Rome, the eternal city, is renowned for its historic landmarks, but tucked away from the bustling crowds lies a hidden treasure – the Borgo neighborhood. Just steps from Vatican City and beneath the watchful eye of Castel Sant’Angelo, Borgo offers a unique and enchanting cultural experience.
In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through Borgo’s charming streets, where rich history, intriguing attractions like the Passetto di Borgo, and a vibrant cultural tapestry await, all within sight of this iconic Roman fortress. Explore a side of Rome often missed by tourists, where tradition and modernity intertwine, and history thrives in every cobblestone, making it a remarkable cultural destination.
- Attractions and Sights
- Best Places to Take Photos
- Art Gallery
- Dining options (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- Night Life
- Best Streets
- Best Piazzas
Attractions and Sights
Castel Sant’Angelo’s history goes back two thousand years to the second century when the Roman emperor Hadrian had it built for their family. The castle’s design features a square base with cylindrical walls and a conical roof, adorned with beautiful sculptures on the outside.
According to a famous legend, in 590 AD, during a severe plague in Rome, Pope Gregory the Great saw an angel above the tomb, signaling the end of the epidemic.
Over time, the Castel Sant’Angelo played different roles, including serving as a military fortress and a refuge for popes. A corridor called Passetto di Borgo was constructed to connect Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican City, the world’s smallest country.
In the 20th century, Castel Sant’Angelo was turned into a museum housing ancient works, sculptures, and paintings.
Visitors can explore various parts of the Castel Sant’Angelo, including the papal apartments and a terrace offering stunning views of Rome and the Tiber River.
Passetto di Borgo
A 13th-century historic passage connects the Vatican city to Castel Sant’Angelo. It played a role in transporting popes to safety at the Castle during times of attack. Nowadays, the passage has become a popular tourist attraction in Rome.
St. Angelo Bridge
The St. Angelo Bridge, also known as the Ponte Sant’Angelo, is an iconic pedestrian bridge connecting the Borgo neighborhood to the historical heart of Rome.
This splendid bridge spans the Tiber River and is adorned with ten angel sculptures created by the renowned Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. These angelic statues represent the Passion of Christ and have been revered for their artistic and symbolic significance for centuries.
Visitors to the area can take a leisurely stroll across the St. Angelo Bridge, reveling in the serene atmosphere and the romantic ambiance it offers. It provides an excellent vantage point for photographers looking to capture Rome’s rich history and architectural beauty.
Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II
Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, named after the first king of a united Italy, is another noteworthy bridge that enhances the charm of the Borgo neighborhood. This bridge connects Borgo to the vibrant district of Trastevere and is known for its elegant design and ornate sculptures.
Adorning the bridge are impressive statues of various saints, contributing to its cultural significance. Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II provides a splendid view of the Tiber River, making it an ideal location for a relaxing evening walk or a romantic date.
As one crosses the bridge, they are treated to enchanting sights of the historic city on both sides of the river, making it an essential destination for those exploring the Borgo neighborhood.
Di porta castello
Di Porta Castello was a gate of Orayan’s defensive walls dating back to the third century. The walls were constructed by order of the Roman emperor Aurelian and safeguarded important and scenic areas of the city.
As time passed, the walls lost their military significance and transformed into a historical monument.
“Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.”Donatella Versace
Borgo Vittorio is a lovely part of Rome known for its old and pretty buildings. It’s close to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. This neighborhood has been around for a long time, and its narrow streets still look like they did in the past.
People like to visit here because it has nice cafes, shops, and markets. It’s a popular spot for tourists to explore.
See also Best of Rome
Santa Maria in Traspontina
Santa Maria is a historic Catholic church located a short distance from the Vatican City. This church dates back to the 4th century, which has been renovated several times over the centuries.
Inside the church there are impressive wall paintings and stucco decorations and sculptures of prominent artists including Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Santa Maria’s proximity to some of Rome’s most famous landmarks, such as St. Peter’s Basilica and Castel Sant’Angelo, makes it a popular tourist destination.
Santo Spirito in Sassia
Santo Spirito is a historic Catholic church built in the 16th century on the site of a hospital founded by Pope Sixtus IV.
The church’s exterior features intricate details and a magnificent bell tower, and the interior features impressive murals and artwork by famous artists, including Pietro da Cortona and Guido Reni.
Santo Spirito always attracts many tourists due to its historical and religious importance and atmosphere.
Best Places to Take Photos
Fountain of the Tiaras (Fontana delle Tiare)
The Tiaras Fountain mixes art and history, named after beautiful tiaras in the middle. In the middle, there’s a cool statue of a fancy lady holding a pretty tiara.
People say if you throw a coin in, you’ll get lucky. The fountain is surrounded by old streets and buildings, and lots of people come to take pictures of it.
Fontana dell’Acqua Marcia
The Fontana dell’Acqua Marcia, also known as the Marcian Aqueduct Fountain, is an old Roman water fountain in Rome’s Borgo district. It’s one of many historic fountains in the city and shows off ancient Rome’s impressive engineering.
Built in 145 BC where the Aqua Marcia aqueduct ends, this classic three-level fountain has been fixed up several times throughout history. Its fancy design reflects how Romans liked detailed buildings.
