Places of interest
near Domus Rome
Domus Rome: Places of Interest
It is located in the historic center
With almost three millennia of history, the historic center of Rome is unique in the world. Stroll in the shadow of the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, and hundreds of other ancient monuments.
Fontana di Trevi
Piazza Navona is one of the most spectacular and characteristic urban complexes of Baroque Rome. The square is bordered by buildings that rose on the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian, whose track are preserved in shape and size.
Piazza del Popolo
The urbanization of the area began in the second half of the 1500s, with the construction of a first fountain, the Fontana del Trullo, designed by Giacomo Della Porta, now in Piazza Nicosia, and with the subsequent placement of the Flaminian obelisk,
What's in the area
- Trinità dei Monti 0,2 km
- Scalinata di Piazza di Spagna 0,2 km
- Teatro Sistina 0,2 km
- Piazza di Spagna 0,2 km
- Piazza Barberini 0,3 km
- Via Condotti 0,4 km
- San Silvestro in Capite 0,4 km
- La Rinascente 0,4 km
- Spain Metro Station 0,2 km
- Barberini Metro Station 0,4 km
- Rome Ciampino Airport 14,7 km
- Rome Fiumicino Airport 22,9 km
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We are located in the historic center of Rome
Its construction began in 135, by order of Emperor Hadrian, who wanted to use it as a mausoleum for his family. Its construction continued until 139, later becoming a military building, which in 403 was integrated into the complex of the Aurelian Wall. In 590, while the plague was devastating the city, Pope Gregory I saw the Archangel Michael on top of the castle, who announced the end of the epidemic. In memory of the Archangel's apparition, the building is crowned by a statue of an angel.
In 1277 a fortified footbridge 800 meters long was built, connecting the castle with the Vatican City, so that the Pope could escape if he was in danger. During the sieges of 1527, Pope Clement VII used the fortress as a refuge.
Castel Sant'Angelo is divided into five floors, which are accessed by means of a spiral ramp, which leads to the room with the ashes and cells, where various famous people were imprisoned.
Advancing to the upper part of the castle, you can visit the papal rooms, decorated with perfectly preserved Renaissance frescoes, as well as the large collections of weapons. On the upper floor there is a large terrace, where you can take excellent photographs of the city from above.
The Imperial Forums
The Imperial Forums are an architectural complex unique in the world, consisting of a series of buildings and monumental squares, the center of political activity in ancient Rome, built in a period of about 150 years, between 46 BC and 113 AD.
At the end of the Republican period, when Rome had become the capital of a huge empire that stretched from Gaul to Asia Minor, the ancient Roman Forum proved insufficient for the functions of administrative center of the city. Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, was the first to provide for the construction of a new square, considered at first as a simple extension of the Republican Forum. The Forum of Caesar was followed by the Forum of Augustus, the Transitory Forum or of Nerva (built by Domitian and inaugurated by Nerva) and the Forum of Trajan, certainly the most grandiose. The set of these archaeological areas constitutes, from an urban point of view, an organic complex, renamed in modern times the "Imperial Forums", which extends between the Capitol and the Quirinal.
Forum of Augustus (2 B.C.)
Octavian, Julius Caesar's nephew (his mother, Julia's daughter, Atia, Caesar's sister) and from 45 BC his adopted son and heir, after avenging his death with the help of Mark Antony in the battle of Philippi (42 BC. ) which ended with the killing of Brutus and Cassius, on his return to Rome he released the vow and began work on the construction of the temple dedicated to Mars Ultor (avenger), which he wanted to insert in a new Forum, thus replicating the architectural model created a few years earlier with the Forum of Caesar. In addition, the dizzying growth in the number of trials had made the capacity of the Roman Forum and Forum Caesar insufficient. Obviously, as with the Forum of Caesar, also in this case the construction of the Forum of Augustus had propaganda purposes; the sumptuous decorations celebrated the new golden age that was born with the principality of Augustus. At the eastern end of the northern portico, a richly decorated room was created that housed the colossal statue of the Genius of Augustus and that is why it is called by its modern name Aula del Colosso. The remains of its decoration and the statue are exhibited in the Museum of the Imperial Forums. On the east side, however, the entire complex was bordered by a giant wall, peperino stone and gabina travertine, up to 33 meters high in the highest part. The use of peperino and gabina stone, considered fireproof, was justified by the fact that the wall served to isolate and protect the Forum from the Suburra, a popular and overcrowded neighborhood where fires were very frequent due to the widespread presence of wooden structures. In the wall are the two entrances to the Forum from the Suburra, one of these is a monumental arch in travertine, which since the sixteenth century is called the Arch of Pantani.
