All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Text edited by Rosamie Moore. Page revised in May 2009.
Collegio Clementino (Book 9) (Map C2) (Day 4) (View C5) (Rione Ponte) and (Rione Campo Marzio)
In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
Today's view (including S. Lucia della Tinta and Palazzo Negroni)
Strada e Albergo dell'Orso
Mausoleo di Augusto
The Plate (No. 167)
The College was founded by Pope Clement VIII to house refugees from today's Croatia, but Pope Urban VIII made it an exclusive school for the richest families in Rome. The view is taken from the green dot in the 1748 map below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Main entrance to Collegio Clementino; 2) Strada dell'Orso (bear); 3) S. Lucia della Tinta; 4) Palazzo Negroni. The map shows also 5) Mausoleo di Augusto; 6) Palazzo Primoli. The dotted line in the small map delineates the border between Rione Campo Marzio (right) and Rione Ponte (left).
The old building has been replaced by a new one in a totally different style; in 1940 a fountain (see my background), which once was in Piazza del Popolo, was moved to the square (Piazza Nicosia) opposite Collegio Clementino. The fountain had been removed from Piazza del Popolo in 1823 and relocated opposite S. Pietro in Montorio. Later on it was removed again and kept in the municipal warehouse. The fountain shows the eagles and the dragons of Pope Paul V Borghese, but the original fountain had only the dragons of Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni. The eagles were added by the 1940 Mayor of Rome, who was a member of the Borghese family. The windows of Palazzo Negroni are the only remaining evidence of Vasi's time.
The church mentioned by Vasi (S. Lucia della Tinta) was spared by the many changes made in the area (and it was recently repainted). S. Lucia is called "della Tinta" (dye) because many dyers lived nearby (as you can see from the map, the river is not far from the church). It was largely renovated in 1715.
Strada e Albergo dell' Orso
Near the church there is Strada dell'Orso, a street named after a Roman relief showing a bear (it is actually a lion). The area was near Porto di Ripetta and it was known for its cheap inns and brothels. One of the surviving medieval buildings is today a very expensive restaurant. It suffers from an excess of restoration. In the XVIth century it was an excellent inn (Albergo dell'Orso) and it was mentioned by Michel de Montaigne in his Voyage en Italie (1580-81), but in the XVIIIth century it catered mainly to coachmen.
Mausoleo di Augusto
The 1883 Baedeker gave the following description of the Mausoleum of Augustus: "On a huge substructure, which contained the mortuary chambers, arose a mound of earth in the form of the terraces, embellished with cypresses, surmounted by a statue of the emperor, and environed with a park. In the Middle Ages it was converted into a fortress by the Colonnas; and a theatre is now fitted up within its precincts."
In the 1930s the glorification of the Roman Empire led the Fascist Government to the decision of freeing what was left of the original building from all later additions, including the theatre (see top right corner of the map). The new large square is surrounded by modern buildings and it is now called Piazza Augusto Imperatore (in the past it was named Piazza degli Otto Cantoni).
Ara Pacis Augustae, the altar erected by the Senate to celebrate Augustus, can now be seen in a new museum which is located opposite the Mausoleum. On one side of the building there is a long inscription: the spiritual testament of Augustus, a summary of his achievements which was placed in temples dedicated to him (see the inscription found in Ankara).
Palazzo Primoli has two faces. It was built in the XVIth century and its main entrance was in Piazza dell'Orso. In 1886 the area was modified by the construction of walls to prevent the Tiber from flooding. A few years later, the owner of the palace, Count Giuseppe Primoli, who had married a member of the Bonaparte family, enlarged it and built a new façade in a XXth century Renaissance style. He donated his collection of paintings, statues and other memorabilia of the Bonaparte to the City of Rome to form what is now called Museo Napoleonico.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Next plate in Book 9: Collegio Nazzareno
Next step in Day 4 itinerary: Chiesa di S. Niccolò de' Perfetti
Start your tour of Rione Ponte: next step: Torre Scapucci
Next step in your tour of Rione Campo Marzio: Chiesa di S. Carlo al Corso