Continuing our visit in the eternal city we discovered one by one the most beautiful, known or less well-known piazzas in Rome. This city has so many piazzas that it is is imposible to visit all of them, smaller, larger, chic or not too, crowded or deserted.
The most famous piazzas in Rome:
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Going on the Corso del Rinascimento, from Corso Vittorio Emanuele, on the left, there are several streets leading to Piazza Navona. Inside the piazza, besides delicious, but sort of expensive restaurants, there are plenty of artists who exhibit their work here. For those who have seen the movie “Angels and Demons” with Tom Hanks it is also known for the Fountain of the 4 rivers in its center where the fourth cardinal is thrown. Of course, after watching the movie, I tried to reach all the places that appeared in it!
Piazza di Spagna
On my first visit in Rome I accidentally hit Piazza di Spagna. We were admiring the San Pietro dome from Trinita dei Monti when our eyes were attracted by the multitude of flowers on the stairs leading to an extremely crowded market. We went down to see why it was so crowded and we stopped on the stairs (Spanish steps as we later learned) to take pictures with the flowers. Piazza di Spagna, much smaller than Navona, also has a fountain in the center, the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Ugly Boat). Of the many beautiful piazzas to see in Rome, I think this is my favorite.
Piazza del Popolo
Via del Corso ends in this piazza, being bordered to the left and to the right by two twin churches. Ob the other side of the market is the Santa Maria del Popolo church, with the Chigi chapel inside, another place that appears in “Angels and Demons.” What is to be seen in this market? The Obelisk in the center, Fontana del Nettuno and Porta del Popolo.
Named after the palace that hosted the Embassy of Venice in Rome (Palazzo Venezia), the market abounds with famous monuments. In the center you can admire the white monument “Altare della Patria” built in honor of Vittorio Emanuele, who united Italy. On the left is Trajan’s Column and further the Colloseum and on the right is the palace that gave the name of the market. It is said that all roads lead to Rome, and all the roads in Rome lead to this piazza.
San Peter Square
San Peter Square in Rome, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, is today the meeting place of the people who want to listen the pope’s speech. It is bordered by the San Peter cathedral in front and by large columns in on sides, columns that mark the border between the Vatican State and Italy.
Less known squares in Rome
Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta
This piazza is not among the most visited markets in Rome, but it has its charm. I read on a forum about it and after seeing all the important attractions I decided to give it some attention too. Via di Porta Lavemale goes directly into this square and from Cestius Pyramid is just a short walk away. As strange as it may sound, what you can do here is to look on the keyhole of Villa Malta’s gate. What you will seen on the keyhole is worth the road to the market, but I will not tell what it is.
From this square, we continued on Via di Santa Sabina to Circo Massimo. We met interesting houses on the road, gardens with orange trees and a park where we could see Tibru from above.
Campo de Fiori
A less known market near the center of Rome is Campo de Fiori (“flower field” in translation), a name that has been kept since here it was a green meadow. It is part of the “Pope’s road”, the way the Pope traveles between the church of San Giovanni in Laterano and San Pietro bazilica after being elected.
Today Campo de Fiori is an excellent place to stay, full of cafes and restaurants that invite you to take a seat at one of their tables.
Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
And if you want to leave a bit the city center, the Trastevere neighborhood will have pleasant surprises for you. Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere took its name from the church built on one side of it. The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is among the first city churches still in use. The fountain in the center is considered the oldest fountain in Rome being built in the 8th century. The market is one of the few tranquil places I found in Rome, without many people or noise.
There are other markets in Rome, known or less, but we did not stop at them. We liked the one we visited but we continued to explore other attractions in Rome, too.
If you want to stay near these piazzas, you can find good hotels in Rome here*