Forum of Nerva (97 AD)
Before the construction of the Forum, the area was occupied by commercial buildings and by the two gigantic apses of the southern side of the Forum of Augustus. Underground, moreover, ran the Cloaca Maxima, the monumental sewage conduit that tradition dates back to the time of the kings (sixth century BC), which came from the Suburra, crossed the Roman Forum and the Velabro and flowed into the Tiber, just downstream of the Tiber Island. Although it is named after Nerva, the construction of the Forum is due to the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD), but he was assassinated in 96 and could not inaugurate it. Nerva took advantage of it in 97, and the Forum still bears his name. The square of the Forum was 114 meters long and only 45 wide. Along the longer sides was made a simple colonnade, as the space available was so small that it prevented the construction of normal arcades, as in other Forums. Of the ancient colonnade, today only two columns remain standing, nicknamed in modern times Colonnacce for their state of ruin. Inside the Forum you can see a stretch of road marked by deep grooves that was the outer part of the coverage in blocks of tufa of the Cloaca Maxima, which was supported the ancient floor of the Forum. In the Middle Ages the slabs of the floor were removed and the wheels of the wagons that passed through engraved the blocks of tufa, creating the grooves that can still be seen today. Forum of Trajan (112 AD)
Between 95 and 105 A.D., the excavation of the slopes of the Quirinal was started in order to obtain space for new buildings. In total about 300,000 cubic meters of tufa were removed, thus obtaining a building area of about 4.2 hectares. In this area was built the last in order of time and the most grandiose of the Imperial Forums: the Forum of Trajan. Its construction probably derived from the need for new spaces to be dedicated to the administration of justice, an activity that from the Roman Forum had moved between the Forum of Caesar and that of Augustus. The Forum of Trajan, moreover, was built to celebrate the victory of the emperor over the Dacians, defeated in two very hard military campaigns. The extraordinary spoils of war greatly enriched the Empire and was used precisely to build the Forum, inaugurated in 112 AD. The Forum of Trajan is one of the many masterpieces of Roman engineering, and its rooms were probably used as offices and archives connected to the administrative and judicial activities that took place in the Imperial Forums. The Forum was developed in a large rectangular square of 110×85 meters, flanked by colonnaded porticoes on the two long sides, closed to the south by a colonnade of colored marble and to the north by the prospect of the Basilica Ulpia which, inaugurated in 112 AD, took its name from the family of Trajan, the Gens Ulpia, and served as an immense court, with its two floors and five naves. At the center of the square the Trajan Column was erected to celebrate the splendor of the emperor. Today, the upper part of the complex houses the Museum of the Imperial Forums, which presents the architecture and sculptural decoration of the Forums.
Despite extensions, fires, restorations and reconstructions, during Antiquity the Imperial Forums kept intact both their architectural conformation and their function. Only in the fourth century, began the progressive modification of the area that led to the birth of a new urban landscape for which its monuments fell into disrepair, or were reused for new buildings. Among these, the Arch of Titus and that of Septimius Severus that have come down to us in good condition because incorporated in medieval fortifications. The area was also used as land for cultivation and as pastureland; since then it has been known as Campo Vaccino.
But the almost definitive destruction of the Imperial Forums occurred during the Renaissance. Pope Julius II (1503-1513) exploited the whole area as a quarry of materials to be reused, often after having them crushed to turn them into lime, in the project of building and artistic renewal of the city that he himself had started. A little worth the protests of leading artists such as Raphael and Michelangelo. The Forum was rediscovered from the sixteenth century thanks to the painters of Roman views that in that period loved to paint the ruins outcropping in the area of the pasture: a unique subject and very appreciated.
