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  • Piazza Navona
  • Il Colonnato di San Pietro
  • Piazza Navona

Tour of Baroque Rome

Connoisseurs still haven’t decided who is the king of Roman baroque architecture but the curved Colonnade of Saint Peter Square made by Bernini is undoubtedly one of the most renowned symbols of Rome.
With four rows of columns, the archway was designed to create an illusionistic perspective: standing in the centre of colonnade, between the obelisk and fountain on the right, the columns merge and seem to become one.
If you wish, you can follow the colonnade and walk towards Porta Angelica. Few steps and you will reach Piazza Risorgimento, if you keep walking down the wall built by Michelangelo on the left, right behind the corner, you will come across Flashback photographic studio. Few more minutes and you will get your photographic portrait with costumes and gowns of the age of Bernini and his lover Costanza Piccolomini. According to tradition Costanza had a love affair with Bernini’s brother; the architect was so irascible and jealous to scar the face of the girl.
The itinerary along the baroque Rome leads to Piazza Navona, which can be easily reached by bus: number 492 stopping in front of Flashback studio, or 81 departing from Piazza Risorgimento.
Just few stops and you can get lost in one of the most celebrated roman squares (don’t dip your feet in the fountain though, it is forbidden!).
An urban legend tells the challenge between Bernini and Borromini: the former planned the Fountain of four rivers (Fontana dei Quattro fiumi) the latter the church Sant’Agnese in Agone, standing right in front of the fountain.
It is believed Bernini designed the statue of the river Nile as covering his eyes not to see the church made by Borromini and the river Rio de la Plata with a raised hand to protect himself from the upcoming collapse.
Borromini replied to the provocation by putting a statue of Saint Agnese at the base of the right bell tower, Roman people call it nowadays Sora Agnesina.
If you want to sweeten the bitter architecture disputation we recommend ice creams of the bar I tre scalini otherwise, if you want to debate about the supremacy of Borromini or Bernini you can have either a coffee in the historic Sant’Eustachio, which coffee beans are toasted in a wooden fire oven from 1938, or have a taste of traditional Roman cooking at Maccheroni restaurant.
After the break the discovery of baroque Rome continues along Corso Rinascimento where Borromini’s masterpiece lies: the church of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza topped by a helical lantern symbolizing the lighthouse of Alexandria of Egypt. You might want to spend your evening here listening to classical music concert in the courtyard of the church and let the music bring you back in time.

  2012  /  Tours  /  Last Updated February 26, 2013 by estrogen  /  Tags: