The Renaissance was an artistic and cultural movement that developed between the second half of the fourteenth century and the sixteenth century . At that time Rome, after a dark period, returned to the beauty and grandeur of the past; thanks to Pope Julius II Rome became once again the world center of Christianity. This splendid period ends with " Rome’s sack” in 1527 , when the Lanzichenecchi brutally looted the city. After this tragedy, in fact, the artistic esprit of the city lost much of its original strength.
During the Renaissance in Rome were built wonderful churches, palaces, streets and squares created by the best architects, sculptors and painters (Pietro from Cortona, Sangallo, Michelangelo, Bramante, Daniele from Volterra, Raphael).
Is absolutely recommended to walk from one place to another since all the locations are in the city center
To visit the sites mentioned, except the Vatican Museums, it takes from 5 to 7 hours. The Vatican Museums are included at the end ... the Visit to the Museums lasts at least two hours.
The route starts from the subway stop "Cavour" (Line B) very close to Termini Train Station. From Via Cavour going towards the Colosseum there’s St Peter’s in Chains Basilica, where the first masterpiece of Renaissance art can be seen: Michelangelo’s Moses. The statue is often besieged by tourists and you need time and patience to be able to enjoy all the details. At the end of Via Cavour there’s the monumental Via dei Fori Imperiali that takes you to Venice Square. Here there are two Renaissance masterpieces: Palazzo Venezia, fine example of Renaissance palace that hosts Palazzo Venezia Museum (famous for The balcony from which Mussolini kept his speeches to people), and Campidoglio's Square, designed by Michelangelo, where Rome’s city hall and Capitoline Museums can be seen.
More Renaissance palaces are located in Holy Apostles Square, just behind the north side of Venice Square. Unfortunately the buildings cannot be visit, although is possible to take a small glimpse of the refined interior hallways. From Holy Apostles Square to Via del Corso, which has its present disposition thanks to Pope Paul II, more buildings of this period can be seen: Colonna Square is an example of Renaissance Square commissioned in 1500 by Pope Sixtus V, who placed at its center the ancient imperial column dedicated to Marcus Aurelius. Continuing along Via del Corso on the right there’s Via dei Condotti and the famous Spain's Square; on top of its beautiful flight of steps there’s the Church of Trinita dei Monti, which host the famous fresco "The Deposition" by Daniele da Volterra. From Spain's Square take Via del Babbuino to People's Square and then take the road to the right of the Trident, via di Ripetta.
At the end of Via di Ripetta there’s Palazzo Altemps Museum, recently restored, it hosts an interesting museum. Next to Palazzo Altemps there’s the beautiful Navona Square; from here take Via della Vetrina till Church of our Lady of Peace, built by Pietro da Cortona which contains a beautiful fresco by Raphael. Adjacent to the Church there’s the Chiostro del Bramante, the first roman palace built by Raphael. From the Chiostro continuing along the Tiber there are the Church of St Mary in Vallicella, which contains a fresco by Pietro da Cortona, and Via Giulia, designed by Bramante and surrounded by Renaissance palaces.
At the end of the road turning left there’s Palazzo Farnese, another Renaissance masterpiece begun by Sangallo and completed by Michelangelo, today it hosts the French Embassy. Crossing the river at Ponte Sisto you’ll arrive to the Temple of Bramante, placed in the garden of the Church of San Pietro in Montorio. If you are still not tired and you have time you can enjoy the masterpieces of Renaissance Rome entering the Vatican Museum, which has many works of the greatest artists of renaissance period.
From here we recommend the following itineraries:
Churches and Basilicas Itinerary 1