You are along the route: SATIRE IN THE TIME OF THE POPES. THE TALKING STATUES
This itinerary can be followed on any day of the week and at any time, except for the Marforio, preserved in the courtyard of the Palazzo Nuovo in the Campidoglio.
The use of satire as a means of showing the contradictions of politics and society has very ancient origins and expanded rapidly in Rome and the Papal States as well, when the proverbial wit of the Romans found an original way of giving voice to its biting criticism of its government.
The so-called “talking statues” are sculptures form different periods and of different origin which became the bringers of anonymous satire against the Papal administration and, afterwards, against invaders and new masters. The Pasquino, the Facchino, Madam Lucretia, the Baboon, Abate Luigi and the Marforio are the popular names for the Congress of the Witty, six statues on which Romans used to affix compositions, usually in the form of poems, known as “pasquinate”, after the most renowned of them, in the sixteenth century, and still do today. With their dull and marble-clad indifference to changes of government, the overturning of human fate and the passage of time, the Witty were mercilessly ironic towards the arrogance of the strong and corruption of the powerful, often spreading lewd remarks around the city. In the six talking statues, the recommended itinerary provides a chance for an intellectual and original stop during the course of a walk around the city centre, discovering the irreverent nature of the Roman soul, which has not changed much over time.