Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Via Giulia is 500

One of Rome's most elegant streets, the Via Giulia, is celebrating its 500th birthday this summer. The street, built by Pope Julius II, was originally part of a building program around the Vatican. The street runs almost parallel to the Tiber River for a spell, but does not have the traffic of the Lungotevere, the thoroughfare which brings traffic north along the river. The Via Giulia is lined with churches and palazzos-one even belonging to the Medici family. Many of these churches and palazzos, usually closed to the public, will open this summer in celebration of the quincentenary. See the website devoted to the events (unfortunately only in Italian) or read more about the sights on the Via Giulia in a recent New York Times article.

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