Clarion Collection Hotel Principessa Isabella
Via Sardegna, 149/151
Phone: (39) 06 484523
Fax: (39) 06 4885964
Walking down a long staircase, you will find a deep but small vat. Around you, there are the colors of the frescoed and mosaic-covered walls and ceilings. You can see Diana, surrounded by deer and the nymphs of her court, while in a bright yellow niche, there are doves drinking from a spring. Near the vat, small children play and fish. The mosaic on the ceiling is not entirely visible due to the ravages of time, but some details can still be seen, such as two figures, one kneeling, and a spring gushing from a rock. This has caused some debate among scholars: Do the woodland scenes and the vat filled with water mean it was a nymphaeum? Was it an ancient place of baptism? An unusual feature is the presence of pagan figures alongside Christian symbols. The mystery has not yet been solved.
The second king of Italy, Umberto I, was known as the Good King and is commemorated in a 15-meter-high bronze statue standing on a marble plinth in Villa Borghese. The site chosen as the villa was known as Villa Umberto from 1900-1944. Umberto's son, Vittorio Emanuele III had the statue raised in the villa that he had bought and donated to the Commune of Rome in 1903. The design and production of the statue was a long and difficult business for the sculptor Davide Calandra, and the cause of his death. Commissioned in 1906, the work was continued by Edoardo Rubino, Calandra's pupil, after his master's death, exactly according to Calandra's drawings. Production was halted during World War I but 20 years after the start of the works, Monumento a Umberto I was inaugurated in the park. Umberto I is shown on horseback with the personification of Italy low on the left crying for the king killed by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci on July 29, 1900. Other figures symbolizing compassion and bravery in battle are shown in bas-reliefs on the base.
Porta Pinciana lies at the end of Via Veneto and, to tell the truth, not much is known about it. A few incisions suggest that it was originally a simple postern in the Aurelian walls. Currently it has five fornices but originally had only one (the one lined with marble and topped by two towers); the others were opened more recently to speed the traffic. During the Middle Ages it was also known as Porta Belisaria in commemoration of Justinian's general who defended Rome against the Goths and then had the city rebuilt. A Latin graffito on the outer façade (no longer visible) stated "date obulum Belisario" ("Give alms to Belisarius"), which was popularly believed to prove the story that, when old and blind, Belisarius used to beg below the gateway that had made him so famous.
Piazzale dei Cavalli Marini lies about half way down the Viale dei Cavalli Marini near the lovely Piazza Siena in Villa Borghese. The name comes from the enormous circular fountain that almost fills the square and includes four huge marine horses mostly immersed in a large tank at ground level (i.e. dug out of the ground). The four support another, smaller horse. The fountain was created at the end of the 18th Century by Unterberger.
At the Porta Pinciana entrance to Villa Borghese there stands an enormous statue that commemorates the German writer and poet Wolfgang Goethe. The avenue on which it stands is also named after him. The statue was given as a sign of friendship by Emperor William II of Germany to the city of Rome and was inaugurated in June 1904 in the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III. It symbolised the deep bond between Rome and Germany. Goethe was chosen because he was influenced the time he had spent in the city as a youth. At the base of the pedestal there are three groups that represent the artistic fields in which he was active: philosophy, drama and opera.
This original monument by sculptor Pietro Canonica was donated to the city council in 1940. The sculpture portrays Scodela, the famous mule awarded with a medal for his bravery, determination and resistance when transporting a small cannon around the battlefields of World War I. Canonica portrayed the mule with the beret of the 'Alpinisti' on his back in remembrance of the soldier who had formed a strong bond with the animal. He was killed in battle. The sculpture is located outside the Museo Canonica, the artist's house and studio, in the Villa Borghese.
This is a street that has lived through alternate fortunes. In the early 20th Century it was a fashionable street for strolling, with elegant venues such as Caffé Bussi and Caffè Rosati and smart hotels such as the Majestic, l'Eden, l'Excelsior and l'Ambasciatori Palace. After a relatively quiet period, the 1960s, in particular the film La Dolce Vita, put Via Veneto back into the limelight of society life, with the antics of the stars and the audacious chases by paparazzi led by Tazio Secchiaroli. Today, Via Veneto has returned to peace and quiet, and its famous open-air cafés are frequented by tourists.
Raffaele Cadorna entered Rome through this gate and, since then, every September 20, crowds gather here to commemorate the Risorgimento. The monumental gate by Michelangelo, who designed it for Pope Pius IV, was later completed with the statues of two saints and a painting of the Madonna on the outer side at the command of Pope Pius IX. The nearest point, la Breccia, is decorated with commemorative plaques. In 1932, a statue dedicated to the Bersaglieri (Italian light infantrymen) was erected in the square, and in 1936 the statues of the saints that had been damaged on that fateful September 20 were restored. A mosaic reproducing the painted image of the Madonna was also added, as the original was damaged during the artillery's fire.
Piazza di Siena has a large spanning history behind it, which makes this place worth visiting. The place holds historic charm and is still serves its initial purpose namely as a center to conduct city events. A must go for all those exploring this ancient city.
The villa took the name of Villa Malta when it became the residence of the Order of Malta in Rome. The nucleus of the central tower, visible from outside with its bluish windows, dates from the Middle Ages. The villa has changed hands and tenants many times. Throughout the 17th Century, it belonged to the Minimi monks of the Trinità dei Monti, but they let it out to artists and members of literary circles (like Canova and Thorwaldsen) and became popular with the German circle in Rome. In the first half of the 20th Century it was bought by the Vatican, which enlarged the building and turned it into a library with five underground floors. The large salon was transformed into a chapel.
This baroque church was built by the architect Carlo Maderno at the beginning of the 17th Century. It was originally named after St Paul the apostle, but after The Adoration of the Infant was brought here, spoil from the victory of the Catholic armies over the Protestants at Prague, it was renamed Santa Maria della Vittoria.The church is noteworthy for one of the most beautiful works of Bernini, The Ectasy of St Teresa, to be found in the Capella Cornaro. Other important works include three paintings by Domenichino, the artist's last works in Rome. The interior decor of the church is typically baroque with very refined stucco, friezes and marble. The sacristy conserves some relics of the battle of Prague, in addition to those of the Christian armies who fought against the Turks.
The fountain is known as Fontana Del Mosè due to the badly proportioned statue of Moses in the central arch and its amazing resemblance to the famous statue by Michelangelo. It was created as a finishing touch to the Acqua felice aqueduct, ordered by Felice Peretti, better known as Pope Sixtus V who introduced drinking water to this area. The two arches have reliefs on the side of scenes taken from the Old Testament, while the lions are copies of two Egyptian statues that are to be found in the Vatican Museums.