AZIENDA DI PROMOZIONE TURISTICA DI ROMA - enit.de ?· Introduction pag 5 Itinerary 1: from Villa...

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Transcript of AZIENDA DI PROMOZIONE TURISTICA DI ROMA - enit.de ?· Introduction pag 5 Itinerary 1: from Villa...

AZIENDA DI PROMOZIONE TURISTICA DI ROMAVia Parigi, 11 - 00185 Roma

HIGH COMMISSIONER:Walter Veltroni

DIRECTOR:Guido Improta

An editorial realization by the Publishing Department of the APT of Rome

TEXT:Fiorenza RausaClaudia Vigiani

The Tiber is by Antonella Pioli

PHOTOS:Archives APT of Rome

Gianluca Belei for APT di RomeArchives Ideo Srl - Rome

COVER:

Piazza di Spagna - La Barcaccia

GRAPHIC:Ideo Srl - Rome

PRINTED BY:CSR - Rome

The Pantheon

Introduction pag 5

Itinerary 1:

from Villa Borghese to Piazza di Spagna pag 9

Itinerary 2:

from Quattro Fontane to Quirinal pag 17

Itinerary 3:

from Ponte Sisto to St Peters Square pag 23

Itinerary 4:

from Ponte Palatino to Campidoglio pag 29

Itinerary 5:

from Via del Ges to Campo de Fiori pag 35

Itinerary 6:

from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo pag 41

Itinerary 7:

from Villa Giulia to Ponte Milvio pag 47

The Tiber pag 53

The Baths of Caracalla pag 56

The Park of the Aqueducts pag 58

The Ponte Nomentano pag 60

The Nymphaeum of Egeria pag 61

Contents

Aerial view of the Tiber

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RomaThe culture of water

Whoever visits Rome is impressedby the number of monuments andimposing hydraulic structureswhich, together with the largeamount of water present in thearea, have always been a feature ofthe urban and suburban landscape.The birth and development ofRome, which in the course of timebecomes the undisputed ruler ofthe Mediterranean, is in factbound up with its favourable geo-graphic position, near the riverTiber, in the vicinity of naturalsprings and the sea. The archaicpopulations that settled in the areasince the early Iron Age, foundedtheir villages on the hills near theleft bank of the river Tiber by theTiber Island. By making the cross-ing of the river easier, the islandfacilitated the connection betweenEtruria and Campania. The basketcontaining the twins Romulus andRemus, who in the 8th century BCaccording to legend foundedRome, was stranded nearby at thefoot of the Palatine hill when theTibers banks overflowed. In thefollowing centuries, importantpublic works showing the powerand wealth of Roman civilization,contributed to form the image ofthe city. The splendour of many ofthese ancient works are still visibletoday: reclaiming and draining ofthe area, bridges, port structureswhich permitted the exploitation ofthe river as the principle artery forcommercial, military and econom-ical purposes, aqueducts and mon-umental fountains as well as bathcomplexes. The latter were themost extraordinary structures everbuilt in Rome and in the wholeempire. In the early 19th centuryChateaubriand still observed Wefind baths at every step, the baths of

Nero, Titus, Caracalla, Diocletian,etc. Even if Rome had been threetimes more populous, one tenth ofthose baths would have sufficientfor public needs. The baths, opento everyone, were immense com-plexes where the ancients spentmuch time making use of thebathing facilities. It was also pos-sible to consult libraries, watchshows, relax in the shade of thetrees in the gardens and above all,undertake social and cultural rela-tions. Never in history has a publicstructure been so large and so fre-quented. Beginning in the 6th century, whenthe Goths led by Witigis cut theaqueducts, the population wasforced to move closer to the banksof the river Tiber which becametheir only source of water. Duringthe Middle Ages new occupationshaving to do with water and whichsurvived until the 19th centurycame into being: the vascellariwho made water jugs, the bar-caroli who ferried people fromone bank to the other, theacquarenari who sold river

Roman Aqueduct

water purified by means of a par-ticular system of sedimentation,and the mulinari who utilized thecurrent of the river to operate float-ing mills, built along the banks. The Romans, living in close contactwith the river, also suffered thetragic consequences of the numer-ous floods that devastated wholedistricts, sowing death and destruc-tion. The floods which from theMiddle Ages to the 16th centuriywere called diluvi (deluges) weredocumented from 414 BC to 1915.The construction of the embank-ments of the Lungotevere, begun in1870 and completed only in 1926,put an end to this terrible affliction.

