We’ll begin our walk in one of the most famous public spaces in Rome, Piazza Navona. Here we will discuss the political and historical background of the piazza, as well as its modern incarnation as a magnet for street performers and visitors in search of that perfect outdoor cafe seat (complete with the direct view of Bernini's fabulous fountain). This tour is as much about the life and spirit of Rome as it is about the history, and so we'll look closely at how Romans use the city and think about what it's like to be a local. Moving on, we'll continue to the side streets around Piazza Navona, which in recent years has morphed into a hip area crammed with wine bars, art galleries and funky designer boutiques.
Next we may explore the elegant streets of via Giulia and via Monserrato, filled with Renaissance palazzos, Baroque churches, and artisan workshops, or head to the area of the Campo de' Fiori—one of the busiest piazzas in Rome. If time allows, we’ll end our Rome Night Tour on the picturesque Ponte Sisto, which offers great views of the Tiber in both directions and a glimpse of Michelangelo's cupola of St. Peter's Basilica (the subject of our St. Peter's Basilica Tour and a gateway to another exciting Roman neighborhood, Trastevere).
What is the dress code inside the Pantheon and other churches in Rome?
The Pantheon is considered a holy place. All churches require modest dress. Men should wear slacks, and women should wear slacks or skirts below the knee. Shoulders must also be covered. If you are intent on wearing spaghetti straps or a halter-top, bring a shawl and expect to keep it around you. Shorts above the knee are not allowed. These rules may seem unduly strict, but remember, the Pantheon is also a church so the same dress code standards apply.
Liz, a native of San Francisco, California holds degrees in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and Università degli studi "La Sapienza", Rome. She specialized in restoration and urban design. Her restoration projects have brought her to work in direct contact with the rich historical layers of Rome and Italy. She has been leading study walks for Context Rome since its beginning and has lived in Rome since 1988 practicing architecture, researching design and lecturing at university study abroad programs.
Gregory, a native of Providence, R.I., studied classics at high school and as an undergraduate at McGill University. He has completed coursework for a Master's degree in theology at the Pontifical Institute for Patristic Studies, or the "Augustinianum," in Rome and is currently waiting to take his comprehensives and defend his thesis on the church fathers. Gregory leads walks of the Vatican and other religious sites in Rome, but he is also a superb classicist and one of the few Context:Rome docents who can hold a conversation in Latin.
Linda, PhD, is a specialist of 16th-17th century Italian art and architecture, history of archaeology since the Renaissance, and the history of art collecting and museums. Her main research interests are the critical reception of well-known Renaissance monuments, vernacular devotion, xenophobia and nationalism, and the politics of art display. In addition to doing walks for Context, Linda teaches for university programs in Rome.
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