The Eternal City of Rome is famous for its mind-blowing monuments, remarkable churches and magnificent museums but the squares in Rome are the best places to enjoy the vibrant city life and the perfect spot to laze away your day surrounded by people and history, as the Romans do! When in Rome visit baroque squares and enjoy your Italian cappuccino next to renaissance palaces or medieval Roman churches. Tour Rome walking your way through art and tradition. This is ItalyTravelista personal list of the most beautiful squares of Rome.
Once a site for spectacular Roman games, Navona Square maintains an oval shape, akin to the most famous game arena, Circus Maximus. During the late 15th century, the square underwent a remarkable revamp, and is now the greatest example of Baroque Roman urban architecture. Navona square is dominated by the outstanding Four Rivers Fountain designed by Bernini, and across from the “Nile”, by the church of St’Agnese in Agone designed by Borromini. Here you can relax in one of the several outdoor cafes and restaurants and enjoy one of the several shows performed in the square by street performers and artists.
Piazza del Popolo
Once a site for public executions, these days Popolo Square is far more peaceful, and given its proximity to Borghese park and Via del Corso, it maintains a lively crowd of café-goers, shoppers and businessmen. Enjoy the mighty obelisk in the center of the square while sipping a nice espresso at one of the two pricey bars located in square’s corners. Nearby do not miss the pleasant Via Margutta, a quiet narrow street home to artists and painters.
A quieter alternative to the busy Campo dè Fiori, located just a short walk away. Farnese Square is dominated by the eponymous Palazzo Farnese, a Renaissance palace, boasting works by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, Michelangelo, and Giacomo della Porta. While it is necessary to obtain permission from the resident French Embassy to visit the interior, an evening stroll through the piazza allows a glimpse at the frescoed ceilings. The piazza itself is simple and elegant, with two fountains and few cafés. Enjoy a glass of wine at the classy Camponeschi wine bar or a roman dinner at the traditional trattoria Ar Galletto. If you decide for the Galletto make sure to make a reservation asking for a table just in front of the Embassy NOT in the back alley or indoor!
Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina
Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina, in the shopping heart of Rome, is one of the most elegant meeting places, and owes its name to the 4th century chapel of San Lorenzo, built on the home of Christian matron Lucina. Just around the corner from Montecitorio, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina is a regular hang out for politicians and journalists, who are easily spotted eating ice creams or chatting about the next reform at the smart and elegant bar Ciampini, enjoying small but excellent sandwiches and delicious gelati.
Piazza di Pietra
The impressive facade of the Temple of Hadrian, embedded in the walls of the Italian Stock Exchange building, is the distinctive backdrop for this quiet and pleasant square. The temple was dedicated to the deified Emperor Adriano by his adoptive son and successor Antoninus Pius in AD 145. The temple has just been renovated and its 11 massive corinthian columns shine. A cozy and relaxing setting, the piazza hosts the trendy bar Salotto 42, and La Caffettiera, an elegant Neapolitan-style cafe serving extra-strong espresso to keep you going!
Piazza della Rotonda
The best preserved ancient Roman, the Pantheon was conceived as a temple to all Gods and was later turned into a Catholic church. Michelangelo referred to this temple as “a work not of humans but of an Angel”, and the surrounding Piazza della Rotonda is the Pantheon’s perfect frame. The structure’s balanced geometry and the outdoor cafés lined around the square are a soothing experience for passers-by. Fiocco di Neve Gelateria on Via del Pantheon 51 and Caffè Tazza d’Oro are just a short walk away, while for a hearty roman dinner you can try Armando al Pantheon.
Piazza St. Mary in Trastevere
This lively square is home to one of the oldest and most original churches in Rome, Santa Maria in Trastevere, which is also thought to be one of the sites where Christians first openly celebrated the Holy Mass. The popular Trastevere quarter is a pleasant place to enjoy traditional roman food and typical Rome thin-crusted pizza.
Piazza Santa Maria ai Monti
Nestled within the narrow alleys of the Monti hill, between Via dei Serpenti and Via del Boschetto, the small and charming Piazza di Santa Maria ai Monti, hosts the main church of the Monti neighborhood and the Catholic Ukrainian Seminar of Rome. Lots of sitting room around the fountain makes the perfect spot to rest your tired feet or to read a book under the sun. Don’t miss a very pleasant pre-dinner rest in one of the several Monti wine bars like Tre Scalini, Al Vino al Vino, Barrique or an Indian dinner at the Maharajah, otherwise you can enjoy a creative Italian dinner at Urbana 47.
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Have a nice walking tour of Rome!
Ciao from Rome:-)
© Copyright 2009, Nancy Aiello Tours
Since 1997 Nancy Aiello Tours, based in Rome, specializes in Tailor-Made Private Guided Vatican, Rome & Italy Tours for Leisure & Business Travelers.
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