The Locanda del Sole is located in Via della Scrofa bodering three districts:
Rione IV Campo Marzio:
It extends from the Capitoline Hill, the Tibre and the far slopes of the Pincian Hill, it was mainly used as a military district until the 4th century A.D. when began the construction of numerous temples, including the one dedicated to Mars, the god of war, then theatres, arcades, roads and thermal baths. Below the surface ot the district, expecially between the Campo Marzio street and square, there are antique structures which are probably destined to remain submerged. In the basement of a house at number 48 of the street, one can see a piece of the Sundial of Augustus which was used as a gnomon of the obelisc which is now in Piazza Montecritorio square. The sundial extended from Via della Lupa to Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina square and indicated the time, the day and the month. In particular, the sunset on 23rd September, Augustus's birthday, the shadow of the gnomon would be projected onto the Ara Pacis, in honour of the emperor of peace.
Rione V Ponte:
The hill rises from the Tiber to Via dell'Orso, but it is less high than it once was, due to the levelling of the area when the lungotevere was built: an area where there were many inns "locande", the name of the hill may derive from an innkeeper from the Brianza who had an inn there. An "Hostaria di Monte Brianzo " inn appears at the end of the 16th century and served as an inn until 1669. There was an inn nearby, where Montaigne lodged from 2nd December, 1580 until 19th April, 1581. It was ran by a Spanish man, he wrote about it saying it had 3 nice rooms, a lounge, a pantry, a stable snd a kitchen. It was demollished in the early 1900s, making room for a modern villa and a garage. However, the "Hostaria dell'Orso" still exists which dates back to the 14th century when it was unfoundedly described as the inn where Dante stayed during thr jubilee of 1300. The name dell'Orso comes from the first owner Baccio dell'Orso, or from a basso relievo sculpture on the corner of the street opposite the inn of a bear with another animal between its legs.
Rione VIII S.Eustachio:
He was the Roman centurion called Placidius who lived during the reign of the emperor Trajan (98-117). The name of the 8th district derives from the church on the homonymous square which was initially called Sant'Eustachio and Vigna di Tedemario, a person of unkown origin who owned a field on the edge of Circus Flaminius, but in the 15th century it was limited to the memory of the only centurion martyr. On the border of the district, where Via dell'Orso begins, is the Torre della Scimmia. It is a medieval tower, dating back to the Frangipane family, which was built at the Palazzo Scapucci building in the 16th century and gets its curious nickname from a legend: A monkey named Hilda lived in the building and one day it took the new born son of the master of the house from through a window and took it to the top of the tower. The baby's cries made many people run to the house, but nobody knew what to do. Then, the father, after having been advised by the Virign, gave the usual whistle used to call the animal back who climbed down the drainpipe holding onto the baby, brought it back home unharmed. From that day, a lamp is permenantly lit in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Just a few steps away: Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Mausoleum of Augustus, Ara Pacis, Borghese square, San Lorenzo in Lucina square, Tor di Nona, Via Ripetta, the Vatican City, Hadrian's Mausoleum, Pincio, Borgo.
The fascination, curiosity, the mysteries of Rome : www.romasegreta.it
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