4 March 2010

From Tiber Island to Palatino hills, walking around the oldest places of Roma

From Tiber Island to Palatino hills, walking around the oldest places of RomaFrom Tiber Island to Palatino hills, walking around the oldest places of Roma

Your Palazzo is at the far end of what was called, in Roman times, Riva Giudia, Jewish Shore, where the Jews, well before Christ, settled after disembarking from the ships coming from Middle East in what then was the port of Rome. Nearby, in vicolo dell’Atleta, a building is said to have been, ten centuries ago, a synagogue, built on older  foundations: in its cellar, a colossal statue was found dated 70 AD; now it hosts a very good restaurant.

Going south, past Arco dei Tolomei, you reach two beautiful and historically charged churches, San Giovanni dei Genovesi and San Francesco a Ripa, where Saint Francis of Assisi used to stay when in Rome; from there you are a few hundred meters from Porta Portese, one of the  gates in the old Roma walls, near where Julius Cesar had his huge gardens and villa and where he kept his mistress queen Cleopatra of Egypt.

On Sundays, around Porta Portese, an open street market is densely poplated by people looking for cheap buys.

On the way back, you must stop at Santa Cecilia church, run by nuns, where different styles mix, from  the house of a wealthy old Roman that was the original church to the 17th century touch of cardinal Acquaviva.

Going north, you are in the centre of Rome. From the Casa, you are at walking distance from the most well known attractions of ancient, medieval and modern Rome.

You cross the river and the Island and you reach the ruins of twenty century old Portico d’Ottavia, now incorporating a beautiful medieval church and Jewish Ghetto, with it typical restaurants where jewish dishes are served, i.e. the most typical roman cuisine.

On your right side you have Teatro di Marcello, a fascinating example of architectural fusion: a medieval  palazzo built on top of a Roman arena. A little further you have the Capitol Hill, the original one (as reshaped by Michelangelo) and, at its feet, on the other side, the Roman Forum, the Circo Massimo, the Palatino Hill, where Augustus and all the Roma Emperors lived.

On your left,  you can walk to piazza Venezia, the Quirinale Hill, via del Corso, via Condotti (where all fashion brands have a boutique) and the Spanish Steps.