In the following centuries several excavation campaigns were undertaken, with greater vigor from the nineteenth century, but the area was completely excavated in the early twentieth century and the ancient architecture was almost completely erased to make room for the construction of Via dei Fori Imperiali along which, since 1950, takes place the annual parade of June 2 on the occasion of the Italian Republic Day. Since April 21, 2015, the Fori Imperiali enjoy a new lighting, designed and created by Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro and architect Francesca Storaro.
Today, the archaeological area of the Imperial Forums can be visited, with entrance in Piazza Santa Maria di Loreto, near the Trajan's Column. The route of the visit, following the footbridge present in the site, touches a part of the Forum of Trajan, passes under Via dei Fori Imperiali along the cellars of the ancient houses of the Alessandrino Quarter, crosses the Forum of Caesar and ends near the Forum of Nerva, where you exit on Via dei Fori Imperiali.
A jewel made of water and stone
The Trevi Fountain, is the terminal member of the Virgin Aqueduct, the only one of the ancient aqueducts uninterruptedly in use until our days, is the most famous of the Roman fountains. Its name derives from a toponym in use in the area since the middle of the 12th century, regio Trivii, referring to the confluence of three streets in the square, or from the triple outlet of the water of the original fountain. The realization of the Trevi Fountain is due to pope Clement XII who, in 1732, called a competition in which the greatest artists of the time took part. Among the various projects presented, the architect Nicola Salvi was chosen.
Leaning against Palazzo Poli, the Fountain is articulated in the wide basin with a large cliff enlivened by the sculptural representation of numerous plants and the spectacular flow of water. At the center dominates the statue of Ocean driving the chariot in the shape of a shell, pulled by two horses named Iroso and Placido held back by two tritons. In the facade, articulated as a triumphal arch, there are two reliefs that allude to the legend of the spring and the history of the aqueduct: on the right, the virgin who indicates the source to the Roman soldiers and, on the left, Agrippa who orders the start of the construction of the aqueduct. The decoration is completed by two allegorical figures that exalt the beneficial effects of water, Health and Abundance, placed in the side niches.
The construction was completed by Giuseppe Pannini who partially modified the reef regularizing the central basins. After a restoration intervention in the years 1989-1991, the last important restoration took place in 2014, thanks to the economic contribution of the Maison Fendi. Before leaving, do not forget to throw a coin into the fountain, you will surely return to Rome, as the custom says. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a little romance, maybe even Italian love, you'll have to throw a second or third coin to make sure the wedding bells will soon ring.
The Trevi Fountain served as a stunning backdrop for the most famous scene in director Federico Fellini's film La Dolce Vita; a provocative Anita Ekberg wrapped in a long black evening gown calls out to Marcello Mastroianni, "Marcello, come here!" as she sinuously plunges into the sparkling waters of the fountain
The Colosseum, originally known as Amphitheatrum Flavium (in Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio) or simply as Amphitheatrum, located in the center of the city of Rome, is the largest amphitheater in the world. Capable of holding an estimated 50,000 to 87,000 spectators, it is the most important Roman amphitheater and the most impressive monument of ancient Rome that has come down to us. Added in 1980 to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, along with the entire historic center of Rome, the extraterritorial areas of the Holy See in Italy and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in 2007 the complex, the only European monument, was also included among the New Seven Wonders of the World, following a competition organized by New Open World Corporation (NOWC).
The amphitheater was built in the Flavian era on an area on the eastern edge of the Roman Forum. Its construction was begun by Vespasian in 70 AD and inaugurated by Titus in 80, with further modifications made during the empire of Domitian in 90. The building forms an ellipse of 527 m perimeter, with axes measuring 187.5 and 156.5 m. The arena inside measures 86×54 m, with an area of 3,357 m². The current height reaches 48.5 m, but originally reached 52 m. The structure clearly expresses the Roman architectural and constructive concepts of the first Imperial Age, based respectively on the curved and enveloping line offered by the elliptical plan and on the complexity of the building systems. Arches and vaults are linked together in a tight structural relationship.
