For centuries, Rome’s ancient streets have been the fulcrum of the Roman Empire’s transit network. Initially, these roads, then known as ‘viae’, were used to move troops across the Empire and boost communication. Today, they are the veins and arteries of modern Rome. Lined with beguiling pieces of art and architecture, they are an important testament to the history, charm and grandeur of Italian Renaissance.
Explore them with our Evening Tour La Dolce Vita; bathed in the twilight hues, the medieval streets of Rome look even more magical and irresistible after sunset!
Via Giulia: Stress-Free Walk Amidst Layers of History
Flanked by awe-inspiring churches, serene cultural buildings and grand palazzi, Via Giulia is one of the oldest streets in Rome. Named in honour of Pope Julius II and roughly a kilometre-long, this cobbled street has for long enjoyed the attention of wealthy Romans. Some of the most lavish private residences in the Eternal City are located here.
The Arco Farnese is arguably the most remarkable feature of the street. Designed by Michelangelo, the ivy-clad arch was apparently a part of an unrealized plan to unite the Palazzo Farnese (now the French Embassy) with the Villa Farnese, located on the opposite side of the Tiber. Today, it serves as an ornate passageway.
Via dei Coronari: For Antique Love
Despite being centrally-located (next to Piazza Navona), Via dei Coronari feels like a quaint, sleepy village frozen in time: its ochre-hued stuccos, glimmering vintage storefronts and narrow cobblestone lane are picture-perfect.
It’s a pleasure to saunter down this beautiful street looking for artsy treasures. The street boasts of a healthy number of antique dealers and their shops remain open throughout the week – bursting with a wealth of vintage artefacts and curiosities from bygone eras! Besides art and antiques, Via dei Coronari is also home to a wide array of independent fashion boutiques, whimsy jewellery stores, decadent coffee shops and gelaterias.
Via di Santa Sabina: Secret Keyhole and Orange Garden
A stark reminder of the city’s 2000 years of history, Via di Santa Sabine is a fairly quiet street located on top of the Aventine Hill. At one end you get to explore the Secret Keyhole and the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, the other leads past a verdant rose garden down to the Circus Maximum; the location of this street is undeniably distinct.
Along the way, admire the awe-inspiring churches of Santa Sabina and Sant’Alessio and spend some moments of solitude in the idyllic Giardino degli Aranci; the Orange Garden is a popular scenic park and offers an amazing view of the city rooftops and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Via Appia Antica: The Military Artery of the Roman Empire
The essence of the phrase “all roads lead to Rome” lies in the Appian Way; constructed in 312 BC, Via Appia Antica (aka the Appian Way) was Imperial Rome’s most significant military and economic high road. It once stretched as far as the distant port town of Brindisi in Puglia.
A languid stroll along the cobbled road is recommended. You can also try cycling; bikes can be rented from the visitor centre nearby. The road, atmospheric and breathtakingly gorgeous, is interspersed with lush green spots – ideal for picnics. Evocative ancient ruins and monuments of the dead adorn either side of the road. Take a tour around the Catacombs of San Sebastiano, San Callisto, Santa Domitilla as well as the historic tomb of Cecilia Metella; they are some of the best attractions in (and around) Rome.
Certainly, the streets of Rome resonate with history, annals and antiquities of Italians. They are lively, suggestive and romantic. Each of them features its own unique narrative – spurring thought that leads to fantasy.
However, if you want to wander beyond the streets and take in the innate splendour of historical monuments and famous archaeological sites, we recommend our private tours of Rome for families. Coupled with skip-the-line advantages and well-versed English-speaking tour guides, our private tours offer an amazing interactive experience for you and your family.
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