MAY 09,2014 - MAY 09,2014 (1 DAYS)
1/2 day or 1 day - From Piazza Venezia to Piazza de Campidoglio. Evening in Eataly.
Start: Piazza Venezia. Subway Line B: Colosseo. Buses: H, 30, 40, 60, 62, 63, 64, 70, 81, 85, 87, 95, 119, 160, 170, 175, 186, 271, 492, 571, 628, 630, 716, 810, 850.
End : Piazza Venezia.
Orientation: A circular route. Our focal point, today, is one of the most impressive squares and viewpoints in the world. You can combine this itinerary with: The Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Colesseum (only ONE of them), the Imperial Forums and Markets tour or with the Eataly mall (see Tip below). In case you decide to visit the Capitoline Museums and/or make in-depth visit in the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and the Santa Maria in Aracoeli Basilica - this itinerary will extend into one full, impressive day. Again, exploring the area in detail can take an entire day (or more) but if you are pressed for time, admiring the area and its structures can be a visually fulfilling as well. Just don't do it in a very hot day in summer, the Roman heat can be very punishing.
We start in Piazza d'Aracoeli: a square near Piazza Venezia, placed at the base of the Capitoline Hill. It is in the south-west corner of Piazza Venezia. The fountain, in this square, built in 1589 by Andrea Brasca, Pietreo Gucci and Pace Naldini on a design by Giacomo Della Porta, one time rose on two steps repeating the lines of the lower basin and was surrounded by a logline receiving the water. In 1800 the steps were removed and replaced by little columns. The fountain has two basins with different shapes; the smaller one sustains a group of putti pouring water from a vase.
On the WEST side of the square stands Palazzo Muti-Bussi. The palace - in possession of the family Muti-Bussi, was built by Giacomo della Porta about in 1585. It has six façades. The big front door of the main entrance is decorated with a scroll bearing the saltire mauls of the Mutis coat of arms and lion heads. At the first floor, over the entrance door, is a balcony with a beautiful view over Piazza d'Aracoeli and the majestic staircase and relevant façade of the church with the same name (see below). Recent archeological investigations located ancient Roman walls in the cellars of the palace.
Nearby, also west to Piazza d'Aracoeli stands Basilica San Marco (48 Piazza San Marco). Built in year AD 336, rebuilt several times until 1744. Architect(s): Leon Battista Alberti, Giuliano da Maiano, Carlo Maderno. Artists: Isaia da Pisa, Antonio Canova, Pietro da Cortona. The side entrance is through the Palazzo Venezia. The early 4th-century Basilica di San Marco stands over the house where St Mark the Evangelist is said to have stayed while in Rome. Its main attraction is the golden 9th-century apse mosaic. The Basilica was probably founded by Pope St Mark in 336 in honor of his own patron, st Mark the Evangelist, and if so it is one of Rome's oldest churches. The brick bell-tower was added to the right hand corner of the nave just inside the entrance in 1154, and can be seen peeping over the façade. It has three storeys above the nave roof, separated by dentillate brick cornices and with an arcade of three arches separated by white marble columns on each face. Also, the fabric is decorated with roundels of dark green serpentine.
Madama Lucrezia is one of the "talking statues" of Rome, and is located next to the basilica entrance. It was once the bust of a statue of the goddess Isis, to whom a temple was dedicated in Rome not far from its current location:
The inside of the church is clearly Baroque. The apse mosaics, dating to Pope Gregory IV, show the Pope, with the squared halo of a living person, offering a model of the church to Christ, in the presence of Mark the Evangelist, Pope Saint Mark and other saints. The wooden ceiling, with the emblem of Pope Paul II, is one of only two original 15th century wooden ceilings in Rome, together with the one at Santa Maria Maggiore.
The tomb of Leonardo Pesaro (1796) by Antonio Canova.
In the portico are several early Christian grave stones, as well as the gravestone of Vannozza dei Cattanei, the mistress of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia.
