We advise the visitor to ROME to spend his first evening visiting Piazza Venezia, going up Michelangelo's monumental staircase to the Capitol, through its marvellous Piazza and out on to the Rupe Tarpea (Tarpean Rock) to look over the Forum under its floodlighting; the marbles, the columns, the arches and the dark mass of the Palatine in the background.
If you are not in the mood for a i sound and light show, don't lose patience. Wait for it to finish and silence will return and you will join thousands of visitors who have come before you, many of them famous in history:the Emperor Charles V, for instance, or Montaigne; John Milton, Chateaubriand and Goethe; Edward Gibbon, Shelley and Byron. They all in their time gazed at that comparatively small space of ruins, and in some way or other, that view altered their lives and ours.
On our first morning we will begin our first tour from Piazza Venezia once more. In front of us the white mass of the Victor Emmanuel Monument, built between 1885 and 1911; the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added after World War. To the right of the piazza, the powerful outline of Palazzo Venezia (15° century), once the seat of the Venetian ambassadors to the Holy See. The interior is very fine, with courtyard and loggias attributed to Giuliano da Maiano: in its splendid halls there is the Museum of Palazzo Venezia, with some fine paintings sculpture, weapons etc. In the right wing of the Palace, under the great tower, we have the graceful Basilica of San Marco.
Now cross the road and go round the righthand corner of the Victor Emmanuel Monument to the steps leading to Santa Maria in Aracoeli (1250) with its rich interior of nave two aisles, with many works of art such as the tombs carved by Bregno and Donatello paintings by Cavallini and Benozzo Gozzoli, outstanding frescoes by Pinturicchio. Leaving the church on the south side, a few paces brings us to Piazza dei Campidoglio, a masterpiece of architecture and planning by Michelangelo (1536); in the centre is the Palace of the Senate, to which Michelangelo added the fountain and the double ramp of steps. On either side are the two palaces he designed; to the right, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the New Museum, an archaeological collection of fundamental importance, with the Conservator! Museum and the Capitoline Picture Gallery. To the left is the Palace of the Capitoline Museum, one of the richest collections of Classical art. In the middle of the Piazza, the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Emperor-philosopher (cent.).
Going down the ancient Clivus Argentarius behind the Capitol we get our first view over the Forum, passing the ancient Mamertine Prison, where the Catiline conspirators and Vercingetorix were killed and where legend says St. Peter and St. Paul were imprisoned. We now come to the majestic rums of Caesar's Forum, which we skirt as we enter the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
This we cross, going towards the two domes of Santa Maria in Loreto and Santo Nome di Maria, before which is Traian's Forum; in the centre of this rises the extraordinary Traian's Column, erected in memory of the Emperor's exploits in Dacia (now Rumania) (101-106 AD).
There are more than 2500 figures in the spiral frieze which runs up the Column: this is the most imposing example of Roman sculpture. Returning along the Via din Fori Imperiali, keeping on this side of the road, we come to a vast semi-circular ruin, which is that of Traian's Markets, the great trade centre of Imperial Rome.
It is a majestic sight; behind the Markets rises the Torre delle Milizie, or Knights' Tower, which is medieval; on the right there is the small 15° century palace, with loggia, of the Knights of Rhodes. Keeping in this direction we pass Augustus' Forum, Nerva's Forum whit its massive columns, and arrive at the Torre dei Conti, another medieval fortress on the corner of the Via dei Fori Imperials and Via Cavour.
Go up Via Cavour to the point where there is a flight of steps to the right, leading up through an ancient arch into the square of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains); this church contains Michelangelo's Moses, carved for the unfinished tomb of Julius II. Return to Via Cavour through the narrow streets of what, in ancient Rome, was the ill-famed district of the Suburra and go back towards the Forum, crossing Via dei Fort Imperiali, to enter the Forum itself:
as you enter, on the left arc the superb vaults of the Basilica of Maxentius, on the right, the great Emilian Basilica, beyond which is the Curia and then the Arch of Septimius Severus, under the precipitous walls of the Capitol. shall not describe this magnificent scene - there is no lack of printed guides. Turning left, we are on the Via Sacra which began by the graceful House of the Vestals and rose to the solitary splendour of the Arch of Titus.
