Take advantage of our offer of an itinerary filled with sightseeing and art with no shortage of absolute masterpieces for you to enjoy completely free of charge.

 

Well worth a visit before the 16th of june is the Rome Rose Garden (Roseto Comunale), located opposite Circus Maximus. This small park, completely dedicated to roses, is a feast for the eyes open only during the blooming period. Nowadays Circus Maximus is unfortunately only driven past by Romans and remembered mainly for the music concerts of Antonello Venditti, yet it was the most famous stadium in antiquity. Its terraces could accommodate over 250,000 spectators. Once inside, however, the chariot scene from “Ben Hur” springs to mind, providing a good excuse to revisit the old films about ancient Rome filmed at Cinecittà – “Hollywood on the Tiber”.

 

A stone’s throw from here is the Aventine Hill.  To find such a quiet spot to walk in so near the centre is in itself an unusual experience, but we can also suggest two more charming places. These are Parco degli Aranci (park of the orange trees) with its panoramic terrace, and Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta designed by Giovan Battista Piranesi, with its wealth of Egyptian and alchemical symbols, and its unique view revealed by looking through its keyhole – a lovely surprise for the uninitiated.

 

From the Aventine Hill follow Vicolo Savello towards the banks of the Tiber River. If you forget you’re in a city for a moment, you can easily imagine being in a medieval hamlet. Heading back towards the centre, if you have never seen it before, the Bocca della Verità (‘mouth of truth’) in the portico of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a must-see.  However, if you’ve told any lies recently, you may not be brave enough to put your hand in its mouth – you never know what might happen.

The next leg takes you to Piazza Venezia and the staircase that leads to Piazza del Campidoglio. The statue of Marcus Aurelius is a copy, but the square designed by Michelangelo is worth visiting. Behind here a short descent leads to a small square that provides the best panoramic view of the Roman Forum with the Colosseum in the distance.

Returning to Piazza Venezia in the direction of Piazza Navona, the first stop is the Pantheon, built by Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD. It was initially dedicated to the cult of all gods, but now houses the tombs of the kings of Italy. The perfect hemisphere of the dome is astonishing, and is the largest ever built in concrete. The light penetrates through the oculus, a circular opening 9 metres wide at the top of the dome.

A short distance away you will find two unmissable churches. In both you can see works by Caravaggio. In the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi is The Calling of Saint Matthew with its strikingly modern use of light. In the Church of San’Agostinois the Madonna of Loreto, also known as the Madonna of the Pilgrims.

Your walk ends in Piazza Navona, one of the symbols of the city. The square was built on the ruins of a Roman stadium and you can still make out its ancient footprint. If you wish, you can take a welcome rest in the centre of the square at the Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.