Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour, Rome (Self Guided)

The Trevi district is well known for housing Rome's largest Baroque fountain and one of the world's most famous, as well as for being home to sumptuous palaces such as the Quirinale and the Barberini. The neighbouring Colonna district takes its name from another famous landmark, the Column of Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza Colonna. This district has a classic elegance, with its upscale shops, churches, palazzos, and open-air restaurants; a perfect location to relax and have fun in the heart of the city.
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Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Rome (See other walking tours in Rome)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Author: clare
Piazza Colonna / Column of Marcus Aurelius

1) Piazza Colonna / Column of Marcus Aurelius (must see)

Piazza Colonna is part of the historic heart of Rome, and is named so for the massive 30-meter marble column of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Built in the Doric style and adorned with intricate carvings, this column was erected after the death of Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD. During its restoration in the 16th century, Pope Sixtus V ordered a statue of St Paul to be set on top of it. Whether this was done in a bid to remove any lingering trace of paganism or to match it with Trajan’s Column (located nearby on Via dei Fori Imperiali) where the same pope had a statue of St Peter placed on top, remains unknown.

If you have a long lens camera or binoculars, do care to take a closer look at the reliefs near the column's top, as they are in much better shape than those near the ground level. Among the highlights, there are the strange and compelling images of a supernatural figure invoking a miraculous storm that once saved the Roman army during a battle. Aside for the column, the square also houses a small fountain with two sets of dolphins, created in the 19th century.

The square is framed on three sides with the imposing buildings raised between the 16th and 19th centuries. One of them is the Palazzo Chigi, built in 1562, currently the official residence of the Italian Prime Minister. The other one is the 17th century Palazzo Wedekind standing on the site once occupied by the Temple of Marcus Aurelius. The beautiful columns on the ground floor of the palace were taken from the Etruscan city of Veii conquered by the Romans in the 4th century BC.

Why You Should Visit:
A fairly quiet place to allow an undisturbed stop for the contemplation of the wonderful continuous bas-relief Column of Marcus Aurelius at the center framed on three sides by attractive, palatial-looking buildings.

The building to the right of the Column as you look at the square from Via del Corso has a cool and shady arcade on the front and, inside, there is a glass-roofed shopping center called Galleria Alberto Sordi which also has several nice coffee shops, and clean toilets.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Montecitorio Palace

2) Montecitorio Palace

The Montecitorio Palace stands on the Piazza di Montecitorio. It takes its name from a small artificial hill made in pre-Roman times by the people who lived in the area as a means of draining the marshland. The palace was commissioned in 1620 by Cardinal Ludovico, Pope Gregory XV’s nephew. The building was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, but work was stopped in 1623 when the pope died. The building was eventually finished in 1692 by Carlo Fontana while Innocent XII was Pope. The pope was a fervent anti-nepotist and in 1691 he issued the Romanum decet Ponticem Charter, banning the curial office of Cardinal Nephew and prohibiting future popes from giving titles, money or land to members of their family.

Because of this, the Montecitorio Palace was used for public and social functions. In 1696 the building became the home of the Curia apostolica, the papal courts of law. For a time it was the seat of the Governatorato di Roma and a police headquarters. With the Unification of Italy in 1861, the palace became the seat of the Chamber of Deputies. The internal courtyard was covered over and made into the Assembly Room. The interior of the building was entirely altered and renovated in Art Nouveau style by Ernesto Basile. Only the facade has kept its original look. On the piazza, in front of the palace, you can admire an ancient Egyptian obelisk, built in 589 BC, brought to Rome by Emperor Augustus in 10 BC. It was set up in the square in 1789 by Pope Pius VI, and is one of the most important obelisks in Rome.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Trevi Fountain

3) Trevi Fountain (must see)

No visit to Rome is complete without seeing the marble marvel of the Trevi Fountain. One really has to see it in person in order to appreciate its splendor. At a glance, one may think that it was built in the center of the city, whereas the reality is quite opposite, and it is the city that was built around the fountain.

Trevi Fountain was designed by architect Nicola Salvi in the 18th century and took 30 years to build. Salvi himself never lived to see it happen, as he died halfway into the project. A peculiar thing about this fountain (one of the many, actually) is the stark contrast between its overwhelming grandeur and the narrowness of the surrounding alleyways and tiny nearby squares. This contrast is intentional and is meant to impress visitors even more, which is something they have no problem with, really, coming face to face with such a beauty.

The main statue in the ensemble is that of Oceanus riding in an oyster-shell chariot pulled by two horses, guided by Tritons. One horse is calm and the other is prancing – which symbolizes the two faces of the sea. On the one side of Oceanus is the statue of Abundance holding an urn, while on the other side is Salubrity holding a cup for a snake to drink from. Above the statues is a bas-relief depicting the legend of a young virgin who led Roman technicians to the source of water that feeds the aqueduct.

