The Old City: Trident, Shopping, and Villa Borghese
A day in Rome's historic centre
Starting from the Atlante Star Hotel, walk in the direction of Castel Sant’Angelo on Via Giovanni Vitelleschi, and turn left on via dei Bastioni, that will then become Via Francesco Cancellieri, and change again in Via Tibullio. Keep walking straight until you reach Via Cola di Rienzo, where you’ll turn right. From this moment on just keep walking straight: you’ll encounter Piazza Cola di Rienzo, Piazza della Libertà, and Ponte Regina Margherita over the Tiber River, which you’ll cross. Keep walking on Via Ferdinando di Savoia, and you’ll soon reach Piazza del Popolo. Here starts our Trident and Pantheon Itinerary, where you’ll explore the streets of the Trident, the best shopping venues in the city, and the fascinating Villa Borghese.
The Tridente (Italian for Trident) is the complex formed by three straight roads that take the shape of a Trident that originated between the 15th and 17th centuries thanks to an important effort in city planning. All the streets radiate southward from Piazza del Popolo. Via del Corso, the central street, is a very famous and lively shopping hub that reaches Piazza Venezia. Here you’ll find stores and boutiques for all budgets, while on Via del Babuino - the street on the of Via del Corso going south - which reaches Piazza di Spagna, you’ll find some of the best high-end boutiques of the capital. Via di Ripetta, surely the more relaxed of the three streets, instead, stretches until The Ara Pacis and hosts the Roman academy of fine arts, and is perfect for a quiet stroll.
If you’re looking forward to doing some shopping, this is probably the best area in the entire city to do so. The Trident itself offers numerous options for every taste and pocket, especially Via del Corso - which offers something affordable for everyone - and Via del Babuino - on the expensive end. But it’s not all! On Via del Corso, Galleria Alberto Sordi - named after the famous Italian actor who acted in An American in Rome - and previously called Galleria Colonna because of its proximity with Piazza Colonna, offers an elegant, Art Nouveau space, perfect for rainy days and a coffee break. Via dei Condotti, probably the most luxurious fashion street in Rome, is home to some of the best designer and luxury brand shops in the city. Via Borgognona, parallel to Via dei Condotti, offers a relaxed shopping experience, and explore upmarket fashion brand boutiques as well as smaller, lesser-known ones.
At the end of your tours and shopping, you might need some silence and space from the tourist crowds, so let’s head to Villa Borghese, one of the most beautiful parks in Rome. Here you can take a nice stroll on wide, leafy avenues, sit on a bench or the grass on under the shade of Roman pines, rent a bike, or a “risció” (Italian for rickshaw), or even row a boat around the Temple of Esculapio. Whatever way you decide to visit the Villa, it’ll be worth it, but don’t forget to enjoy the view from the Pincio Terrace on your way back. This romantic panorama of the city is an all-time-favorite for lovebirds, but it makes for a beautiful pit-stop no matter your engagement status!
Getting back to the Atlante Star Hotel is extremely simple. You can either take the metro from Flaminio and hop off at Ottaviano, to then walk for about a kilometer, or you can simply walk back on the same route you used to arrive at Piazza del Popolo. This way you’ll be able to check out Via Cola di Rienzo, another great shopping hub, this time on the other side of the Tiber River, in the Prati Neighborhood. From Piazza del Popolo, go down Via Ferdinando di Savoia in the direction of the river. Cross Ponte Regina Margherita, and walk along Via Cola di Rienzo. Turn left onto Via Tibullo, and turn right onto Via Giovanni Vitelleschi, where you’ll soon find Atlante Star Hotel.