Via Margutta, the artistic spirit of Rome, may seem like a quiet street in a quiet town, but this is a cobblestone street dotted with ivy; It is located in one of the busiest areas of Rome. Men add a different color to the street with their silver hair carefully combed back and women with their clean clothes from their grandmothers. These colorful people do not hesitate to greet each other with a smiling face at every opportunity as they walk out of the magnificent terracotta buildings in rows, leaning against Villa Borghese park on one side. Still, don’t be fooled by the calm appearance of this street. Here, artisans work in front of their shops in the sunlight, while the antique shops next door sell fabulous luxury fabrics of Pratesi and Bulgari jewelery. In a workshop that smells of life and history, the walls, antique stone carving tools and aphorisms engraved on marble are not passed. In this workshop, the master stone carver Sandro Fiorentini, with his brown apron, performs his art with techniques dating back to the Romans and passed from father to son. You can print any text you want on marble for 15 Euros with this master engraver. Sandro’s marble carvings can be found all over the street. The legendary director Federico Fellini was also seated at 110 on this street and the carving on which he and his wife is depicted is still on display here for curious eyes. As you walk a few doors from Bottega, which has flocked to artists throughout history, at number 54, you can see Valentina Moncada revealing an elegant figure in the contemporary art gallery. They helped build art workshops of their ancestor Via Margutta in the 17th century. By 1610, this street was flooded with artists from everywhere. Not only because it is a peaceful place, but also because Pope III. Paul also gave the artists tax breaks for their work here. For this reason, artists from all over Europe flocked here.
The creative side of the street is not limited to visual arts. Musicians and composers (such as Debussy, Liszt, and Wagner) also worked in workshops in Via Margutta. Stravinsky and Picasso also visited here together. Picasso even met the only woman he married, the ballerina Olga Khoklova, on this street. For artists and musicians as well as writers, Via Margutta was a frequent street. The extraordinary writer Truman Capote immortalized this street at number 33 in his short story, Lola, published in 1963. Picasso and Debussy may have faded memories; However, you can still breathe that magical air today, while the future Fellini pass by you absently, greet the families who have been doing the same business for hundreds of years and come to the end of Via Margutta and get involved in the familiar upheaval of Rome.
Via Appia Antica
The splendor of ancient Rome
Starting from the south of Rome and advancing surprisingly straight, witnessing the footsteps of thousands of Roman legions at the time, the rich Roman aristocratic families erected magnificent monumental tombs on both sides to show up, and the defeated enemies were crucified and unveiled; Now, Appia Road is a frequent destination for cyclists, travelers who want to be a part of history or those who want to walk peacefully. Although the first part of the Appia Road, up to the tomb of Cecilia Metella, is still open for vehicles traveling to the south of Rome except on Sundays, most of the road is cleared of vehicles. The main construction purpose of this road, like many Roman roads, is of a military nature. B.C. When its construction started in 312, it was the first thoroughly opened road from Rome to the world. Nowadays, it is worthy of the title of “Queen of the Roads” which has been attached to her for centuries. In addition to its political and military significance, magnificent mausoleums of the dead also took their places on both sides of the road. Roman law required that tombs be built outside the city for health reasons. These tombs generally belonged to aristocrats; but there were also burial places reserved for ordinary citizens.
Like today’s magnificent streets equipped with billboards, the Appia Road showed the wealth of the aristocrats with its monumental tombs, and the splendor of the Empire with superior construction techniques and punishment of the prisoners. In the 7th century, 6,000 slaves who rebelled and were defeated under the leadership of Spartacus were crucified on this route from Appia to Capua, about 200 kilometers away. Although 2000 years have passed, walking around Appia Antica with travelers with their dogs, riding their bikes and carrying maps on a Sunday will be one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have in Rome.
Via Del Pigneto
The bohemian face of Rome
Del Pigneto is a place that an ordinary visitor wouldn’t normally visit. Here, two dirhams and one core suits were replaced by shabby leather jackets. While Pigneto was a poor working-class neighborhood in its past, when alternative life became the mainstream, graffiti covered shops turned into extraordinary boutiques.
