From Piazza Colonna to Piazza dei Caprettari
Piazza Colonna is the start of the path that leads us into the area of the Pantheon. The square's name derives from the presence in the center of the column of Marcus Aurelius. On the square is Palazzo Chigi, seat of the Italian government, which was built in the '500 by Pietro Aldobrandini. To the left of this, on the west side is Palazzo Wedekind, the historic seat of the newspaper Il Tempo, whse entrance shows columns originating in the ancient Etruscan city of Veii.
Following is Piazza Montecitorio, known for housing along the north side of a small hill, the Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Italian Republic.
The imposing building, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, commissioned by Pope Innocent X, was finished by the architect Carlo Fontana. At the center of the square stands the obelisk of Psammetichus II from the Egyptian city of Heliopolis, brought to Rome in 10 BC Emperor Augustus.
Returning to Piazza Colonna and along Via Colonna Antonina there is Caleffi.
The business of clothing began in Rome in the late nineteenth century with Enrico Caleffi. The company invented a special type of very high neck shirt with two buttons, then said, "Gaston", as inspired by a famous character.
Today the store is run by the third generation of the Caleffis pursuing the goal of perpetuating the spirit of refined elegance that distinguishes them. The clothes are well made and made with the finest fabrics. The knitwear is chosen from the best brands. The ties are handmade. The tradition continues with success.
Nearby is Piazza di Pietra, named for the the remains of an ancient temple dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, and Piazza Sant’Ignazio, one of the most important works of the Roman Rococo style. Because of its shape like of a theater, it is one of the most scenic places in the city. Piazza Sant’Ignazio shows its namesake church, built in 1626 and designed by Maderno. The Church has a great and highly decorated interior, whose most interesting works are due to A. Well, the genius of perspective and "trompe l'oeil".
Continuing to walk along Via Colonna Antonina you can see Piazza Capranica, where stands the church of Santa Maria in Aquiro. You can walk the narrow Via della Spada in Orlando (Street of Roland’s Sword), so called because of a scratch on the only rock coming out of building, which legend says was caused by a blow by the hero.
From Piazza Capranica continue to via degli Orfani in order to enter another store: Stilofetti.
Started by Emanuele Fetti in 1893, today it is run by the fourth generation, but the store has remained unchanged since then. The pens are home with the leather desk sets that have furnished the most important tables of Italian politics and the houses of the Romans, and the leather briefcases for both men and women professionals. Pens here are solely those of the classic brands. In the shop there is also a large section devoted exclusively to collectors of both antique pens, and pens in limited production as well as a fully equipped workshop for repairs of vintage pens.
Continuing along via degli Orfani you get to Piazza della Rotonda, dominated by the magnificent Pantheon building in ancient Rome, built as a temple to all the gods, past, present and future. The people of Rome call it a friendly Rotonna, or Ritonna (Rotunda), from which the name of the square. It was rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian between 118 and 128 AD after fires in 80 AD and 110 A.D. had damaged the previous construction of the Augustan age. At the beginning of the seventh century it was converted into a Christian church called Santa Maria della Rotonda.
Going to the right side and turning in via di Santa Chiara yu arrive in piazza Caprettari, with the Antica Cartotecnica Shop.
Style unchanged and tradition kept for this business founded in 1930 by Mrs. Elisa Berti. The store was a heaven for lovers of calligraphy. Today you can see and purchase a wide range of products, both vintage and contemporary. In addition to a range of stationery items to collect, such as notepads, notebooks 40s , desk objects in bakelite, old world maps, there are handbags and document holders, leather diaries, address books, desk sets, small leather goods and precious writing paper. Great variety especially about the feathers. Moreover they created a line of products under their own brand while offering an excellent repair service .
From Piazza Caprettari you get to Piazza Sant’Eustachio,where you shall remember to visit the church of the same name. In some documents dating from the tenth and eleventh centuries, the church is called "in Platana", in reference to an ancient tradition, a tree planted in the garden of the house of Martyr Eustace, on which the emperor Constantine I would build the first chapel in the place where the saint suffered martyrdom.
Continue on Via della Dogana Vecchia until you get in front of the Church of St. Luigi dei Francesi. Inside, you can see three famous paintings by Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio: The Martyrdom of St. Matthew, St. Matthew and the Angel, The Calling of St. Matthew. Before you turn in Via delle Coppelle, far left, worth a visit is the church of St. Augustine. The church was built between the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century and completed around 1483. It houses the "Madonna of the Pilgrims," one of the best known works of Caravaggio, as well as works by Jacopo Sansovino, Guercino, and the famous fresco of the "Prophet Isaiah" by Raphael.
Back at the Via delle Coppelle, named after the sellers of "cupellari", small containers used for the storage of water and wine, we come to the small but ancient Church of San Salvatore alle Coppelle, built under Celestine III (1191-1198) .
From here, continue until you reach Piazza della Maddalena, and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the rare examples of rococo in Rome. Dedicated to Mary Magdalene, is built on a chapel of the fourteenth century. One of the greatest treasures of the church is the beautiful sacristy of the eighteenth century that preserves almost intact the original furniture, painted with faux marble.
In the same street there is Feroci.
The company started its activity in the early '900 as butchers' Angelo Feroci, maintaining its white marble decoration and its original signs and exterior lighting.
Today's " Eredi Nipoti Polzella" continue to maintain the tradition.