Piazza di Spagna & Piazza del Popolo

In the late Renaissance, thanks to its splendor, Piazza di Spagna was one of the most coveted and busiest centers, the city's most visited attraction by tourists and famous travelers from all over Europe. It was constantly visited by important artists, poets and writers of the time, who took inspiration from it thanks to the unique and unrepeatable landscape. The area around the Piazza di Spagna, the Piazza del Popolo and the Villa Borghese is very extensive and you need a lot of time to see the most important sights, to enjoy the special atmosphere and to walk in the very large Villa Borghese.

1. Piazza di Spagna & Spanish Steps

The Piazza di Spagna is one of the most popular and busiest squares in Rome. The famous Spanish Steps with their 135 travertine steps are the work of Francesco de Sanctis. While the lower end of the Spanish Steps is adorned with the "Fontana La Barcaccia" fountain, it ends at the top with the French church "SS. Trinità dei Monti". Also impressive is the huge Egyptian obelisk that rises into the sky between the stairs and the church.

 

The Piazza di Spagna with the Spanish Steps is a meeting point for all tourists. The huge staircase invites you to rest and linger. The fountain in front of the stairs (called "Fontana della Barcaccia") has the shape of a ship and was completed by the son of the great Bernini in the 17th century.

2. Keats & Shelly museum & Villa Medici

Keats-Shelley House is a Roman literary museum dedicated to the writers John Keats and Perdy Shelley and the English Romantic poets who were drawn to the city. John Keats lived in the house on the Piazza di Spagna in the years 1820/1821. The Swedish doctor and writer Axel Munthe later lived in the house. The house is open to the public. The house's collection includes many manuscripts and an extensive library specializing in English Romanticism.

 

Villa Medici. The founding of the French Academy in Rome was part of the great works of King Louis XIV at the end of the 17th century. These works transformed the Louvre, the Tuileries and Versailles. The French Academy in Rome was founded in 1666 under the leadership of Colbert, Le Brun and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. She welcomed artists who had won the First Prize of Rome and several protégés of powerful lords. Young artists entertained by the king received an extended education and had contact with Rome and Italy. At that time, these Rome grantees followed a strict discipline and dedicated their stay to the production of copies of ancient or Renaissance art. The Académie de France has had various residencies in Rome over the years. It was not until 1803 that she moved to the Villa Medici, which is located above the Spanish Steps. The villa can be visited with guided tours.

 

Church of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. This church is located near the Piazza di Spagna. The elliptical apse, the tambour of the dome and the bell tower are by Borromini. The bell tower is interesting. It has a square plan with different orders and complete creative freedom. Inside are two sculptures by Bernini. The angels he executed for the Angel's Bridge, which the Pope wanted to protect here from being destroyed by weathering. They represent the angel with the crown of thorns and the angel with the scroll showing the symbols of the Passion.

Restaurants

Hamasei - Restaurant

Hamasei is the best Japanese restaurant in Rome. The excellent lunch menu at a very fair price is recommended. Definitely reserve. Location: Near Piazza di Spagna and Fontana di Trevi.

Address Via della Mercede 35/36, Roma

Phone +39 06 679 21 34

Antico Caffé Greco

Located on Via Condotti, just a few steps from the Spanish Steps, this coffee shop is known for the illustrious guests it has served, both then and now. For Goethe, for example, the café was a second living room during his stay in Rome.

Address Via dei Condotti 86, Roma

3. Villa Borghese & Galleria Borghese museum

Villa Borghese - On the large estate of Villa Borghese there are museums and galleries, foreign academies and archaeological institutes, a zoo, a lawn amphitheater, an artificial lake, several summer houses, fountains and classical statues. The park has several entrances, one of which is the monumental entrance in Piazzale Flaminio (just off Piazza del Popolo).

 

Worth seeing in the park:

  • Surrounded by tall pine trees, the Piazza di Siena is an open, grass-covered amphitheater

  • Statues of Goethe, Byron and Victor Hugo Picturesque temples such as the round Temple of Diana and the Temple of Faustina

  • The "Giardino del Lago" in the center of the park. In this garden there is an artificial lake with a temple of Aesculapius. On the lake you can row with rowing boats in idyllic surroundings.

  • South of the lake stands the Art Nouveau Fontana di Fauni, probably one of the most beautiful sculptures in the park

  • In the northwest on Viale delle Belle Arti is the "Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna", which houses a collection of paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • In the northeast corner of the park are the small Bioparco and the Museo Zoologico.

  • In the middle of the park is the former orangery, which has been transformed into the Museo Carlo Bilotti. Here you can see works by Giorgio de Chirico, Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers and Gino Severini.

