Rome - from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo.

MAY 06,2014 - MAY 06,2014 (1 DAYS)

Citywalk

From Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo:

Highlights: Church of Jesus, Via del Corso, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, San Marcello al Corso church, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Colonna, Piazza di Monte Citorio, Giolitti, Galleria Alberto Sordi, Via dei Condotti, Piazza di San Silvestro, PIazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps, Keats House, Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, Trinita' dei Monti church, Via Margutta, Piazza del Popolo, basilica santa maria del Popolo, Il pincio, Ponte Cavour (the Tiber).

Start: Piazza Venezia. By underground (metropolitana): Linea A: the closest station is Piazza Barberini. From there go to the first Atac (bus) stop on Via del Tritone, and take one of the following buses: 95, 175, 492, 62 or 630. Get off at the stop in Via del Corso, where it crosses Via Minghetti, and walk for 150 metres, south,  towards Piazza Venezia.

End   : Via Tomacelli / Piazza del Popolo.

Duration: 1 day. I dare guessing that Via del Corso will consume far more time than planned. The street shops and the Gelati (ice-cream) spots around - are irresistible magnets. Don't spend time in shopping. We have a wealth of sites to explore today.

Weather: one of very few itineraries that can be walked in EVERY weather (except the Pincio hill that deserves a nice weather).

Orientation: We start with Piazza Venezia but we leave its in-depth exploration to the "From Vittorio Emmanuele Monument to the Campidoglio" trip. This is very busy day. Consider allowing time for the Pamphilj museum (if not detracted by the entrance price), Via del Corso shops and the aristocratic avenues around (again, prices !), the Santa Maria del Popolo cathedral (artistic treasures) and the climb to the Il Pincio Hill with its extensive views of Rome. There are so many sites not included in this trip and are very close to the sites included (the Quirinale, The Borghese Gallery and Park - to remind few of them). Don't worry - most of them are covered in our other Tipter trips of Rome.

The Itinerary: Before we walk from Piazza Venezia to Via del Corso - we'll turn to Chiesa del Gesu (Church of Jesus) in the Piazza del Gesù. Standing in Piazza Venezia with our face to Via del Corso (north) - turn left (WEST) to Via del Plebiscito, along Palazzo Venezia, to Piazza Gesu and its church. Open: 07.00 -12.30, 16.00 -19.45. FREE. In front of us stands a Baroque-style masterpiece creation from the 16th century. A church with great photo opportunities for those looking for some colorful and beautiful church shots. It is the mother church of the Jesuits order. Officially named Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina (Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus at the Argentina).  The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world. First conceived in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits Society of Jesus, and active during the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Catholic Reformation, the Gesù was also the home of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus until the suppression of the order in 1773. The church  reflects the grandiose wealth and power of the Jesuits order in the contra-reformation period in Europe. Although Michelangelo offered, out of devotion, to design the church free, the endeavor was funded by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III. The main architects involved in the construction were Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, architect of the Farnese family, and Giacomo della Porta. Construction of the church began at 1568 to Vignola's design. Vignola was assisted by the Jesuit Giovanni Tristano, who took over from Vignola in 1571. When he died in 1575 he was succeeded by the Jesuit architect Giovanni de Rosis. Giacoma della Porta was involved in the construction of the cross-vault, dome, and the apse. 

Direction of the façade: west. The façade of the church is divided into two sections. The lower section is divided by six pairs of pilasters with Corinthian capitals, while the upper section is divided with four pairs of pilasters:

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Outstanding interior. It's off the beaten track for most tourists and long may it remain so. But, you won't disappoint. You enter immediately into the body of the church - a single nave without aisles.

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Your attention is focused, immediately, on the high altar.

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In place of aisles there are a series of identical chapels behind arched openings.

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Every inch of the church is covered with beautiful art. The entire church is stunning but the most beautiful is the sublime ceiling fresco: the Trionfo del Nome di Gesù (Triumph of the Name of Jesus), the ceiling fresco by Giovanni Battista Gaulli. The church members of staff are smart enough to put the mirror on the nave to reflect the details of the ceiling, so you can watch through without any effort or neck pain... Many people think that this is the most beautiful church ceiling in Rome:

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Return to Piazza Venezzia and turn LEFT (north) to Via del Corso. Via del Corso. in ancient times called via Lata, and now connects Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo. 

