Rome: Imperial Splendour

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The Splendour of Imperial Rome can be seen in the Architecture of the Monuments, the Fountains and Buildings around Rome.  The style is mostly Baroque, with lots of ornate trimmings and decorations in the Buildings. It is completely different from the Architecture of Ancient Rome. Baroque style is more romantic, expressive kind of art, mostly built using  marble which is abundant around Italy.  After the Caesars ruled Rome, the Emperors and then Kings of Italy continued building on the Imperial Splendour of Rome.

Fontana Di Trevi
The Fontana Di Trevi is the largest Baroque Fountain in Rome. It was initially built by Nicola Salvi in 1732 but completed by another artist, Giuseppe Pannini in 1762.  The Centre Statue is the God Oceanus while the two female statues are  Abundance spills water from her urn and Salubrity holds a cup from which a snake drinks.

Traditional legend is that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain ensures their return to Rome. There are several movies that was featured in this fountain. The most famous were the Classics 1954s Three Coins in a Fountain and famous Italian Director Federico Fellini's movie La Dolce Vita.

The crowd around the Fontana Di Trevi.

Vittorio Emmanuel II  Monument

The National Monument of Vittorio Emmanuel II was built in honour of the First King of the United Italy.

"The monument was designed by Giuseppe Sacconi in 1885; sculpture for it was parceled out to established sculptors all over Italy, such as Angelo Zanelli. It was inaugurated in 1911 and completed in 1935.
The monument is built of white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features stairways, Corinthian Columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The structure is 135 m (443 ft) wide and 70 m (230 ft) high. If the quadrigae and winged victories are included, the height is to 81 m (266 ft).
The base of the structure houses the museum of Italian Reunification. In 2007, a panoramic elevator was added to the structure, allowing visitors to ride up to the roof for 360 degree views of Rome."

The Monument also include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an Eternal Flame.

View of the huge Monument seen from the distance. Also views of Imperial Rome buildings.

Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia is located right in front of the Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument. The Piazza takes its name from Cardinal Venezia who built the nearby Palazzo Venezia which was a former Embassy of the city of the Republic of Venice (before Italy's Unification).

Palazzo Barberini
Entrance Gate to the Palazzo Barberini - Galleria Nazionale D'Arte Antica.

All around Rome, there are many Palaces that belong to the Aristocratic families of Rome. One of them is the Palazzo Barberini, a Baroque Palace, which is now a Museum called Galleria Nazionale D'Arte Antica. The Museum houses some paintings of Raphael and Caravaggio.

Piazza Barberini

The Piazza Barberini was named after the Baroque Palace nearby, Palazzo Barberini. The Triton Fountain was also Baroque in style and was sculpted by Bernini. Behind the Piazza is the famous street in Rome, Via Veneto with its high end shops and Restaurants.

Piazza Della Repubblica
In Piazza Della Repubblica there is a grand fountain in the middle which has 4 statues of Naiads.
"The naiads represented are the Nymph of the Lakes (recognisable by the swan she holds), the Nymph of the Rivers (stretched out on a monster of the rivers), the Nymph of the Oceans (riding a horse symbolising of the sea), and the Nymph of the Underground Waters (leaning over a mysterious dragon). In the centre is Rutelli's Glauco group (1911/12), symbolizing the dominion of the man over natural force and replacing a previous sculpture."

View of the Tiber River in Rome.

Beautiful and grand bridges crossing the Tiber River.

The Campidoglio was the former Citadel or camp of the early Romans. But during the Renaissance period, this whole Piazza with the surrounding Palaces were designed by the Great Artist Michelangelo Buonarroti from 1536 to 1546. This was the first Urban design of a "Capitol" city. Michelangelo designed this whole area facing the Vatican City and turning its back from the Roman Forum which was the Centre of Government during Caesar's time.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Who would dare climb those stairs leading to the Church on the left side?

The Cordonata refer to the stairs designed by Michelangelo: "Next to the older and much steeper stairs leading to the Aracoeli, Michelangelo devised a monumental wide-ramped stair (the cordonata), gradually ascending the hill to reach the high piazza, so that the Campidoglio resolutely turned its back on the Roman Forum that it had once commanded. It was built to be wide enough for horse riders to ascend the hill without dismounting. The railings are topped by the statues of two Egyptian lions in black basalt at their base and the marble renditions of Castor and Pollux at their top."
Photo credit: Wikipedia

A Store selling Roman Garden Sculptures.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a very popular hangout during the Day and especially at Night. The whole Piazza is surrounded by Restaurants, Churches and Shops. These Restaurants have Dining al fresco, in the open. So it is quite entertaining to have dinner there watching the crowds and the view of beautiful monuments, Churches and Fountains in the Piazza. In the Evening, local Artists display and sell their paintings.

I do not have a "day" picture of the Piazza as my friend and I visited Piazza Navona to have dinner and to walk around watching the Artists, their paintings and enjoying the view of the whole Piazza. Here is a brief description of the Piazza:

"It features important sculptural and architectural creations: in the center stands the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, topped by the Obelisk of Domitian, brought here in pieces from the Circus of Maxentius the Church of Saint Agnes by Francesco Borromini, Girolamo Rainaldi, Carlo Rainaldi and others;
The Piazza Navona has two additional fountains: at the southern end is the Fontana del Moro with a basin and four Tritons sculpted by Giacomo della Porta (1575) to which, in 1673, Bernini added a statue of a Moor, or African, wrestling with a dolphin, and at the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune (1574) created by Giacomo della Porta. The statue of Neptune in the northern fountain, the work of Antonio Della Bitta, was added in 1878 to make that fountain more symmetrical with La Fontana del Moro in the south."

Julia Roberts in the movie Eat, Pray, Love, enjoying her gelato at Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona also has many surrounding shops. This is one of the beautiful Dolls shop in the area.


These beautiful monuments, buildings and fountains represented the Imperial Splendour of Rome. It is completely different from Ancient Rome. The Renaissance era was crucial and important time in the City's History. As the great artists of  Rome like Michelangelo, Bernini, Borromini raised to the challenge as they designed and built the continuing greatness and beauty of Rome. Luckily, their Emperors, Popes then Kings all supported the great  Renaissance Artists and created Rome to what it is  now.  All of these are now part of Rome's history and treasure.

Historical sources: Wikipedia
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Pamela lives in Toronto, Canada, currently working in Banking in the field of Credit and Finance. The Chic Delights blog has evolved into an on-line magazine about my experiences and inspirations on style, travel, people, lifestyle and current events. My features are not sponsored posts. The photographs and stories featured here are all from my own resources and experiences. [Pamela RG] (