MAY 15,2014 - MAY 15,2014 (1 DAYS)
From Castel Sant'Angelo to Fontana di Trevi:
Main attractions: Castel Sant'Angelo, Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo, Ponte Sant'Angelo, Palace of Justice, Ponte Vittorio Emmanuele II, Ponte Principe Amedeo, Basilica St. Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini, Via Giulia, Piazza Farnese, Palazzo Spada, PIazza Campo de Fiori, Palazzo Cancelleria, Palazzo Braschi, Piazza Navona, Church of Santa Maria dell'Anima, Church of Santa Maria della Pace, Basilica di Sant'Agostino, Piazza della Rotonda and the Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi.
Duration: 1 day. Allow 2 hours in Castel Sant'Angelo. Allow, at least 1 hour to Via Giulia. Allow, at least 1 hour to Galleria Spada / Palazzo Cancelleria / Palazzo Braschi. Allow 1 hour to Piazza Navona and its buildings. Allow 1 hour to Pza. della Rotonda and the pantheon. Allow 1/2 hour to Fontan di Trevi. All in all - a busy day. We left the fountains and the refreshing squares to the end of this route.
Castel Sant'Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel), is a cylindrical building/tower in Parco Adriano east to the Vatican, on the Tiber river bank. Castel Sant'Angelo was designed by the architect Demitriano and built between 123 and 129 A.D. according to the wishes of Emperor Hadrian, to serve as his mausoleum. The building was later used by the Popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. Metro Line A: Lepanto station. Bus lines 80, 87, 280 and 492 will get you close to the Castle. From the center near the Piazza Farnese, it is a very nice walk down the Via Giulia and then, after a right turn at the Tiber, a walk over the Sant'Angelo Bridge.
The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian was erected between 130 AD and 139 AD. Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in 138 AD, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who also died in 138 AD. The remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217 AD. Hadrian also built the Ponte Sant'Angelo (once the Aelian Bridge) facing straight onto the mausoleum. This bridge still provides a scenic approach from the center of Rome and the right bank of the Tiber, and is renowned for the Baroque additions of statues of angels. Much of the tomb contents and decorations have been lost since the building's conversion to a military fortress in 401 and its subsequent inclusion in the Aurelian Walls by Flavius Augustus Honorius. The Castle was sacked in 410 AD by the Vizigoths and, again, by the attacking Goths when they besieged Rome in 537 AD. Legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared atop the mausoleum, sheathing his sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590, thus lending the castle its present name. The popes converted the structure into a castle, beginning in the 14th century; Pope Nicholas III connected the castle to St Peter's Basilica by a covered fortified corridor called the Passetto di Borgo. The fortress was the refuge of Pope Clement VII from the siege of Charles V's. Leo X built a chapel with a Madonna by Raffaello da Montelupo. In 1536 Montelupo also created a marble statue of Saint Michael holding his sword after the 590 plague. Montelupo's statue was replaced by a bronze statue of the same subject, executed by the Flemish sculptor Peter Anton von Verschaffelt, in 1753.
Verschaffelt's is still in place and Montelupo's can be seen in an open court in the interior of the Castle.
The Papal state also used Sant'Angelo as a prison; Giordano Bruno (his statue is in Campo di Fiori), for example, was imprisoned there for six years. Another prisoner was the sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini. Executions were performed in the small inner courtyard. As a prison, it was also the setting for the third act of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca; the heroine of the opera leaps to her death from the Castel's ramparts...
This building also attracts less tourists than places like the Vatican or the Colosseum, so the atmosphere is fun and relaxing. There is not big queue but you can always book tickets online.
Castle Sant'Angelo in the night:
The castle is now a museum, the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo. Open Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 09.00 - 18.30. Closed Mondays. 10.50 euros each to enter the Castle. Those between 18 and 25 years of age get in for half price, and visiting is free for EU citizens under 18 and over 65. An audio guide for an additional 5 euros. No need to order tickets in advance. Credit Cards are not accepted. THEY DON'T HAVE CHANGE. Bring small money. Note: if you have difficulty with climbing steps, you probably should skip this site.
The castle has great views on Rome and the Vatican and plenty of room to take pictures. The best part, though, is definitely the Terrace of the Angel at the top of the castle. It provides a panoramic view of Rome as well as Vatican City. Believe me ! one of the best places in Rome to take pictures.
The view from Castel Sant'Angelo towards Vatican City:
There are also neat works of art in the Papal apartments, which in general are interesting to explore. The Castle has five floors. The first has a winding ramp of Roman Construction, the second features the prison cells, the third is the military floor with big courtyards, the fourth is the floor of the popes, and contains the most magnificent art, and the fifth is a huge terrace with a fine view of the city. There is also a weapons room. The small yet precious picture gallery formed through the bequests of the Menotti and Contini Bonaccossi collections and was placed in the rooms of the historical apartments. The heterogeneity of the works is compensated by real value of the authors among which Crivelli, Lotto, Dossi Signorelli who stand out. There is a bit of a steep climb to get up to the first level of exhibits. Many stairs you must climb up.
The Pauline Hall (Sala Paulina):
Courtyard of Honour, once the castle ammunition store:
Cupid and Psyche at Castel Sant'Angelo:
Lorenzo Lotto - San Girolamo in Meditation (1509):
The castle has a café and bar on site on first level. Note: fill your bottle of water from near the Castle's entrance. It is free and very cold. Clean restrooms inside.
Books stalls along the Tiber river opposite the Castle:
Books stalls along the Tiber river opposite the Castle - Marchelo Mastroiani and Sophia Lauren:
Ponte Sant'Angelo, once the Aelian Bridge (Bridge of Hadrian) completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian, to span the Tiber, from the city center to his newly constructed mausoleum, now the towering Castel Sant'Angelo. In the past, pilgrims used this bridge to reach St Peter's Basilica. For centuries after the 16th century, the bridge was used to expose the bodies of the executed. In 1535, Pope Clement VII allocated the toll income of the bridge to erecting the statues of the apostles saint Peter and Saint Paul to which subsequently the four evangelists and the patriarchs were added to other representing statues Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. In 1669 Pope Clement IX commissioned replacements for the aging stucco angels by Raffaello da Montelupo, commissioned by Paul III.
The bridge is now solely pedestrian, and provides a photogenic vista of the Castel Sant'Angelo. The bridge is overrun with hawkers spoiling the beauty of the place somewhat.
The statues on the bridge (Ponte Sant'Angelo which leads to the Castel Sant'Angelo) are just beautiful. Note: all Angels statues look feminine... The ten statues of angels that adorn the bridge were designed in 1668 by the great sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini on the order of pope Clement IX and created by Bernini and his students. The angels all hold a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus, such as a crown of thorns, a whip, and so on.
Angel with superscription:
Angel with sponge - Antonio Giorgetti:
Angel with thorn crown on Sant Angelo Bridge:
View of St. Peter Basilica from Ponte Sant'Angelo:
Nice park (Parco Adriano) more east to the Sant'Angelo Castle with a playground. Here, you can see part of the Aurelian Wall memorial inscription of Pope Pius V:
In the east side of the Castle you'll see an impressive building - Corte Suprema di Casszione (the Supreme Court) (Palace of Justice). It fronts onto the Piazza dei Tribunali, the Via Triboniano, the Piazza Cavour, and the Via Ulpiano. The huge building is popularly called in Italian the Palazzaccio (the bad Palace). Designed by the Perugia architect Guglielmo Calderini and built between 1888 and 1910, the Palace of Justice is considered one of the grandest of the new buildings which followed the proclamation of Rome as the capital city of the Kingdom of Italy. The Court of Cassation also ensures the correct application of law in the inferior and appeal courts and resolves disputes as to which lower court (penal, civil, administrative, military) has jurisdiction to hear a given case:
Above the façade looking towards the River Tiber it is surmounted by a great bronze quadriga, set there in 1926, the work of the sculptor Ettore Ximenes from Palermo:
We head now to Ponte Vittorio Emmanuele II. It is the next bridge, to the west (with your face to Castle Sant'Angelo, to the LEFT) of Pont Sant'Angelo. Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II was designed in year 1886 by the architect Ennio De Rossi. Construction was delayed, and it was not inaugurated until 1911. The bridge across the Tiber connects the historic centre of Rome (Corso Vittorio Emanuele) and piazza Paoli with the Vatican City. The bridge commemorating Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy is carried in three arches spanning a distance of 108 metres. At the heads it is decorated with winged statues of the Goddess Victoria on pillars, while the allegorical sculpture groups on the bridge itself symbolize “The Unification of Italy”, “Freedom”, “Oppression Conquered” and “Loyalty to the State”. Although the Ponte Sant’Angelo existed already, this older bridge could no longer cope with the influx of people into the Prati district after Rome had become the capital of a unified Italy.
