Pedaling through the cycle paths of Rome – Cristina Galardini’s Vlog.
As always, if you haven’t seen the previous episode, here’s the link.
Today, on our way we will cross Castro Pretorio. The district has a “Piemontese” street network with straight roads and not too wide orthogonal scheme. This nineteenth-century town planning is found especially in the part of the district between Via XX Settembre, Viale Castro Pretorio, Via del Castro Pretorio and the long straight Via Volturno-Via Marsala, with center in Piazza dell’Indipendenza.
The focal point of this district, like the ray of sunlight start the secondary roads. This roads has been named by the locations where the Italian wars of independence took place.
This is the most populated area of the district, in which coexist urban villas with two floors are hotels and residences, Umbertini palace used for housing, offices and hotels more or less luxurious, that are hosting the large number of tourists from the nearby Termini station. The most monumental part of the district, the most “international”, because of the great flow of tourists, is obviously Piazza della Repubblica (with Via Nazionale, the Quadrivio delle Quattro Fontane and Via Cavour, important arteries connecting both pedestrian and vehicular between the station and the historic center, the final destination of every tourist.
The route along Via Nomentana start from one of the less known works of Michelangelo Buonarroti Porta Pia. One of the doors of the Mure Aureliane designed by the great artist in the last years of his life. Just at the beginning of the street in front of the gate the statue in honor of the “Bersaglieri” who brought back to Italy the city of Roma.
Thanks to the battle of Breccia di Porta Pia on September 20, 1870, that day the stretch of walls adjacent to the city gate was the scene of combat between the troops of the Kingdom of Italy and those of the Papal States. This battle marked the end of the state of the church and the annexation of Roma to Italy, which was able to complete the unification.
Two curiosities of Porta Pia. The decoration on the side of the door made by Michelangelo, seems to be a bowl with a towel around and a soap in the center. The legend says it is a Michelangelo joke, he wanted to remember the origin of Pope Pio IV, a Medici, not the well-known Florentine family, but apparently descended from a family of Milanese barbers. The second, under the window of the same side was grossly carved a grinning mask, unfinished, with the wings hooked.
In this mask the Roman people can recognize Michelangelo. Under the other window there is a stone just sketched: this may be evidence of the haste to complete the work. One of the first Italian film is dedicated to Breccia di Porta Pia, “La Presa di Roma”. Rome is a big city, sometimes a little too chaotic to realize how many treasures we can find in every corner. In fact, the eternal city is not only Colosseo, Piazza di Spagna and Vaticano.
For example, there is Via Nomentana, where taking a nice bike ride on a sunny day might surprise you. The bike route along this ancient consular road could make you discover many historical and fascinating places that will help you to have a much less stereotypical idea of Rome. Incredible in front of us we find a sculpture that will soon be exhibited at the Macro Museum.
We take a chance to show our work of art, the Pmzero Wellness bike, our official bike for this documentary. With Pmzero Wellness bike is so pleasant to cross this long cycle path. Not far from this fantastic historical evidence you can visit the new Macro, a modern museum that hosts many initiatives and international art exhibitions that shouldn’t be missed during your holiday in Roma.
Another great pleasures to ride Via Nomentana in addition to history and contemporary art, it’s really extraordinary to discover how many green areas we find on each side. There is Villa Mirafiori, actually seat of the Philosophy faculty of the University La Sapienza, with its beautiful architecture and a coffee shop give the possibility to drink some beverage and enjoy the liveliness of young people.
Throughout Via Nomentana has splendid palaces that are home to foreign embassies and consulates. And in Via Nomentana you will be fascinated two truly unique basilicas, the Basilica of Sant’Agnese fuori le mura and the Mausoleum of Santa Costanza.
The real green jewel overlooking Via Nomentana is Villa Torlonia. A splendid villa of the 17th century whose property has been in succession over the centuries among the richest and wealthiest families of the capital that have transformed the agricultural fields in a beautiful park: where you can go jogging, see high-level exhibitions, relax and visit the curious Casina delle Civette.
A tiny medieval village that seems to be an alpine refuge hosting a small museum with the same name, the feeling is stunning because it is a Nordic building inside the context of a Roman villa.