The name "Colosseum" spread only in the Middle Ages, and derives from the popular deformation of the Latin adjective "Colosseum" (translatable into "colossal", as it appeared in the early Middle Ages among the small houses with one or two floors) or, more likely, from the proximity of the colossal acrolithic statue of Nero that stood nearby. Soon the building became a symbol of the imperial city, expression of an ideology in which the will to celebrate comes to define models for the entertainment and amusement of the people.
In ancient times it was used for gladiatorial shows and other public events (hunting shows, naval battles, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on classical mythology). The tradition that wants it to be the place of martyrdom of Christians is unfounded. No longer in use after the sixth century, the huge structure was variously reused over the centuries, including as a quarry. Today it is a symbol of the city of Rome and one of its major tourist attractions in the form of an archaeological monument that can be visited regularly.
In 2012, the conditions of the Colosseum's structure caused concern, following studies that had identified over 3,000 injuries and an extensive state of cracking. In addition, an inclination of 40 cm of the structure was detected, probably due to a subsidence of the foundation slab on which it rests. In 2018, the archaeological circuit Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine obtained 7,650,519 visitors, making it the second most visited Italian state museum site (the first among those with a fee), behind the Pantheon.
Piazza Venezia is a famous square in Rome. It is located at the foot of the Campidoglio, where five of the most important streets of the capital cross: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Via del Corso, the axis of Via C. Battisti-via Nazionale, the axis via del Plebiscito-corso Vittorio and via del Teatro di Marcello. The square is dominated by the Altare della Patria, one of the symbols of Italian patriotism; three monumental buildings surround it on the other sides. The oldest is the fifteenth-century Palazzo Venezia, which gives its name to the square and is home to the homonymous national museum. The other buildings are the seventeenth-century Palazzo Bonaparte and the Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali, built in the early twentieth century.
On Piazza Venezia the boundaries of three districts meet: to the west of it extends the Pigna district, to the east the Trevi district and to the south the Campitelli district. The five major roads that branch off from Piazza Venezia make it a fundamental node of the urban fabric. The oldest is the central Via del Corso, which connects the square with the northern area of the capital. The layout of Via del Corso dates back to 220 BC, tracing that of the urban stretch of the Via Flaminia, one of the most important consular roads.
In the post-unification period were drawn two new roads converging on the square. In 1879 Via Nazionale was opened to connect the center with the area of Termini Station and the eastern districts of the city; the axis of Via Nazionale reaches the square through Via Cesare Battisti. In the same period was also opened Corso Vittorio, which leads to the Vatican and the north-western districts; this course reaches the square through the short Via del Plebiscito.
In the twenty years of Fascism were opened two other roads of great urban communication, starting from Piazza Venezia. Via del Teatro di Marcello, opened in 1927, connects the square with the Tiber and was the first section of the Via del Mare, directed towards the south-western districts, the EUR and the coast of Ostia. In 1933 was opened Via dell'Impero, today Via dei Fori Imperiali, directed towards the Colosseum, the Lateran and the south-eastern districts. With the opening of the new four roads, Piazza Venezia found itself taking on its current role as the hub of communications between the various parts of the capital. Before taking its present name, the square had two other names. Initially it was called "di San Marco", due to the proximity of the homonymous basilica.
In 1455, Cardinal Pietro Barbo built for himself a monumental palace on the western side of the square, demolishing the buildings that housed the cardinals of the title of St. Mark. The cardinal, who became pope with the name of Paul II, decided to place in the center of the square a large granite basin found at the Baths of Caracalla, from that moment the place was called "Piazza della Conca di San Marco". Pope Paul III, of the Farnese family, in 1545 had the granite basin moved to Piazza Farnese, to reunite it with the similar one already there. In 1560, the building constructed by Pietro Barbo was donated by Pope Pius IV to the Republic of Venice, which made it the seat of its embassy, and for this reason it was then called Palazzo Venezia.
One of the most spectacular urban complexes of Baroque Rome
Piazza Navona is one of the most spectacular and characteristic urban complexes of Baroque Rome. The square is bordered by buildings that rose on the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian, whose track are preserved in shape and size.
The original shape of the present square, in fact, faithfully imitates the perimeter of the ancient stadium that Domitian had built in 86 AD for athletic competitions and horse races. The remains of this ancient structure are located 5-6 meters below today's street level and you can still see them under a modern building in Piazza di Tor Sanguigna and in the basement of the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone. The modern name of the square derives from the term Agones which in Latin means "games".
Piazza Navona has been over the centuries the scene of popular festivals, races and jousts. From the seventeenth century until the mid-nineteenth century, Saturdays and Sundays in August, Piazza Navona, which then had a concave bottom, was partly flooded to offer refreshment and entertainment to the Romans.
Dominating the square is the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, begun by Carlo and Girolamo Rainaldi and completed by Borromini, who significantly modified it, making it one of the most magnificent Baroque architectures in Rome. Next to the church, there is the Pamphilj Palace, where the Brazilian embassy has been located since 1960. In front of the palace stands the church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, formerly known as San Giacomo degli Spagnoli, built for the Jubilee of 1450.
Three fountains adorn the square: the Fountain of the Moor, so called for the statue of the Ethiopian fighting with a dolphin, the Fountain of Calderari, also known as the Fountain of Neptune, both works by Giacomo della Porta and, in the center, the imposing Fountain of the Four Rivers, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The fountain is imagined as a large travertine cliff, excavated from a cave with four openings, which supports the granite obelisk recovered from the Circus of Maxentius on the ancient Appian Way. On the corners of the cliff are the monumental marble statues of the four rivers representing the then known continents: the Danube for Europe, with a horse; the Ganges for Asia, with an oar and a dragon; the Nile for Africa, with a veiled head (an allusion to the unknown sources) associated with a lion and a palm tree; the Rio de la Plata for America, with an arm raised and an armadillo beside it.
On the top of the cliff are two large marble coats of arms of the pope's family with a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak, and the same dove, in bronze, is placed at the top of the obelisk.
PIAZZA DI SPAGNA AND THE STEPS OF TRINITA' DEI MONTI
Romantic center of thenineteenth-century Rome, already in the fifteenth century assumed a very important commercial role due to the presence of many hotels and houses inhabited by foreigners, drawn to this area by the representations of the Spanish and French governments.
Under the pontificate of Innocent XIII, and under the direction of the Roman architect Francesco De Santis, the Spanish Steps were built (1723-26), a scenic link between the slopes of the Pincio, dominated by the church of the Holy Trinity, and the Spanish Steps below, which was a meeting place for all citizens.
Even today, the Spanish Steps is a meeting place, so as to be called the "living room of Rome".
At the top of the Steps there is the church of Trinità dei Monti, founded in 1495, while at the center of the square there's the fountain called the "Barcaccia" (1626-29) by Pietro Bernini, Gian Lorenzo's father. The fountain has the shape of a boat with an identical prow and stern and it's immersed in an oval pool. The edges of the sides are very low, giving the impression that the boat is about to sink. On the outside of the bow and stern there are two large coats-of-arms of Urban VIII with three bees; on the sides of the coats-of- arms the water comes out of false gun ports.
The term "barcaccia" refers to the boats used on the Tiber in the nearby port of Ripetta. Other inspirations for the fountain are probably to be found in the news that there was in the area a naumachia - an open-air building where naval games and battles with miniature warships took place - and in the Tiber floods, which dragged the boats up to Trinità de' Monti.
Piazza del Popolo
Monumental and elegant square, at the apex where Via del Babuino, Via di Ripetta and Via del Corso, the three main arteries of the historic center of Rome, meet.
The urbanization of the area began in the second half of the 1500s, with the construction of a first fountain, the Fontana del Trullo, designed by Giacomo Della Porta, now in Piazza Nicosia, and with the subsequent placement of the Flaminian obelisk, about 24 meters high, and moved from the Circus Maximus by order of Sixtus V in 1589; it was the first obelisk to be moved to Rome, at the time of Augustus, to celebrate the conquest of Egypt.
