The Piazza Cavour is the largest and most impressive square in the Prati district of Rome. One of the long sides of the square is taken up entirely by the Palazzo della Giustizia.Continue reading “Piazza Cavour Rome”
The Piazza dei Mercanti is one of the most beautiful squares in the Trastevere district in Rome. The most striking building on the square is the House of Ettore Fieramosca. The square formed the background of famous Italian movies, including Vittoria De Sica‘s “Bicycle Thieves”.
Piazza dei Mercanti Rome
The Piazza dei Mercanti has always been an important square. When the Ripa Grande river port still existed, it was here that the goods that were brought from the sea were traded and transported further on small river boats pulled by oxen. The Ripa Grande was moved toward the end of the 19th century, when the walls along the Tiber were constructed.
Toward the end of the 17th century, the Ospizio Apostolico di San Michele was built, wich changed the character of the square. An ospizio is a sort of old folks’ home. Several smaller buildings were incorporated in the new structure.
The most interesting building in the Piazza dei Mercanti is the one on the corner of the Piazza Santa Cecilia. This 13th century tower house is known as the House of Ettore Fieramosca, a famous mercenary soldier.
Piazza dei Mercanti, Roma
Though Piazza Mignanelli in Rome is not amongst the city’s most famous squares, there will be very few tourists in the Eternal City who will not have unwittingly set foot on this beautiful little piazza. Piazza Mignanelli lies at the foot of the Pincio hill, to the right of the Spanish Steps and the narrow stairways leading up to the Trinità dei Monti church.
Piazza Mignanelli Rome
Every year on the 8th of December the Pope (and thousands of Catholics with him) visits Piazza Mignanelli, in order to celebrate the Immaculate Conception, symbolized by the statue of the Madonna on the pillar in the middle of the piazza. The pillar is called the Colonna dell’Immacolata.
History and description
The palazzo dominating Piazza Mignanelli was built in the beginning of the 17th century. It was commissioned by the wealthy Gabrielli family from the city of Gubbio. The third floor of this building was not constructed until 1887, by Andrea Busiri Vici. The same architect also reconstructed the facade.
A marriage in the Gabrielli family was the reason the name Mignanelli was chosen.
One beautiful palazzo of course attracts more beautiful palazzi. After the Gabrielli building more buildings were constructed around Piazza Mignanelli. The steps leading up to the Trinità dei Monti church were also constructed.
In those days there was a chain separating the Piazza di Spagna from Piazza Mignanelli. The square could only be entered by people belonging to the circle of friends of the Gabrielli‘s.
The building on the right (when facing the Trinità dei Monti church) used to be the seat of the Inspectorate for Prices and Taxes, run by the Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
Piazza Mignanelli – Rome
The Piazza della Rotonda is the official name of the square that faces the Pantheon in Rome, so most people know it by the name Piazza del Pantheon. It is one of Rome‘s liveliest squares, with a jumble of open-air café tables and a picturesque central fountain. The alleys leading up to the square are lined with tourist shops, wine bars, restaurants and small cafés. Continue reading “Piazza della Rotonda Rome”
Especially at night-time, when the Campo de’ Fiori turns into one of the liveliest squares in Rome, it is hard to imagine that this beautiful, crowded square started its existence as a simple meadow. In the mornings the square hosts a weekday market.
Campo de’ Fiori Rome
It is located close to the river Tiber, in one of Rome‘s most beautiful and picturesque districts, and is the backdrop of one of Rome’s most interesting weekday markets (which was formerly held in the nearby Piazza Navona).
The name, “Field of Flowers”, is a reminder of its origins as a pasture where animals used to graze. This lasted until 1440, when the area was paved.
From then on it became a place where pilgrims found hospitality in inns and hotels, a characteristic which has not changed much over the years. Campo de’ Fiori nowadays is still a square lined by restaurants and pubs of all kinds.
The statue in the middle of the square depicts Giordano Bruno, a philosopher who was sent to the stake in the year 1600 because of his heretic ideas. Note that he is placed in such a way that he is looking directly towards the Vatican City.
Unfortunately nowadays the Campo has become the last stop of most of the pub crawls organized in Rome, and drunken youths screaming and fighting may ruin the atmosphere.
Campo de Fiori Market
The daily market at the Campo de’ Fiori (7 AM till 2 PM, except Sundays) is one of the oldest in Rome. Its official name is Mercato Regionale Regola, even though the square is not in the Regola, but in the Parione district.
The nearest bus stop is Corso Vittorio Emanuele/Navona (46, 62, 64, 916, 916F, N5, N15, N20).
Campo de’ Fiori – Rome
Piazza Borghese Rome
The neighborhood where the Piazza Borghese is located used to belong to the Borghese family. This family settled in the area in the 16th century. Pope Paul V and Cardinal Scipione Borghese were responsible for the enlargement of the area between the Via di Ripetta and the San Girolamo degli Schiavi Church. Until the 19th century the square remained property of the family.
On the north side it is bordered by the Palazzo Borghese, on the west side by the Palazzo della Famiglia and on the northwest side by the Faculty of Architecture.
The Palazzo Borghese, thanks to its unusual shape, is often nicknamed Cembalo (“Harpsichord”). Nowadays, one wing of this building is used as a hotel and resaurant/lounge bar.
Originally the square bordered the Via di Ripetta. This changed between 1923 and 1928, when the faculty, which is part of the Sapienza University, was constructed inbetween.
