MONTE DEL GALLO
A NEIGHBOURHOOD ONLY STEPS AWAY FROM THE CENTRE, BUT FAR FROM THE CROWDS AND CONFUSION
Monte del Gallo’s hill rises up just next to St. Peter’s Square, overlooking the valley where today Via delle Fornaci lays. In olden times, this valley contained some small ponds – and it was from these ponds and the surrounding fields that the abundance of clay was extracted and used by the many kilns (“fornaci” in Italian) existing at that time. The kilns cranked out the bricks with which the papal Rome was built – St. Peter’s basilica included. Monte del Gallo’s hill was consequently populated by the workers of the kilns, in a small village surrounded by fields and grazing lands.
Nowadays the structure of this small area has dramatically changed; the chimney stacks of the kilns no longer exist; there are only a few of older houses remaining and, from the 1950s, several new buildings (nice and less nice) arose on the hill. Nevertheless, memories of the ancient labouring village still resist here and there, with quaint corners, typical glimpses and small artisan shops. The streets ¬ sometimes really quite narrow and winding, sometimes connected to eachother through small alleys, ramps and short flights of steps, sometimes even coming to a dead-end ¬ physically impede entrance into the district of the chaotic Roman traffic, safeguarding Monte del Gallo’s people from noise and confusion.
Monte del Gallo , consequently, remains a world apart, isolated in its serenity, as if it were a small village far away from the din of Roman life; a mixture of eclectic and even a bit cluttered architecture, but definitely unusual and authentic. As the buildings are special, so are the people living there: some very straightforward and others eccentric, but everybody says hallo to each other and to you like old friends.
Holiday Home SPQR, from its high position over Monte del Gallo’s hill, is set in the midst of such a special tranquil atmosphere but, quite incredibly, it is very near the old town centre and Vatican City: St. Peter’s Dome is just 600m away as the crow flies, and the stroll to the biggest and most famous cathedral in the world is within everyone’s reach.
From St. Peter’s, the whole inner city of Rome will be at your feet: Castel Sant’Angelo with its marvellous bridge, the so typical Via dei Coronari with its small art and antiques shops, Campo de’ Fiori with the colourful market, Piazza Farnese and the surrounding district of handcraft workshops…