on August 28, 2007
Piazza Navona is a pedestrian-only zone, a quiet spot in the middle of Rome. Several bus routes run along the next street over, making Piazza Navona easy to get to. The large, long, and narrow square has three fountains in it, the star of the show is Bernini’s Fountains of the Four Rivers, which was surrounded by scaffolds for repair when we were there in May, 2007. The large church dominating the center of the square, St Agnese in Agone, has an excellent Baroque interior. At the curved end of the square, we entered Via d. Lorenesi where several churches are packed together in a short block. We returned to Piazza Navona, left the square by the narrow street more or less opposite St. Agnese, along the vast Madma Palace (via Salvatore) built by the Medici in the 1500s, to San Luigi, another excellent Baroque church. Turning right leaving the church, the second left took us to the Pantheon.The Pantheon maybe the most important building in Rome, 2000 years old, it is the only work of the ancient Roman Empire whose interior has survived almost intact. From the Pantheon, we walked along V. Seminario to S. Ignazio Church and Piazza Ignazio, best seen from the porch of the church. The church is attractive, and the ceiling painting is one of the best Trompe d’oeil works we've ever seen. For the full effect, stand on the yellow marble disk under the center of the painting and look up to see the ceiling disappear into a soaring view into the sky. This is a don’t-miss sight.We left S. Ignazio by continuing along V. Seminario to V. del Corso, Rome’s main shopping street, taking a left on V. Corso, then the second right to the remarkable Trevi Fountain (see review of, this journal).From Trevi Fountain, we returned to V. del Corso where we caught a bus back to our hotel.This half day walk was, after our 6½ hour visit to the Forum and Palatine Hill, the best sightseeing excursion we made in Rome. I recommend it ahead of the Vatican, if you are pressed for time.
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