Rome is eternal, amazing, and always surprising. Here 10 places not to be missed around the city.
1. The Orange Garden
The lock of the door
In the highest part of the Aventino Hill, between the Orange Garden and the entrance to the Villa dei Cavalieri di Malta, there is the famous lock of the door that leads to the Villa dei Cavalieri, you can enjoy Saint Peter's Dome, framed by the garden hedges. We can affirm that this lock pass for three states: Italy, the Sovereign Order of Malta, and the Vatican.
It is a fake lock because it has no key, it is only a piece of art. The area was renovated and re-decorated by Giovanni Battista Piranesi under the order of the Cardinal Rezzonico.
The villa della Farnesina
The villa is known for the frescos inside painted by Raffael and others: there is the Galatea’s Loggia (or Winter’s Loggia) with the frescos of Galatea and Polyphemus and the Chigi’s Horoscope; the Amore e Psyche's Loggia (painted by Raffael and his friends) tells the episodes of Apuleio’s fable.
This district was planned from 1915 to 1927 by Gino Coppedè, in Art deco and Liberty style with Greek, Gothic, Baroque, and even Medieval influences. A complex located between the two streets, Via Salaria and Via Nomentana, consisting of 26 small palaces and 17 "villini" or detached houses.
The entrance of the district is marked by an adorned arch with joins the two ambassadors’ palaces, with a large wrought iron lamp. Square Mincio and the Frogs Fountain are the center point of the district: all around the Spider and the Fairies Building (this one was built combining any number of materials like marble, brick, travertine, terracotta, glass).
The Borgia's staircase
The staircase is in the Esquilino hill district, a very peaceful area. The name derives from the palaces where the Borgias lived; the façade, covered by a blanket ivy, would date back to the 13th century and it has both medieval and renaissance architectural details. The balcony should be designed by Raphael. According to popular history, that was the balcony of Giovanna Cattanei, the secret lover of Pope Alessandro VI Borgia.
Coming up the alley and crossing the arch, you arrive at the Church of Saint Peter in Vincoli that houses the Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Moses.
The Gianicolo is a roman Hill but it is not mentioned in the famous seven hills. It is located on the top of Trastevere district. In 1849 here, Giuseppe Garibaldi fought against the French Army for the defense of the Roman Republic.
Today it is a public park and celebrates the Risorgimento; from its Belvedere, it is possible to see the Pantheon, the Synagogue, the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, domes, and Villa Borghese.
In the Gianicolo there is the Fountain of Acqua Paola, the Church of Saint Peter in Montorio (in the first cloister of the friary it is possible to admire the Tempietto del Bramante), and the statue dedicated to Garibaldi.
The Tiber Island
It is an urban island that measures 300 meters and it’s wide 90 meters. According to the first legend, the island was born in 509 when the last roman king, Tarquinius Superbus was dethroned by the population who threw his wheat and grain into the Tiber. The accumulation of mud around it is said to have gradually led to the forming of the island.
Another story tells that in 291, there was a terrible plague in Rome and a group of priests went to Epidauro, a small city in ancient Greece and site of a sanctuary to Aesculapius, to find a solution. They returned with the serpent, the dear animal for the god, and erected a temple on the Tiber Island in his honor. They changed the shape of the island as a ship with travertine. Today the Aesculapius temple lies under the Church of San Bartolomeo but is still visible the serpent rolled up a cane, the symbol for medicine all around the world.
Niccolò Piccolomini Street and the optical illusion
The Imperial Fora
The Palace of the Italian Civilization
The palace located in the EUR district is simply known as the Square Colosseum. It is considered the architectural icon of the 20th century and it uses the tight sequence of arches repeated 216 times in the four equal façades.
The building was conceived and planned in view of the 1942 Universal Exposition in Roma, but the works were interrupted as well as the event due to the Second World War and completed in the post-war period.
Under the arches, there are 28 marble statues that represent art and human activities that celebrate the Italic genius. On the top, there is the famous inscription “A nation of poets, of artists, of heroes, of saints, of thinkers, of scientists, of navigators, of migrants".
Today, the building houses the headquarters of the Maison Fendi.