In front of the Basilica San Marco you see Fontanella della Pigna. This little fountain was planned in 1927 by Pietro Lombardi as decoration for the Pigna quarter. That is why it was originally named after the colossal vertex now housed in the Vatican. The monument is characterized by a stylised base. The water is collected in small basins protected by four small columns:
THe Basilica San Marco is, actually, incorporated into the mass of the Palazzo Venezia (Via del Plebiscito, 118) complex. The Palazzo faces Piazza Venezia
and Via del Plebiscito.
It currently houses the Basilica and the the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia. The Palazzo di Venezia (formerly Palace of St. Mark). The original structure of this great architectural complex consisted of a modest medieval house intended as the residence of the cardinals appointed to the church of San Marco. In 1469 it became a residential papal palace, having undergone a massive extension, and in 1564, Pope Pius IV, to win the sympathies of the Republic of Venice, gave the mansion to the ambassadors of La Serenissima on condition that a part of the building should be kept as a residence for the cardinals—the Apartment Cibo—and that the Venetian Republic should provide for the building's maintenance and future restoration. The Museo di Palazzo Venezia, housed in the building, contains galleries of art, predominantly pottery, tapestry, statuary from the early Christian era up to early Renaissance. Opening Times: Tuesday/Sunday 08.30 - 19.30, Closed on Monday. Ticket office close at 18.30. Tel. 0039 06 678013. Tickets: Full price € 5,00, Reduced € 2,50 (- EU citizens between 18 and 25 years old, - EU full-time public school teachers). Free admission: - EU citizens under 18 and over 65 years old, - EU students and teachers of Arts, History of Arts or Architecture courses, - ICOM members, - EU schools with teachers by reservation. From 1 June 2014 - photos allowed.
Benito Mussolini had his office in the Palazzo Venezia in the Sala del Mappamondo, and used its balcony overlooking the Piazza Venezia to deliver many of his most notable speeches, such as the declaration of the Italian Empire, 9 May 1936, to crowds gathered in the Piazza Venezia below. In late 2010 Mussolini's unfinished "most secret" bunker was discovered beneath the building. In 1910, due to the erection of the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the Italian Government enlarged the Piazza Venezia and built a replica of the Palazzo Venezia in yellow brick on the opposite side of the square. This building hosts now the offices of the Assiscurazioni Generali di Venezia.
Just one sentence about this museum: Worth a visit ONLY if you like collections of small bronze figures as well as porcelain and ceramics. In other words: NOT INTERESTING. No one particular exhibit stands out.
From the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia head north-east on Via del Plebiscito toward Vicolo Doria, 90 m. Turn right onto Piazza Venezia
130 m. Turn left onto Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, 53 m. Please obey the cross-light and be careful in crossing these bustling roads around Piazza venezia. Turn left to stay on Piazza della Madonna di Loreto.
Vittorio Emanuele Monument / The Vittoriano will be on the left. Also known as Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland). Opening hours MON-SUN 09.30 - 16.30 (last entrance hour 16.00):
Statue of Victor Emmanuel II (on the right - One of the Quadrigae):
A marble monument around the corner on Piazza Venezia. The Vittoriano, a huge white monument is built of pure white marble from Botticino, Italy, and was erected in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy. It was inaugurated in 1911 and then completed in 1935. The construction was a bit controversial, as a large area of Capitoline Hill was destroyed along with some historic areas. The interior of the monument has been closed to the public for many years. This monument has very small reviews in most guidebooks but is actually really beautiful and amazing to visit. The sheer size of the monument dedicated to the first King of Italy is amazing. You can go in for FREE and the views from the balconies stretch quite far. To date, the Vittoriano is the largest monument in white marble Botticino (Brescia) ever created, and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas:
View to Piazza Venezia:
View to Cathedral of Gesu:
View to Palazzo Venezia:
You can then pay 7 Euros to travel in a lift to the very top and from here you can see the whole of the Rome from the Vatican to the Colosseum. The (guided) visit to the roof lasts about 90 minutes and costs 7 euros. A glass elevator will bring you to the top of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.This superb view is in front of you at the moment of arrival. It's really breathtaking panorama. Colosseum is on the right. The ticket office is next to the elevator after the bar just behind the Memorial site.
