This Sunday, however, taking him at his word that he would leave it up to me to decide, I suggested going down to Rome, attend church wherever, after which we would explore the area and finish it off with lunch (with emphasis on the lunch). Knowing that I would be given the task of finding a small but interesting area, I decided on the Monti neighborhood.
This neighborhood was nowhere in my top lists of places to explore until it came to my attention that this was an ancient residential neighborhood, once called the Subura and was renamed Rione Monti in the middle ages because it was located at the juncture of the Viminale, Qurinale and Esquiline Hills.
Subura! Finally finding the Subura was exciting for one like me who reads Saylor, Davis, Massie and Everett, authors who through their books evocatively recreate a city that no longer exists. Ancient Rome would not be complete without the Subura!
|The Subura or Suburra in Modern times|
In 2 BC to act as a firewall and visual barrier between the "unsightly" Subura and the "glorious" Forum a massive grey wall was built, parts of which are still visible today.
|Wall along today's Via Tor d'Conti|
|Depiction of Caesar from Asterix and Obelix|
A market, the Mercato Rionale is still operating in Monti, harking back to the Subura of ancient times, thus upholding centuries of tradition.
|Mercato Rionale closed on Sundays|
We attended mass at The church of Santa Maria dei Monti or as it is also called, church of the Madonna dei Monti, right at the end of Via Serpenti. This church was designed by Giacomo della Porta, who also worked on the Jesuit church, The Church of the Gesu.
|Main Altar of Santa Maria dei Monti|
|Interior of Pace|