The present Via della Lungara follows the trajectory of an old road which near the Piazza Sant’Egidio used to deviate from the old Via Aurelia and continued northward towards the Vatican City. It then followed the present Via della Scala as far as the Porta Septimiana.
Via della Lungara Rome
The Via della Lungara has been known under several different names throughout the years. It started out as the Sub Janiculensis (or Sub Jano), thanks to its location at the foot of the Janiculum Hill, but the pilgrims who followed the road towards the Vatican soon started calling it the Via Sancta (Holy Road).
Construction of the road was ordered by Pope Alessandro VI Borgia and completed under hi successor Giulio II Della Rovere. The intention was to keep the road parallel to the Via Giulia across the Tiber. For a short while it was even called the Via Julia until it got its final name of Via della Lungara.
When the street was built there were still houses, with gardens stretching to the banks of the Tiber, but these were all destroyed when the walls to keep the river from flooding were constructed.
Via della Lungara Rome Tourist Attractions
The Via della Lungara starts at the Porta Settimiana, a crenellated city gate with some badly maintained frescoes on both sides.
The Palazzo Corsini is the former residence of Queen Christina of Sweden and presently one of the seats of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. The street to the left of the façade leads to the entrance of Rome‘s Botanical Gardens.
The Renaissance Villa Farnesina (across the road from the Palazzo Corsini)is known for its magnificent ceiling frescoes.
Regina Coeli: Church turned prison.
San Giuseppe alla Lungara (V. della Lungara, 45): Church, with convent attached.
Palazzo Salviati (V. della Lungara, 82): Across from the Porto Leonino.
Santa Croce delle Scalette Church
The Chiesa di Santa Croce delle Scalette (Via della Lungara, 19) is not to be confused with the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Scala, which is located in the same area. The church gets its name from the two staircases leading to, respectively, the church itself and the annexed convent. It has been closed since 1924.