9 May 2015

Rome: A walk on the Quirinal Hill

By the time we arrived in the area around the Roman Forums (where you could spend the whole day visiting the sites of the Trajan Markets, the Imperial Forum and the Colosseum) it was obvious that there would be more rain showers and as this was a circular exercise where we would be walking uphill in the streets of the Quirinal Hill in order to return to the railway station we slowly made our way towards Piazza del Quirinale.



The Trajan Forum and the Trajan Markets. The Trajan Markets was a commercial area which was built on different street levels on the Quirinal Hill.  There are now exhibitions on Roman urban living in the newly restored complex of buildings.



The Quirinal Hill is the highest and largest of the seven hills of Rome and at the summit is the Piazza del Quirinale surrounded on three sides by 17th and 18th century buildings.  On the fourth side there's a clear view of St. Peter's Basilica and if you walk down hill again you come to the area where the Trevi fountain is located.



In the piazza is the structure of the Monte Cavallo Fountain (Horse Mountain Fountain) with water basin, obelisk (which was moved from the nearby Mausoleum of Emperor Augustus in the 18th century) and the marble sculptures of horse tamers with prancing horses (Castor and Pollux) that were originally in the Roman Baths of Constantine which occupied the site of the Palazzo Della Consulta (below).


The Palazzo della Consulta was built in the mid 18th century to house the papal court and is now the buildings of The Italian Supreme Court.


Palazzo del Quirinale.  On the site was the town villa of Ippolito II d'Este. His country villa outside Rome in the town of Tivoli is the Villa d'Este which is known for the surrounding beautiful hillside gardens where there are fantastic water features and fountains.

In 1583 Pope Gregory XIII had new works constructed over the old villa and it became the popes' summer palace as it was thought to be a healthy site high up on the hill. Bernini had a hand in the design and the palace extends 360 ms along the Via del Quirinale as it needed to house all the services and workers of the pontifical state as well as the barracks of the Swiss Guards.

Later the Quirinale was a royal palace and for a short time became the headquarters of the imperial court under Napoleon before returning to being a royal residence. Since 1948 it has been the seat of the President of the Republic of Italy.

For the last decade or so conservation has been taking place and this interested me as one of Mr. P.'s relatives is involved in the building works. The exterior walls of the Quirinale complex have been changed from a tone of red to a honey/burnt Siena colour scheme based on historical documents.





The Scuderie del Quirinale (Quirinal stables) stands on part of some Roman archaeological remains which can still be seen.  It was restored and inaugurated on 21 December 1999 as a cultural venue for exhibitions of masterpieces loaned from important international art collections and as an educational facility. There's a bookshop specialising in books on art, photography as well as more general subjects and a restaurant which was well worth noting for a return visit to the piazza.



There are two small public gardens along Via del Quirinale.
In one of the gardens is the Monument to The Fallen (below). The dismal light made it difficult to photograph although the rainy weather conditions seemed to suit the subject of the sculpture of the two soldiers wrapped in their heavy great coats or cloaks and with heads bowed.



Further along Via del Quirinale there's a busy intersection between this street and the Via delle Quattro Fontane.


Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) wanted to improve the supply of water and he built an aqueduct which brought water in to the three main hilly districts within the city. The water was distributed through a network of public fountains.  Some were constructed using public funds and others such as these four fountains were built by private citizens who then had the right to supply water to their properties.

Each fountain is different and includes various symbolic details associated with Rome and its heritage and culture. For example, the statue of a reclining woman holding three pears with water flowing from three mountains are heraldic symbols of the pope. With the dog beside her it's thought that she may represent the virtue of Fidelity, but there are no records to confirm this.


The woman with the swan is thought to represent Juno.



The above fountain is believed to represent the River Tiber. There's an oak tree and a she-wolf, symbol of Rome, but these details were added later.


The above represents the River Aniene, a tributary of the River Tiber, which provided most Roman aqueducts with water.
The Via del Quirinale is a long one and continues as Via XX Settembre with more to see along the way so I shall stop at this point and perhaps share more another time.

Have a good day!
Linda :)



30 comments:

  1. Again an interesting post about Rome with places I have not been before. So nice to see the less touristic spots of Rome here on your blog. There are so many fountains of which these four are wonderful by the symbolic details. Thank you for showing.
    Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Janneke. I agree with you that there are many beautiful fountains in Rome.

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  2. Just beautiful, Linda, and thanks for including all the interesting history! Have a good one!

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    1. Thank you, Louise. I'm glad you found the information interesting. I always find knowing these details makes me appreciate a place even more.

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  3. your photos came out really well on a rainy day. I love the one with the oranges over the black fence. apeals to the artist in me. those buildings are just magnificent. in the first one is that a real man in the old Roman guard outfit or is that a statue?