Ponte Sant.Angelo as seen from the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II:
We continue along the east bank of the Tiber river, leaving behind the Vittorio Emmanuele II bridge. The street along the Tiber (from the east side) is Lungotevere dei Fiorentini. We arrive now to Ponte Principe Amedeo:
We turn LEFT (EAST) to Via Acciaioli, and take the first turn to the RIGHT, Piazza dell'Oro. Here we face, on our right the Basilica St. Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini (St John of the Florentines). Dedicated to St John the Baptist, the protector of Florence, the new church for the Florentine community in Rome was started in the 16th century and completed in early 18th and is the national church of Florence in Rome. Julius II’s successor, the Florentine Pope Leo X de Medici initiated the architectural competition for a new church in 1518 on the site of the old church of San Pantaleo. The main construction of the church was carried out between 1583-1602 under the architect Giacomo della Porta based on the Latin cross arrangement. Carlo Maderno took over from 1602-1620 and directed construction of the dome and the main body of the church completed. However, the main façade, based on a design by Alessandro Galilei was not finished until 1734.
In 1634, the Roman Baroque painter and architect, Pietro da Cortona, was asked by the Florentine nobleman, Orazio Falconieri, to design the High Altar. Some twenty to thirty years later, Falconieri resurrected the choir project but gave the commission to the Baroque architect, Francesco Borromini who changed the design to allow for the burial of Orazio's brother Cardinal Lelio Falconieri. After Borromini died in 1667, the work was completed and partly modified by Cortona and on his death in 1669, by Ciro Ferri, Cortona’s pupil and associate:
Scarlatti Chapel - St. Francis before the Sultan - Pomarancio, 1540-1550:
The Basilica's main façade fronts onto the Via Giulia. This straight street was an urban initiative, carried out in 1508 by the architect Donato Bramante at the instigation of Pope Julius II Della Rovere. It was one of the first important urban planning projects in Renaissance Rome.
Via Giulia was designed by Pope Julius II. It was planned as a new thoroughfare through the heart of Rome and the first European example since Antiquity of urban renewal. Via Giulia runs from the Ponte Sisto to the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, following the tight curve of the Tiber. Meant to make access to the Vatican easier, the street quickly became lined with elegant churches and palaces. And though the pope's plans were only partially realized, it became an important thoroughfare, and a spot along the Via Giulia was long the prime choice of Roman aristocrats. Artists such as Raphael, Cellini, and Borromini made their homes along this expansive avenue and were joined by many others with equally impressive collections as the years passed by. Today the street is very quiet and lined with antique stores. Its modest structures provide one of Rome's elite shopping streets, noted for these antique shops. The street developed as a line of modest houses with gardens behind them, built for private owners or confraternities, sometimes on speculation, broken by more ambitious Palazzi. This is the urban context of the "houses of Raphael", with their ground floor street-front shops. Our course of walking along the straight Via Jiulia is from NORTH-WEST to SOUTH-EAST.
The grand palazzi turned their backs to Via Giulia. In the 1540s Michelangelo had a plan for the constricted gardens of Palazzo Farnese to be connected by a bridge to the Farnese villa in Trastevere on the right bank, Villa Farnesina. The elegant arch still spanning Via Giulia belongs to this other grand unrealized scheme.
