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Renaissance and Baroque Rome: the most beautiful fountains and piazzas of Rome
An evening stroll to enjoy Rome, through its imposing palaces and grand piazzas, where water dances in extraordinary fountains such as the Trevi Fountains, Piazza Navona, and the Spanish Steps. A tour to discover enchanted little streets of Rome where time has stopped; a stroll to dream, exploring history and art in a new way. Join us on this group tour to encounter popes and emperors, artists and ordinary people in the places where their lives took shape, where the ancient and the modern mingled to create the political and religious institutions on which Italian society still rests today.
Spanish Steps Tour
We will begin in Piazza di Spagna, at the foot of the iconic Spanish Steps. With our expert guides we will learn the history of the church of the Trinita' dei Monti that towers above, as well as why the young Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his sculptor father adopted the unusual subject of a boat for the fountain of the Barcaccia. We will also uncover the social significance of the majestic stairway that came to unite these two areas separated for centuries by a high cliff. After short stops at the Colonna del'Immacolata (Column of the Immaculate Conception) and the house of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, we will reach another of the city's most indelible landmarks, the Trevi Fountain.
Trevi Fountain Tour
Here we will let ourselves be lulled by the magical song of the waters, immersing ourselves in this wonderful piece of theatrical architecture that recalls the great buildings of Ancient Rome. The main structure of the Trevi Fountain is a triumphal arch such as the Arch of Constantine. With the help of your guide you will read the many legends written in the relief sculpture of the arch, from where the god Ocean advances with his Tritons and winged horses to celebrate with us an ancient festival of water. You will also learn the origins of the fountain related to the ancient roman acqueduct and its history through the centuries.
The Pantheon transports us to another era, and this portion of our walking group tour is all about the full grandeur of Imperial Rome. Innovative ideas, technologies and various cultures blend to make an artwork of extreme power and poetry, a design so perfect that Michelangelo considered it to be the work of angels. The history of the area is no less fascinating: it was originally a marshland subject to the floods of the Tiber, then a military training ground devoted to Mars, the god of war. The temple that dominates the piazza was first built by Agrippa for his son-in-law Augustus, before a restoration by Hadrian in 126 AD created the magnificent building we know today. According to medieval legend the central oculus in the huge dome was created by the explosive crash of pagan demons fleeing the building at the moment of its conversion into a church in 609 AD. The Pantheon also houses the tombs of Raphael who died prematurely in 1520, and the first King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele, who died in 1878.
Piazza Navona Tour
The next stop is Piazza Navona, which puts us in the midst of a totally different mystery - its form has been preserved for nearly 2,000 years, and the shape of the Stadium of Domitian (1st century AD) is still obvious today. And yet at the same time we are in the heart of the Roman Baroque: all around are spectacular optical illusions and theatrical buildings, signs of a revolutionary new approach to architectural space. Here we confront the twin genius of Bernini and Borromini, the two greatest rivals of their age and opposites in every respect. Bernini's marvelous Fountain of the Four Rivers is the piazza's centrepiece, a pyramidal structure that incorporates an obelisk and culminates in the flight of a dove. Dominating the skyline above is Borromini's curving facade and bell tower of the church of Santa Agnese, where stone takes on the malleability of softest clay.
Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Farnese
We will finish our tour of Rome in two extremely different piazzas of the city center. First in bustling Campo dei Fiori with its taverns and market stalls, a stop along the route pilgrims took on their way to St. Peter's, and once a site of public execution and torture. By contrast, Piazza Farnese is an aristocratic place of cardinals and popes. Home of the beautiful Giulia Farnese, lover of the rapacious and insatiable Borgia Pope Alexander VI, and site of countless court intrigues, the piazza is dominated by two enormous basins found in the Baths of Caracalla which were re-adapted as fountains for the popes, symbolic of their legitimate succession from the ancient emperors. All this is overlooked by the Palazzo Farnese itself, sombre testament to Michelangelo's architectural talent.
Join us on this Rome group tour on a journey to truly understand the city, and see how its picturesque streets, timeless piazzas and infinite history are all just waiting to be discovered.
At the Spanish Steps. Full details, including a map and photo, will be issued on booking.
This is a leisurely walking tour through the centre of Rome. Comfortable shoes and a bottle of water are highly recommended
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!