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A Brief History of the Rione Prati


In the first century BC a bend of the Tiber River went by the name of Prata Neronis (“prata” stands for ‘meadows’ in Latin) following Christians martyrdom under Nero in those shores. It subsequently changed its name to “Prata Sancti Petri” in the Middle Age and then to “Prati di Castello”, for it was close to the Mausoleum of Hadrian, Castel Sant’Angelo. The latter is the logo of Prati even though it is located in the rione of Borgo.
The rione dates back to the second half of the 19th century, when the government built barracks, a parade ground and the courthouse in that area. Houses little by little enfolded Prati’s meadows …and the rione Prati was born.
Immediately after World War I, the area knew a peerless development. Via Cola di Rienzo stood out in the toponymy of the City as the real, long-awaited main street of Rome: perfumeries, shoe factories, barber shops, groceries and the covered market lined up along this arterial road, lit up with bright lights. Nowadays, the Rione Prati is characterised by wide boulevards, elegant Umberto-style buildings and Stile Liberty villas.

[Read more in the article "Gli incerti confini dei Prati di Castello" from the historical archive of the Italian newspaper Il Corriere; As well as in the book : "Roma. Prati di Castello. Dai romani ai barbari ai piemontesi" by Giuseppe Cuccia. ]


Finally, the famous Italian painter Ettore Roesler Franz, dedicated to the Rione some paintings of the famous series of watercolours also known as “Roma Sparita”. This collection consists of a long series of views of Rome in the second half of the 20th century. These works are on display at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere