The roots of Luxury in Italy – 1. The Roman Empire

Luxury in ancient Rome

The roots of Luxury in Italy – 1. The Roman Empire

Luxury in Italy dates back and even before the Roman Empire

Luxury in Italy- since the Ancient Romans has been an imperative and was researched wide and far.

Luxury was a must though out the rich and powerful Rome and was shown off in many ways from all who could, lavishness was expressed and defined mainly by from how far away the goods and unique stones came from, and the farer away they came from, in an age where distances and transport were very risky, with many ungovernable variables, the more it was desirable.

This pressing desire of showing off; the status of power for this “Roma Caput Mundi” and for it’s demanding elite, the Roman government widened it empire and developed commercial partnerships all over the world, to bring to the Capital the rarest and most luxurious goods, stones and marbles to adorn it’s city and people with the best.

The city’s most sumptuousness characteristic that immediately astonished the visitors entering the city was the hundreds of beautiful sprinkling marble fountains with fresh mountain water coming from hundreds of miles away and the Majestic monuments and baths adorned with enormous columns of colored marbles weighing even hundreds of tons incredibly transported from even thousands of miles away.
More than 50 tonalities of Marbles to adorn the city were imported, from far away Spain, Gallie, Greece, Asia, Egypt, Tripolitania, Numidia, Mauritania etc., there wasn’t marble from even from the most remote place in the empire that was not brought to Rome to show off it’s power. Still today as then marble covers buildings, steps, interiors and exteriors, statues lavishing the city and homes.
Rome was an iconic splendor that many yearned to be part of, and back then as now, Rome had tourist from all over the world that came to admire it’s grandiosity and try and become part of it allure.

Uniquely as conquers they did not destroy, yet enriched, bringing social rights and infrastructure evolution and even entertainment; building arenas for gladiator and other shows and games to unite and mingle with the populations, whom they respected as long as they respected the civil laws of Rome.

SPQR which meant Senatus Popolus Que Romanus (Senate & People of Rome) to underline that the Roman Senate was the guide for equable rights and prosperous initiatives for all the people of the Roman Empire. Democracy put it’s roots down in the Roman Empire and paved the way towards our modern democracy. Even though the Roman Empire was ruled mainly by the Senate, that were the higher status society anyone had the possibility to rise and prosper in this society, that was regulated by strict laws, publicly exposed to all in the republican forum on the famous TWELVE TABLES that were taken as reference in the early American legal system and in crafting the United States Bill of Rights, thus having accurately defined the rudimental concepts of justice, equity and punishment for all, from patricians ( higher class) to plebeians ( lower class) defining the bases of civil rights in certain aspects still used up to today.

Rome was the most innovative city-state in the world and was looked up to, not only as the super rich power, but also the ambition to become part of it, knowing that respecting the laws anyone could aspire to live the “Roman Dream”, it was an enormous honor to be “ A Roman Citizen” sign of power and immense wealth for all, that with commerce or military abilities one could rise to the top, and that laws and civil and commercial rights we clear for all giving that sense of social protection was a great attractiveness in ancient times (that even brought to an insurgence of the non “Roman Citizens” that didn’t have these rights and privileges, in a civil war to demanded to become too part of this elite and officially “A AUTHENTIC ROMAN CITIZEN” ).

Riches abounded for anyone doing business with the powerful and vast Roman empire, therefor commercial partnerships and open trade was established prospering who ever did business with Rome, so goods were imported from all over the world Cina, India, Asia etc. from primary needs to rare silks, gems, foods to satisfy the even most exigent Roman Citizens wanting more and more luxury and opulence to show off.

Rome became so big and rich thanks to the intense commerce relationships it had all over the world and the richer Rome became ( anyone could have become rich through knowledgeable commerce) the more rare and unique products were brought on the tables, and to adorn the Domus ( Villas), woman ( and men) who wanted increasingly more opulence and rarities to show off their wealth, since the richest of the empire were mainly in the city of Rome, hence the reason why Rome is the heart of luxury and is in it’s DNA still to today.

As © UNESCO World Heritage Centre remarks “The historic centre of Rome as a whole, as well as its buildings, testifies to the uninterrupted sequence of three millennia of history.

Over the centuries, the works of art found in Rome have had a decisive influence on the development of urban planning, architecture, technology and the arts throughout the world. The achievements of ancient Rome in the fields of architecture, painting and sculpture served as a universal model not only in antiquity is still today universally recognized.

The Roman Empire created a widespread civilization that found its highest expression in law, language and literature, and remains the basis of Western culture.”

Rome is not only stunning for the eyes but also an inspiration for the minds and senses, 3000 years of history, Rome has been the central hub of stunning art and masterpieces, It started with the Etruscans and the Romans made beauty the maximum expression of their power, that came to it’s upmost under the era of Augustus and also Nero with his golden city, then even after the fall of the Roman Empire the Catholic church took over Rome and englobed its treasures to create it’s churches and even created a museum to save what could be saved from being stolen from the barbarians and invaders that came to take away what they could of what was the most powerful opulent empire ever seen, but there is so much visibile still and so much is still found everyday that overwhelms with ancient and modern wonders.

Rome is an eternal city of beauty, it rose again and again, in the Renascence and with the Baroque period launched this new wave and expressed fully it’s DNA of creativity and magnificent masterpieces as it continuously does still today, it gave birth to the artistic empowerment throughout the penisola and beyond from the demanding requests first from the ancient Roman empire to that then of the Vatican who has used art to comunicate it’s verb and power.

In the art deco epoch luxury and fashion requests from Rome rose intensively mostly because the international jet-set found the beauty of Rome fascinating and admired the superior workmanship heritage of excellence that brought Rome to become the city of many glamours stores, boutiques and exclusive ateliers which sprouted all over the center of Rome, and especially when Hollywood Divas found out too, making Rome their second home Infact Rome was called Hollywood on the Tiber giving life to the famous “Dolce Vita” and the term Paparazzi “ taken from the energetic life style in Rome the immortalizing of it the photographers of the Divas and international jet-set that went wild in Rome parting and shopping and most often did it all just to get the on the press world-wide.

These ViPs kicked off energetically Rome as the place to go, party and buy, and buyers from all over the world came and still come in floods to today to get the unique masterpieces that are produced and created only in Rome.

Many famous who are looking for the best come to Rome to contemplate it’s marvels, to get the inspiration and bring back with them a piece of the magnificence and uniqueness of Rome, it’s beauty, it’s life style it’s dolce vita glamour all intrinsic things you can get only in Rome, especially if buying the creations that flourish here like Bulgari, Fendi, Valentino and many others ( even international designers and fashion houses like Dior to name one) that here in Rome get their inspiration, from the art everywhere from the monuments, sculptures, fountains, villas, millions of affresco and paintings (Raffaello, Michelangelo to say only two) etc.

Rome has an intrinsic value that no other place in the world can compare to it’s 3000 years of history and beauty, so if you are looking for inspiration and true uniqueness…

Carpe diem! “Seize the day!”

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