The Strada Nuova was laid out in 1550 and most of its buildings were completed by 1588. For a Europe that had lost most of its straight Roman streets, this one was revolutionary; for a civilization re-discovering all that had been lost during the Dark Ages, its neoclassic residences were a revelation.
Rubens traveled south to draw it, and for centuries afterwards, this was the most famous street in the world, a required stop in the Grand Tour.
The Baron Haussman studied it before re-making Paris, and by the second half of the XIX century the principles of urbanism launched at the Strada Nuova had become the norm everywhere, and so the neighborhood reverted to relative obscurity.
The street is now full of museums and public buildings and there is a bit of deja vu as one walks it: Paris, Buenos Aires, New York, Berlin, these all feel a bit like this old, yet newest of streets.