Rome Piazza Spagna - Rome squares - Rome fountains - Rome Trevi Fountain - Rome Piazza del Popolo - Rome Campidoglio - Rome - travel links
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Rome's brilliant mosaics: an itinerary between golden Byzantine basilicas

This Rome is probably less known than Saint Peter and the Colosseum, Spain Square and Venice Square, or shopping along Corso and Condotti streets...

Rome, discovering a silent and shiny heritage

Strolling in Rome means capturing its soul, amongst age-old buildings, splendid monuments and numerous churches...

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Squares and fountains

Squares and fountains

All the city’s squares to admire:
  • Piazza di Spagna – This is maybe the most charming square in the city. Its unique shape, that narrows in the middle, reminds us of a butterfly. The square’s name comes from the fact that the Spanish Embassy stood in the square in the 17th century. The square is permanently full of tourists and as far back as 1600 it was the favorite place for visitors to Rome from all over the world. The steps that connect the Church of Trinità dei Monti to Piazza di Spagna are amazing, a mixture of curves, straight line and terraces, where it is possible to see the house of poets such as Keats and Shelley (Keats-Shelley Memorial, info: 066784235).
  • Piazza Navona – This is a truly wonderful square to see. It has an unusual, elongated oval shape that is the same as that of the ancient Domiziano Stadium over which the square was built. The predominating style is Baroque and there are so many monuments and buildings to admire such as the Fontana dei Fiumi by Bernini, which is the base of the Egyptian obelisk in the center; Palazzo Pamphili and Fontana del Moro.
  • Piazza Venezia – This square was named in honor of the Republic of Venice that opened up its embassy in this very square. Piazza Venezia was unfortunately made famous when it became the stage for Mussolini’s speeches that he pronounced from the balcony of Palazzo Venezia, an imposing building that dates back to the second half of the 15th century. The Vittoriano, dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, is another important building.
  • Piazza del Popolo – This square is located at the top of the triangle that is formed by three long streets: the central one is the famous Via del Corso. At the center of the square there is an obelisk that was brought to Rome by the Emperor Augustus after he conquered Egypt. The magnificent Porta del Popolo has two identical neoclassical buildings on each side of it.
  • Campidoglio – This hill next to Piazza Venezia has been a seat of government since ancient times: religious ceremonies and political discussions took place in the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol Hill. Today the Rome City Council meets in Palazzo Senatorio, a wonderful example of Renaissance architecture. The square, which is dominated by the Capitoline Museum, and the "Cordonata" staircase were both designed by Michelangelo in the 16th century.

The fountains, everlasting works of art:

  • Trevi Fountain – The most majestic in Rome, and the most famous throughout the world. The Trevi Fountain dominates a small square in the heart of Rome and entered everyone’s imagination thanks to the nighttime bathing scene with Anita Ekberg in the film "La Dolce Vita" by Fellini. This huge Baroque construction, inspired by sea mythology, took 30 years to built, starting in 1732, and was started by Niccolò Salvi who did not live to see the completion of his work. Legend says that anyone who throws a coin into the fountain will return to the Eternal City.
  • Fontana del Tritone – Built by Bernini, this fountain is in Piazza Barberini and was commissioned by the Barberini family in 1642. The fountain shows Triton who is blowing into a shell while four dolphins hold him up.
  • Fontana della Barcaccia – This fountain is in Piazza di Spagna, at the foot of the Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) and was built in 1629 by Bernini. The structure is reminiscent of a boat sunk by water, in remembrance of the Tiber flood that hit Rome in 1598.
  • Fontana dei Fiumi – This fountain is in the center of Piazza Navona. It was designed by Bernini for Pope Innocent X. One of the many obelisks that can be seen in Rome has been placed on top of the fountain. The four giants sculpted around the fountain base represent four rivers: the Ganges, the Danube, the Nile and Rio della Plata.

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