The Piazza della Repubblica formerly called Piazza dell'Esedra is far from being one of the most beautiful squares in Rome. The traffic is intense because it receives cars from several major roads and the busses joining their terminus at the Termini Station.
Its decor is inconsistent since half of it surrounding the entrance to the Via Nazionale consists of monumental buildings with porches built by Gaetano Koch in 1890 in Neo-Classical, while opposite are the Baths of Diocletian in bare bricks. The entrance, the old caldarium of the Terms, to the Santa Maria degli Angeli church built inside the Terms is not especially nice! The contrast is striking between the two halves of the Piazza.
The center of the square is the fountain of the Naiads by Mario Rutelli inaugurated in 1901 after a stir within the conservative society of Rome. "L 'Osservatore Romano, "the Vatican newspaper, found the statues sensual, immoral and indecent. The city put a fence around the monument in order to hide the view but this prompted many young people to come and see the Naiads through the gaps between the planks. Finally the Roman population knocked down the fence!
At night the Piazza della Repubblica looks better under the floods of lights.
Piazza della Repubblica dates back to the 19th century, and it was created after Rome became the capital of unified Italy in 1871. It was built on the site where one of Ancient Rome's most important complex used to be, the Baths of Diocletian. Its semi-circular shape follows that of the ancient baths' architecture, and the beautiful Fountain of the Naiads that sits at the center of the piazza is another reminder of the area's historic link with water. Sculpted by Mario Rutelli, the four figures represent the nymph of the lakes, of the rivers, of the seas, and of underground waters. The ruins of the baths' frigidarium (cold-water pool) were used to build the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli at the end of the 16th century, and the basilica was designed by none other than Michaelangelo.
We hadn't planned on visiting the branch of the Museo Nazionale Romanio located in Palazzo Massimo, but when we realized that its admission was the same as that of the Baths of Diocletian, we decided to take a quick look around its collection of Ancient Art. Created mostly to showcase the several artefacts found during Roman excavations, the museum was interesting enough to make us stay longer than we expected before moving on to the baths. The Baths of Diocletian were built in the 3rd century AD and were the largest Roman baths complex ever built. On top of the frigidarium, they also included a caldarium (hot-water bath), a tepidarium (sauna or steam room), a swimming pool, gymnasiums, reading rooms, lounging rooms and shops. The baths could hold up to 3,000 bathers at a time, and the bathing ritual was very much part of Rome's social life. The Baths of Diocletian were so large (they covered about 13 hectares) that some of their remains can be found several streets away, but a visit to the baths themselves includes access to the pools themselves. I think you need a bit more imagination to picture how it used to be than when you visit, say, the Baths of Caracalla, but then again, it might be because they were among the very first ruins we saw and my brain wasn't yet trained at reconstructing Ancient Rome the way it was at the end of our trip!
After piazza Venezia we found via Nazionale and started to walk up because we already knew that it ends up at Republique square.
Along the way we noticed many restaurants, stores and even a pub so we returned later in the evening when the street looked more beautiful because it was just after a rainfall and the lights were mirrored on the street (pic 1).
We also noticed some interesting buildings, first the Banca d’Italia which is housed on the palazzo Koch that was built at the end of 19th century (like everything on the via Nazionale).
250metres from there we saw an INFO kiosk where we took some free maps and realized that just behind it was standing the palazzo delle Esposizioni(pic 2), a neoclassical building that houses exhibitions from time to time.
A bit more of walking and we saw the church with the strange name San Paolo dentro le mura (St.Paul’s Within The Walls ), it’s an Episcopal church with neo gothic exterior. The church was also built at the end of 19th century.
Finally we arrived at piazza Repubblica(pic 3) with the fountain of Naiads in the centre. The sculptures that represent the Nymphs were made by Rutelli in 1901 and caused a small scandal because the Naiads were naked :) They all seem to hug a creature that lives in water (sea horse, water-snake, swan and a lizard).
Piazza della Repubblica was built in the large exedra of the baths of Diocletian which gives the shape of the square.
The two palaces with porticos around the square were buit by Gaetano Koch between 1887 and 1898 in Neo-Classic style. In the centre of the square there is the Fontana delle Naidi.
There you can also see the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri.
The fountain with the four bronze statues of the Najadi by Mario Rutelli stands in the centre of the square, on one side there's the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli and Diocletian's Baths, and on the other there are buildings of various architectural styles. Called Piazza della Repubblica after WW2, it still officially bears the name that refers to the central exedra of the Baths as well as being known as Piazza Esedra. The square is a meeting point for official demonstrations and for receiving visiting delegations from abroad.
This square was part of the great redevelopment undertaken when Rome became capital of unified Italy. In the middle of it stands the Naiadi Fountain, whose four naked nymphs caused something of a scandal when they were unveiled in 1901.
Piazza Esedra (o della Repubblica) - Al centro di questa ampia piazza è situata la fontana delle Naiadi. Da qui lo sguardo può spaziare fino all'Altare della patria, in piazza Venezia.
Esedra or Repubblica square, in the center of this square there is the Naiadi fountain. From here your sight can loose till Altare della Patria in piazza Venezia
Though this is certainly considered a lesser square, Repubblica remains close to my heart. This is my very first "site" in Rome 25 years ago. Beautiful setting for the fountains especially at night. The basilica is very lovely and often has an interesting art exhibit.
This is a beautiful but very traffic busy piazza!
Its worth visiting the Santa Maria Degli Angeli church, also some of the National Museum is here too.
If you are travelling with kids on the opposite side of the piazza to the church is a huge Warner Brother cinema!
The Piazza della Republica is formerly known as Piazza dell'Esedra. In the middle of the square is a beautiful fountain called Fontana delle Naiada designed by Mario Rutelli. It features a central bronze figure of Glaucus wresteling with a fish, and is surrounded by four waternymphs.
Another of the many beautiful squares of Rome. Called also Piazza Esedra, because that was the old name, from the exedra of the thermae of Diocletian.
In the middle of the square the fountain of Naiads by Rutelli.
The church of S.ta Maria degli Angeli is on the north side made from a building of the Roman thermae.
Yes! The first Roman fountain we saw. This was our introduction to the city of Rome through the windows of our taxi. Right after departing Termini train station and getting into our taxi to take us to our central apartment we entered the piazza and I was astonished by the fountain and architecture around the piazza. This was Rome! It wouldn't be so easy getting close to the fountain as there is alot of traffic zooming around this semi-circle road. The Santa Maria degli Angeli church is right next to the piazza and worth a visit inside.