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SURROUNDING AREAS

Prati district

On 20 August 1921, the Prati district, the last of Rome's districts, was officially established as a district to house the administrative structures of the Kingdom of Italy and a residential area for state officials. The street layout was designed in such a way that none of the new streets had the dome of St Peter's Basilica as a backdrop. Via Ottaviano, Via Candia and Via Risorgiemento are today one of the most important shopping areas in Rome

Trastevere

The name derives from the Latin trans Tiberim ('beyond the Tiber') It is located on the right bank of the Tiber and south of Vatican City, and includes the plain on the bend of the river and the Janiculum hill. it is one of the most popular districts for citizens and tourists alike, who come here to enjoy its intricate alleys, characteristic squares and numerous trattorias and inns. Poetic passage to the opposite bank of the Tiber is the Isola Tiberina, the only urban island on the river.

Spanish Square

Piazza di Spagna, at the foot of the monumental 136-step staircase, commissioned by Cardinal Pierre Guérin de Tencin, was inaugurated by Pope Benedict XIII on the occasion of the Jubilee of 1725. At the top of the steps is the church of Trinità dei Monti, founded in 1495 in the centre of the square is the fountain known as the 'Barcaccia' (1626-29), which takes its name from the boats used on the Tiber in the nearby port of Ripetta.

Vatican and Vatican Museums

The district's main claim to fame is undoubtedly that of its proximity to the Vatican City and the Vatican Museums (you can check out the length of the queue from the hotel's panoramic terrace!) with their access to the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, the Picture Gallery and the Vatican Gardens.

Not to be overlooked however is the impressive and nearby Castel Sant'Angelo on the right bank of the Tiber. 'Castle' is perhaps something of a misnomer for what was originally an imperial mausoleum and subsequently part of the city walls, a medieval fortress and a papal residence. Opera lovers will recall that it was from these walls that Tosca threw herself to her death at the end of Puccini's lyrical masterpiece.

Cross the statue lined bridge in front of the castle and you will find yourself in the celebrated (and traffic free!) Piazza Navona, the aristocratic Piazza Farnese or the bustling Campo de' Fiori - dominated by the fruit and vegetable market in the morning and by the young hip crowd who flock to its plethora of bars and restaurants in the evening.

Nestled in the Foro Italico park, on the slopes of Monte Mario, the Olympic Stadium is the largest sports complex in the city and one of the largest in Europe. largest sports complex in the city and one of the largest in Europe.