It's easy to overlook some of the hidden Roman splendors
|A View of the Roman Forum. Many visitors to the city are more taken by this spot than any other in Rome. Leaving the Campidoglio on the right side, walk to the promontory that overlooks the Roman Forum. There you will see remains of the thriving hub of the ancient city. In the distance is the Colosseum, and beyond that the statues atop San Giovanni in Laterano, the first church in Christendom. Via Campidoglio. || |
The Ecstasy of Santa Teresa. In the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, one of the finest examples of the baroque period in Rome, Bernini created this thrilling statue that shows the last moments of the young saint. Piazza Santa Susanna.
The Door of the Knights of Malta -- the "Keyhole". In an unassuming piazza at the top of the Aventine hill, there is a door -- rarely opened -- in which through a small hole one can see one of the best-known monuments in Rome with a beautiful garden in the foreground. Piazza Cavalieri di Malta.
The "Fontanella" in Via Lata
The "Fontanella" in Via Lata. First visit the Piazza del Collegio Romano, which hosts one of Rome's best high schools, a building that dates from the 16th century. As you exit the piazza toward the Via del Corso, notice the characteristic drinking fountain on the left, and then take a drink of some of the finest water on the planet, courtesy of the vast network of volcanic underground springs on which Rome sits. Via Lata.
The Protestant Cemetery. Start at the nearby Pyramid, the only one of two ancient Roman pyramids still standing. Then walk to this beautiful, well-kept cemetery, the resting place of the English poets John Keats and Percy Shelley. Take a look at the 3rd century Aurelian walls, which surrounded the city and held off the attacking barbarians for more than a century. Via Caio Cestio.
Via Monticello. In a city of thousands of narrow streets and alleys, this one still strikes me. At a certain point, the salmon walls and wrought-iron lamps take you to another century, but before long the short stretch ends and you are but steps from the Trevi Fountain.
The Fontanella in Villa Borghese. A must for those who really want to experience the folklore of the city. Experts say that this drinking water is the best in Rome. Find Viale Aranciera in the Villa Borghese and walk toward the lake, where you can rent a paddle boat. Just before you get there, on the left side of the path, sticking out of the stone, is a spout. Try the water and see for yourself.
The "Fontanone". nother fine view of the city, especially if you can get there at sunset on the evening of a full moon, which rises in the east over the city. As you climb Via Garibaldi leaving Trastevere, you pass the church of San Pietro in Montorio. Up the street is a huge fountain, from which you are treated to a glorious view of the centro storico.
The Flood Gauge. Go to Piazza Augusto Imperatore and continue toward Via di Ripetta. At the street there is a building on which is attached a gauge that in cameo tells you the meteorological history of the city. Before the Tiber was dredged and dammed, it flooded continuously, often with catastrophic results. The gauge will tell you when and how high.
116 -- The Electric Bus. In a city notorious for its chaotic transport, where getting around on foot is by far the best way, the 116 Electric Bus is a little miracle in a welter of cars, motorini, and noise. Its small size permits you to navigate through the back alleys and tiny streets of the ancient capital, passing many of Rome's attractions. Buy an ATAC ticket at the tabaccheria before you board (1500 lire), stamp it as you enter, and feast your eyes. Lungotevere del Sangallo.
The "Calling of St. Matthew" in S. Luigi de' Francesi. A small side chapel houses this magnificent work of Caravaggio, dating to 1600. The light coming from the canvas, along with the real-life portraits of ordinary, everyday figures, suggested a new direction in the history of art. Piazza San Luigi de' Francesi.