Sunday, May 22, 2011

Santa Maria dell'Orazione e Morte


I've been curious to see inside Santa Maria dell'Orazione e Morte, the church on Via Giulia near the Farnese Arch but every time I've tried to visit the church — decorated with skulls and winged skeletons, I've always found it closed.
The church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and its name translates to Saint Mary of Prayer and Death. It was built in 1575 by a charity that took on the responsibility of burying the abandoned corpses of the poor people of Rome.
The church was remodeled in 1733 and the facade decorated with the gorgeous laureled skulls, and winged skeletons on the marble alms boxes.
Inside the church are frescoes by Giovanni Lanfranco of St Anthony Abbot and St Paul of Thebes and an altarpiece by Ciro Ferri of the Crucifixion.
There is a copy of  Guido Reni's St Michael and the Angel in the Chapel of Saint Michael and the sacristy has paintings by Giacinto Brandi.





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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking around Rome was the best way to see everything but the metro, trams and buses are an easy and cheap option also.

Most buses and metros do get crowded and tickets must be bought before boarding and validated when you first get on but it is a great way to get around and see Rome if you are short on time or suffer from sore feet.

Buses #40 and #64 starts at Termini and ends near St. Peter's traveling past other places of interest, returning the same way.

Bus #75 takes you past the Colosseum

Bus #910 takes you to Villa Borghese


#64 & #40 Express Bus

Pantheon

Piazza Venezia

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Campo de'Fiori

St. Peter's


The Electric buses that are around Rome can travel into the older parts of the city and wind around the narrow streets. Bus #116 travels though the streets of Centro Storico.


Ticket Options

B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro,tram or bus ride for a 100 minute period.


B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.


B.T.I (Turistic) is a 3 day tourist ticket and the same as B.I.G but for more days of travel.


Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

Newsstands, train stations, metro stations, kiosks with the ATAC logo and tabacchi shops sell tickets for trams and buses.

Large fines apply to travelers not holding ticket. Tickets once they are validated, start from the time they have been stamped.






These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.