Going towards the Arch of Titus along the Via Sacra, we see on the left the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, transformed into a church, and the round Temple of Romulus, also now a church. Farther on stands the white church of Santa Francesca Romana, with a fine 12° century campanile. To the right, the wooded slopes of the Palatine, one of the seven hills, and the dwelling place of the Emperors. Climb up to the right of the Arch of Titus to the Farnese Gardens laid out by Cardinal Farnese in the 16° century, and the impressive Stadium of Domitian. Going down from the Palatine along the Triumphal Was'(now under the more modest name of Via San Gregorio) we arrive at the Arch of Constantine, beyond which rises the most famous monument of ancient Rome, the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum. (72-80 AD).
As it will now be lunchtime, we suggest lunching in one of the restaurants along the Appian Way. Going along Via San Gregorio between the Palatine, on one side and the Celian on the other,one emerges into a wide crossroads. Here is the Obelisk of Asian brought to Rome in 1937. On the right, the Circus Maximus and beyond it the Aventine. Here bear left through a broad avenue of trees with the Baths of Caracalla (217 AD) on the right.
Straight on now to enter the Via di Porta San Sebastiano passing the Arch of Drusus and the impressive Porta San Sebastiano (5° cent.); straight on over the crossroads, by the little church of Quo Vadis and we are on the Appian Way.
To reach one of the restaurants near at hand one takes the Via Ardeatina for a short stretch. Then one can turn back and follow the Appian Way once more, this fascinating archaelogical zone with the background of the Alban Hills, past tombs and acqueducts and suburban villas. At about 2 kms. (1 1/2 mi.) is the entrance to the Catacombs of St Calixtus, the largest of the Cristian catacombs and, about 500 yards farther on, the Basilica of San Sebastiano (also with catacombs), in a landscape composed of greenery and imposing ancient ruins. The most fascinating stretch of the Appian Way itself begins from here, after the circular tomb of Caecilia Metella, which the family of Caetani transformed into a feudal manor-house in the 13° century. After following the Appian Way for a mile or two, turn back and take the Via delle Sette Chiese, which brings you to San Paolo fuori le Mura (St. Paul outside the Walls), the largest church in Rome after St. Peter's, built in 314 AD but destroyed by fire in 1823 and rebuilt according to the original plan. Of the original church there are the wonderful Tabernacle by Arnolfo di Cambio (13° cent.), the splendid Venetian mosaics of the apse, and the Romanesque cloister with a tinge of Oriental atmosphere Returning towards Rome by the Via Ostiense we arrive at Porta San Paolo, with a stretch of the original Aurelian Wall and the Pyramid of Cams Cestius, a tomb of the Augustan period, beside which lies the enchanting Protestant Cemetery, where Keats and Shelley are buried. We now run along Via della Piramide Cestia and the Viale Aventino to arrive once more on the Via dei Trionfi in the direction of the Colosseum. This tune, at the church of San Gregorio, we fork right to climb on to the Celian Hill as far as the Via Claudia, to the point where Santa Maria in Domnica (next the garden of the 16° century Villa Celimontana) and Santo Stefano Rotondo, a circular church of the 5th century, stand. Via di Santo Stefano brings us to San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran) with the severe Lateran Palace, once a Papal residence, containing an important Archaeological Museum, next the lateral Facade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran: the West Front faces on to Piazza di Porm San Giovanni, monumental and theatrical, with the ancient city walls running along one side. St. John Lateran with facade by Galilei (1735) and 17° century interior by Borromini is the cathedral of Rome. Visit the picturesque 13° century cloister and the central plan Baptistery (5° century). Turning back towards the Colosseum along Via di San Giovanni in Lateratio, we pass, first, Santi Quattro Coronati, which looks like a medieval fortress from the outside, but rich inside has fine frescoes and perhaps the most beautiful cloister in Rome and then San Clemente, a 12° century church built over a 6th century one, with fine mosaics, 9° century frescoes and others by Masolino da Panicale.
From here we reach the Colosseum once more, and then Piazza Venezia. Taking the Corso to Piazza Colonna and turning right into Via Tritone, we reach Piazza Barberini and the famous and smart Via Veneto, where we can spend an amusing evening.
On the second day, we start from Castel Sant'Angelo, once Hadrian's Mausoleum (135139 AD) and then fortress, Papal reside ce, Prison (from which Benvenuto Cellini escaped) and now a Museum and Art Gallery. There are some fine paintings there. Along Via della Conciliazionewe reach Piazza San Pietro with Bernini's huge colonnade.
The basilica crowned by Michelangelo's Dome is a veritable treasury of art and history; one can also go up into the dome to see the panorama of Rome beneath. Besides the church there are also the Museums (pio-Clementino and Chiaramonti) and the Vatican Art Gallery, the Papal Apartments, the Sistine Chapel, the Pauline and the Nicolas V Chapels, Raphael's Loggias and Rooms.
A whole morning is hardly enough for the Vatican, and we suggest lunching nearby and then going up on the laniculum, on the top of which there is a great piazza with the monument to Garibaldi, One can spend some time here enjoyng the stupendous view over the city, before going down the other side, past the Aequa Paola Fountain (1612) and the elegant Renaissance church of San Pietro in Montorio, with Bramante's masterpiece, the round tempietto (1502) in the courtyard. And so down to the Lungotevere (all the riverside embankement drives have this name), where we shall find the famous Farnesina villa by Peruzzi (1511) with Raphael's Galatea fresco. Via della Lungara takes us into the heart of the picturesque Trastevere quarter with Santa Maria in Trastevere, a 12° century basilica with a Romanesque campanile (splendid apsidal mosaics by Cavallini, 1291). Along Via della Lungaretta we arrive at Piazza Sonnino and the nearby Piazza G.G. Belli, dominated by the 13° century Palazzo degli Anguiilara (it is said that it was here that Gregorovius, the German historian, was inspired to write his monumental a History of Rome in the Middle Ages). In the Tiber at this point we find the ancient Isola Tiberina, the Tiber Island with the church of San Bartolomco.
Just downstream of the island are the ruins of a Roman bridge of Republican times and the modern Ponte Palatino. Without crossing this, we dive into the picturesque narrow streets of Trastevere to reach the Basilica of Santa Cecilia, an evocative pre-Romanesque church (9° century); a Baroque portal leads into a silent lonely garden with a fountain; the interior is very rich in works of art, the Tabernacle by Arnolfo di Cambio, 9° century mosaics in the apse, an enchanting cloister and, in the Nun's Choir, a fresco of the Last Judgment, a masterpiece by Cavallini (13° century).
Going back on to the Lungotevere, we cross Ponte Palatine and find ourselves to another fascinating corner of ancient Rome; to the left, the intact Temple of Fortune Virile (1° cent. BC), which is rectangular. Beyond this, on the far side of the square, the church of San Giorgio in Velabro (12° cent.) with frescoes by Cavallini and attached to it the richly decorated Arch of the Argentarii. Beside the church, the massive Arch of Janus, all below the Capitoline Hill. Looking right, there is the round temple of Vesta so-called, and, on the far side of the road, the beautiful church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin (8°- 12° century) with the famous Bocca della Verita (a Mouth of Truth). Crossing over the road we can now go up the Aventine, to the basilica of Santa Sabina, built in Ravennate style (5° century) one of the most impressive and unspoiled ancient churches, in Rome, with interesting mosaics and a 5° century carved wooden door. A short distance away is the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, the only architectural work of the engraver, Piranesi, where he let his imagination have ull play. Going back down the Aventine, we find ourselves at the Circus Maximus, with the Palatine on the far side. Going back to Santa Maria in Cosmedin we turn right into the Via del Teatro di Marcello which leads us to this ancient theatre and the Palazzo Savelli, afterwards Orsini, which was built over its arena in the 16° century. On the other side of the road is the Tarpean Rock, from which traitors were thrown in ancient times. Turning left behind the Theatre of Marcellus brings us to Octavia's Portico, a graceful Roman ruin with medieval additions; from here we can wander through the streets of old Rome as far as Piazza del Gesu and the Church of the Gesu (1584) the mother church of the Company of Jesus (famous Baroque frescoes in the interior). Turning right into Via del Plebiscite and then immediately left brings us to the imposing piazza dominated by the Palace of the Collegio Romano. Walking parallel to the Corso then takes us into the theatrical Piazza Sant'Ignazio (note the elegant lines of the buildings opposite the church) and keeping on in the same direction through Piazza di Pietra, with the colonnade of a Roman temple built into the Rome Stock Exchange, we arrive at Piazza Colonna, right in the centre of the city with Marcus Aurelius' Column, similar to that of Trajan, in the centre. Here turn your back on theCorso and walk through Piazza Montecitorio, Past Palazzo Montecitorio, now the seat of the Italian Parliament, through Piazza Capranica to the Pantheon, one of the finest buildings of ancient Rome (1° cent. BC). 