Duration: 3 hours
Church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Pantheon, Campus Martius, Church of S. Luigi dei Francesi, Piazza Navona, Church of S. Agnese in Agone
Listen, O fairest queen of thy world, Rome, welcomed amid the starry skies, listen, thou mother of men and mother of gods, thanks to thy temples we are not far from heaven
The area of Campus Martius takes its name after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is one of the most fascinating areas in the city, with small squares, narrow alleys and ancient monuments from Rome’s glorious past. During this tour, you will find out every detail about the history of majestic Pantheon, the “temple of all gods”, built by the emperor Hadrian. It features a giant dome, a true masterpiece of ancient engineering, which has since inspired countless artists and architects. A few steps away from the Pantheon we will visit two iconic churches: Santa Maria sopra Minerva, house of Michelangelo’s statue of Christ carrying the Cross, and then San Luigi dei Francesi, inside which three of Caravaggio’s masterpieces are famously preserved: The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, the Inspiration of Saint Matthew and The Calling of Saint Matthew. We will then steps into what is probably the most photographed square in the world: Piazza Navona. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, once used for sports and games, mainly athletics. In fact, its name probably comes from the original “piazza in agone” (“agones” is the Greek word for “games”), and a beautiful church on the square bears the same name (Sant’Agnese in Agone). The most prominent artists of the 17th century left their mark here: Bernini built the Fountain of the Four Rivers, in the middle of the square, and Borromini worked on the façade of Sant’Agnese, just opposite the fountain. Those who are interested will have the chance to explore the underground spaces of the Stadium of Domitian.