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Walking through the streets of historic Rome, you often see little altars on the corners of the buildings, with images of the Madonna. They are, in fact, known as madonnelle and they have been popular since the Middle Ages. The oldest of these small monuments trace the history of the various districts, of the Virgin cult, and celebrate local miracles. There are probably about a hundred of these madonnelle in Rome, mostly in the older districts like Trevi, Parione, Regola and Sant'Eustachio. Every altar bears an inscription explaining the reason for this little votive monument.
Palazzo Caetani stands at 32, Via delle Botteghe Oscure. It was built for Alessandro Mattei in the middle of the 16th Century in all probability by either Nanni di Baccio Bigi or Lippi. Before entering the possession of the Caetani (the dukes of Sermoneta and princes of Teano), it had belonged to many other families: for example, in the 17th Century, it was owned by the Negroni; then by the Durazzo family for a century; after that it became the property of several other families in succession. The three-floor palace has a large portal that dominates the late Renaissance façade. Inside there are two large courts, the first surrounded by columns and pillars, the other with a fountain formed by a sarcophagus and ancient sculptures.
This lovely fountain from the late 16th Century was ordered by the Mattei family to Giacomo della Porta's design. The statues, on the other hand, are by Taddeo Landini. The turtles that gave their name to the fountain, the work of an anonymous sculptor, were added only a century later. Some think that their creator may even be Bernini, but the evidence is thin; it was perhaps one of his pupils, which would justify any similarities between this work and the work of the illustrious sculptor.
There are many streets and squares in the city, Piazza del Gesù being one of them. It is home to several historical structures and buildings like Chiesa del Gesù, Casa Professa, Palazzo Cenci-Bolognetti and so forth. Do take a stroll around this lovely square that is always busy and bustling.
Abbot Luigi is a statue located in the capital city of Rome, Italy. It is one of the six unique statues that were erected during the 14th and 15th Centuries. These bunch of statues are known as the talking statues as they have satirical inscriptions on them. The statue has been located at the piazza Vidoni since 1924.
The house of the humanist Lorenzo Manilio is now numbers one and two in the Via del Portico d'Ottavia. One inscription gives his name in Latin and Greek on the architrave, while another is in Roman letters on the frieze, noting the year of construction as 1497. The house is on two levels with shops on the ground floor. It was decorated with high reliefs of which some fragments remain. The scene of a lion attacking a deer and another of two dogs are particularly noteworthy.
Elephant and Obelisk is a grand white marble sculpture of an elephant, with its trunk swung sideways and the tall obelisk (sundial) on its back. Sculpted by Giano Lorenzo Barnini in 1667, this towering monument is a fine example of the artist's sense of balance and symmetry. The majestic elephant with it's detailed features and the finesse of the sculpture at large is sure to leave you spellbound. This stunning masterpiece stands in the square right opposite to the Santa Maria sopra Minerva Church and the obelisk's shadow tells the onlooker the exact time of the day. There are ten other obelisks scattered across this grand old empire.
On one side of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, beyond Via Santa Caterina da Siena, there is a street with the unusual name of via Piè di Marmo. Believe it or not, it is named after a colossal marble foot from a Roman statue with Egyptian features. In ancient times a temple stood here built by Domitian who dedicated it to the gods Isis and Serapis. The foot is a remnant of this temple and is situated in a corner at the crossing with the Via di Santo Stefano in Cacco. It was originally in the Piazza del Collegio Romano, but was later moved from there because it held up funeral processions crossing the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.