The nearest bus stop is Ripetta (70, 81, 87, 492, 628, C3, N6, N7, N25).
Piazza Borghese – Rome
Piazza Barberini is a large public square on the Quirinal Hill in the city centre of Rome. It was constructed in the 16th century but it was only in 1625 that it was named after the Palazzo Barberini which faces it.
Piazza Barberini Rome
History and description
The Piazza Barberini is located in the spot where the Roman Circus of Flora used to be. Here
in the month of May the flower games were held to celebrate the beginning of spring.
Already in the first years of the empire this valley was inhabited. In the 16th century several villas and gardens were constructed in the area. In 1585 Pope Sixtus V had the Via Felice constructed. This street led from the Trinità de Monti Church to the Santa Croce in Gerusalemme Basilica. Later, in 1870, it was split up in several fractions, including the Via Sistina and the Via delle Quattro Fontane. When the Via Veneto and the Via Regina Elena (now the Via Barberini) were constructed the Piazza Barberini became one of the main squares of the city.
The piazza used to have a completely different outlook. There used to be a gateway into the Palazzo Barberini, which was destroyed in the 19th century in order to facilitate the construction of a road. Most of the buildings around the square were reconstructed at some point or other.
Until the 18th century the Piazza Barberini could be a quite macabre spot, since unidentified corpses were brought here to be transported to various central points of the city to see if anybody would recognize them.
The Piazza Barberini nowadays houses the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica). The entrance to this museum is not in the square, however, but in the Via Barberini.
The main attraction is the Fontana del Tritone in the middle of the square. It was constructed between 1632 and 1637 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
There used to be another fountain at the spot where the piazza meets the Via Sistina, but this one was later moved to the Via Vittorio Veneto. Like the Triton Fountain the Fontana delle Api (Fountain of the Bees) was created by Bernini. The bee, by the way, is the symbol of the Barberini family.
Address and public transport
The Piazza Barberini is located in the rione Trevi. Metro: Barberini (line A). Bus stop: Tritone/Barberini (lines 52, 53, 62, 63, 83, 85, 160, 492, C3, N4, N5, N12, N25).
Piazza Barberini – Rome
The Piazza della Minerva is located in the center of Rome, in the rione Pigna. It is named after the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, in its turn named after a temple built by Pompey and dedicated to Minerva Calcidica. Its biggest attraction is the Minerva Obelisk, also known as Bernini’s Elephant.
Piazza della Minerva Rome
The Piazza della Minerva is indirectly named after the Minerva Calcidica Temple. The statue of Minerva that stood in this temple is now to be seen in the Vatican Museums.
One claim to fame the Piazza della Minerva has is that it is the lowest square in Rome and therefore always the first one to be flooded. 15th and 16th century inscriptions on the side of the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church show how high the water rose.
The Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church is the only Gothic church in Rome, although this is not directly visible in the exterior part of the building. Highlights in the church itself are a “Resurrected Christ” by Michelangelo and a fresco by Filippino Lippi.
The most important attraction on the square is the Minerva Obelisk, a statue of an elephant with an obelisk on its back, made by Bernini. In 1667 the obelisk was moved to its present spot from the Iseo Campense. Although the elephant was designed by Bernini, it was sculpted by Ercole Ferrata.
The building to the right of the church is the Palazzo Fonseca and since 1832 houses the Grand Hotel de la Minerve.
Directly across from the church the Palazzo dell’Accademia Ecclesiastica can be seen. Here the diplomats of the Vatican City obtain their training.
The writer Stendhal used to live on the Piazza della Minerva (n. 66) for a while.
From the square the back of the Pantheon with the ruins of the Baths of Agrippa can be seen. The baths were built between 27 and 25 BC and are the oldest of the city.
Address and public transport
The nearest bus stop is Argentina (lines 30, 40, 46, 62, 64, 70, 81, 87, 130F, 190F, 492, 628, 916, 916F, N5, N6, N7, N15, N20, SHOP1).
Piazza della Minerva – Rome
Piazza Mastai in Rome gets its name from the family of Pope Pius IX, who constructed the Manifattura dei Tabacchi there in 1865.
Piazza Mastai Rome
The building still exists, although the Pope himself was not too enthusiastic about the result. According to legend, after Pius had entered the building through the door, which was rather small compared to the rest of the building, he is supposed to have said: “Now I have entered through the window, I would also like to see where the door is”. It is safe to say that this was probably a lot wittier in Italian.
Except for the Manifattura dei Tabacchi, Pius IX also constructed a number of rental houses for those Trasteverini who did not have a sufficient income. The houses still exist, in the Via Cardinale Merry del Val, which used to be part of the Piazza Mastai.
The central fountain in the square, like the Manifattura, was designed by the architect Antonio Sarti.
Piazza Mastai Rome Photo Gallery
Piazza Mastai – Rome
The Piazza di San Cosimato is named for the church with the same name and is located in the middle of the district of Trastevere in Rome.
Piazza San Cosimato Rome
Apart from the San Cosimato Church, which nowadays is incorporated in the Regina Margherita hospital and has a beautifully intimate little courtyard, it does not have too much to offer to the average tourist.
For people with children the square can be a pleasant break from sightseeing duties, since there is a small playground to be found.
Piazza San Cosimato also boasts a small daily market, where the Trasteverini themselves do their shopping.
The surrounding streets are characterized be a great number of interesting little trattorie and pizzerie.