Each day, a small fortune (something in the area of 3,000 Euros worth of coins) is thrown into the Trevi fountain for good luck. If you want some for yourself and have some loose change to spare, stand back to the fountain and toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder. The police make sure that no one pinches this money, which is then collected and used for charity by municipal authorities.

Why You Should Visit:
This marble wonder has to be seen in person to really appreciate its size and beauty.
Great walking distance from Piazza Navona, The Pantheon and, in reality, mostly everything.

The fountain is particularly beautiful at night, after 10pm, when it's gorgeously illuminated and has very few people around, so you can virtually have the place to yourself.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo del Quirinale

4) Palazzo del Quirinale

The Quirinal Palace (known in Italian as the Palazzo del Quirinale or simply Quirinale) is an historic building in Rome, Italy, the current official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome. It has housed thirty popes, four kings and eleven presidents of the Italian Republic. The palace extends for an area of 110,500 square meters and is the 6th largest palace in the world in terms of area, as well as the largest residence of a Head of State.

The current site of the palace has been in use since Roman times, as excavations in the gardens testify. On this hill, the Romans built temples to several deities, from the Flora to Quirinus, after whom the hill was named. During the reign of Constantine the last complex of Roman baths was built here, as the statues of the twins Castor and Pollux taming the horses decorating the fountain in the square testify. The Quirinal, being the highest hill in Rome, was very sought after and became a popular spot for the Roman patricians, who built their luxurious villas. An example of those are the remains of a villa in the Quirinal gardens, where a mosaic, part of the old floor has been found.

The palace, located on the Via del Quirinale and facing onto the Piazza del Quirinale, was built in 1583 by Pope Gregory XIII as a papal summer residence. The pope wanted to find a location which would have been far away from the humidity and stench coming from the river Tiber and the unhealthy conditions of the Lateran Palace, therefore the Quirinal hill was one of the most suitable places in Rome. On the site, there was already a small villa owned by the Carafa family and rented to Luigi d'Este. The pope commissioned the architect Ottaviano Mascherino to build a palace with porticoed parallel wings and an internal court. The project was not fully completed due to the death of the pope in 1585 but it is still recognizable in the north part of the court, especially in the double loggia facade, topped by the panoramic Torre dei venti (tower of the winds) or Torrino. To the latter, a bell tower was added according to a project by Carlo Maderno and Francesco Borromini.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo della Consulta (Int. Police Station)

5) Palazzo della Consulta (Int. Police Station)

The late Baroque palace was built between 1732 and 1735, designed by Ferdinando Fuga. Originally built as the Papal Tribunal, today it is the Constitutional Court of the Italian Republic. Fuga ordered the two-storey facade with a piano nobile whose windows have low arched heads set in fielded panels, over a ground floor with low mezzanine. On the lower story the panels have channeled rustication and rusticated quoins at the corners. Pilasters are applied only to the central three-bay block, which barely projects, and to the corners. The roof-line of the facade is topped by a large coat of arms of the Corsini pope, and is similar to the one of Fontana di Trevi. Lower down, at the entrance, a King of Italy installed his coat of arms. The interiors have undergone a series of fresco decorations over the centuries.

***Movie "ROMAN HOLIDAY": Police Station***
As Joe, Ann and Irving take off from G. Rocca Cafe, the wild Vespa ride through the city begins! And while Joe has no trouble driving the stylish vehicle through Rome’s traffic, Ann smashes into a few sidewalk cafe tables and some street vendor stalls. Palazzo della Consulta is where the police station they were taken to was. While not much of it is seen, it is evidenced in the glimpses of Fontana dei Dioscuri, the fountain and obelisk in front of Palazzo della Consulta at Piazza Quirinale.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of Saint Charles at the Four Fountains

6) Church of Saint Charles at the Four Fountains

The Church of Saint Charles at the Four Fountains (Italian: Chiesa di San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane also called San Carlino) is a Roman Catholic church in Rome. The church was designed by the architect Francesco Borromini and it was his first independent commission. It is an iconic masterpiece of Baroque architecture, built as part of a complex of monastic buildings on the Quirinal Hill for the Spanish Trinitarians, an order dedicated to the freeing of Christian slaves. He received the commission in 1634, under the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, whose palace was across the road. However, this financial backing did not last and subsequently the building project suffered various financial difficulties. It is one of at least three churches in Rome dedicated to San Carlo, including San Carlo ai Catinari and San Carlo al Corso.

