The Via del Pellegrino in Rome connects the Campo de’ Fiori to the beginning of the Via dei Banchi Vecchi. It is a fairly narrow and extremely picturesque street lined by cozy bars, boutiques, book stores and traditional eateries and wine bars.
Via del Pellegrino Rome
History and description
The original name of the Via del Pellegrino was the Via Florea. This is indicated on a plaque in the nearby Via dei Balestrari. Later the street came to be called the Via deglo Orefici, because of the many goldsmiths plying their trade there.
Since the street leads from the Campo de’ Fiori to the Vatican City, it is often assumed that its present name derives from the many pilgrims passing through it. This is only indirectly true, since it is named after a tavern called del Pellegrino, which was of course named thus because of these same pilgrims.
In the 15th century the street was also called Merzariorum, probably because of the many shops flanking it. Practically the whole side now taken up by the Palazzo della Cancelleria was full of various kinds of shops.
Most of the shops and houses in the street were in bad state and in 1887 a Councillor called Filippo Pacelli attempted to urge the city to do something about the lack of public safety and hygiene in the street. However, it was not until 1939 that the offending dwellings were removed. Pacelli‘s son would later become Pope Pius XII.
There is a plaque on the corner of the Via del Pellegrino and the Campo de’ Fiori. The translation is: “Pope Alexander VI, restored the Mole Adriana, ordered the expansion of the narrow streets of the city in 1497”. The Mole Adriana is another name for the Castel Sant’Angelo. The narrowness of the street is indicated by the columns inserted into the walls at the corners. Their function was to protect the walls from the carriages and carts traveling through the street.
The stucco so-called Madonella on the corner with the Arco di Santa Margarita stems from the 18th century. The high relief sculpture of the Madonna of the Conception inside the tabernacle was the work of Francesco Moderati. The medaillon supported by two eagles at the base contains a depiction of San Filippo Neri. This would indicate that the sculpture was ordered by the congregation dedicated to this saint.
The Arco degli Acetari is an overpass between two buildings. Probably the name Acetari refers to so-called “Acquecetosari” or “Acetosari”. These dealers of “Acqua Acetosa” water had their stores in the street, in order to supply the Campo de’ Fiori market. The well was called acetosa (“vinegary”) because of its taste. An inscription at the source claims that “it was good for the kidneys, the spleen, the liver and a thousand other evils” The well was closed in 1959 because it was polluted. An Acquecetosaro was somone who transported this healing water inside straw flasks by donkey or carriage through the city streets.