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Construction of the Palazzo del Quirinale began in the late 16th Century, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII, who chose the top of this hill as the location for the new papal residence. Various architects contributed to the design, including Carlo Maderno who devised the chapel, Bernini to whom one of the wings was entrusted, and Pietro da Cortona who decorated parts of the interior. It later became a royal palace, and is now the residence of the President of the Republic.
This ensemble composed from components of very different origin nonetheless works to create a harmonious whole. The statues of Castor and Pollux - collectively known as the Dioscuri - holding their horses in check was commissioned and placed on the square in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. In the 1780's an obelisk originally a part of the Augustus mausoleum was added. Only in 1818 was the granite fountain basin that once stood in the Dioscuri temple in the Roman Forum finally added. It is the horses that give a nickname to Rome's Quirinal Hill - colloquially it is known as 'Monte Cavallo.'
The Scuderie del Quirinale is an marvelous form of imposing structure in the heart of Rome. The venue is a beehive of exhibitions and events at any given time. Encompassing over 3000 square meters of area, the wide open spaces are apt for exhibitions and events held on a large scale. The exhibitions are generally based on fine or contemporary art and cater to a niche audience. The building also houses a bookshop for the art enthusiasts and a restaurant where you can grab a bite or sip on some steaming coffee after attending an exhibition. In all an experience to cherish and remember.
This villa was built in 1500 and later acquired by Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini. The villa itself is not open to the public, but the recently restored gardens are accessible. During restoration work in this area the gardens have been raised, and now offer a view reaching as far as the Gianicolo. The building forming the backdrop for the garden is baroque in style, and is now used by the Istituto per l'Unificazione del Diritto Privato, a law reform institution. The interiors contain paintings made by the Baroque artists of the Rennaisance which are frequently exhibited.
A short distance away from the legendary Trevi Fountain, the Vicus Caprarius (also known as La Città dell'Acqua or the City of Water) is an underground site that was excavated between 1999 and 2001. Today, it is located under the Cinema Trevi on the Vicolo del Puttarello street. A fine example of the mysteriously layered city of Rome, this historical site consists of a number of water cisterns, labyrinthine passages and staircases.
Tradition has it that throwing a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain guarantees a swift return to the world's most beautiful city. Anita Ekberg's dip in it was immortalized in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, and Italian actor Toto even sold it to an American, passing himself off as its owner. Earlier, Fontana di Trevi was the setting for the award-winning Three Coins in the Fountain motion picture, ensuring its popularity worldwide. Designed by Nicola Salvi for Pope Clemente XII, it was completed in the second half of the 18th Century. The statues in the center represent Neptune supported by Tritons on either side while rococo-style Poli Palace provides the perfect backdrop.
This tower is an important example of medieval civil architecture. It was built in the 13th Century, although legend has it that it was where Emperor Nero watched the fire of Rome. It was constructed by the powerful Conti di Segni family, but belonged to many other families until it was inherited by Pope Boniface VIII. Currently the tower stands within the monastery of the Dominicans of Santa Caterina di Magnanapoli. Damage caused by lightning and the 1348 earthquake can still be seen today.
As a market in Roman times the multi-storey building was a lively centre of attraction for the city.