The Via Panisperna is a street in the Monti district of Rome. It is a connecting street between the main streets Via Cavour and Via Nazionale. There are many good restaurants along this street, which is also characterized by several beautiful 17th century buildings.
Via Panisperna Rome
History and description
It is possible that the street’s name derives from the expression Panis et Perna, or Pane e Prosciutto, or “Bread and Ham.”
The Via Panisperna is also characterized by a high concentration of educational institutions. In 1876 the Scuola Professionale femminile “Margherita di Savoia” was founded there, and at the beginning of the 20th century it was decided that Rome should become the bureaucratic, scientific and intellectual center of Italy (as opposed to the northern part of the country, which should focus on industry). The Monti and Esquilino neighborhoods were given an important role in this, which led to the foundation of several scientific institutes in the Via Panisperna.
The Convent of San Lorenzo (V. Panisperna 89) housed a number of faculties, including the Istituti Fisico. Here Enrico Fermi, along with a group of researchers who would become known as the ragazzi di Via Panisperna (the “Via Panisperna Boys”), laid the groundwork for what would eventually lead to the atomic bomb.
Quite a long street by Roman standards, the Via Panisperna crosses no fewer than three of the city’s famous seven hills: Quirinale, Viminale and Esquilino.
What to see in the Via Panisperna
The Villa Aldobrandini is one of the city’s least known parks, despite being located right in the center of Rome and offering some interesting views.
The San Lorenzo in Panisperna Church, though not immediately obvious, was originally built in the 4th century.
The main feature of the 17th century San Bernardino in Panisperna Church is the frescoed cupola by Bernardino Gagliardi, depicting the “Glory of San Bernardino and other Franciscan saints”.
The 16th century Palazzo Passarini Falletti, designed by Giacomo Della Porta, has a courtyard with a fountain and a main hall with Murano chandeliers and frescoes by Carlo Maratta and others.
The Palazzo Cimarra was designed by Ferdinando Fuga and used to be the the headquarters of the Zoeaves fighting on the Pope’s side when Garibaldi‘s troops entered the city.
Directions to Via Panisperna
From Roma Termini, the Via Panisperna is easy to reach on foot. Take the main exit and then turn left into Via Cavour. Via Panisperna is the first side street on the right after the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.