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Some curious place names in Rome – Part 2

We continue the journey to discover the Roman names, with the vast repertoire of stories, myths, anecdotes and secrets that rest in those names. Much history of the city is also contained in the names of many churches. Piazza della Pace (a few steps from Piazza Navona), for example, is a small square, almost hidden, which owes its name to an important moment in the history of Italy. Around 1480, here was a church dedicated to St. Andrew, which had outside an image of Maria. During an evening outdoors, finished in brawl, a stone struck the face of Mary that began to bleed. Pope Sixtus IV went in procession to the place of wonder and interpreted it as a warning against wars that rend Italy after the Pazzi conspiracy in Florence. The pope wanted in the place was built a temple dedicated to Madonna della Pace, like a votic to invoke Mary to avoid another tear in the peninsula.

Piazza della Pace

 Another curious case is about Piazza della Quercia (behind Piazza Farnese), the origin of whose name is still doubtful. The most credited is that which tells of a church, entrusted in 1532 to the powerful corporation of butchers Romans. As it is tradition, workers belonging to the same category were for the most part from the same locality, in this case, from Viterbo and its countryside. The church, which was originally dedicated to San Nicolò di Capodiferro, became Santa Maria della Quercia also to honor the Virgin in Rome in the omonyme venerated shrine of Viterbo, where is holded the miraculous image painted on a fragment of tile, found near a oak.

Piazza della Quercia

Some curious place names in Rome

That Rome has a wealth of history is more than obvious, not only because it is a city with three thousand years on his shoulders! But perhaps what escapes to tourists who visit it every day is “another story” of the capital, the humble, one that only an observant eye can see, one made of taverns, markets, traditions, in other words one contained in toponymy capitolina. Our trip to find a place names curiosity starts from a square in the heart of the city that houses a typical small market. Piazza delle Coppelle: a handkerchief of space occupied by a few crowded benches, skins under the feet, strong odors. The name of the square stems by the profession mainly exercised in the area: here were established the “cuppellari” manufacturers of “cuppelle” small barrels which were used for the transportation of wine.Via delle Coppelle
So, Rome grateful to the category named a church, Santa Maria in the Chapel, where “Chapel” recalls the ancient name of “cuppella”.Under another sign and very curious, the origin of the name of the street dell’Arco Ciambella. It seems that stems from a discovery made in the sixteenth century, which then became a sensation during the excavations of the Baths of Agrippa to the Pantheon, wanted by the Cardinal della Valle, was found a golden imperial crown surrounding the archway. The crown appeared similar to some donuts eaten in Rome. The landlord of an inn nearby, rode the wave of enthusiasm for the discovery and named the local “all’Arco della Ciambella.” Nowadays, the name is the only survivor: the house has disappeared and the remains of the baths were demolished.

Via dell’Arco della Ciambella   

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