ROMAN WALKS - 4 - VIA NOMENTANA | Bed and Rome and Breakfast - 3 B&B in Rome

lunedì 16 luglio 2018


Monument to the Bersagliere

We wrote here that Rome is not only the historical center..
Walking along the streets leaving from the gates of the Aurelian Wall gives to the visitor a different view of the city, of its modern development, of its real life.
Nevertheless, along the walk, one will find also sites that are testimonies of the past.
Via Nomentana is not one of the main roads leaving the center of Rome, it has not the status of national road, but it is one of the busiest and one that has had an important part in the history of the ancient and modern city.
And I have a special relation with this street because I was born along it and my school was there too.

Porta Pia: Art and History

Porta Pia
Via Nomentana starts from Porta Pia, one of the gates of the Aurelian Wall. Porta Pia has been designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti and that's alread a good reason to give a look to it.
Its importance is, however, essentially historic. It was here, opening a break in the Aurelian Wall, that the Italian army entered to Rome on September 20, 1870 ending the temporal power of the Pope.  Well, there would be a lot to say about that, but it is too long for this post.
The break was opened just steps away from Porta Pia and its position is indicated by a column. Inside Porta Pia there is the Historical Museum of the Bersaglieri, the infantry corp that first entered to Rome. A monument to the Bersagliere soldier is located just in front of Porta Pia. Entering inside the center, the street continues straight with Via XX Settembre, celebrating the entry to Rome of the italian army and then with Via del Quirinale leading directly to the square in front of the presidential palace, Quirinale Palace, formerly residence of the kings of Italy and earlier of the Pope.


Villa Tornonia
Along the first 2.5 km, Via Nomentana is flanked by typically bourgeois buildings and some villas of the Roman aristocracy.. The most important and known of them is Villa Torlonia. Initally the land belonged to the Pamphilj family, later it was bought by the Colonna family, both of them using it for farming. It was finally it was bought by the Torlonia princes that started the construction works calling the famous architect  Valadier. 
Casina delle Civette at Villa Torlonia
During the fascist period it was used as residence by Benito Mussolini that rented it at the symbolic price of 1 Italian Lira per year. A bunker was also built for protection during bombing.
After the war it was abandoned till 1978 when it was acquired by the municipality of Rome and transformed to museum and public garden.

The other villas along Via Nomentana are Villa Paganini, Villa Blanc and Villa Leopardi.  However there are also several other private green spaces belonging to private residences, and insitutional building, including several embassies and consular offices


Via Nomentana is characterized by several embassies and consular offices located along it or in the streets just on its sides. Russia, Lybia, Afghanistan, Malaysia, are some of the countries havin their embassy or consular office located here

Sant'Agnese and Santa Costanza

Basilica of Sant'Agnese
The complex of SantìAgnese and Santa Costanza is worth a visit for artistic, religious and historical reasons. It includes the Basilica of Sant'Agnese, erected in the VII century BC, the ruins of the old basilica dated IV century AD and the Mausoleum of Santa Costanza, also dated IV century AD. 
Mausoleum of Santa Costanza
and ruins of ancient Sant'Agnese
According to the tradition the mausoleum was erected by Costantina, also know as Costanza, daughter of the Emperor Constantine as her own birial place. According to another hypothesis, it was erected by the Emperor Julian I as burial place for his wife Helena that was sister of Costanza. In any case Costanza was buried there. Her Sarcophagues was later moved to the Vatican Museums.

Ancient Rome

Mausoleum of Tor di Quinto
In front of Villa Blanc ine can see another mausoleum, more correctly a piece of a mausoleum. It is know as Mausoleum of Tor di Quinti, because it was originally located in the area of Tor di Quinto, alonjg the Via Flaminia. It was moved to Via Nomentana on the XIX century to mark the entrance of Villa Blanc.
Ponte Nomentano
Approximately 1.5 km after the mausoleum one will reach Ponte Nomentano. Along with the Milvian Bridge, it was one of the most important entraces to the urban area of Rome. Originally built during the republican period, it was reconstructed in the VI century AD and later fortified and partially reconstructed during the XIX century.
It has remained open to the car traffic until aproximately20 years ago. Today, along to the surrounding park, it is restricted to pedestrians. 

Garden City and Night Life

Città Giardino
Soon after Ponte Nomentano there is a square with a market that is dedicated to Menenius Agrippa, the Roman politician that persuaded the plebs to end the secession at the beginning of the V century BC. He gave his speech to the plebs in this area (Mons Sacer). After the secession ended, the office of Tribune of the Plebs was created. On the side of  Piazza Menenio Agrippa, there is another square, Piazza Sempione. In the early XX century this area was still out of the city. Here it was erected a bourgeois district called Città Giardino (Garden City), made of small villas with a private garden. The square, with its church, was the heart of the district. Nowadays it has became a spot with a vivid nightlife, so accounating the area of Ponte Nomentano with the one of the Milvian Bridge.

Piazza Sempione

the Roman politician that persuaded the plebs to end the secession at the beginning of the V century BC. He gave his speech to the plebs in this area (
From Piazza Sempione it is to go back to Porta Pia with one of the several bus lines passing here

Reserve your room at Villa Borghese Guest House and also at San Lorenzo Guest House and St. John Villa

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