This street, which is partially closed to traffic, is colored 6 days a week with the local fruit, vegetable and clothing market during the day and with bohemian characters from various parts of Rome in the evenings. While hard-eyed pizzerias chat with young people until late, students walk around the tables and talk to each other, and friends in groups share their beers on the doorstep. Everyone is in black. Artists, intellectuals, leftists and wannabe. Until recently, no one would even think of coming to this part of the city; But Pigneto had already taken its place in the history of cinema as the favorite neighborhood of the famous poet and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, and with the roads and cafes used in many films. Pasolini’s favorite cafe, Necci, which opened in 1924, is still tremendously crowded and has not lost its popularity with its tables under the shade of trees outside. Some complain about the new identity of the street. However, not everyone is satisfied with this development of the street. The local people of the street are uneasy about not being able to roam freely in their increasingly expensive and crowded neighborhoods, and some even leave. No matter how interpreted, this lifestyle that winking at the past and turning its face towards the future continues to attract many to Pigneto.
Via di San Giovanni in Laterano
Mysterious face of rome
Via di San Giovanni in Laterano is a narrow street with incredible underground riches. At one end is the San Giovanni Cathedral, and at the other is the Coliseum. San Giovanni Cathedral is a fascinating example of 18th century Catholic splendor adorned with magnificent stone carvings. It’s not even a matter of fact that people don’t feel small here. Opposite it is the Scala Santa (Sacred Stairs), one of the most mystical Catholic areas of Rome, believed to have been used by Christ before meeting Pontius Pilate.
When you go downhill towards the Colosseum, there is a church that even Romans little known about: San Clemente. This 12th century church has a mihrab stone adorned with unique mosaics. The 4th century cistern, which could easily be mistaken for a cellar without faded frescoes, is also located under the church. Not only that, the stairs go deeper and open the door to a completely different time in history. There are 2000-year-old well-preserved sections from the Flavian dynasty. In these dimly lit rooms, an underground source can be heard from afar, even visible through a small hole. The journey to the past does not stop there. A few steps away is one of Rome’s most fascinating visuals, the pre-Christian Pagan temple with its cistern depicting Mithras slaughtering a bull, putting the end of this underground journey. Above this historical visual feast located underground, Via di San Giovanni in Laterno lives calmly with its harmless but not very attractive shops, restaurants and music market. Until the Coliseum, there is no trace of the underground tunnels; only the remains of Ludus Magnus, the gladiator school that fed the great arena, can be seen that were excavated around this place. Arena had a wide variety of programs and these underground passages could be considered a kind of ‘backstage’. The first show was a hunting scene with real wild animals. Following this, executions and gladiator fights took place at noon. These underground tunnels were extremely active with animals, people, decorations pulled by complex roller systems. Before the Colosseum was built, Nero used the springs here to feed the lake of the magnificent palace Domus Aurea. The Flavian Dynasty, which took over the dynasty after Nero, demolished all the statues of Nero and overtook the past; They built the Flavian Amphitheater as it was then called. The source that feeds the imposing lake is still flowing. Floor by floor below what is visible to the eye: Via di San Giovanni in Laterano provides a very rare and unique view of the Immortal City of Rome.
Via Dei Condotti
Luxury face of rome
In the very center of Rome, Via Dei Condotti is a side road connecting Via Del Corso to the famous Spanish Steps. The reason why this narrow street is flooded by thousands and is famous nowadays is that it is a road in luxury boutiques where the most famous designers present their latest collections, historical cafes and of course history itself. Long before there was a paradise of elegance and luxury, even in ancient Roman times, people went beyond the Tiber river; It provided the passage to Pincio hill, where Lucillo’s villa was. The street, which gradually gained its present appearance in the 1500s and 1600s, took on its current appearance with the construction of the Spanish Steps in 1700. Antico Caffé Greco, one of Rome’s most famous historical cafe / bars, is also on this street. Caffe is still a place where writers, artists and political figures enjoy visiting. Everything that will make the eyes of the travelers shine is available on this street. What’s not, Gucci, Trussardi, Valentino, Hermes, Armani, Prada, Celine and many more. Or was it not enough? No problem because; Extraordinary designs and extraordinary prices that can be seen in the most extreme dreams along Via Condotti; Federico Buccelatti, Bulgari, Cartier and Damiani have also taken their places. The stores mentioned here are just a few of many.