At no. 305 (3 blocks from Piazza Venezia, on your left) stands Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.

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Full price: €11,00 (audio guide included – subject to availability), concessions or groups, children and young adults between 6 and 26 years old: €7.50. Photos allowed for personal and not commercial use. Flash and tripods are not allowed. For security reasons it is not possible to make videos. You need to add 4 Euros for the right to take photos. Open: every day 09.00 - 19.00. Last entry 18.00. Closed: 25th December, 1st January, Easter. Open to the public November 1st, April 25th, May 1st, June 2nd.

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj courtyard:

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Do use the guide as it is done by a member of the Pamphilj family who often tells personal anecdotes and his descriptions help personalize the visit. The commentary on the paintings is excellent as well. The State Rooms are filled with masterpieces while the Gallery of Mirrors with windows on both sides and extravagantly painted ceilings reminds one of Versailles.  There are works by: Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian and the Brueghel family.

Caravaggio's Rest on the Flight into Egypt:

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Titian's Salomé with Head of John the Baptist, c. 1515:

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Olimpia Aldobrandini by Algardi:

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The major attraction here is the astonishing (!) portrait of Pope Innocent X by Velasquez which is in a room on its own with a Bernini bust of Pope Innocent:

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Further north along Via del Corso, on your right, is the San Marcello al Corso church. Devoted to Pope Marcellus I. San Marcello al Corso, facade by Carlo Fontana:

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On the next turn to the right, Via dell'Umiltà, you leave Via del Corso - in order to have a glance at the Fontana di Trevi. We visit this fountain and Navona Fountain several times along our trips in Rome. Trevi Fountain looks different - along different parts of the day and in different kinds of weather. The atmosphere changes with the natural light. It is a very busy site and difficult to take good pictures without a million other tourists in the shot. But, everyone is enjoying the majestic fountain. It is 10-15 minutes detour from our main route. Along Via dell'Umiltà you cross Gallerai Sciarra. Both, Fontana di Trevi and Galleria Sciarra are described in the "Rome Colosseum,Imperial Forums and Markets, Fontana di Trevi" trip. Turn left to Via di San Vincenzo - to arrive to the magnificent fountain. We recommend coming to Fontana di Trevi in the morning hours - when the lion's part of the fountain is sun-lighted. Despite it being a real busy, touristy place, it is a wonderful experience. May I tell you a secret ? At 07.00 or even at 08.00 - the place is completely EMPTY. The artwork and structure are breathtaking. It is spectacular at night when lit up. You cannot resist throwing 3 coins in !!! The Romans collect about 1.25 million dollar a year from the fountain ! Tourists throwing coins into the fountain during the week and, at the same time, the workmen are vacuuming it up during the nights or the weekends. Another secret: There is a miniature fountain on the left side of the Trevi Fountain and legend states that if a couple drinks from the “small fountain of lovers” there, they will be forever faithful to each other...

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It is 5 minutes walk (300 m.) back to Via del Corso. From Trevi Fountain head west on Piazza di Trevi toward Vicolo del Forno. continue onto Via delle Muratte ( along market road), 200 m and turn right onto Via del Corso. 50 metres further along Via del Corso and you see Piazza Colonna on your left. On your way along Via del Corso you'll see signpost to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and McDonald's. It is named for the marble Column of Marcus Aurelius which has stood there since 193 CE. The bronze statue of Saint Paul that crowns the column was placed in 1589, by order of Pope Sixtus V. 

