In this week’s (sponsored) guest post, we take a wander around Rome’s piazzas.
A TOUR OF ROME’S PIAZZAS
All roads may lead to Rome but to be more precise, all roads lead to a piazza in Rome. The lifeblood of the national capital, piazze offer matchless perspectives on the ancient city’s history, majesty and aesthetic beauty. Discover eight vibrant piazzas in Rome that exemplify remarkable, must-see attractions.
This small piazza next to the Parco della Resistenza dell’Otto Settembre commemorates Mussolini’s conquest of Albania in 1940. Despite events since, namely, the abrupt demise of Fascism in Italy and Albania’s independence, the name survives. A grand horseman monument of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, graces the square.
Piazza Barberini is the handsome union of several important Centro Storico streets. Via Barberini, Via di San Basilio, Via Sistina and Via Vittorio Veneto all converge on the lively Rome Metro hub. The most conspicuous feature of Piazza Barberini is the 17th-century Triton Fountain by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Another slightly more famous fountain, Trevi, is a short walk away.
Piazza Campo de’ Fiori
One of the most inimitable piazzas in Italy, let alone the capital, Campo de’ Fiori dates back to ancient Rome, when the vital confluence was a mere meadow. By the 15th century, the open space was a lively point of interest and milieu for exquisite landmarks like the Palazzo della Cancelleria. A somber monument to Roman Inquisition martyr Giordano Bruno serves as a symbol for contemporary freethinkers but above all else, the piazza is a chatty, convivial marketplace.
The Colonna di Marco Aurelio provides this pre-eminent piazza with a clear, obvious name. The paragon victory column is one of the most venerable symbols of Rome and rather incredibly, has stood in the eponymous square since the year 193. Get up close to observe uncanny, spectacular details on the Doric masterpiece and try to catch a glimpse of Silvio Berlusconi in Palazzo Chigi, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy.
Piazza della Minerva
Few piazzas unfurl as much charm as della Minerva. The lovely Rome enclave has a rich ensemble of architecture to admire. The phenomenal 14 th-century Basilica di Santa Maria contains works by Michelangelo and Fra Angelico. The Palazzo Fonseca was one of the first hotels in Rome while Palazzo Severoli is home to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, where priests train to serve in the Vatican’s diplomatic corps. Perimeter eye candy aside however, Bernini’s obelisk and elephant sculpture rise memorably over Piazza della Minerva.
Piazza di Monte Citorio
A coin’s throw from Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Monte Citorio’s ineffaceable linchpin is the magnificent Solare. The Obelisk of Montecitorio (official name) is ancient Egyptian in origin and came to Rome by way of Heliopolis in 10 B.C. Much, much later, in the late 18th century, Pope Pius VI led a triumphant effort to restore the monument. While a serviceable solar clock no longer, the obelisk is nonetheless sublime and graces Piazza di Monte Citorio and Palazzo Montecitorio – the fabulous home of the Parliament of Italy.
Another congregation point in Rome, another obelisk. Piazza Navona’s Egyptian obelisk punctuates Bernini’s (him again!) gorgeous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or “Fountain of the Four Rivers” and lures countless daily visitors. Other landmarks in this infectious hive of activity include the 15th-century Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore church and the Museum of Rome in Palazzo Braschi.
Piazza del Popolo
On the doorstep of extraordinary Villa Borghese and immaculate Rome hotels, Piazza del Popolo is one of the most prominent hubs in the city. The impressive Neoclassical design features the Egyptian obelisk of Rameses II, elaborate aqueducts and fountains and seamless links with Pincian Hill and in turn, Villa Borghese gardens. Once a busy traffic sector, Piazza del Popolo is now a car-free pedestrian paradise.
Disclosure: This post has been written and sponsored by a hotel booking company as part of the guest post series on my blog. Hey, a girl’s gotta live – and travel!