Duration 2 hours
Piazza Barberini, Galleria Barberini, Via Veneto, Church of S. Maria dei Cappuccini
You sometimes get bored of Rome by the second month of your stay, but never by the sixth, and if you stay until the twelfth, you are taken by the idea of settling down there.
As part of this itinerary, we will go in search of that little creature that represented the Barberini family: the bee. Our starting point is the Fontana delle Api (Fountain of the Bees) to the side of Piazza Barberini; the so-called “horse-trough”, decorated with little bees spouting jets of water. This object, just like the Fountain of the Triton in the centre of the piazza, was the work of that genius Bernini, putting his unique stamp on this wonderful square. It is framed by the magnificent Palazzo Barberini, which houses some of the greatest works in the history of art, including “Narcissus” and “Giuditta and Oloferne” by Caravaggio, “La Fornarina” by Raphael, “Venus and Adonis” by Titian, and the extraordinary frescoed ceiling depicting the “Triumph of Divine Providence”, painted by Pietro della Cortona.
We will now continue along Via Vittorio Veneto, which owes its reputation chiefly to the fact that it was a centre of high society in the 1950s and 1960s, with its many hotels and cafes patronised by well-known personalities. Its fame was cemented for all time by one of the most famous films in the history of cinema, La dolce vita by Federico Fellini, and we will recall various scenes from the movie during our walk.
Finally, we will explore the crypt-ossuary of the Church of S. Maria dei Cappuccini. It contains the remains of some 4000 Capuchin monks, with bones, skeletons and some entire mummified bodies still wearing the clothes of their order. The notice at the entrance says it all: “We were what you are; and what we are you will be”.