The Via Flaminia is an ancient consular road, leaving Rome in a northerly direction and continuing all the way to Rimini. It entered the city at the Porta del Popolo, which at the time was still called Porta Flaminia.
Via Flaminia Rome
History and description
Today the Via Flaminia stops at the city gate, but in the past it carried further into the city. It was only during the Middle Ages that the street was enlarged upon entering the city to end in a large square (today’s Piazza del Popolo).
Both the gate and the square were then named Populus, which is Latin and can mean both “people” and “poplar”.
What to see on the Via Flaminia
The Via Flaminia begins at the Piazzale Flaminia which separates the beginning of the street from the Porta del Popolo. It was through this gate that pilgrims from the north used to enter the city. Most of the buildings at the beginning of the street were built towards the end of the 19th century. Palaces built during this period are called umbertini, after the king of the time.
Still on the first stretch of the Via Flaminia is a historic store, in existence since 1939, called Clinica delle Bambole (“Puppet Hospital”). On display are all kinds of dolls made of all kinds of materials. In 2009, the store was forced to move from its original location on Via Magnanapoli to its current address on Via Flaminia, 58a-b.
Market (Mercato Rionale, 1)
A little further on, on Via Flaminia 60, is one of the two covered daily markets in the district. The rather neglected-looking building where the market is held was donated to the municipality by the aristocratic Ruffo family in the 1940s. The market is open every day except Sunday from 09.00 to 14.00.
Explora Children’s Museum
At n.80, on a site that used to be a bus depot, is Explora, a museum for children up to 11 years old. In this non-profit museum children can learn about subjects such as robotics, computer science and nature conservation through play.
Borghetto Flaminio is the name of the neighborhood on the hill between Via Flaminia and the Villa Strohl-Fern. Although owned by the municipality, this area is characterized by illegally built houses, slums and unlicensed stores. In Piazza della Marina, a flea market is organized every Sunday under the name “Garage Sale – Rigattieri per hobby”. The market is open from 10:00 to 19:00 (closed mid-July to the end of August). The large building in this square is the Palazzo della Marina and was built in 1914 by the architect Giulio Magni.
The building at n. 118 is the Casina Vagnuzzi. It was built in the 16th century and was owned by Pope Julius III. Later it became part of the Villa Poniatowski. When Prince Poniatowski left Rome he sold the building to Luigi Vagnuzzi, which explains its current name. In 1825 Luigi Canina transformed it into a country house with an English garden. The Casina Vagnuzzi is now the seat of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana.
Palazzina di Pius IV
The Palazzina di Pius IV is located on the right side of the street, on the corner with the Via di Villa Giulia. Pope Paul IV had confiscated this building from his predecessor’s family to give to his nephew Carlo Borromeo. In 1929, the Borromeo family sold it to the Italian state, which converted it into the seat of its embassy to the Vatican. It is also known as Palazzo Borromeo.