In the middle of the square there is a big garden (recently restored) that exposes remains of the so called Marios’ trophies: a ruin of a fountain from the Severian Age. The remains of the antique Villa of Prince Poniatowsky, a noble of Polish origin and famous alchemist of ‘700, where the “Magic Door“, gives more interest in visiting the park. You can find alchemic symbols on the ancient pillars, and the legend says that there is a magic formula hidden there about transforming simple metals into gold!
Around the park there are several stands to drink something and flower stands and in the surroundings of Piazza Vittorio you find plenty of restaurants, some of them are the most important ones of Rome. Close to Piazza Vittorio, in Principe Eugenio Street, you find “Il Palazzo del Freddo” the most antique ice cream shop in Italy, renowned in the world for an excellent artisan ice cream. The building exposes objects and documents that tell of the history of Italy. It is worth a visit is the Esquilino market, that once was in Piazza Vittorio and nowadays is in a building close to the square. The Romans call it “the producers’ market”: A lovely mix with fresh and tasty products from the local farmers, Indians and Middle Eastern salesmen.
The events and the summer cinema
During the summer season Piazza Vittorio offers music festivals and open-air cinema together with several theatrical, photographical and artistic events. All these events enrich Piazza Vittorio with magic and creative energy.
The architect Kock projected today’s square between 1882 and 1887: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, centre of Rione Esquilino. It was named after the first King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II.
Piazza Vittorio, as it is called more commonly, is a wide rectangular square completely surrounded by arcades in Piemontese style, the only one of this type in Rome and with its dimensions of 316×147 side meters, is one of the biggest squares of the Capital.
The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio, also well known through a successful film with the same name, represents probably better than anything else the real spirit of Piazza Vittorio: A cosmopolitan melting-pot, active and able to express a high level of culture and art.