Discover Rome's Baroque treasures – the elegant buildings, splendid fountains, and grand public squares that define Rome's cityscape still today. Follow your guide from Campo de' Fiori to the Navona Square, from there to the Pantheon, the church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Casanatense Library, the Trevi Fountain, and the Piazza di Spagna with its famous Spanish Steps.
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Campo de' Fiori
Your guided tour will begin at the Campo de' Fiori, one of Rome's most picturesque and classic piazzas. Full of delicious and inexpensive restaurants and trattorias, wine bars, and pubs that draw crowds of young Romans and foreigners, the Campo de' Fiori is lively by day – and also at night. Historically, this piazza was used for papal death ceremonies. During the Middle Ages it became a luxurious neighborhood that conserves still today its charm with its lovely buildings and cobblestone streets.
The Piazza Navona or Circo Agonale is the true pride of the Roman Baroque. It occupies the spot where once stood the stadium of Domitian, which held up to 30,000 spectators. There are three magnificent fountains – with the one in the center being the most famous, the Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini.
The church of Sant' Agnese in Agone was built by Pope Innocent X, whose family palace is adjacent to the basilica. The church was named for the early Christian Agnes who was martyred here when the square was still the stadium of Domitian. The church is a magnificent Baroque building designed by Rainaldi and Borromini. Beneath it are some remains of the original church and of the Circus of Domitian.
Considered one of the masterpieces of Roman architecture, the Pantheon was built by Marcus Vespasian Agrippa in 27 BC in honor of all the Roman gods. Later, the Pantheon was modified by Dominitian and by Adrian in 130AD.
This temple has been admired by all and in all epochs for what is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. It has a distinctive oculus (the circular window at the top) to give light to the structure. The oculus has always been open to wind and weather. Though legend tells that it stops rain from entering, this is not true, and the rain water is carried away by drains in the building. The Pantheon hosts the tombs of important personalities such as Raphael and the kings of Italy Vittorio Emmanuele II and Umberto I.
Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Pope Gregory XV had the church of San Ignazio built between 1621 and 1685 in honor of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, who was canonized in 1622. Instead of the actual cupola, which was never built, Andrea Pozzi designed and painted a trompe l'oeil ceiling which gives the viewer the impression of sitting beneath a real cupola.
The Casanatense Library is one of the major libraries not just of Rome, but of Italy. Its founder, the Cardinal Girolamo Casanate was a diplomat, a patron of the arts, a politician, and a theologian. He believed in providing religious people, scholars, and the general public with the bibliographical materials they might need to carry out their studies and develop new ideas, and for this purpose he bequeathed his rich and varied personal collections of manuscripts and printed books to the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria sopra Minerva on October 8th, 1698.
The Trevi Fountain is the most majestic of the Roman fountains. It forms part of the front of a large palace (Palazzo Poli) decorated with statues and bas-reliefs on rocks. This impressive fountain was conceived by Nicolo Salvi in 1762, during the time of Clement XII and built by several artists of Bernini's school. The decorations are inspired by victory arcs and Roman mythology, in pure (and luscious) Baroque style, with a Neptune riding dolphins, sea creatures, and cascading waters. You'll probably know the Trevi Fountain for its appearance in Fellini's movie La Dolce Vita.
Piazza di Spagna and Spanish Steps
Piazza di Spagna is a large area that includes the Fountain of the Barcaccia (“Fountain of the Old Boat”) and the Scalinata della Trinita' Dei Monti that leads to the homonymous church. The square took on its present name when the Spanish embassy was opened here in the 17th century. The Fountain of the Barcaccia was conceived by Bernini in 1627-29 as a ship with the pope's emblems, the sun and bees. The Spanish Steps were built in white marble by Francesco De Sanctis for Pope Benedict XIII in 1724-30 and lead to the church, started in 1495 by Charles VIII King of France and completed in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V. The Spanish Steps are one of the most famous sites in Rome and beloved by both tourists and Romans alike. You'll understand why when you reach them yourself!
Price (per group): € 224.66
> This is a private, guided tour, for parties from 1 to 20 people.
> The tour will be scheduled especially for you and your party.
> The cost for the guide is shared among the members of your party.
> Admissions to sites indicated NOT included
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