The Via Veneto came to symbolize the “sweet life” of Rome in the 1950’s and 60’s.
The Via Veneto was made famous in Fellini’s film “La Dolce Vita”.
Today it is the long winding street known for its luxury hotels, cafès, restaurants, shops and in some key places wild traffic.
I love the Via Veneto.
Dr. Seuss wrote a book “And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street”. That is the way I feel about the Via Veneto.
Sit in a café on the Via Veneto long enough and you will see enough to fill your travel journal. Italian business men wander by in their designer suits with their jackets swung casually over their shoulders, elderly men and women stop by and order strange looking drinks (no ice please!), tourists zoom by rushing to the next Roman ruin on their “to do” list, vespas almost hit pedestrians, taxi drivers shout at other drivers and pedestrians and all up and down the street people are talking to each other as if they are about to burst with all they have to say.
If you decide to leave your people watching and start walking there are a number of things to see.
Bernini’s Fontana del Tritone sits at the intersection of the Via Barnerini, Via Sistina and the Via Veneto in the Piazza Barberini. You need to take a quick peek at the statue and leave as fast as you can – traffic in the area is terrifying. Another Bernini fountain, Fontana delle Api, sits at the right corner of Piazza Barberini as you walk up the Via Veneto.
There is an excellent bookstore half way up the Via Veneto on the left going towards the old wall and gardens. As with everything else on the Via Veneto, it is not cheap, but they do have a good selection of books in English.
At the top of the Via Veneto you will see part of the old wall that used to surround Rome.
Walk through one of the openings in the wall and you will find yourself in the Borghese Gardens where you can either keep walking or sit on a bench and start people watching again.
Here is a video tour: