THE NEIGHBORHOODS OF ROME: RIONE BORGO
A NEIGHBORHOOD STEEPED IN BEAUTY
Rione Borgo, Borgo Pio as it is known to most, is the neighborhood of Rome close to the Vatican, which is certainly worth a visit when vacationing in Rome. Borgo Pio is, in fact, the district's characteristic pedestrian street that runs parallel to Via della Conciliazione, and is the beating heart of all the neighborhood's activities. Rione Borgo runs between St. Peter's Basilica and Castel Sant'Angelo until it borders Prati and the Vatican Museums.
It is considered the "medieval quarter" of Rome and is still made up of artisan and historic stores and little souvenir stores in a promenade that seems to be out of time. In fact, artisans and artists who were called upon by the various popes to work on the construction of the Basilica and the embellishment of the nearby Vatican Museums used to settle here in the past.
THE HAMLET PASSETTO
In the maze of streets, where the streets are called borghi, one gets lost in an atmosphere where everything flows slowly.
Walking through the Borgo, the most surprising sight, as you look up, is the famous "Passetto del Borgo," 800 meters of Vatican walls that connect the Vatican to Castel Sant'Angelo and that the Romans call " Er Coridore". The Passetto was used by popes to escape in case of danger, such as during the "Sack of Rome" in 1527, and was restored to fame by Dan Brown in "Angels and Demons". Today, tourists visiting Castel Sant'Angelo at certain times of the year have the opportunity to walk through it, in an evocative walk suspended in midair and time...
Walking around the Borgo, then, one cannot fail to notice the harmony of the classical with the modern, the sacred and the profane. It is no coincidence that the very symbol of Borgo Pio is the characteristic fountain in Piazza Catalone, of pagan origin, which, however, in the current version commissioned by Pius IX, bears the papal coat of arms and is therefore also called Acqua Pia.
STREET ART IN BORGO PIO
In a corner of Borgo Pio, peculiar to some of Rome's most picturesque spots, is the so-called "Madonnella," the Sacred Wayside Shrine of the "Madonna and Child". From the corner the wayside shrine turns its gaze to the walls of the neighborhood painted with colorful "street art" murals. Here, in fact, street artist Maupal, who was born and raised in the Borgo and is now world famous, has filled the walls of the neighborhood with the characters that animate the Vatican in a modern key. His works depicting Pope Francis in particular are famous, especially the one in Superman version, so much so that it was retweeted by the Vatican and became one of the most viral of all time.
In the Rione Borgo, sacred and profane, faith and worldliness, ancient and modern coexist in unique blends that make it one of Rome's most original and interesting neighborhoods.