Piazza Colonna north side is taken up by Palazzo Chigi, formerly the Austro-Hungarian empire's embassy, but is now a seat of the Italian government. The west side is taken up by Palazzo Wedekind (1838) with a colonnade of Roman columns:

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The east side is taken up by the 19th century public shopping arcade Galleria Colonna (since 2003 Galleria Alberto Sordi), the south side is taken up by the flank of Palazzo Ferraioli, formerly the Papal post office, and the little Church of Santi Bartolomeo ed Alessandro dei Bergamaschi (1731-35). The fountain in the Piazza (1577) was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII from Giacomo Della Porta who was assisted by Rocco De Rossi. In 1830 it was restored, and had two sets of dolphins side by side, with tails entwined, sculpted by Achille Stocchi, set at either end of the long basin. The central sculpture was then substituted with a smaller sculpture and spray:

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Head west on Piazza Colonna toward Via dei Bergamaschi, continue onto Via della Colonna Antonina and turn right onto Piazza di Monte Citorio. It is named after the Monte Citorio, one of the minor hills of Rome. The piazza contains the Obelisk of Montecitorio and the Palazzo Montecitorio. The Obelisk of Montecitorio (Italian: Obelisco di Montecitorio) is an ancient Egyptian, red granite obelisk  (595-589 BC) from Heliopolis. Brought to Rome in 10 BC by the Roman Emperor Augustus.It is 21.79 metres high, and 33.97 metres including the base and the globe. In the background (north) is the Palazzo Montecitorio, the Italian Chamber of Deputies building. You can use the restroom of Colonna Palace Hotel - in the square.

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After using the luxury services of Colonna palace Hotel we head to a Gelateria which is a Roman legend for tens of years - the Giolitti, Via Uffici del Vicario 40. Head west on Piazza di Montecitorio toward Via degli Uffici del Vicario and turn left onto Via degli Uffici del Vicario. There is no place, around the globe, which gets the “Best ice cream anywhere in the world” title more than this "institute". It makes the most amazing smooth, flavored ice cream you have had anywhere (even in the USA).  Usually, Giolitti is very crowded and is also visited during guided tours. You've to wait along long queue. We've been there, around 11.00 and it was... empty.  Loads of amazing flavors. Huge portions. Price is fine for what you get. It's euro2.50 for a 2-scoops cone. Pay at the counter before going to the Gelato bar to choose your ice cream. 

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We return to Piazza Colonna and Via del Corso and enter the eastern side of the Colonna square - the Galleria Alberto Sordi. It was constructed, as Galleria Colonna  and was built in 1914 on the site of Palazzo Piombino. The building is in the Art Nouveau style:

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Zara - in Galleria Alberto Sordi:

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We walk further north in Via del Corso. We pass Via di S.Claudio on our right. In the next cross-roads we turn LEFT to Via del Parlamento and to Piazza del Parlamento - a formless square. Here we see, again, the Palazzo Montecittorio or Palazzo Parlamento (its front side):

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Piazza del Parlamento - Banca del Campania building on the north side of the square:

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We return to Via del Corso and turn left to continue walking northward along the street. We pass Via della Vite on our right. Now, we arrive to three parallel, consecutive, famous roads, all of them ON OUR RIGHT, all of them leading to the Spanish Square (piazza di Spagna): (from south to north): Frattina, Borgognona and Condotti. All the three are very luxurious, dotted with boutiques and shops of the most famous designers in the world: Gucci, Armani, Dior etc'.  If we take Via dei Condotti, for example, we 'll pass grandiose shops of: Max mara, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Biagiotti Group, Bulgari, Gucci and Dior.

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Note: at the cross - roads of Via dei Condotti and Via Belsiana - we'll turn RIGHT to Via Belsiana to make a short detour at Piazza S.Silvestro and have LUNCH at Via della Mercede (see later). When you walk along Via dei Condotti and you cross Via Bocca di Leone - turn right or left for a few minutes to appreciate the pricey boutiques along this road as well. Continuing along Via dei Condotti (noth-east), at No. 86 (on your left) you see Antico Caffè Greco (or, simply, Cafe Greco). It is an historic landmark café which opened in 1760. It is perhaps the best known and oldest bar in Rome. Within Italy only Caffè Florian in Venice (established in 1720) is older. Historic figures including Goethe, Byron, Franz Liszt, Keats, Henrik Ibsen, Hans Christian Andersen, Felix Mendelssohn, Stendhal, Wagner and many others have had coffee there. Today, it is a central hub writers, politicians, artists and notable people in Rome.