At Via Giulia, 62, on our right is the I Sofa' Di Via Giulia Bar and Restaurant. On the opposite side of Via Giulia (on your LEFT), If we take a small detour to the left, parallel, to Via dei Banchi Vecchi, we can see a small sixteenth century decorative work of art on the façade of Casa Crivelli, called “the Puppet House” (Casa dei Pupazzi / Casa Crivelli / Palazzo dei Pupazzi) (Via dei Banchi Vecchi 22/24). This house near Palazzo Sforza Cesarini was built by a goldsmith from Milan Gian Pietro Crivelli for himself and his family, as an inscription says, in 1537-1539. It was decorated with the finest stucco works of high quality remembering decorations of not far Palazzo Capodiferro Spada (see below).
Look at Via Giulia No. 66, Palazzo Saccetti from the XV century. One of the finest palaces in the street. It was built in the mid-1500s by the Sacchetti family with designs by Vasari. It is said that inside are some of the greatest state rooms in Rome. Outside, visitors can photograph its grand stone portal:
Note also the house at No. 167. Here is located one of the most prestigious architecture offices of Rome (Exclusiva):
At Via Giulia No. 187 is the Fontana del Mascheroni (Fountain of the mask), which was commissioned by the Farnese Family. The curious looking fountain was created at around 1626 and replaced an earlier fountain. Its renaissance design integrates an ancient Roman granite bathtub and an ancient mask; the latter gave the fountain its name:
After passing Via in caterina, on your left, you'll see, on your right the Church of Santa Caterina da Siena, Palazzo Falconieri, presently the seat of the Hungarian Academy (Via Giulia, 1). It is a gorgeous white Palazzo belonging to the 16th-century Falconieri family with a sumptuous inner courtyard. Zsuzsa Ordasi - the Academy of Hungary is an aspired to goal for today's Hungarian artists and scholars. Remodeled in the 17th century by Borromini, it houses the Hungarian Academy. It is located between Via Giulia and Lugotevere, with entrances to both.
The facade of Palazzo Falconieri (the Tiber river side):
one of the falcon's heads of Palazzo Falconieri:
Beyond it is the macabre Church di S. Maria dell’Orazione e Morte. (St.Mary of Prayer and Death), only open on Sunday afternoons for the short time of a religious function
You are now at the back of the most beautiful Renaissance building of Rome, Palazzo Farnese,the façade of which you will discover later on.
A beautiful arch, the Arco dei Farnesi (Farnese Arch) spans the street. Allessandro Farnese, the later pope Paul III wanted to connect his Farnese Palace at the nearby Farnese Square with the Farnese Villa, located across the Tiber River. The arch across the Via Giulia, designed by Michelangelo, is the only section that was completed. Since the connection was never completed, the ivy covered arch serves no real purpose other than to embellish the street:
At No. 185, on our left, we see the sheer BACK side of Palazzo Farnese. Its sheer size and splendor - are better seen from its front in the Farnese square (more to the north-east). Set in the middle of a small piazza, Palazzo Farnese is an impressive testament to the great artists of the Renaissance: Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo, Vignola, and Giacomo Della Porta. Considered one of the wonders of Rome, its sheer size has earned it the nickname “the die”. Ownership of the Palazzo Farnese changed repeatedly over the years. In the 18th century, the Palazzo became the property of the Bourbon Kings of Naples and was re-named “Palazzo Regio Farnese”. For a period in 1860, Francesco II of Naples lived there after losing his kingdom. In 1911 it was purchased by France and then sold to Italy, which in turn rented it back to the French under a 99-year lease for a nominal amount. Since 1874 it has been the headquarters of the French Embassy. You can see the French flag in Piazza Farnese. Turn LEFT at Via dei Farnesi - arriving to Piazza Farnese. Here, The Palazzo Farnese blends seamlessly with the splendid piazza around it. Piazza Farnese unfolds symmetrically to the viewer with the austere and massive facade of the Palazzo as a backdrop. There are two fountains, one on each side, made from two large basins originally from the Baths of Caracalla; a lily – the Farnese symbol – has been added to the centre of these. Both basins were originally located in front of the Basilica of San Marco (in the Piazza Venezia), and initially only one was placed in the centre of Piazza Farnese. Completing the piazza is the 18th- century church of Saint Brigida, a Swedish saint who founded a convent on the site in 1300. Facing the Palazzo Farnese is also the 18th- century Palazzo of Gallo di Roccagiovine, begun by Baldassarre Peruzzi; its massive structure and large doors conceal a splendid interior courtyard and monumental staircase. For many years the piazza was the central place for Rome's tournaments, bullfights, and festivals. In addition, the spectacular summer flooding events that later made Piazza Navona famous started here:
Leave Piazza farnese from its nort-east side (near RistoranteCamponeschi). Turn left onto Vicolo dei Venti, 61 m and continue direct onto Via Capo di Ferro. On your left is the Piazza Capo di Ferro with a fountain
and on your right the Spada Gallery. The Palazzo Spada is a palace located at Piazza Capo di Ferro, 13, very close to the Palazzo Farnese. It has a garden facing towards the River Tiber. The palace accommodates a large art collection, the Galleria Spada. The collection was originally assembled by Cardinal Bernardino Spada in the 17th century, by his brother Virgilio Spada and added to by his grandnephew Cardinal Fabrizio Spada. It was originally built in 1540. Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, from 08.30 to 19.30. Closed: Mondays, December 25th, January 1st. The Gallery only: Sundays and, in holidays from 09.00 to 13.00. Full price € 5,00, Reduced € 2,50: EU citizens between 18 and 25 years old and EU full-time public school teachers. All the reductions are only for European Union with providing document. 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.
It is forbidden - to take photographs and videos.
The Palazzo was purchased by Cardinal Spada in 1632. He commissioned the Baroque architect Francesco Borromini to modify it for him, and it was Borromini who created the masterpiece of forced perspective optical illusion in the arcaded courtyard, in which diminishing rows of columns and a rising floor create the visual illusion of a gallery 37 meters long (it is 8 meters) with a lifesize sculpture at the end of the vista, in daylight beyond: the sculpture is 60 cm high.
The Gallery is located on the first floor of Palazzo Spada, in the wing that used to belong to Cardinal Girolamo Capodiferro. The Cardinal had built the museum over the historical remains of his family's former home that had been established in 1548. Room 1 - The room is called the Room of the Popes because of its fifty inscriptions describing the lives of select pontiffs, as commissioned by Cardinal Bernardino. It is also known as the Room with the Azure Ceiling because the ceiling is covered with a turquoise canvas divided into many little compartments marked "camerini da verno". The ceiling coffers' decorations date back to 1777. Room 2 - This room was created along with Room 3. The upper part of the walls were decorated with friezes in tempera on canvas by Perino del Vaga. The other parts of the walls that were originally painted with panelling are now missing. Room 3 - It is called the "Gallery of the Cardinal". It was designed by Paolo Maruscelli in 1636 and 1637 along with Room II to house the art collection of Bernardino Spada. The ceiling is beamed and french windows lead into galleries one of which has an iron railing overlooking the big garden. Room 4 - This final room was built over a wooden gallery overlooking the big garden. The Room houses paintings by Caravaggisti.
Jan Brueghel the Elder: Landscape with windmills:
Titian: Portrait of musician:
Orazio Gentileschi: David holding the head of Goliath:
Opposite Spada Gallery is the Church of Santa Maria della Quercia. It is located in front of the piazza to which it gives its name:
With your back to the Palazzo Spada and your face to the Piazza Capo di Ferro - continue RIGHT (east) along Via Capo di Ferro and and turn LEFT (45 degrees LEFT) to Vicolo delle Grotto. Here, we recommend on the Restaurant "Da Sergio Alle Grotte" - Vicolo delle Grotte, 27. (see tip below).
Return to Via Capo di Ferro and continue (east) until its end. Turn LEFT to Piazza della Trinità dei Pellegrini. Here you see the Parrocchia Trinità dei Pellegrini (Holy Trinity of Pilgrims):
Head northwest on Piazza della Trinità dei Pellegrini toward and turn right onto Via dell'Arco del Monte. You arrive to a small and picturesque square - Piazza del Librari. Turn LEFT to Via dei Giubbonari. An absolute must is a visit to this road and its nearby historical streets, such as Via dei Baullari or Via dei Cappellari which are lined with an assortment of small shops still bearing the name of craftsmen who once worked there. Walk along this road (north-west) until its end and you arrive to PIazza Campo de Fiori. For centuries Camp dè Fiori was the stage for public executions. Here in 1600 the Dominican Friar, Philosopher, Mathematician and Astronomer Bruno Giordano was burnt alive. A domineering statue stands in the middle the piazza marking the exact spot of his death.
