Venezia square: departing from the centre, to discover Rome!
Being on holiday in Rome always gives you thousands of surprises and even the places you visited hundreds of times can become something new you can discover, travelling throughout history and exploring the role they have being represented for the city.
Venezia square is one of them, junction of some of the most important and fascinating streets in the capital, where you can depart to discover Rome.
Venezia square and his history
Venezia square is one of the places has been rebuilt during the years, to make it what it is nowadays, a so central and celebrative role for the city and the whole country.
Its shape, despite of the ancient and recent changes, is not completely regular but elliptic, in the centre of some of the most important Roman streets.
If you have a look to the square from the Altare della Patria, you can see the prestigious Corso street straight ahead, until Popolo square and, on the right, the end of Nazionale street and Fori Imperiali street, where you can glimpse the Colosseum.
On the left, the majestic Campidoglio and Aracoeli stairs, whereas Plebiscito street after Palazzo Venezia, San Marco square and its basilica, followed by the ancient Marcello Theatre.
The current surface of the square is the demolition of almost a district result, made of mediaeval and Renaissance buildings, during 1800s and 1900s.
The levelled buildings, such as specifically the Bolognetti-Torlonia one, were situated along the line where nowadays Corso street starts, actually halving the square.
The Bolognetti-Torlonia was one of the most majestic buildings of the time and was decorated by stately adornments, so that it was considered more than a high class residence at the time, such a real museum benchmark of art works and frescos, among whom architects there was Canova.
Nowadays you can see Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali, built at the beginning of 1900s, almost identically styled to Palazzo Venezia in front of it, with its tower without merlons.
The buildings were so demolished to open the view towards the Vittoriano, the white marble monument celebrating the King Vittorio Emanuele II, with its 12 metres bronze statue describing him on a horse, in the middle of the monument.
It took lots of years to build the Vittoriano: started in 1885, by the architect Giuseppe Sacconi’s project and completed in 1911, by architects Kock, Manfredi and Piacentini, after his death.
After the First World War, it was rebuilt to welcome the Unknown Soldier body, officially honoured by the State, in 1921. There are always 2 soldiers guarding the actually Italian memorial monument, as an always burning flame, to protect the symbol of young people sacrifice.
Some fun facts about Venezia square in Rome
Lots of eminent characters, such as popes, musicians, artists and intellectuals, visited Venezia square in Rome, since the medieval age. Palazzo Venezia, never demolished, was built in 1400s and the name of the square comes from the transfer of San Marco lion statue from Padova, at the time under the Serenissima domination, in the medieval age; the building became its embassy in Italy, since Venice got under the Austrian domination.
Paul II Pope decided Palazzo Venezia to be his residence; in 1400s, he loved to watch the Berb horses race, from that balcony, all long Corso street, finishing in the of the then small square. Those races used to take place during Carnival celebration and the horses were stopped by an enormous white sheet, blocked by the grooms, so brave and able horse trainers. Even the youngest Mozart gave a concert in Palazzo Venezia, watched by the Pope. The latter’s balcony became the symbol of Fascism, because of the big musters revoked by Mussolini, where he used to make his famous speeches, really making that building his residence in the heart of Rome, setting his office in the “Globe room”, richly decorated, furnished by a fireplace built later in time.
Many more famous people visited the beautiful square: during Fascism, Gabriele D’Annunzio, used to go to the famous Caffè Faraglia, situated in the corner of Cesare Battisti street, where nowadays you can see a bank. We still remember the banquet he offered there, to celebrate a premiere at the close Argentina theatre.
Unfortunately, Mussolini didn’t like the historical Caffè Faraglia, as intellectuals and new political ideas meeting point, so he definitely closed it, in 1933.
Venezia square was also stage of many movies, such as W. Allen’s “To Rome with Love”, W.Wyler’s “Vacanze romane” and “Il Vigile”, greatly interpreted by the CDO Alberto Sordi, managing the chaotic traffic of the capital, in the middle of the square.
Nowadays, you can’t see the famous platform anymore, but it will always be considered as a modern feature of the Capitoline square.
Venezia square and Fori Imperiali are the stage of the army parade on the 2nd June to celebrate the Republic feast, every year. The parade finishes there, where the Republic President, together with the in charge Internal Affairs Minister, waits for it on board the historical Lancia Flaminia.
Discovering Rome, from Venezia square
Palazzo Venezia is also the location of a prestigious museum you can visit every day, offering Italian and English guided tours.
The Vittoriano regularly hosts important artists’ exhibitions, about the Italian history, in both its areas. You can admire relics of the Mille achievements, as the boot you can see there, symbolizing Garibaldi got injured on the Aspromonte mountain and so on.
Going on the top of the Vittoriano, on the arcade, will offer you a breath-taking view of the city.
You just have to walk along Fori Imperiali to enter the splendor of the ancient Rome, getting lost looking at the archaeological sites, witnesses of the greatness and the art of the greatest empire of ever. But the top of Fori Imperiali, just for pedestrians, is the Colosseum. If you are in Rome, you can’t miss a trip to this one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and you will get astonished by its conditions, still nowadays.
You can still perceive what it used to happen inside of it and its walls tell you about struggles, gladiators, emperors and the life of ancient Romans, during their free time. Not far from there, you can visit Fori Imperiali, booking a guided tour or using audio guides.
Back from there, you must stop at the Campidoglio and at Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
Corso street is perfect to do shopping, among the many shops making women happy.
If you take one of the lanes crossing Corso street, you can enter the city centre, discovering the most important monuments, as Trevi Fountain, recently restyled.
All the tourist respect the ritual of launching a coin in the eighteenth-century fountain, to be sure they will come back to the eternal city.
Going to the south-east, you get to Palazzo del Quirinale, with its obelisk and a great panorama of the city, where you can also see Saint Peter’s dome.
If you want, at 6 pm, you can watch the traditional changing of the guard, so appreciated by tourists and also Romans, as this square is their house.
Not far from there, you can visit the splendid Scuderie del Quirinale, usually open on the first Sunday of every month and on the 2nd June, extraordinary opening for the National Italian Day.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend The Inn At The Roman Forum, a luxury residence in the center of Rome with a modern design.