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Wherever you are now - return to the cross - roads of Via dei Condotti and Via Belsiana. Turn EAST (RIGHT - with your back to Via del Corso) to Via Belsiana to make a short detour at Piazza S.Silvestro and have LUNCH at Via della Mercede at a budget, descent pizzeria/restaurant. Head SOUTH on Via Belsiana toward Vicolo Belsiana, turn right onto Via Frattina, turn left onto Via del Gambero, turn left onto Piazza di San Silvestro. The Basilica of Saint Sylvester the First is also known as San Silvestro in Capite. It is located on Piazza San Silvestre, on the corner of Via del Gambero and the Via della Mercede, and stands adjacent to the central Post Office, while across the Piazza stands Santi Claudio e Andrea dei Borgognoni. Built in the 8th century. It is the National church of Great Britain. The Latin words "in capite" refers to the canonical title of Pope Sylvester the First, to which in capite means in First, in Chief, or in Head. By honorific coincidence, the basilica is also famous for enshrining a fragmented head purported to be Saint John the Baptist, putatively kept as a relic, in a chapel to the left of the entrance. The main reason of visiting this church - is its charming courtyard and its handsome tower.

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Citywalk in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip With your face to the Basilica and your back to the Piazza turn RIGHT (EAST) in Via della Mercede. At No. 46/47 (on your right) there is budget restaurant (not easy to find in the vicinity of Via dei Condotti...). Pizza House / Pizza a Taglio. We had lunch there, twice, and enjoyed the quality of the food, the generosity of the portions and the prices. Main portion of 1/4 chicken with a side-dish  and cold water - 6 euros.

Continue walking eastward in Via della Mercede until it meets Via di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. Turn LEFT in Via di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte - to arrive to PIazza di Spagna at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. It is one of the most famous squares of Rome. It owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the Embassy of Spain. Lovely place to go at sunset. For restroom: with your face to the steps -  Babbingtons on the Left and Maccas on the right.

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In the middle of the square is the famous Fontana della Barcaccia, dating to the beginning of the Baroque age. It is so named because it is in the shape of a half-sunken ship with water overflowing its bows. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and was completed in 1627 by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The shape was chosen because, prior to the river walls being built, the Tiber often flooded and in 1598 there was a particularly bad flooding and the Piazza di Spagna was flooded up to a metre. Once the water withdrew, a boat was left behind in the square.

On spring 2014 the fountain was under repair and cleaning. A depressing sight and real disappointment.

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The spectacular 135-step Spanish Steps were  inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII during the 1725 Jubilee. They were built in order to connect the Bourbon Spanish embassy (down) (from which the square takes its name) to the Church of Trinità dei Monti (up). They were designed by Alessandro Specchi and Francesco De Sanctis after long discussions about how to urbanize the steep slope on the side of the Pincian Hill in order to connect it to the Trinità dei Monti church. The final key was the one proposed by Francesco De Sanctis: a great staircase decorated with many garden-terraces where the scenic effects increase more and more while approaching to it. In effect, the creation of long, deep perspectives culminating in monumental wings or backdrops was typical of the great Baroque architecture. The last time the Spanish Steps were restored - was in year 1995. it's worth climbing the 135 steps to the top for a nice view of the city. It is the widest staircase in Europe and still it feels like it's not big enough for the amount of people who congregate there. Lots of people hanging around, many people like to go and sit on the steps at night after dinner. There are many sellers (who do not understand the word "NO") trying to give roses away and say they are free and then when you have taken them will ask you for money and they can be quite aggressive when you dismiss them so just try to walk past them (the same holds for Piazza di Popolo). From the base of the steps, the view is wonderful with azaleas placed throughout and the height of it all. BTW, Go up the steps and turn right and there is another flight of steps almost identical but not as wide and nobody sits there:

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Spanish Steps from Via dei Condotti:

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Spanish Steps and Trinita del Monti Church:

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At the right (east) corner of the Spanish Steps there is the house of the English poet John Keats, who lived there until his death in 1821. In November 1820, the English poet John Keats, who was dying of tuberculosis, came to Rome at the urging of friends and doctors who hoped that the warmer climate might improve his health. Nowadays it has been changed into a museum dedicated to him and his friend Percy Shelley, full of books and memorabilia of English Romanticism. The English poet John Keats could hear the sound of the fountain's water flowing soothingly from his deathbed. The museum houses one of the world's most extensive collections of memorabilia, letters, manuscripts, and paintings relating to Keats and Shelley, as well as Byron, Wordsworth, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Oscar Wilde, and others. It is located on the second floor of the building situated just to the south of the base of the Spanish Steps. Open: Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 18.00, Sunday: Closed. The museum is open on most holidays (Italian and English). The museum is closed on the following days: 8 December, 23-31 December, 1 January. Admission prices: Adults (up to the age of 65) €5.00, uUnder 18s and over 65s €4.00:

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At the left corner there is the Babington's tea room, founded in 1893. The shop was founded in 1893 by Isabel Cargill and Anne Marie Babington, two English women, with the intention of catering for the many English-speaking people in Rome. At the time of the founding of Babington's, tea in Italy could be bought only in pharmacies. The interiors are in the late 19th century style. The food is mostly traditional English fare:

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The Palazzo di Propaganda Fide (in English : Palace of the Propagation of the Faith) is at the southern end of Piazza di Spagna. Its southern facade is in front of the basilica Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, whose cupola and the bell were the work of Borromini. The main facade was created by Bernini (1644), and the front side of the via di Propaganda by Borromini (1646). This setting aside of Bernini's work was a request of Pope Innocent X, who preferred Borromini's style. The work was completed in 1667:

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After climbing the 135-138 steps we arrive to Piazza Trinita' dei Monti and Trinita' dei Monti church. A lovely, famous, little, French church on top of the historic Spanish steps, with a beautiful view of Rome from the top. A must visit if you have the chance. After walking up the many stairs to reach the top of the Spanish Steps, the atmosphere in the church is romantic and the view is breathtaking.

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A very peaceful place. Worthwhile to visit the small church while the Mass is held. The acoustic is really good, much better than in the big Basilicas and the Chorals are really splendid.

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Piazza Trinita dei Monti - view of Villa Borghese park:

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Trinita dei Monti church interior- Cesare Nebbia - Christ falling under the Cross (1589 - 1590):

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We descend the Spanish Steps the whole way down to Piazza di Spagna. Take the north-west end of the Piazza and continue onto Via del Babuino for 90 m. and TAKE GLANCE AT the left onto Via Vittoria (connects between Via del Corso and Via del Babuino. Very quiet and relaxing road: a total contrast to all other roads around. You may try the Il Gabriello restaurant at Via Vittoria, 51: good food, not pricey (but not cheap), friendly, polite and tranquile.

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We continue north-west along Via del Babuino - heading to Piazza del Popolo. Not at No. 150 A the Canova Tadolini sculpting atelier:

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Via del Babuino was, once, very aristocratic street but it had been replaced by other roads arounds - one of them is Via Margutta. From Via del Babuino turn RIGHT toward Via dell'Orto di Napoli and, then, turn LEFT onto Via Margutta.  Via Margutta originally was home to modest craftsmen, workshops and stables, but now hosts many art galleries and fashionable restaurants. After the film Roman Holiday became popular, Via Margutta developed into an exclusive neighborhood, where various famous people lived, such as film director Federico Fellini. You'll appreciate walking along this road:

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Head northwest on Via Margutta toward Vicolo del Babuino (250 m), continue (LEFT, WEST) onto Via della Fontanella (80 m) and turn right onto Via del Corso to face this house at No. 522:

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Continue north-west along Via del Corso - arriving, at last to Piazza del Popolo. A power spot, a one-of-a-kind majestic experience. The name in modern Italian literally means "People's Square". For centuries, the Piazza del Popolo was a place for public executions, the last of which took place in 1826. The piazza lies inside the northern gate in the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of ancient Rome, and now called the Porta del Popolo. Beyond this gate lies the Piazzale Flaminio and the start of the Via Flaminia. The gateway was reworked to give its current appearance by Bernini for Pope Alexander VII in 1655, to welcome Queen Christina of Sweden to Rome following her conversion to Roman Catholicism and her abdication:

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Looking from the north (illustration, right), three streets branch out from the piazza into the city, forming the so-called "trident" (il Tridente): the Via del Corso in the centre; the Via del Babuino to the left (opened in 1525 as the Via Paolina) and the Via di Ripetta (opened by Leo X in 1518 as the Via Leonina) to the right. Piazza del Popolo was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern-day Rimini) and the most important route to the north. The layout of the piazza today was designed in neoclassical style between 1811 and 1822 by the architect Giuseppe Valadier. An Egyptian obelisk of Sety I (later erected by Rameses II) from Heliopolis stands in the centre of the Piazza. Three sides of the obelisk were carved during the reign of Sety I and the fourth side, under Rameses II. The obelisk, known as the obelisco Flaminio or the Popolo Obelisk, is the second oldest and one of the tallest obelisks in Rome (some 24 m high, or 36 m including its plinth). The obelisk was brought to Rome in 10 BC by order of Augustus and originally set up in the Circus Maximus. It was re-erected here in the piazza by the architect-engineer Domenico Fontana in 1589 as part of the urban plan of Sixtus V:

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The twin churches (the chiese gemelle) of Santa Maria dei Miracoli (1681) and Santa Maria in Montesanto (1679), begun by Carlo Rainaldi and completed by Bernini and Carlo Fontana, define the junctions of the three roads pouring onto the square. Close observation of the twin churches reveals that they are not exact copies of one another, but they vary in their details and in their symmetrical balance in Baroque fashion.

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Until year 2012 the Piazza del Popolo was congested with traffic. Today, it is a pedestrian zone full with musicians playing, performance artists, rose sellers, bubble blowing, Segways rolling and benches to sit on. Very often with big screens set-ups and evening's music activities:

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Fountains by Giovanni Ceccarini (1822–23), with matching compositions of a central figure flanked by two attendant figures, stand on each side of the piazza to the west and east, flanked by neoclassical statues of The Seasons (1828). The Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) stands on the west side, Neptune with his trident is accompanied by two dolphins:

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Rome between the Tiber and the Aniene (Fontana della dea di Roma) on the east side, against the steep slope of the Pincio: Dea Roma armed with lance and helmet, and in front is the she-wolf feeding Romulus and Remus:

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There's yet another church at the Piazza del Popolo, the Santa Maria del Popolo. It is not easy to recognise this immense Baislica... With your face to the Porta del Popolo (the wall's gate), to the north, it is on the right side of the square, of the gate and the wall. The cathedral is hemmed in between Porta del Popolo (the ancient Porta Flaminia) and the Pincio hill.

It is located right near the Porta del Popolo where it was built in 1477 at the site of an eleventh-century chapel. It is in the small building on the left of the photo below:

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In 1099, a chapel was built by Pope Paschal II to Our Lady. The chapel was enlarged and became a church by will of Pope Gregory IX in 1235, and was given to the Augustinian friars, who still oversee it, in 1250.Santa Maria del Popolo was reconstructed by Baccio Pontelli and Andrea Bregno in 1472-1477 on the orders of Pope Sixtus IV and was given to the congregation of Lombard friars in Rome. In 1655-60 the façade was modified by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who was asked by Pope Alexander VII to update the Renaissance church to a more modern Baroque style.

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The church contains many impressive works of art, including Rome's oldest stained-glass windows. There are works by several famous artists for example Raphael, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio, Alessandro Algardi, Pinturicchio and Donato Bramante. The most famous are two of Caravaggio's most powerful works.

The apse was designed by Bramante. The oldest stained glass window in Rome can be found here, made by French artist Guillaume de Marcillat. Pinturicchio decorated the vault with frescoes, including the Coronation of the Virgin. The tombs of Cardinals Ascanio Sforza and Girolamo Basso della Rovere, both made by Andrea Sansovino, can also be found in the apse:

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The Chigi chapel - created by Raphael - and the Della Rovere chapel - embellished with fifteenth-century frescoes - are particularly noteworthy.

