name “Governo Vecchio” or “old government” comes from the fact that the Papal government was indeed once based at a palazzo on this little street. The government activities took place at No. 39 Via del Governo Vecchio until the mid-1700s.

Via del Governo Vecchio is one of my favorite streets in Rome. The street near Piazza Navona is one of the best places for shopping in Rome, but it is also filled with charming wine bars, vintage stores, and coffee bars that feel untouched by time. You can find Via del Governo Vecchio between Piazza di Pasquino and Piazza del Orologio.Most of the buildings on the street date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The effect is very old-Rome and it is hard not to be charmed by the feel of the cobblestone street as it curves and reveals itself little by little.

But pay attention as you walk along and you will find some little wonders that most people miss on their wanders through Rome. For example, at No. 66 you will find what is considered the smallest house in Rome. The ground floor is a shop, but the first level is teeny and smushed between two other buildings. All you can see is one window to the street and a little terrace above. I am dying to get a glimpse inside.

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