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Borgo Neighborhood Rome: 24 Fascinating Places to Visit in This Neighborhood

Passetto di Borgo By Chris 73

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.

1. Top Attractions and Sights

Exploring the Charming Borgo Neighborhood (Rome)
Borgo Neighborhood (Rome)

Borgo, where history intertwines with contemporary vibrance. Borgo Pio, with its charming streets lined with souvenir shops, offers a delightful stroll near Vatican City. The venerable Borgo Vecchio invites exploration, boasting its roots in the Eternal City’s rich history. Piazza Adriana, named after Emperor Hadrian, showcases ancient marvels alongside modern vitality.

Saint Peter’s Basilica stands majestically, a symbol of faith and architectural grandeur, while nearby Paolo VI Audience Hall echoes with the voices of the faithful. Rione Borgo, the XIV rione of Rome, is steeped in tradition and cultural significance, with Saint Peter’s Square at its heart. Delve into the Leonine City, a sanctuary adorned with historical treasures and the burial place of past pontiffs, including Pope Sixtus V. On Borgo’s north side, the legacy of Pope Sixtus IV continues to enrich this extraordinary district, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its timeless splendor.

See also History Of Piazza Navona: 6 Significant Insights

Castel Sant’Angelo

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 Renaissance period, parts of the castle were transformed into residences with stunning wall paintings.

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.

See also Iconic Italian Bridges: 24 Architectural Marvels from Different Eras

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.

See also Via della Conciliazione: 4 Fascinating Insights in Borgo’s Heart

Borgo Vittorio

Borgo Vittorio in Rome
Borgo Ponte Vittorio by Lalupa

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, and has been renovated several times over the centuries.

Inside the church, there are impressive wall paintings 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.

See also Testaccio Neighborhood (Rome): 40 Fascinating Sites

2. Best Places to Take Photos

Exploring Popular Food in Vatican City
Casual Eateries photo by freepik

Capture the essence of Borgo with your lens as you explore its picturesque locales. Start by framing the charming streets adorned with Italian-style houses, reminiscent of a small village within the heart of Rome. The new walls, tracing the boundaries of the Italian state, offer a unique backdrop for your photos, symbolizing both tradition and modernity.

Wander along the right bank, where beautiful bridges span across the Tiber, connecting Borgo with the rest of the Eternal City. Via di Porta Angelica leads you to the historic Castel Sant’Angelo, a resting place turned museum, providing a stunning architectural subject. Don’t miss capturing the tranquil beauty of the neighborhood’s holy sites and buildings, including the revered Pio building.

Every corner of Borgo whispers stories waiting to be immortalized in your Italian city street photography.

Fountain of the Tiaras

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.

See also Fontana dell’Acqua Paola: 3 Captivating Insights of a Roman Fountain

Fontana delle Palle di Cannone

Fontana delle palle di cannone in Rome by Gustavo La Pizza

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.

3. Top Art Galleries

Palazzo colonna galleria
Palazzo colonna art galleria

Follow us on a cultural journey through Borgo’s top art galleries, where Renaissance masterpieces and contemporary works converge. Borgo Pio’s galleries showcase the talent and creativity that define the city’s artistic landscape.

Wander through streets steeped in history, where Romans once roamed, and admire the lovely artworks that adorn the walls. On the other side of the spectrum, witness the restoration efforts that have rescued precious pieces from demolition and destruction. These galleries offer a sanctuary, an escape into the rich tapestry of Borgo’s artistic soul.

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.

4. Opera

Exploring Milan's Architectural Heritage
La Scala Opera House photo by sfer

Opera in Borgo is considered a future opportunity for Italian music enthusiasts. The district’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere have attracted attention as a potential hub for musical performances. With its historical backdrop and lively ambiance, Borgo presents an enticing stage for showcasing the grandeur of Italian opera.

As interest in cultural experiences grows, Borgo’s potential as a venue for opera performances continues to gain recognition, promising an exciting future for music aficionados.

Auditorium Conciliazione

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.

