4-hour stroll through Rome’s historic center:
Spanish Steps – Trevi fountain – Pantheon – Piazza Navona
On this tour we get close to Roman life and move through the picturesque areas in some of the city’s oldest residential neighborhoods in medieval narrow alleys, with the characteristic buildings in the typical, beautiful ocher-yellow colors. We include some of the old artisan quarters, where local life unfolds.
Let us start from one of Rome’s most famous and impressive sights: the Spanish Steps. A great example of late baroque sumptuous trajectory. The staircase was built in the 1700s to provide easy access to the French Trinity church “Trinita dei Monti”, which is the name of the beautiful church behind the obelisk above the stairs.
On the square beneath the stairs is the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican. This is where Piazza di Spagna – the Spanish square, gets its name – hence, The Spanish Steps. Nowadays, the staircase is a popular meeting place and often exclusive fashion shows take place here.
In this area of Rome you will find the most exclusive shopping streets, such as Via Condotti, where among others, the Gucci, Armani, Valentino and Versace stores are located.
From here, we will walk through the picturesque streets and alleys to the world’s most famous fountain, the Trevi Fountain. Enjoy the baroque opulence of the fountain and make your wish for a return trip to Rome come true simply by throwing a coin over your shoulder into the pond.
Seeing the Trevi Fountain may remind you of one of Italian film history’s most famous scenes: Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroiani in the Fellini film “La dolce vita”.
From the fountain we will proceed to one of Rome’s most important sights, the ancient temple of Pantheon, which is one of the best preserved ancient temples in the world. The temple was built by Emperor Hadrian, who was actually the architect of this magnificent edifice. The word “pantheon” means “all gods” and in this temple the Romans worshiped all the pagan Roman gods.
The Pantheon is covered by a huge dome, which is probably the first example of a dome built over a scaffold. Centuries later, Michelangelo studied the construction to gain inspiration and knowledge when he was commissioned to build the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Pantheon contains the Italian royal tombs, the artist Raphael’s tomb, and Thorvaldsen’s portrait bust of Cardinal Consalvi.
Most impressive is probably the opening in the center of the giant dome vault and the ancient bronze gates that still swing on their old hinges from 123 AD.
The most famous and popular of Rome’s many squares is the Piazza Navona, which is also called the “artists square”. This is Rome’s social center, where Romans and tourists gather in perfect harmony, meeting for drinks or enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a newspaper. The neighborhood’s local artists exhibit their works, or make funny caricatures of people passing by, while comic actors and other street performers provide entertainment and a colorful atmosphere.
Piazza Navona takes its form from its origin as a sports stadium in the imperial era. These days the square is mainly noted for Bernini’s magnificent baroque fountains and Borromini’s undulating Baroque facade of Saint Agnes Church.