From Piazza Venezia to Trastevere

Piazza Venezia, Campidoglio, Bocca della Verità, Ghetto ebraico, Isola Tiberina, Trastevere.

Piazza Venezia is dominated by the marble monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, king of Italy, and by Palazzo Venezia (location of the homonymous Museum and the Library of Art History). The palace, built in 1455, was the location of the Venetian Embassy and later, after it became to property of the Italian State in 1916, it was used by Mussolini for his proclamations to the citizens that crowded the square. Continuing to the right of the building, we are now reaching the square of Ara Coeli.
From the square, following the flight of steps, known as Cordonata, we arrive to the square of the Campidoglio.

The Campidoglio is the only hill that through the centuries has maintained the same purpose; even today it hosts the offices of the Major of Roma. The actual design of the square was made by Michelangelo, under the orders of Pope Paul III Farnese, but was realized by a number of artists after him. At the center there is a copy of the bronze statue of Marco Aurelio on a horse. Today, the palace of the Conservatori, head office of the magistrate during the Medieval era, and the Palazzo Nuovo (on the left of the flight of stairs) host the Capitolini Museums. Coming down though via del monte Tarpeo, then via della Consolazione, via del Foro Romano and via di San Teodoro, we arrive to San Giorgio al Velabro and to the Arco degli Argentari.

Are you ready to prove your honesty? The church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin (VI century) is known for its porch hosting a mask made of stone known as “Bocca della Verità” (mouth of truth), according to the legend, the mask would bite the hand of the liars. The church, organized into three naves, hosts masterpieces of high values. Now let’s cross the square, towards the temples of the Foro Boario: the Temple of the Fortuna Virile (viril fortune), on a square blueprint (IV centiry b.C.), and the Temple of Ercole (Hercules) (II century b.C.).

After you have walked through via di Ponte Rotto, in direction towards the Tiber river, you will find the medieval house of Crescenzi, decorated with parts derives from roman temples. Before you arrive to the Portico d'Ottavia, you will see, on the Lungotevere dei Pierleoni, a large four-squared construction: this is the Jewish Temple. The visit to the Ghetto will show you a fascinating mix of medieval and renaissance themes intermixed with rests from the roman monuments.

Crossing the Bridge Fabricio you arrive to the Tiberina Island, on which the Fatebenefratelli Hospital has been functioning since 1584. The presence of the hospital in this location is not by chance. In antiquity this was the location of the Temple of Esculapio, god of medicine.
Let’s leave the island now, but not before a short pause under the sun that from here it provides an enchanted view of the Tiber river.

Finally we have arrived to Trastevere. At the time when Roma was built (753 b.C.), this area was a poor area populated with the Etruscans. Romans occupied this area to control the river on both banks and keep the city safe. This neighborhood (from latin “Trans Tiberim” across the Tiber), was the residence for those who were not Roman citizens. After the advent of Christianity, the city underwent an overwhelming growth spur around the churches of Santa Maria, San Crisogono and Santa Cecilia. The church of S. Maria in Trastevere (built in the IV century) is the center of the life in this unique neighborhood, that, because of its narrow roads and the traditional atmosphere, preserves a unique feeling.  Santa Cecilia, was built in the V century over prior roman buildings. In the convent close by there is the famous Giudizio Universale by Carallini (XIII century).
Numerous caffés, restaurants and pizzerias keep the alleys animated at night while the morning atmosphere preserves the genuine feeling of a traditional roman neighborhood. It is best if you can visit this neighborhood at night and in the morning: in the morning to enjoy the shops and stores that are less conventional, and at night to enjoy the evening crowd and the street artists. In this area, you will find antique squares of unique beauty and invaluable churches and basilicas; but you will also find unique fashion shops, typical restaurants, and cultural events.

The Gianicolo Hill raises above this neighborhood to protect it. In antiquity, it was considered one of the main Doors to the City. You can find a perfectly conserved statue of Garibaldi (an Italian General who led the fights to unite Italy), and a monumental fountain, loved by romans who affectionally call it “Fontanone” (big fountain). The fountain was built under the order of Pope Paul V Borghese. From the square where the fountain is located you can enjoy the best view of Roma.

Are you tired and hungry? Follow our suggestions: Trattoria "da Augusto": piazza De' Renzi. "Al piatto  ricco": via della Pelliccia, 29/a. "Dar Poeta": vicolo del Bologna, 45. "Meo Patacca": piazza dei Mercanti, 30. Trattoria "San Callisto", via Arco di S. Callisto, "Antica Pesa": via Garibaldi, 18. But...most of all: we recommend the very good restaurant "La Gattabuia" located in via del Porto, at which our guests enjoy a special discount!!!

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