The entrance to the elevator up to the top roof:
View from the Vittoriano on the Colosseum:
At the foot of the Statue of Victor Emmanuel II is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, inaugurated in 1921. Guards of honor, alternatingly selected from the marine, infantry and air divisions, stand on guard here day and night.
inside the bombastic building you can't avoid the Monumento neo-imperial grandiosity. So enjoy the patiently-collected (but, rather dry) Institute of the History of the Risorgimento contents. It contains a vast documentation about Italy's struggle for independence from the 18th century to the WWI:
Columns of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele ll in Rome:
Completing our visit in the front court / sqaure of the monument (facing Piazza Venezia), the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Museum - we trace back to the extensive back balcony with its wonderful views on the south and south-west of the Citta Storico (Palazzo Vanezia, Gianicolo Hill, Teatro de Marchelo, Capitol Hill, the Roman Forum, The Trajan Column and Basilica Ulpia. the Monument itself):
The top of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument is also connected to the Capitoline Square, saving you another climb of the Capitoline Hill.
Note: if you come from Piazza Venezia - this your itinerary heading to the Capitoline Hill. It is 7 minutes, 450 m. to Piazza del Campidoglio. Head south on Piazza della Madonna di Loreto toward Via dei Fori Imperiali,,8 m. Turn LEFT onto Via dei Fori Imperiali, 110 m. Turn RIGHT onto Via di San Pietro in Carcere, 65 m. Slight right to stay on Via di San Pietro in Carcere, 220 m. Turn right onto Piazza del Campidoglio, 50 m. Now, Now, the Capitoline Hill can be reached from the foot of the hill by ascending the majestic Cordonata stairs. The views from the top of the stairs are stunning, but its a lot of stairs to walk:
One can also ascend the far-less steep steps of the Capitoline just to the right of the church:
The Capitoline Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome. Capitoline Hill is the smallest but highest of the Seven Hills of Rome. Legend claims that Rome was founded on Capitoline Hill by Romulus in 753 B.C. Romulus and his brother, Remus, were children of the god Mars and Silvia, the princess of Alba Longa who had been forced to be a vestal (young virgin girls who were guardians of the Vesta's temple). The king of Alba Longa, uncle of Romulus and Remus, attempted to kill them, but Silvia left them to fend for themselves, in the hopes that they would survive. According to the legend, they were "adopted" by a she-wolf, who nurtured them. Years later, Romulus brought together outlaws to attack the Sabine and kidnap their women and by doing so founded Rome. During ancient times, the Capitoline hill was covered with temples facing toward the Roman Rorum. From 500 to 1540, the hill was in ruins and all that remained was a pasture for goats and other animals. The Capitoline contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are almost entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces (now housing the Capitoline Museums) that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Ancient seat of the most important temple of the state cult and symbol of Rome “caput mundi”, the Campidoglio has always maintained its importance in the life of the city as centre of the City Government since the 12th century and with the presence of the Capitoline Museums, the most ancient in the world.
Santa Maria in Aracoeli Basilica (St Mary of the altar in the sky) is accessed from the Campidoglio or from the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument. The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven is a titular basilica in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. Note: The church is located right next to Vittorio Emanule Monument and can be easily accessed from the Monument. This church is tucked behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The church is not big, but very old and full of beautiful decorations and details. One can also ascend the far-less steep steps of the Capitoline just to the right of the church.
Note: You can attend services at Santa Maria in Aracoeli Monday to Saturdays at 8am; Sundays at 8am and noon. The Choir is out if this World.
