8. Rome: 3-Hour Baroque Walking Tour
Starting from Piazza del Popolo, an enormous square with the city’s second obelisk in the center, which was brought to Rome by Augustus and re-erected here by the architect Domenico Fontana under Sixtus V (1589). In the square, the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Popolo is one of the most interesting in Rome, rich in works of arts and masterpieces of Raphael and Caravaggio.
Arrive at the Spanish Steps and Spanish Square with the charming monumental flight of steps (1772), whose sinuous line harmoniously follows the slope of the hill. At its feet is the graceful fountain La Barcaccia by Pietro Bernini. At the top of the Spanish Steps is the Church of Trinità dei Monti with the two cupolas, and in front of its façade is an obelisk, which was taken from the Sallustian Gardens in 1789. Then, go to the Trevi Fountain, the most spectacular fountain in Rome. It was built by two Popes starting in 1730, with the legend that whoever throws a coin in will assure his return to Rome. The large fountain is located along a side of Poli Palace, decorated with statues and bas-reliefs on heaps of rocks and the water gushes from every part. Almost halfway up Via del Corso, the principal Roman street, is the Piazza Colonna with the column of Marcus Aurelius. On the square, you'll find Chigi Palace, the minister’s office. On the opposite side of Via del Corso is the Colonna Gallery. Montecitorio Palace at the square close by with the same name, is the headquartes of the Chamber of Deputies.
The Pantheon, the best preserved monument of Ancient Rome and one of the most beautiful, is located in the picturesque Piazza della Rotonda with the wonderful fountain designed by Giacomo Della Porta, surmounted by the little obelisk Ramses II. The Baroque Rome Tour ends at Piazza Navona. Built on the site of the stadium of Domitian (84 AD) used for athletic competitions, in the middle of 17th Century under the pontificate of Innocent X Pamphilj (1644-1655) became the most beautiful square in Rome with the amazing Fountain of the Four Rivers built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who designed it as a base for an Egyptian Obelisk, with the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and the Pamphilj Palace built by Girolamo Rainaldi and Francesco Borromini.