Rione XVI: Ludovisi Art & Culture

1/11/2008 by Friendsinrome Italy

Ludovisi is the XVI rione of Rome. Its coat of arms has three golden bands and a golden dragon, everything on a red background. It is the coat of arms of the noble Ludovisi family, which here owned the beautiful villa bearing the same name. The villa and the surrounding gardens, except few annexes, were destroyed at the end of nineteenth century to build the new district.
It is a quiet and elegant neighbourhood and an important business and financial district in the city. It is characterised by beautiful green areas, sophisticated boutiques and restaurants, and elegant buildings.

Rione Ludovisi Map

Zoom in and click the map icons for more details on each attraction:

via Veneto

The most important street of the rione is Via Veneto (officially via Vittorio Veneto), one of the most famous (and expensive) streets in Rome. Federico Fellini's classic 1960 film La Dolce Vita was mostly centered around the Via Veneto area. This made the street famous in the 1960s–1970s and turned it into a center for upmarket cafes and shops. Following a period of stagnation in the 1980s the street has now found a new life. Today some of Rome's best hotels are located there.
Via Veneto is home to the famous Café de Paris and Harry's Bar, immortalised in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, as well known haunts for celebrities in Rome. Part of the street is occupied by the American Embassy.

Federico Fellini in via Veneto

‘Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini’ church

The Church was built thanks to the concern of Cardinal Antonio Barberini, Capuchin. His brother, Pope Urbano VIII Barberini, blessed its first stone on October 4th 1626, St. Francis’ Day and celebrated the first Mass on September 8th 1630. The Church’s design is by the pontifical architect Michele da Bergamo ( + 1641), Capuchin, who also directed the work and left a detailed memory about that.
It is the first Roman Church dedicated “to God in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. It is led by the Minor Capuchins, the group of Franciscan friars living in the adjacent convent rebuilt from 1928 to 1933, after that an old one dating back to 1631 had been demolished to open Via Veneto and to build up the Ministry for Corporations, as it was then called.
The Floor is covered by tombstones, the first, situated at the centre, near the main altar’s steps, belongs to Cardinal Antonio Barberini, the founder of both the church and the convent, who dictated the words for his tombstone: “Hic iacet pulvis cinis et nihil” (here lays dust, ashes and nothing).

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini

Porta Pinciana

Porta Pinciana is a gate of the Aurelian Walls in Rome.
The name derives from the gens Pincia, who owned the epponymous hill (Pincian Hill). In ancient times it was also called Porta Turata ("Plugged Gate", for it was partially closed) and Porta Salaria vetus, as the oldest Via Salaria passed under it (the Via Salaria nova passed under the Porta Salaria).
The gate was built under the emperor Honorius in the early 5th century, by adapting a previous smaller service entrance. The two side passages are a modern addition. The gate remained closed until the early 20th century.
During the Middle Ages a legend told that the Roman general Belisarius, who here had defended Rome against the Ostrogoths in the siege of 537-538, had been seen here as a beggar.

Porta Pinciana by Giuseppe Vasi


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