The entrance to the Basilica:
The compartmented ceiling was gilded and painted (finished 1575), to thank the Blessed Virgin for the victory. This coffered wooden ceiling sustains comparison with those of the great Basilicas of Rome like Santa Maria Maggiore and San Paolo fuori le Mura. The ceiling was a gift of Marcantonio Colonna who fought against the Turks at the victorious battle of Lepante in 1571:
The church is built as a Nave and two aisles that are divided by Roman columns, all different, taken from diverse antique monuments:
Main Altar of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli:
Near the main the Altar:
Memorial Window with two angels symbolizing Popes PIus II and Gregory XIII:
Among its numerous treasures are Pinturicchio's 15th-century frescoes depicting the life of Saint Bernardino of Siena in the Bufalini Chapel, the first chapel on the right. Other features are the wooden ceiling, the inlaid cosmatesque floor, a Transfiguration painted on wood by Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta, the tombstone of Giovanni Crivelli by Donatello, the tomb of Cecchino dei Bracci, designed by his friend Michelangelo, and works by other artists like Pietro Cavallini (of his frescoes only one survives), Benozzo Gozzoli and Giulio Romano. It houses also a Madonna and a sepulchral monument by Arnolfo di Cambio in the transept.
Central fresco by Pinturicchio in the S. Bernardino Chapel (1486):
Another fresco of Pinturicchio in the Bufalini Chapel:
In the lunette above the side entrance of Santa Maria in Aracoeli Jacopo Torriti has left us a beautiful Madonna and Child:
Statue of Pope Gregory XIII:
Another picture in the church:
Chapel of Saint Helena:
Look for the stained glass window with Barberini bees and other elements:
The church was also famous in Rome for the wooden statue of the infant Jesus (Santo Bambino), carved in the 15th century of olive wood coming from the Gethsemane garden and covered with valuable ex-votos. Many people of Rome believed in the power of this statue. The statue was stolen in February 1994, and never recovered. Nowadays, a copy is present in the church. It is housed in its own chapel by the sacristy. At midnight Mass on Christmas Eve the image is brought out to a throne before the high altar and unveiled at the Gloria. Until Epiphany the jewel-encrusted image resides in the Nativity crib in the left nave.
Statue of Leo X in the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli:
Statue of Paul III in the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli:
Exiting the Basilica - enjoy, again the marvelous views from the top of the stairs, leading to the church, and from the shining marble balcony connecting it with the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument:
There is easy access (without using the stairs up and down) from Vittorio Emanuele II Monument (the back side), the Santa Maria in Aracoeli Basilica and the Campidoglio. But, here, we recommend using the TWO systems of stairs (down the steep one and up the graceful, more comfortable one) for soaking more spectacular views and sights of Rome and the Capitoline Hill.
We prefer to go down through the steep 153 stairs down. The ceremonial ramp and staircase designed by Michelangelo, passing a monument (on the left) to Cola di Rienzo, the 14th century tribune of the people, and statues of the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux), the Emperor Constantine and his son Constantine II. Enjoy the spectacular sights all around:
and we start climbing the more convenient stairway (back to the top) of the Capitoline Square. Again, enjoy the convenient walk up and the vibrant atmosphere along the stairs and the changing views of the Capitoline Hill - the closer we approach the top of the hill:
The Piazza Campidoglio square, considered one of the most elegant in Europe. In 1536, Pope Paul III decided to restore the entire city to receive the Emperor Charles Quint, whose army devastated Rome in 1527. The square was designed by Michelangelo in 1540 who created the splendid access ramp, new facades for the preexisting buildings (Palazzo Senatorio at the centre and the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the right), and added the Palazzo Nuovo on the left, giving it the trapezoidal shape that never fails to communicate a sense of harmony and equilibrium to visitors. Together, Palazzo Nuovo and Palazzo dei Conservatori house the Capitoline Museums, while Palazzo Senatorio is home to Rome's city council. The orientation of the square helps us understand the evolution of the city that at Michelangelo’s time had already turned its back to the remains of ancient Rome, the place of the past, of a historical phase that was concluded, to face the new centre of power and rule of the day, the Vatican. The original of the bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, whose copy is placed at the centre of the square is preserved in the Museum and escaped destruction in later times only because the personage on horseback was identified with Constantine, the first Christian emperor.
