The Colonna district is the third rione of Rome and one of the most central neighborhoods of the city. The district is named after the big column on the Piazza Colonna. Main attractions in the area, which is also characterized by the presence of several government buildings, are the Piazza della Rotonda and the Galleria Alberto Sordi. Rome‘s main shopping street also runs partially through the rione.
Colonna District Rome
Colonna is a rather small, but central, neighbourhood. It is located north of the rione Trevi and is more or less divided into two halves by the Via del Corso. The area to the west of this shopping street is flat, while the other side slopes towards the Pincio Hill. At the moment, there are many government buildings in the area.
Highlights are the Piazza della Rotonda and the Piazza Colonna, with the Column of Marcus Aurelius, after which this square, and thus indirectly the district, have been named. The most important building on the Piazza della Rotonda is the Pantheon, which however belongs to the rione Pigna. The Via Sistina is another main street.
Other tourist sites of note are the San Lorenzo in Lucina church, and the Palazzo Chigi.
Eating and sleeping in the Colonna district
Due to the presence of the government buildings in the area, hotel accommodation tends to be expensive and hard to come by. There are also relatively few eateries in the area. This is not really a problem, however, since there is an abundance of restaurants of all kind in the surrounding districts. Booking.com offers a vast array of different kinds of accommodation in the center of Rome.
Colonna is one of the most centrally located neighborhoods of the city, so it is easy to walk to most of the sights. The district is close to Piazza Venezia, which is a transportation hub. There are also many bus lines running along the Via del Tritone. The metro stop Barberini is located just outside its boundaries.
History of the rione Colonna in Rome
Colonna is named after the Column of Marcus Aurelius in the center of the Piazza Colonna. Already in the 12th century, the district was so named.
The neighborhood is fairly flat, with the only exception being the, only slighter higher, Piazza del Parlamento.
During the Middle Ages, Colonna was but sparsely populated. There were only a few palaces (but a large number of towers). This changed in the 16th century, when the popes Gregory XIII and Sixtus V had the district developed and several prestigious buildings erected. They also had already existing palaces restored. The slightly higher part of the district, which in those days formed the city’s outskirts, was inhabited by artists.
After the unification of Italy, the district was redesigned and between 1880 and 1915 public works were carried out in order to stop the Tiber from flooding the rione, which up till then had been a regular occurrence. The Piazza San Silvestro was also enlarged.
From a political point of view, Colonna is an important district, as it is home to a number of government buildings, such as the Palazzo di Montecitorio and the Palazzo Chigi.