The lively, noisy atmosphere one breathes in this Piazza contrasts with the austere statue of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake precisely here. The piazza, in the morning, is heaving with people bustling among the fruit and vegetable stands. At night it sees its restaurants and bars open for business. Come, here, early in the weekdays mornings. In the early morning this open air market is not overly crowded. There is a beautiful flower market that is a little expensive. Throughout are stalls selling fruits, vegetables, spices, many kinds (colored) of pasta, sausage and cheese. There are vendors selling glass wine stoppers and leather goods, and some selling t-shirts and aprons. It is a fun place to walk around early in the morning. The later you come the more garbage left on the marketplace.
At night, the stalls disappear and it becomes a social event. Many restaurants line the Piazza, some of them quite good and more reasonably priced.You can see street musicians play in front of the restaurants, which creates a very "Italian" (or, better, "Brazilian") experience. You can sit at your table and listen to the music, and enjoy your drinks and food:
Take the north-west end of the Piazza and exit onto Via Baullari to see the Palazzo Cancelleria. It is a Renaissance palace situated between the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Campo de' Fiori. It was built between 1489–1513 by an unknown architect as a palace for Cardinal Raffaele Riario, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, and is regarded as the earliest Renaissance palace in Rome. The Palazzo houses the Papal Chancellery, is an extraterritorial property of the Holy See and as such is designated as a World Heritage Site.
In front of the Palace - a special courtyard with the original columns from the Theatre of Pompey. This courtyard is very photogenic and impressive. The internal courtyard is surrounded by a 2-story loggias with arches. Above each of the columns was a small decorative stone rose, and a similar but much larger stone rose lay at the center of the courtyard. The double-loggia has been attributed to the famous architect Bramante. Open Hours: Monday-Saturday: 07.30 - 14.00 and 16.00 - 20.00. Closed: Sunday.
Another reason to visit Palazzo della Cancelleria is to see the "Il Genio di Leonardo da Vinci" exhibit. The exhibition The Genius and His Inventions presents about fifty full scales machine designed by Da Vinci. They are fully operational and they can be touched and set in motion.
Head north on Piazza della Cancelleria toward Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
36 m. Turn right onto Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 23 m. Turn left onto Piazza di San Pantaleo. Here, you see the Chiesa (church) di San Pantaleo:
The church was entirely rebuilt in 1680 by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi, but the façade was added in 1805 by Giuseppe Valadier at the expense of the Torlonia family; the interior has a fine ceiling by Filippo Gherardi:
With the face to the white church, on the right side of the church is the Palazzo Braschi. It is located between the Piazza Navona, the Campo de' Fiori, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Piazza di Pasquino. It presently houses the Museo di Roma, the "museum of Rome" covering the period from the Middle Ages through the nineteenth century. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00 - 20.00. Tickets: Adults: € 8,50;
Concessions: € 6,50; Roman Citizens only (by showing a valid ID):
- Adults: € 7,50; - Concessions: € 5,50; Palazzo Braschi + Museo Barracco Combined Ticket : Adults: € 11,00; Concessions: € 9,00; Roman Citizens only (by showing a valid ID): - Adults: € 10,00; Concessions: € 8,00.
The main entrance is on Via San Pantaleo (between Piazza Navona and Corso Vittorio Emanuele). The oval hall inside the main entrance overlooks Via San Pantaleo, and leads to the monumental staircase with its eighteen red granite columns which came from the gallery built by the Emperor Caligula on the banks of the River Tiber. Decorating the staircase there are ancient sculptures and fine stuccoes by Luigi Acquisti inspired by the myth of Achilles.