The monastic buildings and the cloister were completed first after which construction of the church took place during the period 1638-1641 and in 1646 it was dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo. Although the idea for the serpentine facade must have been conceived fairly early on, probably in the mid-1630s, it was only constructed towards the end of Borromini's life and the upper part was not completed until after the architect's death. The site for the new church and its monastery was at the south-west corner of the "Quattro Fontane" which refers to the four corner fountains set on the oblique at the intersection of two roads, the Strada Pia and the Strada Felice. Bernini's oval church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale would later be built further along the Strada Pia.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica (Palazzo Barberini)

7) Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica (Palazzo Barberini)

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, or National Gallery of Ancient Art, is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, located on two sites: the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Corsini. The Palazzo Barberini was designed for Pope Urban VIII, a member of the Barberini family, by Italian architect Carlo Maderno (1556–1629) on the old location of Villa Sforza. Its central salon ceiling was decorated by Pietro da Cortona with the visual panegyric of the Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power to glorify the papal Barberini family. The eight rooms of the gallery exhibit works by Raphael and Raffaelleschi, Florentine, Sienese, Leonardeschi and Venetian painters, and has a portraits room as well.
Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Triton Fountain

8) Triton Fountain

Pope Urban VIII had several fountains built in Rome, after he had ordered the reconstruction of many of the aqueducts that had fallen into disrepair. One of his fountains is the Triton Fountain on Piazza Barberini, where his family had their palace.

This fountain was the last one to be commissioned by Pope Urban VIII before he died in 1644. It was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from specific instructions by the pope. Urban VIII was a great patron of the arts and a well-read man. He was inspired by a passage in Book I of “Metamorphose” by the famous Roman poet, Ovid. The passage he asked Bernini to put into sculpture describes Triton commanding the waters to retreat after the Deluge.

The fountain was sculpted in travertine – a type of limestone formed by hot springs – and depicts a magnificent Triton as a merman. He is kneeling on the tails of four dolphins. In his hand is a conch shell that he is raising to his lips like a trumpet.

The four dolphins that form the base in the center of the basin are entwined around the Papal Tiara and crossed keys, below which you can see the Barberini heraldic symbol of bees.

The fountain is unique in that it was the first free-standing thematic fountain to be sculpted outside private gardens. At that time, public fountains were rather plain, unassuming affairs, but Pope Urban VIII wanted something a bit more spectacular outside his family home.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Santa Maria della Concezione

9) Santa Maria della Concezione

Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, or Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins, is a church in Rome, commissioned in 1626 by Pope Urban VIII, whose brother, Antonio Barberini, was a Capuchin friar. It is located at Via Veneto, close to Piazza Barberini. The church was designed by Antonio Casoni and built between 1626 and 1631. It comprises a small nave and several side chapels. The chapels are notable as one contains the body of St. Felix of Cantalice and another is the tomb of the Blessed Crispin of Viterbo. The first chapel has a dramatic altarpiece of St. Michael the Archangel (c.1635) by Guido Reni, and Gherardo delle Notti's Christ Mocked. The second chapel has a Transfiguration by Mario Balassi, and a Nativity (c. 1632) by Lanfranco. The third chapel has a Saint Francis receives stigmata by Domenichino. The fourth chapel houses a Prayer in the Gesthemane (c. 1632) by Baccio Ciarpi. In the fifth chapel is a Saint Anthony by Sacchi, who also painted the Apparition of the Virgin (1645) to Saint Bonaventure in the fifth chapel on the left. The tomb monument for Alexander Sobieski was sculpted by Camillo Rusconi. The third chapel has a Deposition by Andrea Camassei and a Stigmatization of Saint Francis (c. 1570) by Girolamo Muziano. The second chapel has a Santa Felice da Cantalice by Alessandro Turchi, while the first has a painting of Saint Paul restores vision (c. 1631) by Pietro da Cortona.

Several renowned authors visited the crypt and left descriptions. The Marquis de Sade, who visited the crypt in 1775, wrote, “I have never seen anything more striking” (Voyage d'Italie, p. 106 of the Maurice Lever edition). Mark Twain visited the crypt in the summer of 1867, and begins Chapter XXVIII of The Innocents Abroad with 5 pages of his observations. Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the crypt in his novel The Marble Faun. Additional descriptions were written by authors Tom Weil (1992), Folke Henschen (1965) and Anneli Rufus (1999). See Christine Quigley, Skulls and Skeletons.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Sightseeing Walking Tour in EUR

Sightseeing Walking Tour in EUR

Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) is a suburban area in Rome established in 1942, it was designed to host an exhibition which didn't take place due to World War II. EUR is popular for the period architecture of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The area also contains some very important landmarks of history and culture, including Museo della Civiltà Romana, Pigorini Museo Nazionale...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Pincian Hill Area Walk

