Gianicolo

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14 December 2012
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Campo de’ Fiori
28 December 2012

Gianicolo

Gianicolo the best view of Rome

The site of one of Italy’s most decisive battles for independence (1848 AD), the Janiculum Hill or Gianicolo has unparalleled views of Rome. According to 18th century diarist De Brosses, a French admirer of all things Italian, it was sufficient in itself to justify the journey to Italy. Seen from the Janiculum, Rome displays the iridescent colours of her incredible plumage like a peacock: a living postcard, all the roofs, the cupolas, all the bell towers and the sights are sharply defined in the clear sky, with the profile of the Roman Castle hills in the background. At noon the cannon blast shatters quiet to commemorate the battles of independence, and the hundreds bells of churches echo through the sky. It is interesting to note that Rome’s highest and most scenic hill does not officially feature among the proverbial seven.
Springing from Rome’s rive gauche quarter, Trastevere, and winding its way up the hill, Via Garibaldi feeds straight into the gardens of the Gianicolo, offering some memorable stops on the way

panoramagianicolo

One not to be missed is Bramante’s iconic Tempietto, or “Little Temple”, recognized by art historians the world over as a prototype of the perfect Renaissance building. Located within the courtyard of the Church of San Pietro in Montorio next to the Spanish Academy, it allegedly rises above the location of Saint Peter’s crucifixion.

In the summer, this part of the hill’s flank is the site of one of Rome’s finest seasonal open-air theatres and annexed cafés, “Il Fontanone”, or “Big Fountain”. Actually an affectionate local name for the Pauline Fountain casting its shadow over the venue, it was built to resemble a triumphal arch under Pope Paul V in the late 17th century. This imposing monument makes use of columns from the original St Peter’s basilica. A taste of what the top of the Janiculum Hill has in store in terms of breathtaking views can already be admired from here. One is strongly advised to use the camera sparingly, as another good length of film will be much needed for what is yet to come!

Private Tour From Civitavecchia

The Gianicolo being “Garibaldi’s hill” – it was he who led the fierce battle against the French sent to restore Papal rule in 1849 – an imposing equestrian statue of the bearded freedom fighter looms over the pine-tree lined gardens. One thousand busts depicting other Risorgimento martyrs solemnly adorn the Passeggiata del Gianicolo, or “Janiculum Promenade”, leading the way to another equestrian tribute: Garibaldi’s equally heroic, Brazilian-born wife, Anita. In this sculpture by Mario Rutelli, some would irreverently observe she typifies irresponsible parenting as she rides a wind-swept, rearing horse while brandishing a pistol in one hand and cradling a baby in the other

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