A walk around the area.
Frequent public transportation connects the Mecenate Palace to the strategic points of the city.
However those who would rather take a walk around the area, will discover a minor, but colorful Rome: old streets with humble but well preserved houses, charming little piazzas and courtyards, bookshops and ateliers.
Visitors aught to start walking from Santa Maria Maggiore to via Panisperna and then up and down the slopes of the hills that give the neighborhood its name: Rione Monti, which includes the Quirinale, Viminale and Esquilino hills.
If you feel like walking a little bit further, you can reach the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, with the very famous Moses by Michelangelo and the Colosseo, the Fori Imperiali andy the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.
These are just some of the beauties that Rome can offer!
Have a pleasant walk from the Mecenate Hotel!
30 meters from the Basilic.
Built under Pope Sisto III from 432 to 440, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore rises on the top of Esquiline hill and represents one of the most important Roman churches.
It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the tradition says that it was the Virgin Maria to inspire the location of the Basilica.
In fact appearing during a dream to Liberio Pope, she would have suggested the place of its building through a divine sign.
THE LEGEND OF SNOW IN AUGUST
When the 5th of August there was an unusual snow fall on the Esquiline hill, the Pope drew in the snow the perimeter of the Basilica. Subsequently the original church was demolished and rebuilt in a more sumptuous way by Pope Sisto III in honour of Efeso Council. Every 5th of August according to tradition this “Miracle of The Virgin Mary” is re-proposed through a suggestive ceremony in honour of that particular episode.
From the marvellous Mecenate Palace Hotel’s terrace is possible to observe the whole ceremony tasting very good aperitif. Another very important event linked to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is the Corpus Domini Celebration.
Every year the Pope, during a solemn and evocative ceremony, blesses all the present believers.
The Mecenate Palace Hotel gives a new face to its terrace to offer you an incredible view; besides at the end of the ceremony is possible to taste the chef delicious very special courses.
They represent several monumental squares built during more than one century from 46 b.C. and 113 a.C. Caesar Forum
On Foot: 10 minutes
Public Transport: Bus n° 70
in 46 b.C. Julio Caesar decided to build a big square called with his name made by arcades on long sides and by the Mother Venus Temple at the end of central nave. He thought to descend from the Mother Venus through Iulo, progenitor of gens Iulia, Enea son.
Octavian promised a Temple dedicated to Marte Ultore in occasion of the Philippi War in 42 b.C. during the which Marco Antonio and him defeated Caesar’s murderers to vindicate its death. The Temple was practically unveiled after 40 years, in 2 b.C. and placed into a second monumental square, the Augusto Forum.
THE FORUM PEACE
Under Vespasian was built another big square. This square was divided from Caesar and Augusto Temple by Argileto street, a famous street connecting Roman Forum with the Suburra quarter and very close to Velia. Originally this area wasn’t considered one of the Imperial Forum, and only after a long period it was considered part of the area and called the Forum of Peace.
As regards Caesar Forum, the new area was orthogonally disposed and the Mart Temple was leant to a very high wall dividing the monument itself from Suburra quarter.
Domitian decided to unify the previous areas and into the irregular area placed between the Temple of Peace and Caesar and Augusto Forum he planned the building of another monumental square connecting all together.
Domitian’s projects were really more ambitious and perhaps under his Reign started the works of excavation of hilly area connecting the Capitol with Quirinal and closed the Forum Valley to field of Mars, towards Venice Square, reducing the space for other monumental buildings. The plan was concluded by Trajan with the building of a new area called with his name and built through the booty of his conquest campaigns of Dacia. This area represents a celebrations of his military conquests.
During Fascist Regime was opened The Empire Street placed by the side of the Forum archaeological area connecting Venice Square and Coliseum.
In ancient times known with the name of Flavio Amphitheatre, Colosseum represents the most important monument of roman history. It is situated in the centre of the city and it was able to contain almost 50.000 spectators.
On Foot: 10 minuts
Public Transport: metro line A and B
Symbol of Rome the Colosseum rises close to Roman Forum; Vespasian started its construction and it was ended under the reign of Tito in 80 b.C.
The legend tells that the name derives from a huge Nero bronze statue placed in that area, that was remodelled to figure the Sun Divinity.
Colosseum was principally used for gladiators’ spectacle, but also to perform other kind of events such as the evocation of famous battles or mythological dramas. From an architectural point of view it is really shocking, its shape is elliptical and it represents the typical architecture of the First Imperial Age with a high complexity constituted by arches and vault linked together.
In 1980 Unesco included Colosseum into the list of humanity patrimony such as all the historical centre of Rome.
The Trevi Fountain
From a historical point of view the Trevi Fountain was born when Agrippa succeeded in bringing water to Pantheon, thanks to the building of Virgin Waterworks.
The Reign of Pope Urbano VIII ordered the transformation of the Square and the Trevi Fountain.
On Foot: 15 minuts
Public Transport: Metro line A, Bus line n°71
It was Bernini to plan the fountain and placed it on the Trivia Virgin Statue. In 1731 Pope Clemente XII take again into consideration the future of the square publicizing a competition to enlarge the fountain to the whole front of the Poli Palace.
