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The history of
Via del Caravita

Hotel Caravita is located in the most enviable position in Rome, in the heart of the city, just a few steps away from the city's most iconic sites and monuments. Here You will feel at home, welcomed into an elegant 19th-century historic building in Via del Caravita 5 - a side street of Via del Corso - from which the hotel takes its name. You will experience the pleasure of staying in the centre of the picturesque setting of the Rione Pigna and feel as if You were part of the history of ancient Rome.

The tradition of Via del Caravita is mainly linked to that of the Jesuit Order and there are many anecdotes and legends surrounding it. Formerly known as Via dei Fervitori, it was only at the end of the 18th century that it was so christened in homage to the Jesuit Father Pietro Caravita, who in the 17th century founded a religious order dedicated to St Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Pity, and had the Baroque Oratory named after him built here in 1631. The latter was inaugurated by Monsignor Altieri on 8 September 1633.
Above all, there are two curiosities that make our historic street a true Roman treasure. At the Oratorio Caravita, adjacent to the Hotel Caravita, a still adolescent Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed in 1770. While at the corner of the street the first real bar in Rome was opened in 1725: the Caffè del Veneziano (also mentioned by the Roman poet Giuseppe Gioachino Belli in his sonnet 'Le notizzie de l'uffisciali').

History and Art
of Pigna District

Pigna is the IX district of Rome, and Hotel Caravita is located in its heart.

The coat of arms (the heraldic symbol) of the district is a golden pine cone on a red field, because a gigantic bronze sculpture in the shape of a pine cone was found here, now preserved in the eponymous courtyard of the Vatican. This pine cone has been mentioned by Dante in the XXXI Canto of the Inferno of the Divine Comedy.

The district, among the smallest in Rome but extraordinarily rich in monumental treasures, extends over an almost square area which includes the following monuments and places of historical interest: the Pantheon, the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, the Minerva Obelisk, the Pulcino della Minerva, the church of Sant'Ignazio, the Roman College, Piazza della Rotonda, the sacred area of ‚Äč‚ÄčLargo Argentina, the church of Gesù, Palazzo Altieri, Palazzo Gottifredi Grazioli, the remains of the Baths of Agrippa, the church of Santa Chiara, the church of the Santissime Stigmata of St. Francis, obelisk of the Pantheon, Palazzo del Collegio Romano, Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata, the Fontana del Facchino, Palazzo Doria Pamphili, Palazzo d'Aste Rinucci Bonaparte between Piazza Venezia and Via del Corso, Palazzo Venezia, Piazza di San Marco, the talking statue of Madama Lucrezia, the Basilica of San Marco, the Biscione Tower, the marble cat in Palazzo Grazioli, the Church of Gesù, the Church of San Macuto, via del Plebiscito, the Argentina Theater, the Church of Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza, the Pigna Fountain in Piazza San Marco.

Discovering Rione IX

Trevi Fountain

5 minutes walk
Crossing Via del Corso and walking down Via dell'Umiltà, You can easily reach the most famous and majestic fountain in the world. Completed on 22 May 1762, the Trevi fountain soon became one of the undisputed symbols of the city. Its triumphal arch, with its large central niche and its Corinthian columns on either side, has always amazed and enchanted millions of tourists, who flock to the capital to visit this masterpiece of water and travertine, perfectly set on the smaller side of the historic Palazzo Poli. The sculpture is a triumphant example of Baroque art, magically enhanced by its soft, natural lines and its creatures masterfully brought to life by the hands of Nicola Salvi.

Pantheon

4 minutes walk
Via del Caravita and Via del Seminario will lead You to the Pantheon, the temple of all Gods. First built in 27 BC during the consulate of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the temple houses the Basilica Santa Maria ad Martyres. The Basilica is still a church where Christian worship is continuously celebrated. Following fires in 80 and 110 AD that damaged the original Augustan-era building, Emperor Hadrian had it rebuilt between 120 and 124 AD. For more than two thousand years, the Pantheon has been the highest expression of Rome's glory. "I wanted this sanctuary of all the Gods to represent the terrestrial globe and the celestial sphere, a globe within which are enclosed the seeds of eternal fire, all contained in the hollow sphere." Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar (1951)

