Gillian Knows Best Sallustiano neighborhood guide
15 places to discover
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A few centuries ago when the emperors ruled Rome this residential neighborhood close to Termini train station and the US and UK Embassies was a lush pleasure garden and villa known as the Horti Sallustiani. Originally owned by Julius Cesear it was then transformed in 40 BC by Caio Crispus Sallustio and added to by Hadrian and Vespasian. There was a temple and a hippodrome for chariot races, statues, and fountains, and luxurious buildings. It was sacked by the Goths and then left to ruin until the 16/17th century when Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi had vineyards planted on the site.
Today you can go to Piazza Sallustiano and peek through the gates and see what remains below. Many of the treasures that were here are scattered across Europe but here in Rome, we have the Ludovisi Throne at Palazzo Altemps and the Borghese Hermaphroditus at the Galleria Borghese. One of Rome’s five ancient Roman obelisks (there are 8 ancient Egyptian ones too!) was originally in the gardens, probably as part of the Hippodrome. Now the Obelisco Sallustiano is at the top of the Spanish Steps.
The neighborhood with its grand early 19th-century buildings feels more Parisian than Roman to me. There are lots of small hotels here (and it is not far from the Galleria Borghese) Use this guide to the Rione Sallustiano after a museum or park visit or if you find yourself near Termini and need something to eat.
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