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. There are men dressed as Roman soldiers who pose so that tourists can take photos with them.

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  4. Wonderful photos. I have to agree about the one of the Monument to The Fallen, the weather conditions do add something and definitely suit it.

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    1. There was a special atmosphere in the empty garden. I only wish I could have got better photos of the Monument to the Fallen. The gardens have many fine specimen trees and there are interesting areas and features including the grotto fountain and a small children's play area. It's good that there are these green spaces in the heart of the city.

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  5. I've never been to Rome so I really appreciate this!!! The photos are brilliant and I am still ever in awe of how many amazing things architecturally and technologically that the Romans did!x

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    1. Thanks Kezzie. Glad I could transport you to Rome for a short virtual tour!

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  6. It is so interesting to see all of the details and to hear about these places that I have never been to. You make a wonderful virtual tour guide!! Thank you for taking us along! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy. I'm happy you enjoyed the virtual walk.

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  7. Wow---what a beautiful place... I've always wanted to go to Rome (and London for that matter) --but not sure I'll get to either city... Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos...

    We've been out of town this past week. Hope you saw my two Tulip posts while we were gone. THEN--tomorrow I'll talk about where we've been....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Hello Betsy. Yes, I saw your lovely tulips. I'm looking forward to seeing where you and George have been this last week on your next post.

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  8. Rome is such an amazing city,and I can never get over the size of the archaeological historical sites right in the city centre. Truly the past and the present intertwine. The Palazzo della Consulta reminds me very much of the palazzo in Malta where my dad used to work (Auberge de Castille) . Malta of course has a lot of Italian influence/ I do spot differences of course, but superficially they look so similar it gave me rather a jolt! :)

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    1. It's fascinating to see the Baroque style of architecture in these impressive buildings in cities in southern Europe and beyond. The Auberge de Castille looks a magnificent building in a beautiful setting and to have been employed there must have been interesting.

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  9. I did enjoy taking this wonderful tour with you, I have yet to visit Rome and am considering it for a weekend break so found this fascinating! The pics of the soldiers are very melancholy and brooding, the weather certainly adds atmosphere. I loved the fountains, especially the River Tiber one, the detail is astonishing, what talent those sculptors had. xxx

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    1. I hope you go to Rome on a weekend break, Dina. You won't be disappointed whatever you plan to see there.

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  10. Che piacere leggere un post e ammirare immagini di posti a me noti e molto cari. Peccato per la pioggia, per tutto il resto complimenti!!!!!!!
    Emi

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    1. Grazie Emi. Ci manca l'Italia molto. Siete molto benedetta di vivere in un paese bellissimo.
      Linda :)

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  11. An impressive post Linda. Thank you for sharing these marvelous photos from your visit to Rome. It is a city that I have always wanted to visit and still hope to see one day.

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    1. Thank you Denise. I'm happy you found something of interest in this post and hope that one day you're able to visit Rome.

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  12. Good Morning Linda, I don't even know where to begin to comment on this post. There is so much architectural history here from the ancient forward. Rome is a truly amazingly beautiful city. Do you suppose the apostle Paul ever walked through those markets? Rome just captures the imagination. Thank you for sharing this walk with us.

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    1. An interesting question. The Trajan Markets were built much later than when Paul was under house arrest in Rome for about two years c 60 AD. You can read about the time he was in Rome in the Acts of the Apostles Chs 27-28. He was continually guarded whilst in confinement, but was allowed visitors and fellow believers. He wrote letters to the believers such as those in Philippi. There's a tradition that he was in Rome a second time and was executed outside the city in 68AD based on writings by the early Church Fathers. There's a church near the site which is St. Paul Outside the Walls. You can see another site of significance to Christians where Paul and Peter were likely to have been held before execution which is a cell-like dungeon in the Mamertine Prison on the Capitoline Hill. This building faces the Imperial Forum and I have visited it.

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  13. Great photos and I loved the tour! I love that bit of information in your comments about Paul. I am going to have to read that. We went to Rome last summer and it was so hot. Now we are use to hot, but sight-seeing in the humid heat was slow, but we took many photos. We loved Venice.

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    1. July and August are not good months to visit Rome. There's a public holiday mid August when Italians usually go to the coast or to the mountains. We loved Venice. We used to drive to Italy and visit places on the way. It was like a dream when we saw the Grand Canal for the first time.

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  14. Those sculptures are truly magnificent, and I'm always amazed at the talent of sculptors. And of course the buildings are lovely! Thanks for taking photos even in the rain! Bess

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    1. Thank you Bess. I couldn't miss the opportunity to take photos of such artistry even in the rain. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them.

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  15. Great photos from somewhere that I have never been to. Commentary interesting too.

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