The first itinerary we suggest starts from St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City goes on to Castel S. Angelothen, crossing the Tiber, gets to Piazza Navona next to the Pantheon and finally, passing through Piazza Colonna, ends up in Piazza di Spagna.
The Vatican City: Arriving at St. Peter's Square, the visitor is immediately impressed by the size of the memorable square facing St. Peter's, surrounded by the magnificent four-row colonnade masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Only when one gets inside the basilica, slowly climbing up the sweeping three flights of steps designed by Bernini, one will be truly amazed by the size and splendour of the largest church in the world, the symbol of Christianity, extending over a total of about 22,000 sqm.The building is 136 m. high, the diameter of the Cupola, designed by Michelangelo, measures 42 m. It is possible to reach the top of the Cupola climbing 330 steps: once up there the view of the square below and of Rome is unforgettable.
Castel Sant'Angelo: From St. Peter's walking along Via della Conciliazione one can reach the second stop of our itinerary: Castel Sant'Angelo. The unique monument houses the National Museum where, besides the stuccoes, frescoes and furniture of the papal apartments, one can also admire an important collection of ancient arms. Castel Sant'Angelo is well known to Opera lovers, since right from its famous terrace overlooking the heart of Rome, Tosca, the protagonist of Giacomo Puccini's opera, threw herself down.
Piazza Navona: From an air view, the arena-like shape of Piazza Navona can be easily noticed. As a matter of fact, the piazza was built on the Stadium of Domitian, whose ruins can still be admired in the adjacent church of Sant'Agnese in Agone. The church, designed by the great architect Francesco Borromini, is an excellent example of the Roman Baroque architecture.In Piazza Navona are three fountains: Fontana del Moro, Fontana di Nettuno and in the centre of the square Bernini's magnificent Fontana dei Fiumi. Four allegorical statues portray the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata, symbolizing the four corners of the world. Traditionally, from the beginning of December till the Epiphany, this piazza is occupied by stalls selling sweets and toys.
Pantheon: The Pantheon is an impressive example of the exquisite architectural technique of ancient Rome. It consists of a huge cylindrical body of equal height and width, covered by a great hemispherical dome. Important artists such as the painter Raphael are buried there, as well as the Italian Sovereigns of the period when Italy was a monarchy.Opposite to the Pantheon is Piazza della Rotonda with its beautiful fountain designed by Giacomo Della Porta.
Piazza di Spagna: A meeting place for both Romans and tourists, Piazza di Spagna is famous for its theatrical staircase, a creation of Francesco De Sanctis, and for its fountain known as La Barcaccia, designed in 1629 by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo in the shape of a boat semisubmerged in water.
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