Photo Highlight: Piazza della Repubblica

Also known as Piazza Esedra because of the nearby exedra from the Baths of Diocletian, the Piazza della Repubblica, in and of itself, is quite unremarkable. However, it is often the start of demonstrations and protests, probably because of its prime location in Rome which allows protestors and demonstrators easy access — with a metro stop nearby, within walking distance of Termini Station (one of Rome’s largest train stations — also the one that you are mostly like to arrive at if coming from the airport or if arriving by bus). Demonstrations tend to snake up towards the Piazza del Popolo allowing demonstrators and protestors to make a huge impact on the traffic and public transport of the city.

The famous, Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, which is located in the piazza, was fashioned from the tepidarium of the Baths of Diocletian. It’s probably the only reason why many tourists even visit this particular section of Rome since it’s so easy to reach via metro or on foot. The Basilica is well worth a visit and, like the Pantheon, has a similarly fashioned domed ceiling and oculus.

The immense fountain that sits in the center of the piazza is quite impressive. Known as Fountain of the Naiads, the original chalk sculptures were replaced in 1901 with the ones we see today by Mario Rutelli, the great-grandfather of Rome’s former mayor, Francesco Rutelli. The porticos that lie opposite the basilica are also remarkable and worth a snap or two.

The Turkish Embassy is also located in this piazza, and it is often the place where foreign dignitaries are met upon arriving in Rome. The Hotel Exedra, one of Rome’s most expensive hotels with rooms starting at over 300 euro, also flanks the piazza.