Spanish Steps

12 minutes walk
A splendid walk between Via dei Condotti and Via del Corso will take You to Piazza di Spagna and the famous Spanish Steps. This is one of the most scenic locations in Rome. Piazza di Spagna has a characteristic butterfly shape with triangular wings crossing at the apexes. On the north-west wing, the largest, stands the Spanish Steps while on the smaller south-east wing is the Spanish Palace. In the centre stands the Fontana della Barcaccia, designed and sculpted in full Baroque style by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The name Piazza di Spagna derives from the fact that the seat of the Spanish Embassy in the Vatican was moved here to the Spanish Palace in 1647. Besides being a symbolic monument of the majestic Roman Baroque, it is today one of the most exclusive meeting places in Rome, with its palaces, famous restaurants, countless shops and ateliers of the great designer labels. The most famous shopping streets such as Via Condotti, Via del Babuino and Via Borgognona branch off from here.

Colosseum

19 minutes walk
A short distance from the district, the immortal Colosseum, the largest and most impressive amphitheater in the world. Following a short stretch of Via del Corso and passing by the Altare della Patria and Via dei Fori Imperiali, You reach one of the symbols of the city with a short evocative walk. The Colosseum, formerly called Amphitheatrum Flavium, was designed as a performance arena and could hold between 50,000 and 75,000 spectators. It was built by order of Vespasian in 72 A.D. and the amphitheatre was inaugurated eight years later, under the reign of Titus. Its size was so imposing that it earned the name 'Colosseum' in the Middle Ages, referring to its grandeur. Over the centuries, the appellation completely replaced the proper name of the Flavian amphitheatre, which today is known by everyone as the Colosseum. It is considered one of the seven wonders of the world.

Piazza Venezia

6 minutes walk
Walking down Via del Corso, You can reach Piazza Venezia in the blink of an eye. This is one of the capital's most famous location, overlooked by the Vittoriano, the monument erected in honour of the first Italian King Victor Emmanuel II between the 19th and 20th centuries. The famous square takes its name from the 15th-century Palazzo Venezia, and for its new urban layout some pre-existing medieval and Renaissance quarters were demolished. After the Napoleonic interlude, from 1814 to 1916, the square became Hapsburg property and housed the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic representation. It only returned to the Italian State during the First World War. Piazza Venezia is a scenery to be enjoyed with its majestic palaces, museums, churches and unique panoramic views, giving you a truly breathtaking visual impact.

Palace of the Roman College

2 minutes walk
Situated just a few steps from the Hotel Caravita, the palace of the Roman College was built between 1582 and 1583 at the behest of Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni to house the Jesuit schools, which stayed there until 1870, when it was transformed into the Ennio Quirino Visconti high school. Gregory XIII's wish was to finally provide a suitable place for those who aspired to serve in the Society of Jesus, by installing the school founded in 1551 by St Ignatius of Loyola. The building now houses the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture. A small curiosity: the clock in the centre of the third floor once announced the exact 'official' time to all the clocks in Rome.

Church of St Ignatius of Loyola

1 minute walk
To the left of the hotel, at Via del Caravita 8A, there is the beautiful church of St Ignatius of Loyola. The history of the Church of St Ignatius in Rome is linked to the origins of the Roman College founded by St Ignatius of Loyola in 1551. The Jesuit seminary had several locations over the years. In 1560 it settled in the buildings of the Marchesa della Tolfa in Rome's Campo Marzio district. In 1584 the new college was inaugurated in the adjacent church of the Annunziata. When the number of students grew, Pope Gregory XV entrusted Orazio Grassi with the project of building a church entirely dedicated to St Ignatius of Loyola. The new church was consecrated in 1722. Andrea Pozzo, Jesuit and painter, made the interior decorations in 1685: the 'false dome', the vault and the presbytery. The most famous work represents the glory of St Ignatius of Loyola in the centre of the vault supported by angels.

Doria Pamphilj Gallery

2 minutes walk
Just a few steps from Hotel Caravita, You can reach the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, a large private collection exhibited in the homonym Palace. It is located between Via del Corso and Piazza del Collegio Romano. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is a concentration of art and history, a history of nobility, politics and unions between some of Italy's greatest noble families: from the Della Rovere to the Aldobrandini, the Pamphilj to the Doria then Doria Pamphilj, the Facchinetti, the Colonna, the Borghese and the Savoia. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj has been home to a unique private collection for centuries. Real masterpieces of art history can be admired here, such as the 'Portrait of Innocent X' by Velázquez, or those by Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, Carracci and Bernini.

