The present Via della Lungara follows the trajectory of an old road which near the Piazza Sant’Egidio forked off from the old Via Aurelia and continued northward towards the Vatican City. It then followed the present Via della Scala as far as the Porta Septimiana.
Via della Lungara Rome
The Via della Lungara has been known under several different names through the years. It started out as the Sub Janiculensis (or Sub Jano), thanks to its location at the foot of the Janiculum Hill, but the pilgrims who followed the road towards the Vatican soon started calling it the Via Sancta (Holy Road).
Construction of the road was ordered by Pope Alessandro VI Borgia and completed under hi successor Giulio II Della Rovere. The intention was to keep the road parallel to the Via Giulia across the Tiber. For a short while it was even called the Via Julia until it got its final name of Via della Lungara.
When the street was built there were still houses, with gardens stretching to the banks of the Tiber, but these were all destroyed when the walls to keep the river from flooding were constructed.
Via della Lungara Rome Tourist Attractions
Palazzo Corsini (on the left): Former residence of Queen Christina of Sweden and presently one of the seats of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica.
Villa Farnesina (across the road from the Palazzo Corsini): Renaissance villa.
Regina Coeli: Church turned prison.
San Giuseppe alla Lungara (V. della Lungara, 45): Church, with convent attached.
Palazzo Salviati (V. della Lungara, 82): Across from the Porto Leonino.
Santa Croce delle Scalette Church
The Chiesa di Santa Croce delle Scalette (Via della Lungara, 19) is not to be confused with the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Scala, which is located in the same area. The church gets its name from the two staircases leading to, respectively, the church itself and the annexed convent. It is closed since 1924.