Rome – Centro Storico – walking around Pigna

Pigna is the district between the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, the latter marking its north-western boundary (map of the neighbourhood here, my city map here). I had some time to kill one day so I took in the minor sights of the area.

Coming from Trevi, you could first take in the Colonna di Marco Aurelio in Piazza Colonna (technically in the Colonna neighbourhood). Modelled on Trajan’s column, the spiral picture relief tells the story of one of Marcus Aurelius’ wars.

Next you could walk past the facade of the Tempio di Adriano, a Roman temple dating from the 2nd century.

After this you could take in the view of Piazza di Saint’ Ignazio from the steps of Chiesa di Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola.

The square was designed around 1727-1728 in Rococo style by Filippo Raguzzini. He intended it to be like a theatre set, displaying the people moving about in the square. There are five buildings and six streets, making a total of eleven entrances and exits, each with different views of the church.

Saint’ Ignazio church itself is a Baroque monster (opened in 1650).

In typical Baroque style, it’s filled with highly theatrical art. Click on this gallery to get the best view.

Most impressive I think is the dizzying ceiling fresco by Andrea Pozzo with its trompe-l’œil windows. It shows Saint Ignatius being welcomed into paradise by Christ and the Virgin Mary, with allegorical representations of the four continents around them.

Just around the corner is Palazzina Calzone (where Via del Collegio Romano and Via Alessandro Specchi meet), is the Trinity College, a famous Irish pub. It was designed in 1910 by Vittorio Mascanzoni in late Gothic style with Art Nouveau references.

Down the street, at 21/22 Via del Piè di Marmo, is Moriondo e Gariglio, one of the finest artisan chocolatiers in the city. I understand they were the first to engineer a way to put toys and other surprises inside Easter eggs. In 2009 they partnered with Bulgari and put 300 pieces of jewelry in their eggs for a charity fundraiser. The business, originally from Turin where it served the Savoy royal family before moving to the capital, dates back to 1850.

It was autumn, so I got some marrons glacés, and some dark-chocolate truffles for good measure. There are around eighty other sweet delights to consider as well. I understand the Americano, filled with homemade peanut butter, is a particular favourite of the lady working there.

Just down the road in Piazza della Minerva is the Elephant and Obelisk by Bernini. For more background on this and Bernini’s other statues and fountains, please this post.

There’s still more stuff to see in the area but I left that for another time. An early breakfast and a walk around Piazza Navona next!

Leave a Reply