Piazza Navona

8 minutes walk
A walk of only few minutes will take You to Piazza Navona. The square was built on the site of the ancient Stadium of Domitian, commissioned by the emperor himself in 86 AD. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the square came back to life in the second half of the 15th century as one of the city's main open-air markets; the remains of the dilapidated stadium were paved over to create Piazza Navona. But the great renewal of urban redevelopment took place in the early 17th century at the behest of Pope Innocent X, who transformed the square into a jewel of Baroque architecture. He commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini for a sculptural creation, the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651), one of the most exciting fountains ever created, with a 16-metre high obelisk above it. The mandate for the design of the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone was instead given by the pope to the architect Francesco Borromini. Both Piazza Navona projects were realised by two real rivals. Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, in fact, they were the greatest artists of the time, united by art but deeply divided by their different conceptions of it.

HIDDEN GEMS OF THE DISTRICT

Beyond the most famous fountains and magnificent streets, a secret Rome is hidden. Let amaze Yourself with splendid corners of our neighborhood, hidden gems in the intricate network of the historic centre of Rome.

Piazza di Pietra

1 minute walk
Leaving our Hotel, passing through Piazza di S. Ignazio and continuing along Via de' Burrò, You reach the fascinating Piazza di Pietra in just a few minutes. The origin of the name is still uncertain, probably derived from the fact that in this area there were many 'stones' from the ruins of the ancient 'Hadrianeum'. The 11 Corinthian columns made of white marble, belonging to the right side of the ancient building Tempio di Adriano and about 15 metres high, can still be admired today. Above the columns, a section of the architrave is also preserved, partly rebuilt in modern times, decorated with palmettes and lion heads. Our advice is to have a late afternoon cocktail in Piazza di Pietra while enjoying the view of this extraordinary temple. At sunset, an exciting play of light crosses the ancient columns and it is at this moment that You may begin to feel part of a bygone era.

Minerva Obelisk

1 minute walk
Just 400 metres away, there is one of the hidden gems of Roman Baroque, the obelisk of Minerva, supported by Bernini's famous little elephant. The work is one of thirteen ancient obelisks in Rome, located in Piazza della Minerva (the square of the basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva). The entire monumental complex is also popularly known as the Pulcino della Minerva: “pulcino” in the dialect of the time stood for “porcino”, referring to the elephant "because of its small size and round shape, more suitable for a piglet". It is 5.47 metres high and was originally located in the Iseo Campense Temple. It came from the Iseo Campense, decorated with material from Heliopolis under Domitian, along with the obelisks of the Pantheon, Dogali and the one in Boboli (which is in Florence). It was placed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who set it up on the back of a splendid marble elephant.

Vicus Caprarius - City of Water

5 minutes walk
Little known is the underground archaeological site hidden under the Trevi Fountain, 400 metres from the Hotel Caravita, called Vicus Caprarius, or 'the City of Water'. It was discovered between 1999 and 2001 during the renovation of the former Trevi Cinema. Beneath the Trevi district, just a few steps from the famous fountain, lies this very interesting underground route. The water flowing from the fountain, a monumental Baroque display of the Acquedotto Vergine, filtering through the ancient walls of the archaeological area, continues to feed the lead pipes and tanks of a luxurious residence. The remains of the Acquedotto Vergine still survive today inside the Rinascente in Via del Tritone. The underground route allows visitors to see the intense historical stratification of buildings and streets from ancient times, as well as the numerous finds unearthed during the excavation campaign.

Caravaggio at San Luigi dei Francesi

7 minutes walk
The history of the church San Luigi dei Francesi begins in 1478, when Pope Sixtus IV donated a small chapel in the vicinity of Sant'Andrea della Valle to the French Colony in Rome, which was later exchanged for other possessions due to the need to build a larger national church. Its main function was to be the parish intended to welcome the French residents of the Capital. But as much as it is linked to the French Community, this church owes its fame above all to the marvelous paintings by Caravaggio that it houses inside. Walking down the left aisle and reaching the fifth chapel, otherwise known as the Contarelli Chapel, you will find a marvelous triptych by Michelangelo Merisi. It consists of three canvases made between 1597 and 1602, which make up a pictorial cycle entirely dedicated to St. Matthew: "The Calling of St. Matthew", "St. Matthew and the Angel" and "The Martyrdom of St. Matthew". A cycle recounting the Saint's call, the writing of his Gospel and his martyrdom.

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