Piazza d'Aracoeli

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Coordinates: 41°53′39.85″N12°28′51.7″E / 41.8944028°N 12.481028°E / 41.8944028; 12.481028

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Piazza d'Aracoeli Rome.view.piazza.aracoeli.arp.jpg
Piazza d'Aracoeli

Piazza d'Aracoeli is a square of Rome (Italy), placed at the base of the Capitoline Hill, in the Rione X Campitelli.

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Capitoline Hill hill

The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome.

History

The present aspect of the square is not the cozy one it had one time: one of the sides was destroyed during the demolitions for the building of the Vittoriano, begun in 1885, and later in the 1930s the whole area of the Capitoline Hill was isolated. The square was formerly called Market Square; it was divided into two part, the Mercato (Italian: Market), at the slopes of the Capitoline Hill, and the Mercatello (Italian: Little Market), at the opposite side northward. The two toponyms recurred in the dedication of two nearby churches: San Biagio del Mercato, later called Chiesa di Santa Rita da Cascia in Campitelli, still existing but relocated elsewhere, and San Giovanni in Mercatello, later Chiesa di San Venanzio, still remembered in the toponymy. In the surroundings of the square, probably where nowadays the Palazzo Muti Bussi and the Palazzo Astalli rise, two of the many towers of the town stood: the Torre del Mercato (Italian: Tower of the Market) and the Torre del Cancelliere (Italian: Tower of the Chancellor). The market served not just as a place for commerce, but as a stage for politic debates and religious homilies as well. In 1442 the words of St. Bernardino of Siena against gambling and usury resounded. In 1551 St. Ignatius of Loyola opened his first school of grammar and Christian doctrine, from which the Collegio Romano sourced, and held his first spiritual exercises. In 1713 Rosa Venerini opened the first Roman house of the Maestre Pie Venerini, the first women's public school in Italy. The buildings in the square include the Palazzo Muti-Bussi, the Palazzo Fani (now Pecci-Blunt ) and the Palazzo Massimo di Rignano, then Colonna, while the central feature is the fountain designed by Giacomo della Porta and realized in 1589 by Andrea Brasca, Pietro Gucci and Pace Naldini. The complicated demolitions Piazza d'Aracoeli has been subjected to, if on one hand have ruined the scenic design that Michelangelo used for the adjustment of the Capitoline Hill, on the other hand have opened a striking view on an outstanding urban landscape: from it is it possible to admire with a single glance the Quirinal Hill, the Trajan's Forum with its column and the Torre delle Milizie at the back, the two churches of Santa Maria di Loreto and of the Santissimo Nome di Maria, Palazzo Venezia and the buildings of the "Angelicum" cloister.

Altare della Patria monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy

The Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, also known as the Vittoriano, Il Vittoriano, or Altare della Patria, is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. It's currently managed by the Polo Museale del Lazio, the Italian Ministry of Defense and the Museo Centrale del Risorgimento Italiano.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a protected language in these countries. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Bernardino of Siena Italian Franciscan missionary and saint

Bernardino of Siena, was an Italian priest and Franciscan missionary. He was a systematizer of Scholastic economics. His popular preaching made him famous during his own lifetime because it was frequently directed against sorcery, gambling, infanticide, witchcraft, sodomy (homosexuality), Jews, and usury. Bernardino was later canonised by the Catholic Church as a saint - where he is also referred to as “the Apostle of Italy” - for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century.

The palaces

Palazzo Muti-Bussi

The palace – in possession of the family Muti-Bussi, lately become extinct with the dead of Marchioness Olimpia – was built by Giacomo della Porta about in 1585. It has a pentagonal structure but, because of the blunt tip, where the main entrance is, it has six façades. The big front door of the main entrance is decorated with a scroll bearing the saltire mauls of the Mutis coat of arms and lion heads. At the first floor, over the entrance door, is a balcony with a beautiful view over Piazza d'Aracoeli and the majestic staircase and relevant façade of the church with the same name. Recent archeological investigations located ancient Roman walls in the cellars of the palace.

Giacomo della Porta Italian architect and sculptor

Giacomo della Porta (1532–1602) was an Italian architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica. He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.

Palazzo Fani (now Pecci-Blunt)

The three-floors palace overlooks Piazza d’Aracoeli. Simple and noble, it is decorated by a frieze with floral decoration running under the ledge. In the second half of 16th century Mario Fani, noble Roman citizen hailing from Tuscania, commissioned to Giacomo della Porta the renewal of the palace. At the end of 16th century the palace was rented out to primates (in 1601 Cardinal Federico Borromeo lived here). In the first half of 17th century the palace was bought by Filippo Spada and the sold to the Ruspoli family when they came to Rome from Siena. At the beginning of the 18th century the palace passed to the Malatesta family and finally to the Pecci Blunt counts. The building now houses residential buildings, but is also used by the present owners, the Valsecchi Nesbitts, as a location for high-society and cultural events.

Tuscania Comune in Lazio, Italy

Tuscania is a town and comune in the province of Viterbo, Lazio Region, Italy. Until the late 19th century the town was known as Toscanella.

Federico Borromeo Cardinal Archbishop of Milan

Federico Borromeo was an Italian cardinal and Archbishop of Milan.

Siena Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.

Palazzo Massimo di Rignano (then Colonna)

the present aspect of the palace is due to the architect Carlo Fontana and shows a gate with vegetal decorations, four floors, a modern attic and a crenellated tower-observatory. The left corner of the palace was cut in 1939, during the opening of Via del Teatro di Marcello.

Carlo Fontana Swiss architect

Carlo Fontana was an Italian architect originating from today's Canton Ticino, who was in part responsible for the classicizing direction taken by Late Baroque Roman architecture.

The fountain

The Fountain of Aracoeli La fontana di piazza d'Aracoeli.jpg
The Fountain of Aracoeli

The fountain, built in 1589 by Andrea Brasca, Pietreo Gucci and Pace Naldini on a design by Giacomo Della Porta, one time rose on two steps repeating the lines of the lower basin and was surrounded by a logline receiving the water. In 1800 the steps were removed and replaced by little columns. The fountain has two basins with different shapes; the smaller one sustains a group of putti pouring water from a vase.

Bibliography

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