Nomentano is the name of Rome‘s 5th quartiere. It is located to the north of the historical centre and includes the La Sapienza University. The district is located east of the Via Nomentana and west of the Via Tiburtina. Its main tourist attraction is the Villa Torlonia, a biggish park with a number of small museums.
Nomentano District Rome
History and description
Especially in the years leading up to World War II, Nomentano was a very important district. Mussolini even had a bunker built for himself in the Villa Torlonia. Fortunately most of Nomentano survived the heavy allied bombings during the war.
The architecture of Nomentano is varied. Parts of the quartiere are dominated by elegant 19th century buildings, while other sections are characterized by cosy civilian dwellings. (Locals call the latter part Quartiere di Sant’Ippolito.) The area around the Policlinico (a hospital) is characterized by big buildings, while around Piazza Bologna there are predominantly 1930’s apartment buildings.
Tourist Attractions Nomentano District
The most interesting part of Nomentano is the Villa Torlonia, a beautiful park, which is unfortunately surrounded by office buildings. This park contains the Casina delle Civette, Casino Nobile and the Casino dei Principi, plus two obelisks. There is also a small, badly maintained playground. Older children can visit Technotown.
The Villino Ximenes (Via Bartolomeo Eustachio, 2) was the Rome residence of the sculptor Ettore Ximenes, who was originally from Palermo. It is built in an art nouveau style. It was constructed in 1902 by the architect Baldizzi together with Ernesto Basile. For inspiration the architects used the Norman palaces as they can be seen in Palermo. The interior decorations, including the Dining Hall, which is decorated with frescoes and stucco, are the work of Ximenes himself. The various rooms still contain the original art nouveau furniture. In the 1930’s the Villino Ximenes was sold by the artist’s inheritors and is not the seat of a University Hostel. It can be visited upon request by contacting the hostel (+39 06 4402645).
Other sights worth visiting are the Catacombs of San Nicomede and the palazzo of the Post Italiane on Piazza Bologna.