The Via XX Settembre is a street in Rome that runs partly through the Castro Pretorio district and partly through the Sallustiano district. The street begins at the Porta Pia and ends at the intersection with Via Quattro Fontane, where it turns into Via del Quirinale.
Via XX Settembre Rome
History and description
Via XX Settembre (September 20 Street) is named after the date on which the bersaglieri invaded the city at the Porta Pia in 1870. They defeated the troops of the Pope, who as a result lost secular power over the country. The bersaglieri are an army unit. The word means “sharpshooters.”
The original name of the street was Via Porta Pia. It was constructed during the reign of Pope Pius IV (1559-1565). The pope had also had the Porta Pia built, so the street was indirectly named after him.
Via XX Settembre and Via del Quirinale follow the route of the ancient Roman Via dell’Alta Semita.
What to see
Via XX Settembre begins at the Porta Pia, designed by Michelangelo. This gate was built in the 16th century to replace the Porta Nomentana. Immediately to the left of the gate is the Embassy of the United Kingdom. Across the street is the Villa Paolina, named after Napoleon’s sister, who used to live there.
The most famous and important sights are the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church and the Santa Susanna Church. The former is famous for a statue by the hand of Bernini, the latter has been closed for many years.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is housed in a fairly modern building. This was erected in 1904 on the site where the gardens of the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church used to be.
The seat of the Ministry of Defense is even further towards the Quattro Fontane. In order to put up this building, two monasteries, a church and a horse riding track had to go.
Most of the buildings along the street are taken up by offices. There are also several bank branches. The Embassy of India is near the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church.