10. Rome: Squares and Fountains Private Roman Art Walking Tour
Enjoy an evening stroll through Rome's imposing palaces and grand piazzas, where water dances in beautiful fountains, and time stands still in enchanting streets. Explore history and art on an impassioned journey to encounter popes and emperors, artists and ordinary people in the places where their lives took shape, where the ancient and the modern join to create the political and religious institutions on which Italian society rests today.
Your tour begins in the city's most famous public space, Piazza Navona. The square began life as the Stadium of Domitian in the first century A.D: its distinctive form has been preserved for nearly 2000 years and is still obvious today. Here you will find yourself at the heart of Roman Baroque: spectacular optical illusions and theatrical buildings reveal signs of a revolutionary new approach to architectural space. Discover the twin genius of Bernini and Borromini, the two greatest rivals of their age and opposites in every respect. See Bernini's marvelous Fountain of the Four Rivers, a pyramidal masterpiece that culminates in the flight of a dove. Dominating the skyline above is Borromini's curving facade and bell tower of the church of Santa Agnese, where stone takes on the malleability of the softest clay.
In your next stop, Piazza di Spagna, find yourself at the foot of the iconic Spanish Steps. Learn about the history of the church of the Trinita' Dei Monti that towers above the square, as well as why the young Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his sculptor father adopted the unusual subject of a boat for the fountain of the Barcaccia. Uncover the social significance of the majestic stairway that came to unite these two areas separated for centuries by a high cliff. After short stops at the Colonna dell Immacolata (Column of the Immaculate Conception) and the house of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, reach another of the city's most indelible landmarks, the Trevi Fountain.
Here, be lulled by the magical song of the waters, immersing yourself in this wonderful piece of theatrical architecture that both recalls the great buildings of the past and allows you to imagine the impossible architecture of the mind. With the help of your guide, read the many legends written in the relief sculpture of the triumphal arch, where the god Ocean advances with his Tritons and winged horses to celebrate an ancient festival of water.