All roads lead to Rome, but once there, orientation can be difficult. Piazza di Spagna is a good starting point. The Landmark is right on this sensational Piazza, just above one of the shrines of English Romanticism, the Keats-Shelley House.
Take in the view up the Spanish Steps to the church of S. Trinità dei Monti and down to Bernini’s Barcaccia fountain. From Piazza di Spagna there are myriad options at your fingertips.
Looking north, one might walk up Via del Babuino, pausing at the antique shops, studios and galleries in the famous Via Margutta, the neighbourhood of Picasso, Puccini and Fellini, which featured in the classic movie, Roman Holiday. The neoclassical Piazza del Popolo with its twin baroque churches is only a few steps away. The Basilica of S. Maria del Popolo holds masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio and Bernini, among others.
West of the Piazza lies the fashion district, with haute-couture centred around via Condotti and via Frattina and more high street shopping on Via del Corso. You might want to take a break in the elegant Antico Caffè del Greco where Goethe, Stendhal, Wagner and many other celebrities of the past gathered to discuss literature and arts, sipping one of the best coffees in the city centre.
Facing the southern end of the Piazza, disciples of the baroque might enjoy the Propaganda Fide palace and the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, burial site of Angelica Kauffman. The Trevi Fountain, and some lovely ice cream shops, is less than fifteen minutes’ walk south from here. The nearby Quirinale Hill, seat of the President’s residence, boasts two of the greatest jewels of Roman baroque, Sant’Andrea al Quirinale and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. Santa Maria della Vittoria, with its theatrical Ecstasy of Santa Teresa, is along the same road, on Via XX Settembre.
For a romantic stroll, go up the Spanish Steps and turn left, where you can enjoy a breath-taking view over the city from the Pincio Hill. Take a picnic in one of the gardens of Villa Borghese, hire a paddle-boat or a bicycle to discover its hidden treasures, such as Lord Byron’s statue. Be sure to book in a visit to the Borghese Gallery to admire works including Bernini’s Apollo & Daphne and Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love.
Piazza di Spagna