Largo Magnanapoli is a small square with one of the few roundabouts in the center of Rome. It is located at the end of the Via Nazionale. Attractions surrounding the square are the Villa Aldobrandini, the Santa Caterina di Siena Church and the Torre delle Milizie.
Largo Magnanapoli Rome
Location and public transportation
The Largo Magnanapoli is located where the Via Nazionale turns into the Via XXIV Novembre. Neighbourhood: Monti. Bus: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18.
Largo Magnanapoli was created with the opening of the Via Nazionale. For the construction, the Palazzo Antonelli needed to be moved backwards. The Santa Caterina Monastery was expropriated. The Palazzo Antonelli also lost its garden.
The origins of the name Magnanapoli are unknown. The most likely explanation is that in the 9th century there was a Byzantine fortress, the “Fortress of the New City” (Bannum Nea Polis). This hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that in the Middle Ages the area was called contrada militarium.
The name of the nearby Torre delle Milizie also seems to point to a military presence in the district. It is the oldest surviving tower in Rome. For centuries, the story was that it was from this tower that Emperor Nero witnessed Rome burn.
In 1574, the Domenican Santa Caterina convent was built next to the tower, followed half a century later by the Santa Caterina Church.
Wall of Servius Tullius
In the center of the rotunda there is a flowerbed with some ruins. An inscription indicates that these are from the “City walls in the time of the Kings, brought to light in November 1875”. The ruins were part of the Servian Wall, probably one side of the Porta Sanqualis, so called because of the proximity of a temple dedicated to the Sabine God Semo Sanco.
The building on Largo Magnanapoli n. 158 is the Palazzo Antonelli. This building also contains some remains of the Serbian Wall.