Accommodation in Piazza della Suburra
The oldest district of Rome – Rione Monti
The most ancient district of Rome was given its name because formerly it included the hills Esquilino and Viminale, and the part of Quirinale and Celio hills. There are examples of different architectural styles (Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, etc.) that were popular during 2500 years of history.
The present-day appearance of Rione Monti features narrow hilly roads, high buildings of various eras with plaster worn out by time and blackened by smog, in which the craftshops, nightclubs and art galleries live side by side amicably. The name “Suburra” means “inhabited area under the city”, and it is exactly the impression you get going down the Piazza della Suburra from the stairs in Via Cavour (near the underground line B), or climbing up to the church San Pietro in Vincoli by scale Salita Dei Borgia, or descending from Via Nazionale to Via dei Serpenti or Via del Boschetto).
Considering all these descents and ascents, it is recommended to visit Rione Monti during a walk through the city, besides it allows you to investigate closer one of the most fascinating areas of the city and its numerous places of interest, ranging from the Colosseum to the Ludus Magnus – the largest of the gladiatorial schools in Rome, the baths of Trajan, the forums of the emperors Augustus, Nero and Trajan, along with the adjacent Markets, sections of the Servian and Aurelian walls, the baths of Tito, the remains of Claudio aqueduct, the church San Pietro in Vincoli with Michelangelo’s Moses, Santa Francesca Romana, the Pontifical Palace, the Egyptian Obelisk, the chapel Santa Sanctorum, the Scala Santa (“Holy Stairs”), the basilica of S. Giovanni in Laterano, the church of S. Clemente, S. Martino ai Monti, the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, the monuments of medieval architecture, such as the Triclinio Leoniano (Triclinium of Pope Leo III), the Lateran Baptistery, S. Stefano Rotondo, the tower of the Counts, the house of the Knights of Rhodes, S. Prassede, the towers of the Capocci and some masterpieces of the Roman baroque such as the churches of S. Andrea al Quirinale and of S. Carlino alle Quattro Fontane.
Suburra became a part of the urban area of Ancient Rome when the king of Etruscan origin Servio Tullio chose it for his residence.
It is the most authentic and popular area of the city. Above the entrance to the underground (station “Cavour”, line B), there are stairs that lead to Via Cavour and Largo Visconti Venosta, that are the part of the district Rione Monti.
The Suburra is the name of a very famous area in Rome. Wrongly, it is believed that this square corresponds to the ancient district of the Roman Suburra, which was a disreputable Roman area, the area that was in fact much further away than the current Piazza della Suburra. The Piazza della Suburra is situated at the crossroads of two ancient and noble Roman streets, the ancient quarter Praticius (today the Via Urbana) and the quarter Cyprius (currently Via Leonina), in the quarter Patricius there were the houses of the senators, nobles, and wealthy lords, while the quarter Cyprius was the district of booksellers, libraries, and educated people.
The name “Suburra” comes from the Latin “sub urbe”, meaning “under the city”. The fact is that at the dawn of the history of Rome this part of the city was located at the foot of the Palatine Hill, on which, actually, the city itself was situated. The ancient Sub Urbe district stretched from the modern Via Tor de Conti to Via San Vito on the Esquiline Hill. In ancient times the street level was much lower than the current one, therefore the prefix “sub” described the location of the area very accurately.
The Roman Suburra also included a part of the Esquiline hill slope, where Gaius Maecenas sited his famous gardens, atop the Servian Wall and its adjoining necropolis, near the gardens of Lamia. Here he built his magnificent villa.
Virgil, Horace, Julius Caesar and the poet Martial also lived in this area.
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