Rome Open City

There is no doubt that Rome’s piazzas head the list of its most important monuments. These lovely squares that open before us at the end of every street, wide or narrow, are virtual gateways to the heart of the city.

PIAZZA DI SPAGNA
One of the city’s most popular spots, Piazza di Spagna takes it name from the Palazzo Spagna, built here in the 17th century to house the Spanish Embassy. And the Spanish Steps are the most famous part of this square, which is home to the city’s most stylish shopping avenues. Built in the 1700’s to link the square with the Church of the Trinita dei Monti at the top of the hill, the Spanish Steps are thronged with romantic couples throughout the year. And you might run into a famous actor any moment at one of the historic cafes in the vicinity.

PIAZZA DI TREVI
The Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, was immortalized by lovers Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the film Roman Holiday, to which it provided the unforgettable backdrop. Designed in 1862, this elegant fountain is also Rome’s largest. Nothing can beat licking a famous Roman gelato while watching the crowds pass by this square with one of the world’s most photogenic fountains. You can find gift shops, pizzerias and spaghetterias in the back streets.

PIAZZA NAVONA
An area of settlement going back two thousand years, Piazza Navona is known for its street artists. Abuzz with activity night and day, Piazza Navona has been a haunt of artists and those of artistic spirit since the Renaissance. The Fontana dei Fiumi, masterpiece of the famous 17th century Roman sculptor Bernini, also stands here, symbolizing the four major rivers of the world: the Nile, the Rio de la Plata, the Ganges and the Danube).

PIAZZA ST. PIETRO
One of the most sacred spots in the Christian world, St. Peter’s Square is home to the Vatican, a sovereign state ruled by the Pope. Around the square, which is surrounded by hundreds of giant columns, stand the Vatican Museum, St.Peter’s Basilica and the Pope’s private residence. The dome of the basilica, one of the most magnificent structures on the piazza, was designed by none other than Michelangelo. 

CAMPO DEI FIORI
Appropriately named ‘Field of Flowers’, this lovely square is said to be the place where the famous painter Caravaggio murdered a sports opponent who had defeated him in a contest. A hero to the Italians, Giordano Bruno, who was ruthlessly burned at the stake for claiming that the Earth revolves around the sun, is commemorated in a statue at the center of the square.

PIAZZA DEI CINQUECENTO
This is the square that greets travelers who arrive in Rome by road or train. You will find yourself on this square the minute you disembark at Termini Station. Starting point for almost all the buses that operate in Rome, it is surrounded by hostels and bed&breakfasts serving students and backpacking tourists.