Viminal hill (or Viminale) is considered to be the smallest and the latest added to the seven Roman hills. Although this might be true, the area of the hill is full of shopping places and historical sites.
By immersing into the vibrant atmosphere of this district, tourist will be able to see how despite being greatly affected by urbanization, the Viminal hill still retained its historical charm.
There is a belief that the Viminal hill received its name from the cult title of Jupiter – Viminus. However, other sources state that the hill was named so due to the large amount of willow tree (vimina) growing on its territory. The area of the Viminal hill was inhabited by artisans, who placed their shops at the ground level of the apartment buildings, while living above them. Compared to other Roman hills, during the ancient times the Viminal hill has been given the least importance. For this reason, there is no much historical sites remained till these days.
Today, Viminal hill is a residential district in the center of Rome. Tourists taking a walk in this district can benefit from an array of restaurants and shops. The latter display not only modern brand clothing and accessories, but also goods from local Italian designers.
Following is the list of must visit places and the instruction on how to get to the Viminal hill.
Teatro Opera di Roma, originally named Teatro Costanzi, was opened to the public in 1880 with the inaugural performance of Semiramide by Gioachino Rossi. Today, Teatro Opera di Roma has a seating capacity for 1600 people. The acoustics of the theatre allow its audience to fully immerse into the richness of sound from every corner of the opera hall. During the summer, Teatro Opera di Roma hosts several performances on the ancient ruins of Bath of Caracalla.
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Piazza della Repubblica was constructed in the shape of semi-circle at the beginning of the Viminal hill. The piazza della Repubblica is also located at the beginning of Via Nazionale street that leads all the way to piazza Venezia.
Right at the center of the square tourists can see a fountain of the Naiads (or Nymphs). The construction of the fountain was commissioned by the Pope Pius IX in 1870 and was initially named the fountain of Acqua Pia. In 1901 previous plastered lions were replaced by the sculptures of Naiads, each representing different waters (lakes, rivers, oceans and underground waters). In the center, you can see a central figure of the composition – Glauco (Greek prophetic sea-god, born mortal and turned immortal) symbolizing the dominion of the man over the nature.
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One of the first public bath complexes in ancient Rome, the construction of the baths of Diocletian was started in 289 AD and finished in 306 AD. The construction work was commissioned by the emperor Maximian in honor of co-emperor Diocletian. Made open to public, bath of Diocletian took almost 120,00 square meters. The complex included bath with cold and hot water, as well as library and gymnasiums.
During the Papal Rome, Pope Pius IV ordered Michelangelo to build the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli right on the remains of the bath, so as to commemorate all Christian slaves who died during the construction of bath complex. Today, Bath of Diocletian is a part of the National Museum of Rome. During the summer, the exhibitions of the museum might become a good way for true lovers of antiquity to escape from hot Roman weather.
Viminal hill is located between the Quirinal hill to the northwest and the Esquiline hill to the southeast. Tourists will be glad to hear that it is relatively easy to get to the Viminal hill. You can get there by taking bus or metro to Termini station (Stazione Termini), the central Roman station.
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Author: Kate Zusmann
For the last 10 years, I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, and shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is sharing my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)
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