Museum "Galleria Borghese" (in the Park Villa Borghese) In the Villa Borghese, in a corner of the park, is the Galleria Borghese, one of the most famous and valuable private art collections in the world, dating back to the collecting activities of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who was also the builder of the casino where the collection is housed. At the beginning of the 19th century the so-called statue casino was set up, which contains a rich collection of antiquities, some of which are important, including the seated statue of Anakreon, Bacchus, Iuno Pronuba, a statue of Tyrtaeus, a seated Pluto and the statue of a dancing Silenus. The collection includes works by Antonello da Messina, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Guido Reni, Rubens, Antonio Tempesta, Titian and Veronese, as well as sculptures by Bernini and Canova, among others.

Address Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5, Roma - Phone +39 06 841 39 79

 

The Villa Giulia is today the most representative museum of Etruscan culture and houses not only some of the most important creations of this culture, but also Greek and pre-Roman products of the highest level, which converged in a territory that existed between the VII and V centuries BC. Chr. was an outstanding meeting place for different peoples. The museum is located just outside the Villa Borghese Park.

4. Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo is surely one of the most famous squares in the world with a picturesque entrance in the heart of the capital. Its artistic beauties and its cafés make the square a cultural symbol of the Roman citizens. The Fontana del Trullo fountain, designed by Giacomo della Porta, was built in the 16th century. The obelisk in the center of the square was brought to Rome in the time of Augustus to celebrate the conquest of Egypt. The outer facade of today's Porta del Popolo was commissioned by Pope Pius IV from Michelangelo. Next to it stands the splendid 15th-century Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, enriched and modified over the centuries by the intervention of many architects and artists. Inside it keeps exceptional masterpieces by Raphael, Bernini, Pinturicchio and Caravaggio.

 

Behind the Piazza del Popolo there is the Pincio Park, a beautiful urban promenade from whose terrace you can admire a spectacular sunset.

 

 Restaurants

Le Jardin de Russie

Good Italian restaurant in the hotel, with a nice atmosphere.You can also eat in the garden.Location: right next to Piazza del Popolo.

Address Hotel de Russie, Via del Babuino 9, Roma

Phone +39 06 32 88 88 70

Ristorante Brillo

Good restaurant, nice service.Location: 250 meters from Piazza del Popolo

Address Via della Fontanella 12, Roma

Phone +39 06 324 33 34

 

Pizzeria PizzaRe

Very good "Pizza Napoletana", straight from the wood-fired oven.Location: 260 meters from Piazza del Popolo

Address Via di Ripetta 14, Roma

Phone +39 321 14 68

5. Porta del Popolo & Church Santa Maria del Popolo

Porta del Popolo - The Piazza del Popolo is accessed through the Porta del Popolo (the old Porta Flaminia).The outer facade of this portal was commissioned by Pope Pius IV from Michelangelo. He entrusted the commission to Nanni di Baccio Bigio, who carried out the work in the 15th century.

 

In Piazza del Popolo, next to Porta del Popolo, stands the splendid 15th-century Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, enriched and modified over the centuries by the intervention of many architects and artists. Inside it keeps exceptional masterpieces by Raphael, Bernini, Pinturicchio and Caravaggio.

Link: http://www.smariadelpopolo.com/en/- Information on Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo, in English.

6. Il Tridente & Casa di Goethe

Il Tridente, from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza di Spagna. This district derives its name from the tridente, an ancient three-edged stabbing weapon, since from Piazza del Popolo three streets branch off like a trident: Via di Ripetta, Via del Babuino and Via Condotti. In this quarter, now with many shopping streets, great personalities frequented, such as the English poets Keats and Shelly, the German poet prince Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the Italian director Federico Fellini. The big luxury brands have found their natural headquarters here.

 

Museums ​

 

Casa di Goethe - Near Piazza del Popolo, in Via del Corso is the house where Goethe stayed in the years 1786-1788 as a guest of his friend and painter Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein. Today the house is a cultural institute and museum dedicated to the poet, his journey to Italy and his stay in Rome.

 

Ara Pacis Museum- Walking towards the Tevere River from Piazza del Popolo, one arrives at the Ara Pacis, with the Altar of Peace, one of the most outstanding monuments of ancient Rome.

Link: http://www.arapacis.it/en/- Information about the Museo Ara Pacis, in English.

Piazza di Spagna - Spanish Steps

Piazza di Spagna - View from church Trinita dei Monti

Galleria Borhgese museum, in the park Villa Borghese

Piazza del Popolo

Porta del Popolo - on the right hand side church Santa Maria del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza di Spagna - Fontana del Barcaccio

Park Villa Borghese

Piazzza del Popolo - Church Santa Maria del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo

Villa Medici - near Piazza di Spagna

Piazza del Popolo

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© by Team Marsilva 2022