De Via Urbana is a narrow and lively alley in the Monti district of Rome. The street runs parallel to the Via Cavour, although 4 meters below the level of that main street. It used to be a street full of artisans’ shops, but, like the rest of the neighbourhood, has become a touristy street full of picturesque little restaurants and coffee bars.
Via Urbana Rome
History and description
The Via Urbana is not a very long street: It starts near the Basilica of Saint Mary Major and ends at the entrance of the Cavour metro stop. From this point onward the street continues under the name Via Leonina.
The Via Urbana more or less follows the route of the ancient vicus Patricius, as the name would seem to indicate, a street where the wealthier portion of the inhabitants of Rome used to live. Its present name refers to Pope Urban VIII, who ordered the street to be straightened and (though this is hard to imagine) widened.
Saint Peter himself is supposed to have been a guest of Senator Pudens, who used to live in the Via Urbana. This has never been proved, though. The Senator and his children would end up being martyred.
Practical information Via Urbana
There is a parking garage (Tuttauto) at the northern end of the Via Urbana.
Most of Via Urbana is a one way street, running from south to north.
Tourist Attractions Via Urbana
The church of Santa Pudenziana is considered the oldest Christian church in Rome and dedicated to one of the aforementioned Senator Pudens‘ daughters.
Via Urbana, 23 is now owned by the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero, but used to house the Teatro Manzoni. The original facade is still intact.
The Via Urbana is one of Rome’s most popular streets among the younger crowd. The presence of several pubs and other establishments often causes a lot of noise. Lately the original inhabitants of the district have been complaining a lot and there have even been fights between locals and drunken tourists.
How to get to Via Urbana
From Roma Termini, Via Urbana is easy to reach on foot. Find the Via Giolitti exit and turn right. Turn left into Via Cavour and then right at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The first street on your left is the Via Urbana.