1, the interior Raphael is buried. Going along the right side of the Pantheon, take the first turning to the right, then left, then right again to arrive in Piazza Sant'Eustachio, with fine Renaissance and Baroque buildings on every side; continuing in the same direction, past the palace of the old University - the Sapienza with a curious spiral lantern by Borromini over the church of Sant'Ivo-crossing the Corso Rinascimento, we arrive in Piazza Navona, the finest in Rome, built on the foundations of Domitian's Circus. The church of Sant'Agnese is by Borromini, while the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers is by Bernini. In this wonderful piazza the two great rival architects of Baroque Rome worked together. We suggest eating dinner and spending part of the evening there.
The third and last day in Rome is devoted to the Renaissance centre of the city. We begin with Santa Maria Maggiore, founded in the 5th century and continually altered throughoutthe succeeding centuries, until Fuga built the present facade in 1743. The interior keeps the lines of the original building; the Cosmati floor (12° cent.), the carved ceiling attributed to G. da Sangallo, statues by Arnolfo da Cambia and beautiful 13th century mosaic in the apse are noteworthy. Behind Santa Maria Maggiore, cross Via Cavour into the piazza beyond and take the first turning to the left. Here, on the right, down a flight of steps, is the 4th century church of Santa Pudenziana (ancient mosaic). From here we reach Piazza della Repubblica (or delFEsedra) thorugh Via Viminale and Piazza Cinquecento (Station); there is a fine fountain (1901) in Piazza della Repubblica and beyond it are the Baths of Diocletian (306 AD), the largest of ancient Rome. In 1561 Michaelangeto transformed part of them into the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. On the right of the church is the entrance to the National Roman Museum, the most important archaelogical collection (statues, mosaics, frescoes) in the city. Taking Via V. E. Orlando as far as the Baroque Fountain of the Rivers we arrive in Via Venti Settembre which ends to the N.E. at Michaelengelo's Porta Pia; turning left we arrive at the Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains) crossroads and turning right we go down the steep Via Quattro Fontane to the 17° century Palazzo Barberini, with an elegant loggia opening on to the garden. 11 houses the National Picture Gallery. Crossing over Piazza Barberini with the Triton Fountain in the centre, we follow the continuation of Via Quattro Fontane, the elegant Via Sistina, built in the 16° century to arrive in the piazza in front of the church of Trimta dei Monti (noteworthy Mannerist canvases by Daniele da Volterra in the interior), at the head of the marvellous monumental staircase known to English-speaking visitors as the "Spanish Steps".
A little farther on is Villa Medici (16° cent.) which Napoleon gave to the French Academy (fine garden) and then Piazzale del Pincio, masterpiece of Roman nee-classicism, by Valadier. The terrace overlooks Piazza del Popolo, which forms part of the same design; and before us is St Peter's in the distance. In the wooded park of Villa Borghese, the largest in Rome, rises the Casino Borghese, built by o Vasanzio, which houses an important collection of sculpture (classical, Bernini, the Pauline Buonaparte by Canova etc.) and painting- Crossing the length of park we arrive at Villa Giulia, built by Vignola in the 16° century for Pope Julius III which houses the Etruscan Museum, the most important in the world. Going back along the Via Flaminia we now reach Porte del Popolo by Vignola and Bernini (1561 and 1655) through which we enter the superb piazza del Popolo, planned together with the Pincio above by Valadier, with an Egyptian obelisk in the middle surrounded by four fountains. In the nearby church of Santa Maria del Popolo frescoes by Pinturic-chio, two famous Caravaggios (Crucifixion of St Peter and Conversion of St. Paul), paintings by Sebastiano del Piombo and sculpture by Sansovino, Bregno, Mino da Fiesole and Bernini.
