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The Salita del Grillo runs from Via IV Novembre to behind the Roman walls where the Grillo tower was built during the early 13th Century. It originally belonged to the Conti family but passed to the Del Grillo marquises who had it restored. The Marquis del Grillo was an eccentric character who featured in the film Marchese del Grillo and was played by Alberto Sord.
As a market in Roman times the multi-storey building was a lively centre of attraction for the city.
Trajan's Column stands between two seemingly twin churches - Santa Maria di Loreto and Santissimo Nome di Maria. It is 40 meters high, overlooking the remaining columns of the ancient Ulpia Basilica in Trajan's Forum. It is thought that the column was originally erected between two large libraries that were, with the terrace of Trajan's Temple and the terrace of the Ulpia Basilica, places where Romans could admire the historical reliefs on the column. The column has resisted degradation superbly over the years, the spiral frieze illustrates the most important episodes in Trajan's successful expedition against the Dacians as well as showing the everyday lives of soldiers. On the top of the column (reached via a stairway inside) there is a bronze statue of St. Peter sculpted by Tommaso della Porta which, it is thought, must have replaced one of the emperor himself.
The entrance to the Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi (House of the Knights of Rhodes) is in the lovely small Grillo Square, rather hidden and not known to all. The Order was originally named the Knights of St John of Jerusalem and later the Knights of Malta. The façade that looks onto the square has a 15th-century Crusader window while the others (one of which opens onto Campo Carleo and the other behind Augustus' Forum) each feature Roman structures: the first by a lovely trilobate balcony and the second by two crossed windows. The Casa dates from the 12th century but was embellished and restored in 1467-1470 by Cardinal Pietro Barbo when he was administrator of the priorate. It is likely that he used the same artists for this work as he did for Palazzo Venezia, his residence. Inside the Casa you will find the Chapel of St John the Baptist, which was designed and built in 1947. The atrium also leads to the Antiquarium in Augustus' Forum.
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.
Palazzo Valentini is a majestic building know for being the official base of the administration of Rome wherein you can admire the quaint style of architecture, the beautiful paintings, columns and artifacts as well as the well-equipped library that is a treasure trove of sorts.