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In the Renaissance the popesdecided to renew and beautify thecity that had been abandoned for along time by promoting splendidworks such as the building of newbridges, the restoration of theancient aqueducts and above allthe creation of public fountainswhich, in addition to providing auseful service to the population,were extremely decorative.Monumental fountains also beganto decorate the gardens and court-yards of noble palazzi, opening theway the to the grandiose decora-tions of the Baroque period. Theseornamental structures when simu-lating natural settings such as

Aerial view of the Baths of Caracalla

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RomaThe culture of water

grottoes or waterfalls were namednymphaeums to recall similararchitectural creations which theGreeks and the Romans had dedi-cated to the cult of the nymphs. InBaroque Rome, full of surprisinglyscenographical buildings, manymore fountains assuming originalforms and spectacular dimensionswere built as can be seen in theFountain of the Rivers in PiazzaNavona and the celebratedFountain of Trevi. Numerous visi-tors still come to the city to admirethese marvels, ideally followingthe poet Shelley who in the 19thcentury declared that the foun-tains alone justify a visit toRome.This publication aims at invitingthe reader to discover some of thenumerous monuments, more or lesswell known, which demonstrate thecontinuous and vital relationship

of Rome with water. The seven itin-eraries describe the most repre-sentative aqueducts, fountains,nymphaeums, bridges and baths tobe seen along the suggested walks.The wealth of monuments, oftenhidden or inaccessible to the pub-lic, and the size of the city itself,have made it necessary to selectthe areas most frequented byRomans and tourists.Five brief monographs concludethe publication with the descrip-tion of two archeological areas ofexceptional interest, the Baths ofCaracalla and the Park of theAqueducts, along with two littleknown sites rich in history, theNomentano Bridge and theNymphaeum of Egeria, and anabsolute protagonist, the Tiber,finally returned today to its primaryfunction of water way and fully inte-grated in the bustling life of Rome.

Navigation on the Tiber

Fountain of Moses at the Pincio

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RomaThe culture of water

Itinerary 1

A century after its opening to thepublic in 1903, Rome celebratesVilla Borghese with a rich pro-gramme of performances, exhibits,sports events and initiatives of vari-ous kinds. For information contactthe call center n. 0682077304 or con-sult the web site www.villaborghese.it Villa Borghese is without a doubt thebest known and most loved parkamong both Romans and foreign visi-tors, also owing to its fortunate loca-tion near the city centre. It was creat-ed starting from 1606 by the CardinalScipione Borghese, nephew of PopePaul V, who wanted to transform avineyard outside Porta Pinciana intoa place of delight and leisure, a presti-gious and representative venue toreceive illustrious guests and friends.The project of this splendid suburbanresidence was assigned to FlaminioPonzio, followed after his death byGiovanni Vasanzio. The villa is a validexample of the baroque taste forblending art and nature by establish-ing a harmonious interaction betweenthe architectural part and the vast gar-den, divided into three sections. Thefirst two, known as Forest Gardenand Garden of the Perspectives, fol-lowed geometric patterns arrangedalong orthogonal axes and perspec-tives, typical of the Italian-style gar-den. The third and largest section hadspontaneous and wild vegetation andwas used as a hunting ground. Reliefs,ancient and modern statues, sarcopha-gi and vases were used to adorn thebuildings and to indicate particularsites or to close perspective effects.The numerous fountains placed as ref-erence points along the promenades,were the central element of the 17th

century layout, as well as in thechanges carried out in the 18th and 19th

centuries. The itinerary begins at the main build-ing, known as Casino Nobile, seat ofthe famous Borghese Gallery. In thesquare in front of the main entrance,there are two small symmetrical foun-tains, the Fountains of the Masks,placed a the ends of the balustrade thatsurround it. Made in the 17th centuryand based on a drawing by Vasanzio,they were sold along with the entirebalustrade in 1895 to an Americancollector who moved them to England.The faithful copies that have takentheir place consist of a square baseattached to the balustrade on one side

FROM VILLA BORGHESE TO PIAZZA DI SPAGNA

Fountain of the Masks

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