View to Piazza Navona from Palazzo Braschi:
It is time for refreshing attractions. Our day is approaching a couple of the most "wet", famous, crowded and "refreshing" sites of Rome. The first is in front of us: Piazza Navona. From the ancient, winding streets of the Centro Storico you suddenly come upon the breathtaking magnificence of Piazza Navona. Still today a spectacular open air show; an architectural miracle in the heart of the Eternal City, filled with masterpieces in perfect harmony with each other. Of all Rome's Piazzas, this pedestrian square is one where the liveliness of Roman life is most tangible. It has long been a meeting place for the inhabitants of Rome. In past, in addition to the market, processions and spectacles where held here. This piazza, which displays the genius of Bernini and Borromini, is one of the finest Baroque Masterpiece in papal Rome. Its harmony and colors, combined with its elegance, give it a charm that is enhanced by the surprising contrast of architecturally sober houses alternating with a number of monumental Buildings. Today, it's still lively with painters and street performers that put on their shows for tourists and passersby, new spectators. This piazza, which displays the genius of Bernini and Borromini, is one of the finest Baroque Masterpiece in Rome. Its harmony and colors, combined with its elegance, give it a charm that is enhanced by the surprising contrast of architecturally sober houses alternating with a number of monumental buildings.
in the center stands the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought here in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius:
At the southern end is the Fontana del Moro with a basin and four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta (1575) to which, in 1673, Bernini added a statue of a Moor, or African, wrestling with a dolphin:
At the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune (1574) created by Giacomo della Porta. The statue of Neptune in the northern fountain, the work of Antonio Della Bitta, was added in 1878 to make that fountain more symmetrical with La Fontana del Moro in the south:
At the southwest end of the piazza is the ancient 'speaking' statue of Pasquino. Erected in 1501, Romans could leave lampoons or derogatory social commentary attached to the statue:
Palazzo Pamphilj, also spelled Palazzo Pamphili, is a palace facing onto the Piazza Navona in Rome. It was built between 1644 and 1650. Since 1920 the palace has housed the Brazilian Embassy in Italy, and in 1964 it became the property of the Federative Republic of Brazil:
The church of Sant'Agnese in Agone by Francesco Borromini, Girolamo Rainaldi, Carlo Rainaldi and others is opposite the Fountain of the Four Rivers:
Piazza Navona from North to South:
Do not miss the Tre Scalini restaurant-Gelatteria. Tartufo is the big hit to get here. Order at the counter to go and eat it in the Plazza. Order with the cashier and then take your receipt to the guy behind the Gelato counter. The Tartufo is 10 Euros, but, sometimes, yo get it even half the stated price. This is a rich, chocolate ice-cream with whipped cream and 2 little cookies or cherries on top. Once-in-life experience:
I can recommend the Gelateria Tre Fontane in the north end of Piazza Navona. Mini scone or plastic cup - 1 flavor - 2 euros, 2 flavors - 3 euros (see Tip below).
We leave the Piazza Navona from its north-east side, near Cafe Nettuno, to Via dei Lorenesi. At the cross-road with Via di Santa Maria dell'Anima, on your left is the Church of Santa Maria dell'Anima (Via di Santa Maria dell'Anima, 64). Open weekdays 12.00 – 24.00. Santa Maria dell'Anima is one of the many medieval charity institutions built for pilgrims in Rome.
Tomb of Pope Hadrian VI 1524-29 into the church:
From Via dei Lorenesi you continue walking direct onto Vicolo della Pace. Then, you slight to the LEFT onto Via della Pace. On your right
you see the Santa Maria della Pace Church (Via Arco della Pace, 5) with its colossal pillars:
Return to Piazza Navona and find a bus to return to your hotel, guest house or apartment. If you have still a time to continue to TWO additional attractions in Rome - it is 10-minutes, 600-850 m. walk to the Pantheon and Fontana di Trevi. EXit Piazza Navona from the most north-eastern road. Turn left onto Via Agonale, 46 m. Turn right onto Piazza delle Cinque Lune, 42 m. Slight left onto Via di Sant'Agostino, 39 m. Turn left onto Piazza di Sant'Agostino to see the Basilica di Sant'Agostino. It is one of the first Roman churches built during the Renaissance. The façade was built in 1483 by Giacomo di Pietrasanta, using travertine taken from the Colosseum. It is a fine, plain work of the early Renaissance style:
The most famous work of art presently in the church is the Madonna di Loreto, an important Baroque painting by Caravaggio:
From here it is 600 m. walk to the Pantheon. Head south on Piazza di Sant'Agostino toward Via di Sant'Agostino, 13 m. Turn left onto Via di Sant'Agostino, 60 m. Turn right onto Via della Scrofa, 48 m. Turn left onto Largo Giuseppe Toniolo, 52 m. Continue onto Via Del Pozzo Delle Cornacchie, 78 m. Turn right onto Via della Rosetta, 49 m. Continue onto Piazza della Rotonda, 52 m. Turn left to stay on Piazza della Rotonda and you face the Pantheon.