We are in Piaza Campidoglio (the Capitoline Square). On the left: Palazzo Nuevo (housing one of the Capitoline Museums). Palazzo Nuovo was built in the XVII century under the guidance of Girolamo Rainaldi and his son Carlo. The smaller building of Capitoline Museums was opened to the public in 1734 by Pope Clement XII. This Palace contains mostly fine selections of Greek and Roman sculptures as Discobolus. Portrait busts of Greek politicians, scientists and poets can be seen in Hall of the Philosophers:
on the left: Palazzo Nuevo. In the centre stands the Marcus Aurelius equestrian statue (replica). The statue, which had been badly damaged by air pollution, was restored in 1990 and protected against further decay, and is exhibited at the Museo Capitolino. This work, one of the largest achievements of antique sculpture, symbolizes strength and peace. The Emperor has his right hand raised in a gesture of peace, and under the raised right hoof of each horse was originally the figure of a defeated king with bound hands:
Palazzo Senatorio (Senatorial Palace) at the centre. The Palazzo dei Senatori, situated at the far end of the Piazza del Campidoglio, above the Forum, was built in the 16th century on the remains of the Tabularium, the record office of ancient Rome, and is now the seat of the Mayor and Municipal Council of the city. The double staircase leading up to the entrance was designed by Michelangelo, who also set up here two ancient statues of the river gods of the Nile and Tiber. In the center is a fountain with an ancient statue of Minerva, which was revered as an image of Rome. The facade is the work of Giacomo della Porta and Girolamo Rainaldi; the handsome bell-tower, modeled on a medieval campanile, was added by Martino Longhi between 1578 and 1582:
The Minerva fountain decorated with the sculptures of two river gods: Tiber and Nile - in front of Palazzo Senatorio. (right/1st - The Nile, left/2nd - the Tiber):
The Palazzo dei Conservatori, built by Giacomo della Porta in 1564-75 to the design of Michelangelo, contains reception rooms used by the municipality of Rome on ceremonial occasions, and also houses part of the Capitoline Museum. Notable exhibits in the museum include fragments of a colossal statue of the Emperor Constantine, 12m/40ft high, and two statues of captive Barbarian princes (in the courtyard); the Capitoline She-Wolf, an Etruscan work of the sixth century (the hindquarters were damaged by lightning in 65 B.C.; the figures of Romulus and Remus were added at the Renaissance); parts of the Fasti Consulares et Triumphales, a list of consuls and their victories; and the "Boy with a Thorn", a Hellenistic copy in bronze of a 5th century original. One room in the palace, the Sala delle Oche, is named after the geese whose cackling was said to have saved Rome from capture by the Gauls in 385 B.C. The palace also contains the Capitoline Picture Gallery (Pinacoteca Capitolina), eight rooms with paintings by Titian ("Baptism of Christ"), Tintoretto ("The Passion"), Caravaggio ("John the Baptist"), Rubens ("Romulus and Remus"), Veronese ("Rape of Europa"), Lorenzo Lotto ("Portrait of a Bowman") and Velázquez ("Portrait of a Man"). On the top floor of the Capitoline is one of the most popular restaurants in Rome. Not because of the food (which is typical museum food) but because of the great views.
The Capitoline Museum in Rome, founded by Pope Sixtus IV in 1471, is the oldest public art collection in Europe and has a rich stock of classical sculpture. In the Palazzo Nuova of the Capitoline Museum, built about 1650 on the model of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the opposite side of the square, the following pieces of sculpture are outstanding: the "Dying Gaul", a Roman copy of the figure of a dying warrior from the victory monument erected by King Attalus of Pergamon in the third century B.C. after he had defeated the Galatians; the "Wounded Amazon", a copy of a work by Cresilas (fifth century B.C.); the "Capitoline Venus", a Roman copy of the Cnidian Aphrodite of Praxiteles; and two Hellenistic works, "Amor and Psyche" and the "Drunken Old Woman". Also of the greatest interest are the collections of 64 portrait heads of Roman Emperors and members of their families and 79 busts of Greek and Roman philosophers and scholars. The recently restored equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius stands behind glass in the courtyard of the Capitoline Museum.