5. Dining Options

Experiencing Vatican City's Food Scene
Dining in Vatican City photo by pch.vector

Here are some of our favorite restaurants and cafes in this medieval neighborhood where you can taste different delicious foods with fresh ingredients:

Breakfast: Bar Latteria Giuliani

Lunch: Il Sorpasso

Dinner: Arlu’

6. Night Clubs and Bars

Nightlife of Borgo comes alive after dusk. From chic bars to lively nightclubs, Borgo Pio offers an array of entertainment options at the heart of the Eternal City. Nestled in the city center, this district boasts trendy establishments where locals and tourists alike gather to unwind. Whether it’s a cozy wine bar on a quaint street or a pulsating nightclub, Borgo Pio promises an unforgettable evening in Rome’s lively ambiance.

New King Club

Rashomon Club, Rome
Rashomon Club photo by rashomonclub

The club’s lively atmosphere attracts many fans. Patrons can enjoy live music and great drinks.

7. Spa

Contemporary Bathroom Interior
Photo by freepik

Experience tranquility at a spa nestled in Borgo Pio. Find serenity amid the neighborhood’s historic charm, offering a peaceful escape from Rome’s lively streets. Treat yourself to revitalizing experiences, embracing relaxation in the heart of the Eternal City.

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. 

8. Best Streets To Visit

Roaming Rome Street Map
Via Sacra photo by Carla Tavares

Borgo’s finest streets, where history unfolds with each step. Begin your exploration on Borgo Pio Street, renowned for its quaint charm and bustling atmosphere, offering a glimpse into local life in the heart of the city. Traverse the enchanting lanes of Borgo Vecchio, adorned with historic houses and architectural marvels, leading you to the iconic Piazza Adriana.

The Eternal City’s Attractions as you wander past Saint Peter’s Basilica, marveling at its timeless beauty amidst Rome’s iconic constructions.

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

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 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.

See also 41 Timeless Charms of Streets of Rome

9. Best Piazzas To Visit

Fontana del Nettuno Rome
Fontana del Nettuno photo by Fiat 500e

Visit Borgo’s enchanting piazzas, where history and ambiance converge. Begin at Borgo Pio, where quaint cafes and lively atmosphere greet visitors. Next, discover the vibrant energy of Borgo Vecchio, where locals gather amidst charming architecture.

Complete your exploration at Piazza Adriana, offering a serene escape with its elegant fountains and serene ambiance. Each plaza in Borgo beckons with its unique charm, promising unforgettable experiences.

Saint Peter’s Square

Saint Peter’s Square , Rome by Vyacheslav Argenberg

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

Piazza del Risorgimento in Rome by Krzysztof Golik  

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.

10. History

View towards St. Peter’s Basilica at night by Schlurcher 

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.

The Borgo Nuovo road By trastevereapp

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.

Piazza Scossacavalli by romaierioggi

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.

Italy, Rome by saját tulajdon

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.

11. Boundaries 

Exploring the Streets of Rome Map
Red circle, no-entry zone photo by Alex Rodríguez Santibáñez

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.

See also Architecture in Italy: 5 Branches of Cultural Gems

Borgo Rome Adventure: A Recap

In conclusion, a Borgo Rome adventure promises an enriching journey through the heart of the Eternal City’s historical tapestry. Borgo Pio and Borgo Vecchio, nestled near the city center, offer glimpses into Rome‘s past, while Piazza Adriana provides a tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle. Saint Peter’s Basilica and the nearby Paolo VI Audience Hall stand as testaments to faith and architectural brilliance, while Rione Borgo’s small churches carry the whispers of centuries gone by.

As you wander through the narrow streets of this Renaissance enclave, you’ll discover the essence of Borgo—a small village steeped in history and tradition, yet pulsating with the energy of modern Rome and Italian cultural sites. From souvenir shops to ancient burial places, Borgo’s north side to the Leonine City, every corner reveals a new facet of this captivating district, inviting you to uncover its secrets. Borgo Rome is not just a destination; it’s an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Rome’s rich heritage and cultural significance.