The cityscape of Rome is punctuated by a never-ending series of picturesque squares, that are meeting places for the Romans and the perfect place for travellers to pause as they make their way across the centre of Rome.
Piazza del Campidoglio, situated on Capitoline Hill, has been always the privileged seat of divinity and power. Like a bridge between the Ancient World represented by the Forum and Colosseum, and the next period of Italy's greatness the Renaissance.
Providing the perfect overview of the Roman Forum, which is why we start our Ancient Rome Walking Tour here, the whole square is a tribute to the Art and Architecture of a one signor Buonarrotti, better known as Michelangelo.
At the foot of Capitoline Hill is Piazza Venezia which takes it name from the monumental palace ordered by Pope Paul II, who was of Venetian origin, in the mid 15th Century. On the side of the building is a more modern fascist style balcony from which Mussolini declared that Italy had entered the second world war.
Piazza Colonna is famous for its 2nd Century marble column celebrating the victories of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius over the Germanic people. At present it is the centre of Italian political life which gravitates around Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Prime Minister.
Piazza Navona, which along with Piazza Venezia and Piazza Spagna is featured on our Essence of Rome Walk, is one of the most extraordinary examples of town planning in the city. The original shape of the piazza, in fact, repeats with extreme faithfulness the perimeter of the ancient stadium of Domitian built in 86 A.D. for athletic competitions.
Piazza di Spagna, shaped like the wings of a butterfly, since the 17th Century it has been the meeting place for travellers coming from all over the world. At one time, with the great number of English visitors staying in this area, it acquired the nickname the " English Ghetto".