The Basso Della Rovere Chapel was built by Girolamo Basso della Rovere in 1471-84. The painted decoration is attributed to Pinturicchio and his workshop. The highlights of the chapel are the great fresco of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Augustine, Francis, Anthony of Padua and a Holy Monk above the altar, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary:

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Chigi Chapel: Banker Agostino Chigi commissioned Raphael to design and decorate a funerary chapel for him in 1513. The chapel is a treasure trove of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and is considered among the most important monuments in the basilica. The dome of the centralized octagonal chapel is decorated with Raphael's mosaics, the Creation of the World. In the central medaillon we can see God in the act of creating the World. The statues of Jonah and Elijah were carved by Lorenzetto. The chapel was later completed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for Fabio Chigi. His additions include the sculptures of Habakkuk and the Angel and Daniel and the Lion.

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Habbakuk and the Angel by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Agostino Chigi's pyramidal wall tomb:

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Jonah by Lorenzetto, Chigi Chapel:

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The Cybo Chapel (Cappella Cybo) is the second side chapel in the right-hand aisle of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. The chapel is regarded one of the most significant sacral monuments erected in Rome in the last quarter of the 17th century.

The chapel with the altarpiece of Carlo Maratta:

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The Cerasi Chapel holds two famous canvases painted by Caravaggio - Crucifixion of St. Peter and Conversion on the Way to Damascus (1600–01). These are probably the most important works of art in the basilica. Situated between the two works of Caravaggio is the altarpiece Assumption of the Virgin by Annibale Carracci. The famous chapel is packed with tourists equipped with cameras. It is, most of the time, darkened. You have to wait until one of the visitors will donate a coin - for lighting up the small chapel.

Crucifixion of St. Peter:

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Conversion on the Way to Damascus:

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After visiting Basilica santa maria del Popolo we exit the cathedral, turn LEFT (EAST) and start climbing the Il Pincio hill: first, the stairs up then the road of Vialle Gabriele D'Annuncio.

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The sight of the Piazza del Popolo from the top of the stairs is superb:

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Note: there is a restroom on the left side, on top of the stairs - but it closes at 16.40 exactly...

The Pincian Hill (Ii Pincio) lies to the north of the Quirinal, overlooking the Campus Martius (Camp Mars). It was outside the original boundaries of the ancient city of Rome, and was not one of the Seven hills of Rome, but it lies within the wall built by Roman Emperor Aurelian between 270 and 273.

After climbing the stairs we arrive to Piazza Napolone I. The Piazza Napoleone was set from a distance, as Napoleon never visited Rome. It is a grand open space that looks out over Piazza del Popolo, also laid out by Valadier, and provides views to the west, and of the skyline of Rome beyond:

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View from Piazza Napoloene I to Vittorio Emmanuele monument:

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In the gardens of il Pincio, it was Giuseppe Mazzini's urging that lined the garden paths with busts of notable Italians. Several villas and their gardens still occupy the hill, including the Borghese gardens, linked to Il Pincio by a pedestrian bridge that crosses the via del Muro Torto.The Muro Torto is the winding stretch of the Aurelian Wall, pierced by the Porta Pinciana:

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Views of Piazza del POpolo from Il Pincio hill gardens:

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Views of Rome from Il Pincio hill gardens:

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Statue under the lookout balcony in Il Pincio hill:

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After spending one hour walking around the hill, gardens, soaking up Rome views we go down to city river - the Tiber. To walk down find the  Viale Adamo Mickievicz and start walking down to the city along this road. Viale Adamo Mickievicz turns slightly left and becomes Viale della Trinità dei Monti (230 m). Slight right onto Via di San Sebastianello (230 m), turn left onto Piazza di Spagna (58 m), turn right to stay on Piazza di Spagna (38 m), continue onto Via delle Carrozze (280 m), turn left onto Via del Corso (75 m) and turn right onto Via Tomacelli. You'll face Chiesa (church) San Carlo al Corso on your right with pretty fountains around:

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You can continue to Ponte Cavour (5-7 minutes walk) - but, better catch a bus along Via Tomacelli to your accommodation in Rome.

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