Rome’s city: Politics and Roman holidaysRome, Italy
The heart of Rome is a place where art, history, religion, and political power mingle and live side by side. Let’s set out on a walk to experience a colourful and vibrant medley of culture, memories from our favourite Italian movies & local city life! Are you ready for a proper roman holiday?
1. The Altar of the FatherlandDid you know that Italy was once made up of a multitude of kingdoms? The Altare della Patria is built in honor of the first king who led the charge to unification!
2. Palace of the QuirinaleThe Quirinale Palace has always been the residence of powerful people. Popes, kings, and presidents have lived behind its walls!
3. St. Louis of the FrenchThe small Church of St. Louis of the French is a true pearl of Baroque art! It invites you to discover three masterpieces by Caravaggio...
A Very Bad Reputation
The Altar of the FatherlandThe Vittoriano’s construction started in 1885 and was formally completed in 1935, even though the official inauguration took place in 1911, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Unification, which took place in 1861. It was created as a modern forum, a civil temple to Italy, but during the years of Fascism, it became a symbol of the regime. After the end of the war and the fall of Benito Mussolini, many people continued to associate the Vittoriano with Italian Fascism and wanted it destroyed. It was only in recent years that the Vittoriano was rebranded and was eventually disburdened from its bad reputation. Today it is regarded as a national symbol of Italy. It sits in the company of Italy’s national flag and the Republic’s official symbol, a star inside a clog wheel surrounded by the branches of an oak tree and an olive tree.
From Kings to Presidents
Palace of the QuirinaleAfter the Unification of Italy in the 19th century, the Quirinale was passed to the hands of the new rulers— the Savoy kings, who used it as their official Roman residence. Yet, later on, upon Italy’s official establishment as a Republic, the Quirinale became the seat of Italy’s Presidency and the official presidential residence, as well as the building where the inauguration ceremony of each new Government formally takes place. The Palace, with its almost 111,000 square meters, is actually the second largest residence of a head of state in the world. It is also where foreign monarchs or heads of state stay when visiting the President.
St. Louis of the FrenchApart from its unique status as a French church in the middle of Rome, the true attraction of Saint Louis of the French is one of its chapels, specifically the fifth chapel on the left aisle, known as Cappella Contarelli. The chapel was named after Cardinal Mathieu Cointrel and was then Italianized as Contarelli The chapel hosts three of Caravaggio’s most distinct masterpieces, the famous triptych composed of the Martyrdom of St Matthew, the Calling of St Matthew and St Matthew and the Angel. The cardinal had who commissioned Merisi all three altarpieces focused on the figure of St Matthew.
A journalist for Lonely Planet Travel News, a writer for Bossy Italy with an overflowing love for art, travelling and Korean pop music.
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|Address||The Altar of the Fatherland|
|Starting point||Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy|
|Finishing point||Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy|
|Know before you go||
Best time to take this tour: In the morning, noon, early evening.
|Directions to Starting Point||The Altar of the Fatherland can be accessed through its main, grandiose staircase overlooking Piazza Venezia. To reach this site (Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy) you can go by bus, train or on foot as it is situated at the very heart of Rome. Bus lines 118, 190F, 781, 80, 916F, C3 stop very close to Piazza Venezia, while the metro station Colosseo (Line B) is at close proximity.|
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.