The Castro Pretorio district is the 18th rione of Rome. Compared to most neighborhoods there are not that many tourist attractions. The more interesting sights are located around the Piazza della Repubblica.
Tourist Attractions Castro Pretorio District Rome
01. Piazza della Repubblica
Piazza della Repubblica is the central square of the Castro Pretorio district. It occupies an area that used to be part of the Baths of Diocletian. It is actually more of a roundabout than a square, with the Fountain of the Naiads in the middle.
02. Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri Basilica
This beautiful and very large basilica is one of the churches that plays a role in the nonsensical “Angels and Demons” of Dan Brown. When building the Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri Church, Michelangelo used the frigidarium of the Terme di Diocleziane to create the large auditorium.
03. Baths of Diocletian/Museo Nazionale Romano
When the Baths of Diocletian were constructed, an entire district of the city had to be demolished. These baths were much larger than what can still be seen today. A part was reused in the construction of the Santa Maria degli Angeli Church and a larger part is now part of one of the seats of the Museo Nazionale Romano.
04. Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
A second seat of the Museo Nazionale Romano is located in Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. This 19th-century building is the most important seat of the four and there are a number of famous classical sculptures on display. There are also frequent exhibitions on a particular theme.
05. Santa Maria della Vittoria Church
The Santa Maria della Vittoria is a baroque church. Since a number of years the church has become a lot more popular among tourists, thanks to the “writer” Dan Brown, who had an episode in one of his novels taking place here. Bernini‘s “Ecstasy of Theresa” is one of his most famous works and is the main attraction of the church.
06. Quattro Fontane
The Quattro Fontane are the four fountains at the intersection of Via del Quirinale and Via delle Quattro Fontane. They are located at the highest point of the Quirinal hill and were last restored in 2014. (Not all four of them are located in the Castro Pretorio district.)
07. Roma Termini
The building that most defines the character of the neighborhood is the central station Roma Termini. Until the end of the 20th century this was a very beautiful building, but over the years commerce has gained the upper hand and unfortunately it is crammed with shops and fast food outlets.
08. Via Nazionale
The Via Nazionale is the result of a reclassification of a number of Roman districts, which took place towards the end of the 19th century. The area closest to Piazza della Repubblica is one of the most famous shopping streets in Rome.
09. Porta Pia
The Porta Pia, at the beginning of the Via Nomentana, is one of the most impressive city gates in Rome. On 20 September 1870 a battle between Roman and papal troops took place here. The gate was designed by Michelangelo. After the construction of the Porta Pia, the nearby Porta Nomentana fell into disrepair.
10. Teatro dell’Opera
The Teatro dell’Opera is also called the Teatro Costanzi and was built towards the end of the 19th century.
More Tourist Attractions Rione Castro Pretorio
San Bernardo alle Terme Church
The San Bernardo alle Terme Church is another temple for which part of the Terme di Diocleziane has been reused. The church has a round floor plan and a dome with an oculus.
Saint Paul with the Walls Church
The San Paolo Dentro le Mura Church is an Anglican Church on the Via Nazionale. Classical concerts are often performed there.
Sacro Cuore di Gesù in Castro Pretorio Church
Of all the churches in Rome, the Sacro Cuore del Gesù in Castro Pretorio is the one closest to Termini central station. The most striking aspect of the church is the enormous bronze statue of Jesus that stands on the roof and towers above the district. At the back of the church one can see the room where Don Bosco stayed during his last visit to Rome.
Piazza dei Cinquecento
On the bus square in front of Termini, Piazza dei Cinquecento, you can still see some ruins of the Serbian Agger. An agger is a defensive wall of excavated earth. The stone wall around it was therefore both a defense and a way to keep that earth in place.