The fountain has statues and pretty decorations, including a statue at the top of a man holding a stick. This could be Mars, the Roman god of war, or a symbol of the Aqua Marcia aqueduct.
Fontana delle Palle di cannone
This pretty fountain, called the cannonball fountain, comes from 1527 when Rome was attacked. It helps us remember how brave the people of Borgo were back then.
Lombardi designed it with balls and bullets, showing its history and how strong the Borgo community was during tough times.
“The world is a living image of God.”Tommaso Campanella
Di Porta Angelica
Situated close to the Vatican City and its iconic structures, this historically significant region holds a special place. Di Porta Angelica is linked to the Angelica Gate, one of the entryways within the ancient Aurelian walls encircling Rome.
Di Porta Angelica has long served as a vital link connecting the Vatican with the rest of Rome, marking a historic pathway of importance.
Arte Borgo Gallery
The contemporary art gallery showcases artwork from world-renowned artists of Italian and international origin.
Additionally, it has hosted exhibitions consisting of paintings, sculptures, and various other forms of art, as well as art events.
ll Messaggio dell’icona
This museum is exclusively dedicated to Russian Orthodox icons, offering an insightful and captivating experience for visitors interested in learning about their historical and spiritual significance.
The Auditorium Conciliazione is a cultural center located between the Vatican city which is located on Vatican hill and Castel Sant’Angelo in the Borgo district of Rome, Italy.
The venue has a seating capacity of 1,300 and has been a host to a variety of events, including operas, concerts, and shows, throughout its history.
Dining options (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Here are some of our favorite restaurants and cafes in this medieval neighborhood that you can taste different delicious foods with fresh ingredients:
Breakfast: Bar Latteria Giuliani
Lunch: Il Sorpasso
New King Club
The club’s lively atmosphere attracts many fans. Patrons can enjoy live music and great drinks.
Zeki Wellness Spa
Services provided at this establishment include massage, scrubs, mud therapy, and more. In addition, patrons can enjoy a visit to the spa during their time at the center.
Via della Conciliazione
Via Della Conciliazione is a wide boulevard in the Borgo district that connects St. Peter’s Square to the heart of Rome and it’s one of the main streets in Borgo. It was built between 1937 and 1950, representing the reconciliation between the Italian government and the Catholic Church.
Via Della Conciliazione features large fountains and attracts many visitors. Tourists can enjoy magnificent views of St. Peter’s Church and the Vatican while strolling along della Conciliazione.
Borgo Pio is a charming historical street located outside the Vatican walls in Rome. Its origins date back to the Middle Ages, and its architecture and paved paths add to its beauty and charm, creating a pleasant atmosphere.
One of the reasons Borgo Pio is popular is its close proximity to Vatican City and famous landmarks like St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican museums.
Visitors can enjoy the authentic taste of Roman food as Borgo Pio is dotted with souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes.
In the evening, Borgo Pio becomes even more captivating with its illuminated lights, offering a unique experience of Roman culture.
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”Thomas Aquinas
Saint Peter’s square
Saint Peter’s Square which is close to Borgo, is one of the world’s most famous squares, holding great historical, cultural, and religious importance. It serves as the entrance to St. Peter Church in the Vatican. The square was designed by Bernini in the 17th century with a Baroque style.
Key features of the Saint Peter square include an impressive obelisk, surrounded by columns and fountains. It’s a popular destination for tourists who can admire the unique architecture and take beautiful photos of St. Peter’s Church and the Vatican.
See also Italian Art Deco
Piazza del Risorgimento
This square is in the middle of Rome, close to the Borgo and Vatican.Its name means renewal, reminding us of Italy coming together in the 19th century.
The square mixes history and modern life, and it’s encircled by lots of different shops, cafes, and places to eat, so you can enjoy food you like.
Borgo, originally situated outside Rome’s city walls, became integrated into the city during the 9th century. In ancient times, it served as the burial place for emperors, including Emperor Hadrian. As the Roman Empire declined and the Renaissance dawned, Borgo transformed into a residential area adorned with elegant palaces and grand churches, constructed by prestigious families. This neighborhood played a pivotal role in historical events, including the unification of Italy in 1861.
Borgo Nuovo and Via Scossacavalli in Rome shared significant historical and architectural importance. Constructed by Pope Alexander VI between 1492 and 1503, Borgo Nuovo played a crucial role in shaping the city’s culture and art scene. Unfortunately, in 1937, it was demolished to make way for Via della Conciliazione, enhancing access to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican.
Similarly, Via Scossacavalli had a rich history, serving as the location of the Scossa Cavalli Square, a historically significant public square. Regrettably, in 1937, the square was razed to create a new street. Despite the square’s absence today, visitors can still appreciate the beauty and charm of the surrounding historical neighborhoods and landmarks.
Spina di Borgo, an ancient part of Rome near the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo, boasts small streets, old buildings, and a rich history. It used to be a bustling area with homes and shops around the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo, serving as a passageway to the Vatican. The Passetto di Borgo, a secret path between the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo, allowed Popes to escape when necessary. Today, Spina di Borgo remains a popular destination due to its proximity to famous places in Rome.
Borgo is situated close to Vatican City, with its boundaries extending from the Tiber River to the east and south. To the west, the Aurelian Walls serve as its defining limit, while its northern edge is marked by Via della Conciliazione, the road that leads to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Church.