Capitoline Museums consist of two palaces, the entrance ticket is valid for both. Museum + Exhibitions (1564-2014 MICHELANGELO - A Universal Artist 27 May - 14 September 2014): Combined Ticket: - Adults: € 13,00; - Concessions: € 11,00. Roman Citizens only (by showing a vaild ID):
- Adults: € 11,00; - Concessions: € 9,00. The entry fee is not cheap. You can use the Roma Pass on too.
Beautiful building with a great collection of Roman statues, busts, art , tablets and other artifacts. Two of the best are the statue of the She-Wolf (Lupa Capitolina) (room 4) with Romulus and Remus. Capitoline Wolf, (Lupa Capitolina) on display at the Capitoline Museums. The sculpture is somewhat larger than life-size, standing 75 cm high and 114 cm long. The wolf is depicted in a tense, watchful pose, with alert ears and glaring eyes watching for danger. By contrast, the human twins - executed in a completely different style - are oblivious to their surroundings, absorbed by their suckling:
and the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius:
Bust of Augustus (Source: Wikipedia):
A Roman copy of the Cnidian Aphrodite of Praxiteles:
Head of emperor Constantine at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Found in 1486 with the other eight fragments of the body visible in the courtyard (one hand, two feet, parts of the arms) in the small apse on the west side of the Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum (Palazzo dei Conservatori, courtyard):
Bronze Statue of Innocent X 1645-50 by Alessandro Algardi (Hall of Horatii and Curiatii, Palazzo dei Conservatori):
Victory of Alexander the Great over Darius" 1635 by Pietro da Cortona (Room of the Triumphs, Palazzo dei Conservatori):
Statua di Amore e Psiche:
Pinacoteca Capitolina - Gallery of Pictures:
Veronese - Rape of Europe (room 3):
"St. John the Baptist", 1595, a masterpiece by Caravaggio (room of Saint Petronillia):
The museum collections are presented really well. There are many great works to see. The building itself is beautiful with amazing ceilings and decoration. There is a spectacular viewing terrace accessed via the cafe and will allow you to see right across Rome to the Vatican.
From the underground tunnel there is another viewing area overlooking the Forum.
From the Campidoglio, looking south-east - you see Via di San Pietro in Carcere and get a great birds eye view down onto the Roman Forum and Via dei Fori Imperiali. With your face to Palazzo Senatorio and Minerva Fountain, turn left and after a few steps you reach the terrace looking out over the valley of the Roman Forum:
Your way down to the Forum is past a public drinking fountain with some of the sweetest water in Rome and the She-Wolf statue:
and you'll find a stair that winds down along the Forum wall, passing close by the upper half of the Arch of Septimius Severus (great for close-up perusal of its reliefs), and then out around to the Forum's main entrance.
From here you can easily continue to the Imperial Forums and Markets, the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, - or head back to Piazza Venezia.
Eataly, Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492 Roma:
Public transportation: Pyramide metro stop.
Orientation: The best thing to do in a rainy evening or day. For people with passion to food. Thousands of sinful temptations waiting for your wallet and ... mouth/stomach. Avoid coming with kids.
If you love food, this is a great place to spend an hour or two. If you like to visit grocery stores in foreign countries or are looking to take home some special food for your pantry, this is a great place to do it. A past airport terminal that had been converted to a giant food store and huge complex of Italian food restaurants. Located just on the south side of the Ostiense rail station, in the once abandoned rail terminal building built for the 1990 World Cup, it sprawls over 4 floors. The area outside the train station is rather desolate and dirty; numerous street people are around, and apparently the Red Cross gives out food here on a regular basis. Several places to eat inside. The Mecca for Italian food. This food mall is a fantastic experience. They have all sorts of wine, beer, chocolate, fresh fish, pastas, olive oil, spices, cheeses, cooking accessories and other products from all over Italy. It was designed and built to promote the Italian food industry in Italy and in other countries. If I am not wrong there is an Eataly branch also in New York and Florence, Italy. It's frequented mostly by locals, and tourists are rather a bit rare in this mall.