On the far side of the piazza, where the Corso, Via del Babuino and Via di Ripetta converge, twin churches with theatrical, domes. From bereonecanseethewhole length of the Corso to the Capitol in the distance. Taking Via del Babuino, with its line antique shops, or turning off it left into Via Margutta, the artists' street, we arrive in Piazza di Spagna, Here we can lunch before resum-ing our tour again down Via Condotti into the Corset to the Baroque Church of San Carlo al Corso, with its high dome. Behind the church, in Piazza Augusta Imperatore, is the Mausoleum of Augustus (27 BC) Further towards the river, in Via Ripetta, in a modern concrete building, are the friezes of the Ara Pacts Augusta (13 BC). From here make for Piazza Borghese, full of second-hand book stalls and print-sellers, and the maiestic Palazzo Borghese. Following Via della Scrota we reach the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, famous for Caravaggio's Calling of St Matthew. Going back along Via della Scrota and turning right into Via Sant'Agostino, we reach the church of this name with another canvas by Caravaggio. Then we go to Via dei Corona, lively and picturesque with its many antique shops, and follow it as far as Via del Banco ell Santo Spirito, which brings us into Corso Vittoriu Emanuele, where there are many monuments; leaving the river, on the left, we find the Chiesa Nueva, with the Oratory of the Filippint by Borromini; a little farther on, to the right, is the austere Palazzo della Cancelleria by Andrea Bregno and Bramante with courtyard by Bramante (1511). Farther on, to the left, in Palazzo Massuno delle Colonne by Peruzzi (1536) and on the right, the fine church of Sant'Andrea della Valle, whose dome is the highest in Rome after that of St Peter's. Go back along Corso Vittoriu Emanuclc to the Palazzo della Cancelleria and turn left, to emerge into the picturesque Campo dei Fiori, centre of city life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (monument to Giordano Bruno on the spot where he was burned). From here it is a step to Piazza Farnese, dominated by the Palazzo Farnese, perhaps the finest piece of Renaissance civic architecture, by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and Michelangelo, and now the French Embassy. Behind Palazzo Farnesc we are in the aristocratic Via Giulia, the most elegant street of Papal Rome; it is worth while walking the whole of its length, to absorb the atmosphereof its Renaissance architecture- Turning left along Via Giulia brings us to the Lungotevere, then to Porte Garibaldi, and turning left down Via Arenula, to Largo Argentina, with Roman Republican temples at its centre. Taking Via de' Cestari from here brings us to the Pantheon beside which is the Church of Santa Maria supra Minerva, the only Gothic church in Rome; before it, a curious obelisk supported on an elephant's back. Going through ViaPie' di Marino brings us again to the Collegio Romano and the magnificent Palazzo Doria, the finest Baroque palace in Rome (1734) with its great Picture Gallery. To the left, in the Corso we see the elegant facade of the church of San Marcello: taking the street to the left of the church brings us into Piazza Saint Apostoli with the basilica of the same name. In the Palazzo Colonna which rises beside it there is a Picture Gallery. From here we go to Via Quattro Novembre and turn left into Via della Pilotta for the Salim del Datari; climbing this we emerge into the Piazza del Compote in front of the Palazzo del Quirinale, first a Papal Residence, then a royal palace, now the residence of the President of the Republic; the Palazzo della Consulta, masterpiece by Fuga (1734) stands opposite: in the piazza are the fountain with its Hellenistic group of the Dioscuri and an Egyptian obelisk. Going down the same flight of steps and street and turning to the right, we reach the Trevi Fountain, a most appropriate place to end our last evening in Rome.
On the morning of the fourth day we leave Rome for the Etruscan necropolis of CERVETERI (see Route V) from which, after 19 km. (11 3/4 mi.), we arrive at BRACCIANO