THE TRIDENTE (itineraries in the center of Rome n. 3)

28 Novembre 2018 By EN, Travel Comments Off

Among the many places in the heart of the Eternal City this article describes a full-day itinerary in the center of Rome from the Prati al Tridente district.

The itinerary in the center of Rome starts at the Stay Fine holiday home and ends at Piazza Venezia, through some of the most enchanting places in the Eternal City.

The center of Rome (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980) is a real “theme park” full of wonders, picturesque ravines, hidden churches and small fine restaurants.

Giorno 3 – il Tridente

What follows is the whole itinerary we will face together, but if you want to know more about each stage included in the tour then keep reading until the end.

What is called by the Romans “Tridente” is none other than the area between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Venezia.

This area of the Historic Center has this name for the presence of 3 main arteries that from Piazza del Popolo radiate perpendicularly: the streets are respectively from left to right, giving back to Piazza del Popolo, Via del Babuino, Via del Corso and Via of Ripetta.

The three streets of the trident were created to lead the pilgrims who entered Rome from Piazza del Popolo to the three basilicas of the Eternal City: via Ripetta led to San Pietro, Via del Corso towards San Giovanni and Via del Babuino towards Santa Maria Maggiore.

Let’s start the itinerary!

This third itinerary starts from the door of the “Stay fine” B & B in Via dei Gracchi, 39, 00192 Rome, in the Prati district, one of the most chic in Rome.

There are two ways to go to Piazza del Popolo by metro or on foot. We suggest the metro.

As soon as you exit turn right and then take Via Silla on the left until you reach Viale Giulio Cesare and turn left.

At this point, as a starting point of our journey, we take a Metro A stop; the Ottaviano stop, in the Prati district, and get off at Flaminio stop, in the Flaminio district.

Leaving the station enjoy the square with the Porta del Popolo in front of the metro stop and, on the left, the monumental entrance to the Villa Borghese that we will visit later.

You continue from the Metro A station, Flaminio, you cross Piazzale Flaminio and you pass inside the Porta del Popolo which is a gateway to the Aurelian Walls. The original name was Porta Flaminia, because from here comes the Via Consolare Flaminia. The current appearance is the result of a sixteenth-century reconstruction, made necessary by the renewed importance that, at that time, the Gate had assumed from the point of view of urban traffic coming from the north.

#1 PIAZZA DEL POPOLO

The square is a marvel of perspective.

From here starts the Trident and, if you stand in front of Via del Corso, you can see the Vittoriano in the distance.

The square is dominated by the beautiful Fontana dei Leoni and Santa Maria del Popolo, one of the most beautiful churches in Rome: do not miss the Chigi Chapel by Raffaello decorated with statues by Raphael. In the square there are two similar churches one is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto, known as the Church of the Artists where religious ceremonies are held for celebrities.

#2 IL PINCIO

If we are with the shoulders to the left door we can see the ascent of the Pincio.

Here you will find yourself in front of one of the most suggestive shows in Rome: the incredible terrace of the Pincio, romantic corner par excellence of Rome.

You can obviously see San Pietro, in the distance the Vittoriano and if you sharpen the view also the Gasometer of Ostiense.

#3 VILLA BORGHESE

Third stop of our itinerary is one of the 10 most beautiful urban parks in Europe, Villa Borghese.

Once outside the Flaminio station you will immediately see the large gate that allows access to the huge villa.

The park is huge and to turn it all it would take a whole morning.

Since we do not have so much time, let’s just have a quick tour of the Garden of the Lake with the Temple of Asclepius, let’s try to get to the Fountain of the Sea Horses and the wonderful Water Clock.

If you want to spend more time then you can not miss the Galleria Borghese, one of the most beautiful museums in Rome!

Going back you go down towards Piazza del Popolo.

#4 VIA MARGUTTA

Iniziamo a scoprire il Tridente da Via del Babuino, dove si nasconde uno dei vicoli più belli della Città Eterna.

Stiamo parlando di Via Margutta. C’è poco da dire: questo è uno dei segreti nascosti di Roma.

Dedicate qualche minuto ad esplorare la via, alla Fontana delle Arti e alla targa ricordo di Federico Fellini, che qui viveva e qui morì, poi tornate su Via del Babuino.

#5 PIAZZA DI SPAGNA

Continuing on Via del Babbuino we arrive at Piazza di Spagna, another baroque jewel of Rome.

The square owes its name thanks to the building that houses the Spanish embassy to the Holy See.

Piazza di Spagna deserves a long break; only in this way you will be able to fully enjoy this spectacular square.

You can not help but notice two of the symbols of the square: the Barcaccia and the Trinità dei Monti steps.

The Barcaccia was built by Bernini where according to an old story was found the wreck of a small boat, left by the dramatic flood of the Tiber of 1598. The monument has unfortunately been the victim of vandalism in 2007 and 2015, but has been restored.

There are numerous shops with famous high fashion brands.

#6 TRINITÀ DEI MONTI

Proprio oltre la Barcaccia si trova la Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti (restaurata da poco).

Salite uno ad uno tutti gli scalini senza pensarci due volte; una volta in cima lasciatevi incantare dal panorama.

Tra le case color pastello potrete scorgere le cupole delle principali chiese del centro storico di Roma.

Se siete stanchi prendetevi una pausa, poi si scende di nuovo, il nostro itinerario nel Centro Storico di Roma è appena iniziato!

#7 VIA CONDOTTI

Go down the steps, pass the Barcaccia and venture on Via Condotti, the street of the big names and luxury shopping in the capital.

There are many brands that you will meet here: Dior, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari and so on and so forth …

Among all the commercial activities that can be found along this fascinating street, the one I prefer is the Antico Caffè Greco, where you can drink one of the best coffee in Rome since 1760! Coffee is expensive, but sitting around where so many writers and celebrities have been providing a unique emotion.

Among the famous guests are Hans Christian Andersen, James Joyce, Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, Sitting Bull, Orson Wells and hundreds of others.

#8 MAUSOLEO DI AUGUSTO E ARA PACIS

After the coffee break, you start walking again.

We pass the beautiful windows of Via Condotti one by one and return to Via del Corso.

On our right we can see a nearby Piazza del Popolo, while on the left is Piazza Venezia clearer.

Head towards Piazza del Popolo and return to our starting point for a hundred meters; in fact, we immediately turn to Via dei Pontefici to find ourselves in the middle of Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

In the middle of the square is the Mausoleum which once housed the remains of the first Roman emperor.

Today the monument does not have a real inviting appearance: after centuries of looting and negligence the tomb of the great emperor is in an unworthy state. Today it is undergoing restoration and is expected to open again to the public in the coming years.

Behind him is the Ara Pacis, the altar that Augustus gave to the Roman people to celebrate the peace and prosperity that Rome underwent under the guidance of Octavian himself.

The altar is protected by a glass structure but you can of course pay a visit. To underline the possibility to see the monument with the original colors through a multimedia support that increases the reality.

#9 LUNGOTEVERE E PONTE UMBERTO I

From the white marble of the Ara Pacis to the dark waters of the Tiber river: this part of the itinerary in the historic center of Rome runs along the sloping banks of the Tiber, which is symbolic and soul of Rome.

A short but intense stretch where Rome shows itself in all its beauty.

In fact, up to Ponte Umberto I there are some of the most beautiful views of the Eternal City.

On the opposite side of the bridge you can admire the “Palazzaccio”, as the Romans amiably call the Palazzo di Giustizia and, just across the bridge, the incredible view of San Pietro and Castel Sant’Angelo.

#10 PIAZZA NAVONA

From Ponte Umberto I to Piazza Navona the passage is short.

Continuing along Via Giuseppe Zanardelli you end up just to get “in the mouth” to the stupendous monumental square, one of the most beautiful in the world.

The square was built over the ancient Stadium of Domitian where athletic competitions were undertaken and, according to an ancient Roman legend, also naval battles, for this reason the square has its famous elongated shape.

In the past the Romans obstructed the manholes and opened the concave shape of the square to transform it into a gigantic swimming pool.

In the center of the square we find the beautiful Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Bernini, while everything is dominated by the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone.

Piazza Navona deserves a long break especially if it’s a sunny day …

#11 PANTHEON

From Piazza Navona we move towards the Pantheon, but first I suggest you go through some interesting places.

First of all Palazzo Madama, seat of the Senate of the Republic, and then if you want another coffee you could stop in the historic “Sant’Eustachio il Caffè“, another symbolic bar in the historic center of Rome.

In any case, the streets that lead up to the Pantheon are a maze of colors, small shops and cobbled alleys.

A real pleasure for the spirit, which ends in one of the most beautiful places in Rome: Piazza del Pantheon.

The Pantheon is the monumental church that was originally erected to celebrate all the Roman deities.

With the fall of the Empire it was consecrated to a church.

Today in the Pantheon (entrance is free) you can find the tombs of Raphael and the Kings of Italy.

#12 MONTECITORIO

Before returning to Via del Corso again, we pass Palazzo Montecitorio, the seat of the Italian Parliament.

We cross the whole Piazza del Pantheon and after a few minutes of walking we arrive at the palace, heart of Italian political power. It is possible that you meet a protest sit-in in front of the square in front of the building.

For those who appreciate quality ice creams or confectionery, I suggest a stop at Caffe Giolitti in via del Vicario, historic venue since 1900 in complete liberty style.

From the Palace we proceed to the right, we pass Palazzo Chigi, seat of the Government and we arrive in Via del Corso, in front of the Galleria Alberto Sordi where, if you want, you can give yourself to other luxury shopping.

Leaving the Deaf Gallery on our right and continuing along Via del Tritone we will find the new Rinascente department store on the left. Going over to find quality clothing items you can go up to the top floor where there is a restaurant and a cafe on the terrace where you can enjoy a fascinating view of the center of Rome.

Let’s go back to the heart of Via del Corso, but our itinerary in the Old Town is not finished yet. Now comes the best part!

#13 THE TREVI FOUNTAIN

A few steps from the Galleria Alberto Sordi is the most famous fountain in the world: Fontana di Trevi.

One of the most exciting places in the capital, perennially stormed by tourists and abusive sellers.

The masterpiece of Roman Baroque was conceived from the perspective of the restoration of the Virgin Aqueduct in 1732.

Today, the fountain is visited by millions of tourists a year who drop large quantities of coins into its waters, which are then collected to finance various charitable organizations that operate in the capital.

The Trevi Fountain is still fed by the Aqueduct Vergine wanted by Agrippa, son-in-law of Augusto, to get the water from the Aniene to Campo Marzio. Until it was possible to drink it, the fountain water had the reputation of being and the best of Rome.

#14 THE QUIRINALE AND THE STABLES

From Fontana di Trevi, let’s move on to the Colle del Quirinale one of the seven hills of Rome.

On the Quirinale you can admire the umpteenth wonderful view of Rome, but not only!

In fact at the top of the hill is Palazzo del Quirinale, first residence of popes, then of the kings of Italy and today of the President of the Republic.

Just on the opposite side of the residence are the “Scuderie del Quirinale”, one of the most prestigious museums in the capital. I advise you to visit them if you find the exhibition of the moment interesting.

Enjoy view and museum, then continue on Via Nazionale.

#15 PIAZZA VENEZIA AND THE VITTORIANO

Via Nazionale is a huge artery made up of shops, monumental palaces and streets leading to ancient Rome (for example in the Monti district).

We cross the street just enough to get to Via Magnanapoli where, after a characteristic staircase, we are in front of the Trajan’s Column and the shape of the Victorian.

Of the Fori Imperiali we will speak later, for now we overcome the imposing column that celebrates the victories of the emperor Trajan to find us in full Piazza Venezia.

The show is suggestive!

You can clearly distinguish the balcony of Palazzo Venezia from which Mussolini entertained the crowds and, if you place yourself in the center of the square, you can admire the entire length of Via del Corso and in the distance Piazza del Popolo, where our tour began.

Impossible not to notice the Victorian, monumental “typewriter”.

An advice I give you is to visit the square at night, when it is even more spectacular.

It is possible to climb the Vittoriano through an elevator placed at the back of the monument. From the terrace you can admire Rome from a suggestive and romantic panoramic perspective.

On the back of the Vittoriano you will find the BUS 81 stop which will take you back to the “Stay fine” B & B in via Cola di Rienzo, 285, 00192 Rome.