanalyst for six months each week. The Pope himself has revealed it in a book that is about to be published in France, which contains the transcription of twelve dialogues with sociologist Dominique Wolton (entitled: “Politique et sociétéˮ”, editions L’Observatoire).
“I consulted a Jewish psychoanalyst,” says Bergoglio. “For six months, I went to her home once a week to clarify a few things. She was a doctor and psychoanalyst, and she always knew her place. Then one day, when she was about to die, she called me. She didn’t want to receive the sacraments, since she was Jewish, but for a spiritual dialogue. She was a very good person. For six months, she helped me a lot when I was 42.” This episode of Francis’ life lies between 1978 and 1979, when he had just ended his difficult experience as provincial of the Argentine Jesuits and was about to become rector of the College Máximo, which forms students who wish to enter the Jesuit Company.

Night visits to Rome’s Baths of Caracalla.

Night visits to Rome's Baths of Caracalla

Guided tours in English and Italian until 18 October.
The Baths of Caracalla will be open to the public every Tuesday and Friday evening until 18 October, with guided tours in Italian and English available from 19.30 to 22.30.
Visitors can admire the floodlit Roman baths as well as explore the maze of underground areas during the tour, which lasts 75 minutes and costs €20 (€18 if booked in advance). The tour of the ancient complex includes a visit to the gymnasium, changing rooms, frigidarium, tepidarium and caldarium.

Tours can be booked by calling 0639967700 (Mon-Fri 09.00-18.00, Sat 09.00-14.00) or via the Coopculture website, and access is from Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 52. The first visit begins at 19.45 (meeting at 19.30) and the last tour starts at 21.00.

“God free the world from the inhumane violence of terrorism”

The Pope expressed his sorrow for the recent terror attacks and begged the lord during Sunday’s Angelus to free the world from the “inhumane violence” of terrorism. “We carry in our hearts the pain over the terroristic attacks in recent days that have claimed numerous victims in Burkina Faso, in Spain and in Finland” he said at the end of the Marian prayer. And he asked the 10,000 pilgrims and faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray first in silence and then together with Our Lady, “for all the dead, for the wounded, and for their families.” And “and let us implore the Lord, the God of mercy and of peace, to free the world from this inhuman violence”.

Locals Say These Places Have The Best Gelato in Rome!

Some insider knowledge to help some of you Substantia followers out there!!

Palazzo del Freddo di Giovanni Fassi:

Best gelato in Rome

In business since 1880, Fassi’s crown jewel is its speciality, the Sanpietrino, a semifreddo which is inspired by and named Best gelato in Rome after the Roman roads paved with “sanpietrini,” or Roman cobblestones. The classic version features dark chocolate frosting and a filling of 6 flavours: chocolate, hazelnut, cream, coconut, zabaione, and coffee. They also have the Sanpietrino in pistachio, hazelnut, white chocolate covered berries, and lemon cream. Other specialties are the Caterinetta and cassata. Fassi is also famous for its full-bodied cream. As far as their gelato is concerned, they’ve got their classic flavours that never change, while on a more or less monthly basis, new cream and/or fruit flavours are created and put into the rotation. With regard to the fruit flavoured gelato, Fassi adapts its selection based on the seasonal availability of the various fruits used. Instead, the cream based flavours vary based on the inspiration of master Andrea Fassi and the gelato laboratory head, Armando Mazza.

Address: via Principe Eugenio, 65, Roma | Phone: +39 06 4464740 | Hours: Monday-Thursday 12pm-12am, Friday-Saturday 12pm-12.30am, Sunday 10am-12am | Web:

Next on the list is La Romana:

Best gelato in Rome

With 3 locations in Rome to serve the public, La Romana is a sheer delight…unbeatable creamy goodness every time. Dedicated to following tradition when it comes to preparing its flavors, La Romana was founded in the historic center of Rimini in 1947, taking its name from the daughter of the first owner and founder, Vito Zucchi, who at that time decided to open the first artisanal “gelateria” or gelato shop in all of Rimini. Thanks to his fertile imagination, with only a few ingredients at his disposal, he realized a wide range of quality flavours, still produced and available at all of the locations. As if La Romana’s awesome gelato wasn’t enough, they’ve got a white and dark chocolate fountain used to fill the tip of your cone with if you’d like and three different kinds of whipped cream to top off your gelato: coffee, zabaione, and cocoa.

Address: via Cola di Rienzo, 2, Roma – via Ostiense, 48, Roma – via Venti Settembre, 60, Roma | Hours: Monday-Thursday 12pm-12am, Friday-Saturday 12pm-1am, Sunday 11am-12am | Web:

And finally….

Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè

Best gelato in Rome

Usually, if a gelato shop produces more than 20-30 flavours to sell, it is full of artificial flavours and ingredients and not of good quality, but that’s not the case at master Claudio Torcè’s gelato shop. When he opened his first shop in 2003, he immediately began with 100 flavours, even though many people were sceptical he could pull off so many. He proved the doubters wrong because despite the fact that they have a lot of flavours to maintain, each one is jam packed with quality. Some of the specialties include the chocolate flavours and the selection is very creative including chocolate concoctions like chocolate/ginger/lemon and chocolate/paprika/chilli pepper. The original location is on viale dell’Aeronautica, but the brand has now expanded to 7 other locations where you can go and try this fantastic gelato. A highly recommended speciality is Fantasia di Bronte, which is almond/pistachio/pine nut.

Address: viale dell’Aeronautica, 105, Roma (and 7 other locations) | Phone: +39 06 512 8948 | Hours: Vary by location | Web:

Angelus: Listen to the Lord not horoscopes or fortune tellers.

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter's square during the Sunday Angelus. - AFP

“When you do not cling to the word of the Lord, but have more security in consulting horoscopes and fortune tellers you sink”. Those were Pope Francis’ words during his Angelus address on Sunday in St Peter’s Square.

He was referring to the Gospel of the day where Jesus walks on the waters of Lake Galilee to save Peter and the disciples from sinking in their boat due to the heavy waves of the sea.
The Pope recounted how this story is rich in symbolism. The boat, he continued, “is the life of each of us, but it is also the life of the Church; The wind represents difficulties and trials.”

Peter’s invocation: “Lord, command me to come to you!” And his cry, “Lord, save me”, the Holy Father noted “are so much like our desire to feel the closeness of the Lord, but also the fear and anguish that accompany the toughest moments of our lives and our communities, marked by internal fragility and external difficulties.”

Pope Francis explained, that at that moment, Peter was not sure of the word of Jesus, which was like a rope to cling to in hostile and turbulent waters. This is what can happen to us as well, he said, “when you do not cling to the word of the Lord, but to have more security in consulting horoscopes and fortune tellers you sink”.

The Gospel of today, the Pope underlined, “reminds us that faith in the Lord and in his word does not open a path where everything is easy and quiet for us; It does not take away the storms of life.

But faith, the Holy Father went on to say, “gives us the assurance of a Presence, that is Christ, which pushes us to overcome the existential buffs; Faith, in short, is not a loophole from the problems of life, but it sustains our journey and gives it meaning.