Nicolò Salvi won the competition. Following the influence of Bernini and Baroque period he tried to retake the main idea to tell the story of Virgin Water through sculpture and architecture.
THE SEA IN A FOUNTAIN
The main theme of the Trevi Fountain is the Sea, with a enchanting scenography. At the centre the Ocean Statute dominates the scene driving a chariot pulled by sea horses and headed by Tritons.
Laterally into the two niches we can admire the Statue of Abundance and that of Salubrity. An ancient popular belief tells that if a person throws a coin into the fountain turning the shoulders, then that person surely will come back in the eternal city. Nowadays all the coins are destined to The Commune of Rome for charity.
It’s certainly the most famous square of Rome, dominated by the majestic and famous Trinità dei Monti (Spanish Steps), built in the eighteenth century to link the square above the Church of the Trinita dei Monti.
On Foot: 20 minuts
Public Transport: Metro line A
In the square there is the famous Barcaccia Fountain belonging to the Baroque period made by Bernini and his son the most famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
In the right corner of the stairs you can admire the house of the famous english poet John Kates who died in 1821 and today transformed into a museum dedicated to Percy Bysshe Shelley and its memory. In the left corner you can admire the Babington’s tea room founden in 1893.
THE SUMPTUOUS AND MONUMENTAL STAIRS
Composed by 135 steps planned by Alessandro Specchi and Francesco de Santis was unveiled by Pope Benedict XIII for the Jubilee of 1725. It was realized to connect the Spanish Bourbon Embassy (from which the square derives its name) to the Trinità dei Monti Church.
St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica represents one of the most famous Basilicas in the world. It is 218 metres long and raises a total height of 130 metres from the floor of the basilica to the top of the external cross. The total surface raises 23000 square metres.
On Foot: 50 minuts
Public Transport: Metro Line A; Bus n° 64 and 40
It is the see of the most important religious events and therefore it is very involved into Christmas celebrations, Easter, and liturgies of Holy Week, proclamation of new Popes and the obsequies of died Popes, the opening and the end of Jubilees.
AN IMPOSING STRUCTURE
The front of the Church is 115 metres large ad 46 metres tall. It was erected by Carlo Maderno between 1607 and 1614. It is preceded from 2 statues representing St. Peter and St. Paul, realized by Giuseppe De Fabris e Adamo Tadolini in 1847.
On the top you can admire the statue of Jesus, Giovanni Battista and the eleven apostles.
In the sides there are two clocks realized in 1785 by Giuseppe Valadier; under the left clock you can admire a big bell with a circumference of 7,50 metres and with a weight of 9 tons.
After the central gate there is a portico extending for all the width of the façade from which open the five entrances of the Church.
To entre the Basilica there are five entrances, the Death Door, the Good and Evil Door, the Filarete Door, the Sacraments Door, the Holy Door (the northernmost Door).
The Dome, with its highness of 136 metres, its 42 metres of diameter and its 537 steps is the symbol of the basilica and of all Rome.
Four huge pilasters (with a perimeter of 71 metres) support the whole structure whose weight is 14000 tons.
It was built during two years by Giacomo Della Porta who followed Michelangelo drawings and the internal decoration is realized through the mosaic technique by Cavalier D’Arpino and Giovanni De Vecchi for Clemente XIII’s will.
THE VATICAN CAVE
In the Basilica subsoil open the Vatican Cave, place of burial for several Popes.
So it represents an underground Church composed by three naves, placed in the foundations of St. Peter’s Baldachin and obtained through the difference in level between the old and the new Basilica.
The Basilica has six bells.
The first one is the Great Bell ,placed under the front clock, it rises to a total diameter of 231,6 cm and a weight of 8950 kg.
Then there is the Campanoncino with a diameter of 177,2 cm and with a weight of 3640 kg.
The third bell is the Rota, the oldest bell whose first goal was to gather all the Roman Rota Tribunal Auditors : it rises a total weight of 1815 kg.
The fourth bell is the Sermon melted by Giovanbattista Lucenti and rising to a total weight of 830 kg.
The fifth is the Ave Bell, melt again in 1932 by Daciano Colbachini and with a height of 75 cm it rises a total weight of 250 kg.
The last bell is the Campanella, melt in 1825 by Luigi Lucenti and with a weight of 235 kg.
The Sagrestia is an external building, placed to the left of the Basilica; it is connected to the St. Peter nave by two passages sustained by several arches. It was committed by Pope Pius IV to Carlo Marchionni in 1776.
On Foot: 30 minuts
Public Transport: Bus n° 360
It contains sculptures, bas relief, ancient mosaics and paintings from XV to XVIII century.
This collection, initially constituted by Borghese Scipio in the first part of XVII century, conserves masterpieces by Antonello from Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Raphel, Titian, Correggio, Caravaggio and marvellous sculptures by Gian Battisti Bernini and Canova.
Among the several sculptures the famous Venere Vincitrice by Canova representing Paolina Borghese, the David, Apollo and Daphne and the Rape of Proserpina by Bernini.
Constituted in 1902 after the acquisition on behalf from Italy of Fidecommisso Borghese collection. It is situated in Scipio Borghese Square 5, inside Borghese Pinciana Villa in Rome.