Piazza della Repubblica, Rome
Favorite thing: One day, when I logged onto Facebook to get some news from home, I saw that my friend Britta (VTer sotschi) had posted some pics of the Vatican. I immediately sent her an e-mail, wondering if she was still in Rome, and she was! What are the odds of two girls, one from Hamburg and one from Quebec City, meeting up in Rome? Well, if you've been on VT long enough, you know that they are actually fairly good! We made plans to have dinner together over the weekend and ended up going out with her friends to a restaurant located just off Piazza della Repubblica. Britta and I had never met, but as it often happens with VTers, it was just like meeting an old friend :o) We spent a lovely evening together, and I sure will get in touch with her again if I make it to Germany next fall, and I hope she and her friends do the same if they ever travel to Quebec!
Favorite thing: Same place different time and different impressions. This place is less attractive during the day, at least it is how I saw it. The night illumination of the square is just perfect. Fact is though, no matter day or night time the fountain at the square looking spectacular.
Piazza dell'Esedra is my first and best ever memory of Rome. It's the first piazza to welcome travellers arriving from Termini Station. For this reason, city planners in the early XXth century wanted the piazza to make a grand statement for their capital. The result of the embellishment project was spectacular!
Since the end of the Second World War and of the Italian monarchy, the piazza is officially known as Piazza della Repubblica. But... I stayed there on my first visit to Rome many years ago and I remember clearly that locals still called it "dell'Esedra" then. Whenever I'm in Rome, I go back to admire the great fountain in the centre and the fantastic opening onto Via Nazionale and the Vittoriano in the background.
The Fontana delle Naiadi in the centre is the most beautiful modern fountain in Rome. Four playful nymphs are riding aquatic animals and the sea-god Glaucus is apparently wrestling with a monster fish. It's truly worth standing close by for a while, to see the beautiful effects of the water as it erupts into the air!
There are interesting things to do in the vicinity of Piazza della Repubblica. One is a visit to Sta Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, for which I already wrote a tip in Things To Do.
Then, on the right of the Piazza, facing via Nazionale, there are bancarelle (bookstands) where you can rummage for hours for fascinating books and other printed material. (I'll post a tip on the bancarelle soon, maybe tonight...)
Also close by is the Palazzo Massimo, one of the 3 sites of the Museo Nazionale Romano (National Museum of Rome, world-famous archeological collections.) The main location of this Museum is at the Baths of Diocletian, steps away from Pzza Repubblica too.
Piazza Repubblica is where demonstrations and major gatherings are held, there's traffic and movement all around. Be careful while trying to get the best shot with your camera, that you don't back too much onto the street.
Fondest memory: oh... thought I just said that! Well I'll repeat. When I think of Rome, I invariably think of what to me is still called Piazza dell'Esedra. Perhaps because I stayed there in a good Pensione on my first visit to Rome? I remember the owner very fondly: a reserved, refined, helpful and extremely kind lady who treated my sister and I like daughters.
Favorite thing: Piazza della Reppublica is one of those squares you might pass by, during the day, and even do not stop here. Huge traffic in this area with lots of buses might hide what is worth of seeing. It is, however, one of the most attractive sights in Rome during the night time. The whole area around the square is almost perfectly illuminated and the sleeping beauty shine in all of its attraction.
Piazza Republica is at the end of Via Nazionale (the end closest to Roma Termini). There is a beautiful fountain in the centre of the Piazza. The fountain is called ‘Najadi’ (Fontana delle Naiada) and was created by Mario Rutelli. ‘Naiad’ is a word for water-nymphs, and there are four of them in this fountain taking on other sea creatures. There is also a man in the centre, holding (or struggling?) with a large fish.
Around the piazza there is also a McDonalds, a cinema, an expensive looking hotel and Santa Maria degli Angeli, a basilica which was originally designed by Michelangelo.
Favorite thing: Another of Rome's splendid fountains, the FONTANA DELLE NAIADI in the PIAZZA DELLA REPUBBLICA.