Pincian Hill Area Walk

Pincian Hill, overlooking the Campus Martius, lies outside the original boundaries of the ancient city of Rome. It was not one of the Seven hills of Rome, but it' is located within Aurelian wall. The Hill is home to the Pincio Gardens, an impressive park with terraces offering great views of Rome. Take this tour to explore the Pincian Hill and visit such famous sites as the Galleria Borghese,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state consisting of an enclave within the city of Rome, it is the smallest recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican is one of the most sacred places in Christendom, it attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. Although only 44 hectares in overall surface, the Vatican features several worthwhile places to see, such as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Monti and Celio Walking Tour

To stay close to the action in Rome but be able to mingle more with the locals, look no further than the districts of Monti and Celio. Although Monti – the city's oldest district – doesn't boast grand monuments, it more than makes up for that with its lively, friendly atmosphere. Sitting on the fountain steps at Piazza Madonna ai Monti and watching the world go by is as rewarding as...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Campo Marzio Shopping Walk

Campo Marzio Shopping Walk

As well as being one of Rome's most central quarters and, thus, one of its most desirable neighborhoods, Campo Marzio is filled with enticing boutiques and markets. Known as a mecca of fashion, this neighborhood actually has everything from antiques and foods to pop culture. To ease your shopping experience, we've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs that you can buy from some of Campo...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Rome is the Eternal City and, as such, the list of gift options available here is countless. Whether it's something edible, drinkable, wearable or pleasing to the eye that you want - you will find it all here in abundance. However, if time or budget is the factor, perhaps you might want to...
10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

Of all the things Italy is most famous for (cars, music, fashion, movies, etc.), food is, undoubtedly, top of the list. Rome may well not be the whole Italy, but no Italy is whole without Rome... And the Romans, much as all their fellow-Italians, like it "fresco", hence the abundance of...
17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

For ice cream lovers and dabblers this guide is a treasure chest of Rome’s best gelato shops. There are gelaterias everywhere. Many visitors to Rome only have a few days to explore the city. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your time and find the gelato locals eat. Often the authentic...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Rome for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Rome has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Rome's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Rome Tourist Card, OMNIA Card, Best of Rome Sightseeing Pass, or Omnia Vatican and Rome Pass.

A city pass combines all of or multiple Rome and Vatican City's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time. Some of them you don't even have to pick up but can scan straight on your phone at any of the city's major attractions/museums!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Rome hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Corso 281 Luxury Suites, Hotel Cosmopolita, Hotel Piazza Venezia.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Rome, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Rome typically costs from around US$20 up to US$80 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Rome and the Vatican City from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the route.

- Cruise along the river Tiber on a similar hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat to view Rome's top attractions from a different angle and be able to get on and off as often as you want at any of the stops along the Tiber riverbanks. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to include a hop-on hop-off bus tour as well.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts 3 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Rome on a 3-hour bike and food tour to visit the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the Eternal City from an informative group leader, plus savor some of the iconic food of the Italian capital.

- Come see all of Roman highlights at a great discount on the Rome Super Saver tour combining two best-selling guided tours for the price of one! Be guaranteed to skip the lines to all the major sights like Colosseum, Roman Forum, and more.

- Take a guided walk to explore Rome's renaissance after the demise of the Roman Empire, learn about the contribution of many popes towards the Eternal City's rise to its present glory. Along with viewing the iconic landmarks, on this tour you will also get a chance to taste Rome's famous gelato (ice-cream).

- Step back in time to the days of the Roman Empire on a 3-hour night tour of Rome to discover the city's top attractions in a different light. Experience Rome's nighttime ambiance amid the twilight and the evening lights adding a romantic touch to the famous sights.

- Explore the artistic trail of Caravaggio in the Italian capital on the Caravaggio walking tour of Rome paying tribute to the great artist's legacy manifested in numerous paintings throughout the city (churches and monuments). Ideal for those on a short visit to Rome and not sure where to start!

- Combine sightseeing with cooking on a 4-hour experience incorporating the “best of Rome” walking tour and the authentic pizza-making class led by a professional Italian pizza chef.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Rome, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like the chic island of Capri, ancient Ostia, Siena and San Gimignano, Assisi and Spoleto, Amalfi сoast, or the ancient city of Pompeii. For as little as US$70+ to US$170+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including gorgeous coastal scenery, historic seaport, charming medieval structures, birthplace of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan religious order, ancient Roman ruins, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight at your hotel or a designated place in Rome, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned bus, boat or a private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.