Trevi Fountain Rome: Walking Tour to the Via Veneto

Hi guys! today, We’re starting the walk from Trevi and the end is by the Via veneto, the street of the Dolce vita.

⛲️ Trevi Fountain, Rome

this is the most famous – and the largest – fountain in Rome. It was Built in 1762 by Italian architect Nicola Salvi, in the flamboyant Rococo style, the Trevi Fountain is a travertine extravaganza of rearing seahorses, conch-blowing Tritons, craggy rocks and palm trees built into the side of the Palazzo Poli.

The fountain’s waters come from the Acqua Vergine, a Roman aqueduct built in 19 BC and fed by springs 22 km (14 miles) from the city. The fountain contains about 3 million litres of water. Legend has it that throwing a coin into the fountain guarantees a return to Rome.

⛪️ Ss Vincenzo e Anastasio

The church of Ss Vincenzo e Anastasio, has the hearts and other organs of 30 popes who reigned between 1590 and 1903, which were taken during embalming. Regular folks perceived something nearly sinister in the exhibition. As a result, the name of the second titular saint, Anastasio, was spelled Satanasio instead of Anastasio (Satanas).

🌇 Città dell’Acqua aka The City of Water

In 2001 a stretch of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct (built in Augustan times and still feeding the Trevi Fountain) was revealed during restoration of an old cinema. Part of the underground archaeological area of “The City of Water” can now be visited, including the aqueduct and the ruins of an ancient Roman apartment block that was later converted into a single family home. Artifacts uncovered in the area are also on display. The entrance is just on the opposite side of this building on the left

👼 Madonnele in ROME

There are hundreds of these in Rome, affectionately called ‘Madonnelle’ (‘Little Madonnas’), regardless of whom they actually represent. 

Beyond their spiritual and aesthetic purposes, they provided nightly passers-by with the light of their lamps when street lights was not yet available.


The building you see on the Top is the Quirinal Palace, today the residence of the Italian President. 

 The building has witnessed several dramatic moments. Napoleon’s soldiers abducted Pope Pius VI from here in 1799, and his successor Pius VII in 1809. The former died in captivity. When they came  for the latter in the dead of night, he had a temperature, couldn’t find his glasses and wasn’t even given time to take a change of clothes. He was dispatched into exile; but six years later he was back in the palace, and his captor was in exile on St. Helena.

Thirty-three years later, in 1848, it was Pope Pius IX’s turn to flee the Quirinal, when revolution shook all of Europe and swept through Rome. He returned to the city in 1850, but not to the Quirinal; both he and his successors preferred to stay all year round in the Vatican. 

😆 When the king’s soldiers of a newly unified Italy entered Rome two decades later, they had to call a locksmith to enter the palace. 

A period of bitter church-state relations followed, ending only in 1929 with an  agreement under the Mussolini Fascist regime, called the Conciliazione (‘Reconciliation’).

For centuries the Quirinal was a literary centre. The ancient Roman poet  Martial lived here and also Virgil.

During the Renaissance, sophisticated literary circles congregated here (one such group, which included cardinals, went into such pagan raptures during its poetry readings that the pope imprisoned the entire group in Castel Sant’ Angelo).

Michelangelo took part in one of these groups, presided over by his great Platonic love,A  the poetess and princess Vittoria Colonna.

🏛 Impressive buildings frame the square. Foremost is the Palazzo del Quirinale, home to the President of Italy.  The palazzo was built between the 16th and 18th centuries as a papal summer residence, and was occupied after 1870 by Italian kings.

🚪 The best part of the exterior is the portal by Maderno, surmounted by a window and balcony by Bernini, once used for papal blessings of the crowd, and flanked by a powerful round bastion by Mascherino.

🐎 The hill is crowned by the vast Piazza del Quirinale, one of the city’s most ancient and beautiful squares. 

It has been celebrated since the Middle Ages for a huge Græco-Roman statuary group of two muscular horse tamers of uncertain identity who lead rearing stallions. The sculptures have given the hill an  alternative name, ‘Monte Cavallo’ (or ‘Horse Hill’).

This has been one of Rome’s most famous monuments since the early Middle Ages. According to tradition they represent the ‘Horse Tamers’, the twins Castor and Pollux (also called ‘Dioscuri’, ‘Sons of Zeus’), Greek mythological heroes worshipped by the Romans from early times as Rome’s protectors.  

(Camminando lungo il palazzo)

🏗 We’re walking on a important avenue. It ends in the distance at a brick building and a gate where, on a fateful September day in 1870, Italian government troops invaded Rome to wrest it from papal rule.


This is the beautiful entrance to Bernini’s church of S. Andrea al Quirinale.

The elliptical interior, grand despite its small size, is a jewel of baroque period. The shallow depth of the church confronts the visitor with the main altar, and this sense of movement is further exploited by the vivid portrayal of St. Andrew’s ascent into heaven, rising from the altar painting via a carved figure that is welcomed by angels above. Of all Bernini’s works, this was his favourite, and his son reports that he often came here to sit in his   later years.

👼church of S. Carlino (‘Little St. Charles’) officially called S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (from the crossroads mentioned below), by Borromini. Cross the intersection carefully to appreciate the spirited façade (the last work of the great architect, completed in the year of his suicide, 1667),

👛In comparing these two small, oval churches by Bernini and Borromini, most architects tend to give the palm to Borromini, since he has achieved his aims with simplicity. None of Bernini’s rich materials, colours and theatrics here, just brick, stucco and white surfaces. ‘One looks at Bernini’s buildings with the eyes; one feels Borromini’s with the whole body,’ wrote Anthony Blunt, the great Borromini scholar.

4️⃣ the Quattro Fontane. The four fountains after which the intersection is named are late Renaissance works representing two deified rivers, the Roman Tiber and the Tuscan Arno, and two goddesses, Juno and Diana.

🔱 Piazza Barberini, we’re descending to an area where Sheep and cows wandered as recently as the first decade of the 20th century. These qualities appealed to the many artists who lived here in the Romantic era. For about a century after the mid-18th century it was the haunt of Germans, Austrians, Scandinavians and Russians in particular.

🏢 Palazzo Barberini, home of a still extant princely family that has given Rome one pope and several cardinals, high prelates and government officers.

This wing was completed in a mature baroque style, partly by Bernini and partly by Borromini in 1633, circumstances having as usual forced the two to work together.

The palace was commissioned in 1623 by Maffeo Barberini, who had been elected pope as Urban VIII. Like Innocent X and Alexander VII (p. 44) after him, he was a ‘builder pope’ and an admirer and patron of Bernini. For his palace he chose Carlo Maderno as architect, who decided to use an open Renaissance villa model rather than the closed block more characteristic of urban palaces. Maderno died in 1628 and his work was finished by his kinsman and assistant, Borromini.

The palace houses a national museum of Old Master paintings. The splendid ceiling frescoes designed and executed by Pietro da Cortona for the Barberini may also be viewed

Ongoing excavations of the palace grounds have found remains of Imperial era houses, including a room transformed in the 3rd century AD into a mithræum, with interesting frescoes of the Persian cult of Mithras (see Glossary); it is not open to the public.

[When Maffeo Barberini became Pope Urban VIII in 1623 he planned a grand palace for his family on the fringes of the city. Architect Carlo Maderno designed it as a rural villa, with wings into the surrounding gardens. Maderno died in 1629 and Bernini took over, assisted by Borromini. The pediments on some of the top-floor windows, and the oval staircase inside, are almost certainly by Borromini.

The most striking of the sumptuous rooms is the Gran Salone, with an illusionistic ceiling fresco by Pietro da Cortona. The palazzo also houses paintings from the 13th to the 16th centuries, with notable works by Filippo Lippi, El Greco and Caravaggio, as well as Guido Reni’s Beatrice Cenci, the young woman executed for planning her father’s murder, and La Fornarina, traditionally thought to be a portrait of Raphael’s mistress, although not necessarily painted by him.]

 🧜‍♂️ The centre of the square is dominated by another fabulous Bernini creation, the Triton Fountain. 

In the centre of busy Piazza Barberini is one of Bernini’s liveliest creations, the Triton Fountain. It was created for Pope Urban VIII Barberini in 1642, shortly after the completion of his palace on the ridge above. Acrobatic dolphins stand on their heads, twisting their tails together to support a huge scallop shell on which the sea god Triton kneels, blowing a spindly column of water up into the air through a conch shell.

🛣 Via Veneto

In Imperial Rome, this was a suburb where rich families owned luxurious villas and gardens. Ruins from this era can be seen in the excavations in Piazza Sallustio, named after the most extensive gardens in the area, the Horti Sallustiani. After the Sack of Rome in the 5th century, the area reverted to open countryside. Not until the 17th century did it recover its lost splendour, with the building of Palazzo Barberini and the now-vanished Villa Ludovisi. When Rome became capital of Italy in 1870, the Ludovisi sold their land for development. They kept a plot for a new house, but tax on the profits from the sale was so high, they had to sell that too. By 1900, Via Veneto had become a street of smart grand hotels and cafés. It featured prominently in Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita, a scathing satire on the lives of film stars and the idle rich, but since then has lost its position as the meeting place of the famous.

It is a meandering modern avenue and international rendezvous point of what used to be called ‘café society’. The avenue and the district it crosses were built at the turn of the last century in a final burst of the building craze that swept through Rome for four decades after the city became part of the Italian state in 1870. 

🐝 The fountain of the bees (api, symbol of the Barberini family) is one of Bernini’s more modest works. Tucked away in a corner of Piazza Barberini, it is quite easy to miss. Dating from 1644, it pays homage to Pope Urban VIII Barberini, and features rather crab-like bees which appear to be sipping the water as it dribbles down into the basin.

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