The basin of the fountain, in the square, was designed in 1575 by Giacomo della Porta for Pope Gregory XIII. In 1711, during the pontificate of Pope Clement XI, Filippo Barigioni completed the fountain by adding the obelisk. It was dedicated to Pharaoh Ramesses II. A reminder of Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi is the snake you can see in the obelisk. The dolphins and the snake are a work by Vincenzo Felici.
The Pantheon is the best-preserved ancient building in Rome. The Pantheon was initially erected in 27 BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, son-in-law of Emperor Augustus, when he was consul for the third time. It was completely rebuilt in AD 123 by Emperor Hadrian, who maintained the old inscription celebrating Agrippa; he was personally involved in the design of the temple. It was restored in 202 by Emperor Septimius Severus. The temple stood on a high podium, whereas today it is at a level which is lower than the rest of the square and this makes it less imposing. Its fine state of preservation is due to the building's conversion to a Christian church in 608, when it was presented to the Pope by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas. Open 08.30-19.30 Mon-Sat, 09.00 - 18.00 Sun, 09.00 -13.00 public holydays.
Three columns on the left side fell and were replaced by Pope Urban VIII and Pope Alexander VII, with columns found near S. Luigi dei Francesi and which belonged to baths built by Emperor Alexander Severus. This explains their different colour (pink rather than grey) and capitals.
The dome of the Pantheon is larger than that of St. Peter's or that of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, yet because it is not supported by a high drum it does not fully convey the sense of its dimension. The shape of the main hall is a cylinder covered by a half of a sphere; the height of the cylinder is equal to the radius of the sphere. The dome was covered with gilded bronze tiles; these were removed and shipped to Constantinople at the request of Byzantine Emperor Constans II. The diameter of the hemispherical dome is exactly equal to the height of the whole building; it could potentially accommodate a perfect sphere. At the exact centre of the dome is the oculus, a circular hole 9m in diameter, the only source of light and a symbolic link between the temple and the heavens.
The interior underwent many changes meant to give it an appearance more appropriate for a church; in particular in 1747 the original decoration was replaced by stuccoes; part of it has been restored; many coloured marbles were used for it and in particular porphyry; the windows gave light to a corridor in the circular walls.
The building is still officially a church, and contains the tombs of eminent Italians, including the artist Raphael. Above Raphael’s tomb is a sculpture of the Madonna del Sasso created by Raphael’s student Lorenzetto:
The other important tombs are those of: Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. The tomb consists of a large bronze plaque surmounted by a Roman eagle and the arms of the house of Savoy. The golden lamp above the tomb burns in honor of Victor Emmanuel III, who died in exile in 1947.
Another tomb is of Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel’s successor:
It is 700 m., 10 minutes walk to the Fontana di Trevi. Head east on Piazza della Rotonda and turn left to stay on Piazza della Rotonda, 54 m. Continue onto Via del Pantheon, 51 m. Turn right onto Via delle Colonnelle, 66 m. Continue straight onto Piazza Capranica, 36 m. Continue onto Via in Aquiro, 53 m. Turn right onto Via della Guglia,
50 m. Turn left onto Via dei Pastini, 39 m. Via dei Pastini turns slightly right and becomes Piazza di Pietra, 59 m. Continue onto Via di Pietra,
87 m. Continue onto Via delle Muratte, 200 m. Continue straight onto Piazza di Trevi and Fontana di Trevi:
Da Sergio Alle Grotte" - Vicolo delle Grotte, 27:
A good, honest and budget restaurant with typical Roman food. A few steps from Galleria Spada.