The external facade of today's Porta del Popolo (the ancient Porta Flaminia) was commissioned by Pope Pius IV to Michelangelo, who, however, transferred the task to Nanni di Baccio Bigio, who carried out the work between 1562 and 1565. "Felici faustoque ingressui MDCLV" ("For a happy and auspicious entrance"): this is the message engraved on the inner facade, realized by Bernini for Alexander VII, on the occasion of the arrival in Rome of Christine of Sweden in 1655.
During the 1600s, the two twin churches were built, Santa Maria in Montesanto, also known as the "Church of the Artists", and Santa Maria dei Miracoli, originally designed by Carlo Rainaldi, and both subsequently completed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, with the collaboration of Carlo Fontana. Conceived by Rainaldi as symmetrical constructions, due to space problems they have different plans and different domes - octagonal for Santa Maria dei Miracoli and dodecagonal for Santa Maria in Montesanto. Nevertheless, from the square, thanks to a pure optical effect, they appear identical. Piazza del Popolo
On the opposite side of the square stands the splendid Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, dating back to the fifteenth century, enriched and modified over the centuries by the intervention of many architects and artists. Inside it preserves extraordinary masterpieces: the Chigi Chapel, designed by Raphael from 1513, finished between 1652 and 1656 with the intervention of Gian Lorenzo Bernini; the Cerasi Chapel, which houses the Crucifixion of St. Peter and the Conversion of St. Paul, works by Caravaggio; the altarpiece depicting the Assumption of the Virgin by Annibale Carracci and the Della Rovere Chapel, built by the architect Andrea Bregno between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, decorated with magnificent frescoes attributed to Pinturicchio and his workshop. The legend narrates that on the Hill of the Ortuli, where the Basilica rises, there is the cursed grave of Nerone, the emperor died suicide, whose ashes were buried in an urn of porphyry under a walnut tree. Near the high altar of the church there are some bas-reliefs that recall the event.
Following a new urban layout, designed by the architect Giuseppe Valadier at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the new Piazza del Popolo looks like a large ellipse around the Egyptian obelisk, embellished and framed by sculptures, gardens and fountains.
At the center of the square is the Fountain of the Lions by Valadier himself, which replaces the 16th century fountain by Della Porta and develops around the Flaminian obelisk. It has round travertine basins, dominated by white marble lions in Egyptian style, from whose mouths the jets of water flow.
At the center of the eastern hemicycle is the fountain of the Goddess Rome, adorned with a large sculptural group consisting of a statue of the armed goddess, flanked by two statues depicting the Tiber and the Aniene - the two rivers of Rome - and at whose feet is the she-wolf suckling her twins. Behind, there is the Pincio Park, a beautiful urban promenade, from whose terrace you can admire a spectacular sunset.
Exactly at the center of the opposite hemicycle, stands the imposing sculptural group that adorns the fountain of Neptune: a statue of Neptune with a trident in his right hand, at whose feet are placed two tritons with dolphins, dominates a large travertine basin of semicircular shape, above which a large shell valve collects the water poured from a small basin at the top. Both the fountains of the two hemicycles were designed by Valadier and sculpted by Giovanni Ceccarini.
The two sarcophagus fountains, placed in substitution of a drinking trough and a wash-house, which until the eighteenth century gave the area a rural aspect, complete the arrangement of the square. One is leaning against the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, bears the portrait of two spouses and dates back to the middle of the III century A.D.; the other one is located close to the opposite barracks "Giacomo Acqua", formerly of the papal guards, presents a decoration with only one togated male character and is datable to the last quarter of the same century.
Until the nineteenth century, the square was one of the places where executions were carried out by the famous executioner Mastro Titta. As recalled by a plaque affixed to the barracks in 1909, the two Carbonari members Angelo Targhini and Leonida Montanari were guillotined here, "guilty of lese majesty and injury with danger". Representation of the Renaissance papal patronage, ancient site of games, fairs and popular shows, Piazza del Popolo is certainly one of the most famous squares in the world. Its artistic beauties, its cafes, its stores and adjacent commercial premises, once frequented by personalities such as Trilussa, Guttuso and Pasolini, make it the cultural emblem of "romanity" and scenic entrance to the heart of the capital.