Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Piazza dell'Esedra (Piazza della Repubblica)
I can still remember the first time I flew through here, in a speeding taxi, on my second transatlantic trip. It was a surprise bordering on stupefaction. From the windows I could not take my eyes off the beauty of the piazza and recognized it instantly from a photo in a book.
So many memories here. Hundreds of times I walked up Via Nazionale at night and through this piazza to Roma Termini. This is the summit of the Viminal Hill, one of the fabled seven hills of Rome.
Here were the Baths of Diocletian, the largest in all of pagan Rome. They spread from Ternini to Santa Susanna's and covered the Grand Hotel. It must have been tremendous.
The church here, Santa Maria degli Angeli, is where the royal and state funerals, weddings, are held, etc. The water is from the famed Aqua Pia aqueduct. The fountain was originally built by Blessed Pius IX.
In recent years this area has really been cleaned up. The buses no longer have a capo linea in the piazza. Now there is a super nice cinema and a large McDonald's (clean public restroom in the basement) and a nice luxury hotel.
at 10:24 PM