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Rome - Around Town : The Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese (part 2) - Best of the Rest, Art and Antiques Shops

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An Afternoon Roman Passeggiata

Begin in Piazza SS Apostoli to see its namesake church (see Santissimi Apostoli) and the 2nd-century AD relief of an Imperial eagle against the portico’s right wall. Then continue straight across Via dell’Umiltà and through the elaborate iron, glass, and frescoed 1880s pedestrian passage. Turn right on Via di Muratte to the Trevi Fountain . Your three coins tossed over your shoulder should ensure a return trip. Leave the square on Via di Lavoratore and turn left on Via di Panetteria for some of Rome’s best gelato at San Crispino .

Turn right up Via del Tritone and left on Via Francesco Crispi for the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna to enjoy a rare glimpse in Rome of contemporary art. Walk down Via Capo le Case and right on Via Due Macelli into Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps . Spend as long as you like window-shopping along the grid of streets west of the piazza, but try to finish up by 5pm so you can work your way north, weaving between Via del Babuino and Via Margutta to see the art and antiques shops, to Piazza del Popolo.

Pause for a cappuccino at Caffè Canova , then cross to Santa Maria del Popolo , with its works by Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini. Try to get to Santa Maria in Montesanto around 7pm to hear the Gregorian chant, before heading off for a special dinner at Dal Bolognese .

Best of the Rest

  1. Villa Giulia

    Contains Italy’s top Etruscan collection, celebrating the peninsula’s first great civilization (8th to 3rd centuries BC).

    • Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9

    • Open 8:30am–7:30pm Tue–Sun

    • Adm

    • DA

  2. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna

    The national modern art museum covers 19th-and 20th-century works. Strongest in Italian art, although foreigners feature too.

    • Viale delle Belle Arti 131

    • Open 8:30am–7:30pm Tue–Sun

    • Adm

    • DA

  3. Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna

    The museum covers Italian art from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s.

    • Via S Francesco Crispi 24

    • Closed for renovation – call 06 474 2848 for further information

    • Adm

    • DA

  4. SS Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso

    Roman Baroque church (1669) by Pietro da Cortona, who designed the tribune, cupola and stuccoes.

    • Via del Corso 437

    • Open 7am–7pm daily

    • Free

  5. Santa Maria dei Miracoli and in Montesanto

    Carlo Fontana was responsible for these late 17th-century “twin” churches, although Bernini guided him in the decoration of the more elaborate Montesanto.

    • Piazza del Popolo

    • Miracoli: open 6am–1pm, 5–7pm Mon–Sat, 8am–1pm, 5–7pm Sun

    • Montesanto: open 4–8:30pm Mon–Sat, 11am–1pm Sun

    • Free

  6. Canova’s Studio

    The artist’s studio walls are embedded with fragments of statuary.

    • Via del Babuino 150a

    • Open 8am–8pm Mon–Sat

    • Free

  7. Palazzo Colonna

    The gallery features work by Tintoretto, Lotto and Veronese.

    • Via della Pilotta 17

    • Open 9am–1pm Sat

    • Closed Aug

    • Adm

  8. Porta del Popolo

    Michelangelo used the Arch of Titus as the model for this gateway.

    • Piazza del Popolo

  9. Casa di Goethe

    German author Goethe lived here from 1786 to 1788 , and his letters are on display.

    • Via del Corso 18

    • Open 10am–6pm Tue–Sun

    • (guided tours available on request)

    • Adm

  10. Santissimi Apostoli

    This 6th-century church, restructured in 1702–08, has a trompe-l’oeil vault above the altar.

    • Piazza SS Apostoli

    • Open 7am– noon, 4–7pm

    • Free


Art and Antiques Shops

  1. Dott. Cesare Lampronti

    Although it resembles an art museum, you can buy the work on show here: still lifes, religious paintings, mythological compositions, scenes of Roman life and Neo-Classical statues, variously dating from the 16th to 19th centuries.

    • Via del Babuino 174–5

    Dott. Cesare Lampronti
  2. Benucci

    Heavy duty art and antiques of the type more usually found in museums – 15th-century Roman and Florentine Virgin and Childs, works by artists such as Luca Giordano or Fra’ Bartolomeo – plus beautiful furnishings inlaid in mother-of-pearl and hardwoods.

    • Via del Babuino 151–3

  3. Galleria Veneziani

    A large gallery selling a wide range of high-quality antiques, from furnishings and old oil paintings to statuary, vases and various objets d’art. Definitely worth a browse.

    • Via Margutta 45

    Galleria Veneziani
  4. Maurizio Grossi

    Maurizio Grossi is a specialist in marble. This is just the place to buy a reproduction Roman bust or an astoundingly life-like sculpted fruit.

    • Via Margutta 109

  5. Alberto di Castro

    Etching, lithographs and other prints mostly from the 1660s to the 1920s are on sale in this lovely shop.

    • Via del Babuino 71

  6. Galleria Augusto Consort

    Regularly changing exhibitions of contemporary paintings, watercolours and prints are held here.

    • Via Margutta 52

  7. Galleria Antiquaria

    A small selection of artworks, mostly sculpture, paintings and objets d’art.

    • Via Margutta 67

  8. Nomades

    This eclectic, funky gallery housed in a former convent sells wood, stone and ceramic objets d’art from around the globe.

    • Via di Ripetta 224

  9. E&R Danon

    Mostly 18th- to early 20th-century Oriental carpets and prayer rugs, from Persia and India, Tibet and China.

    • Via Margutta 36–37

  10. La Bottega del Marmoraro

    Homespun Italian homilies carved into scraps of marble are hung pell-mell around a characteristic old workshop.

    • Via Margutta 53B

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