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Institutional Rome

If, during your walks, you should spot a pack of  journalists and cameramen swamping some individual, rest assured there is no cause for alarm: in all likelihood you are in the vicinity of a government, municipal or high profile office or other. While it is of course here that all major decisions are taken, these buildings are at the same time also steeped in history and prized as artistic treasures. 
Our itinerary begins at Palazzo del Quirinale which, over the centuries, has in turn been the residence of popes, of the ruling House of Savoy and, since 1946,  of the President of the Republic.
It is only a short distance walk to The Trevi Fountains. Immortalised in Director Federico Fellini’s Film “la Dolce Vita”, the fountain scene has become firmly fixed in the public mind. Conceived as a monumental celebration of the “Acqua Virgine”, waters carried to Rome via the aqueduct built by Roman Statesman and General  Marcus Agrippa in 19 A.D., this Baroque fountain has been redesigned and restored through the centuries.
Again just a few steps away and we find ourselves in Piazza Venezia for a holiday snap of the huge white marble National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) or again simply "Il Vittoriano", which is often somewhat unflatteringly referred to as the “typewriter” or even the “wedding cake”. It is here from the balcony of Palazzo Venezia that Fascist Leader Benito Mussolini also gave his rousing speeches to a packed piazza. 
We have now reached Campidoglio, the Capitoline Hill which was the political and religious centre of ancient Rome, while it also represented, during the Medieval Age, the symbol of the inhabitants of Rome’s opposition to papal control.
Perhaps after having admired the original of the equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the Capitoline Museum (a replica of which stands outside in Michaelangelo’s unique square), you might fancy a coffee break while taking in the stunning view from the Terrazza Caffarelli.
Retracing our steps towards Via del Corso, we now come to Palazzo Chigi, the prime minister’s office and seat of government since 1961, situated in Piazza Colonna. 
Piazza Colonna gets its name from the Column of Marcus Aurelius rising from its centre. The spiral pictorial relief narrates the emperors’ triumphs in the Danubian wars. Once your thirst for knowledge has momentarily been quenched, it could well be time to indulge in some shopping in the “Alberto Sordi” Galllery on  the other side of  Via del Corso.    
Again nearby, we now come to Piazza Montecitorio to find the Palazzo of the same name, which has housed since 1871 the Lower House of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati).
It is certainly worthwhile, at this point, ordering an aperitif in one of the bars in the nearby Piazza di Pietra.  This small gem, suspended in time and concealed between buildings, also has the Temple of Hadrian standing proudly there. 
Palazzo Madama, home to the senate, is reached by heading off in the direction of Piazza Navona. The building was the Rome residence of the Medici family. It takes its name from the widow of Duke Alessandro de’Medici, Duchess of Parma Margherita of Austria, the celebrated “Madama”, who received the palazzo in usufruct from Pope Clement VII.
… and there is now no way you can miss popping into Piazza Navona so as to savour its elegant and lively atmosphere, perhaps comfortably seated in one of its stylish bars.

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