Thursday, October 1, 2015

Santa Maria della Vittoria

where: Via XX Settembre, 17
getting there: metro linea A/Repubblica or bus 85 from Termini
open: 8:30-12:00 & 15:30-18:00

I was really interested in visiting the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Vittoria for the sculpture by GianLorenzo Bernini of The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and found so much more inside than just his famous creation.
The church was built in the early 17th century and the interior was designed by Carlo Maderno. It was paid for mainly with funds from Cardinal Scipione Borghese, Bernini's patron.
The beautiful vault ceiling was created by brothers Giuseppe and Andrea Orazi depicting the Triumph of Our Lady over the Heresies and the cupola was decorated by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini and shows the Ascent of St Paul into Heaven. In the dome of the high altar is the 19th century painting by Luigi Serra, it dates from the time when the altar was rebuilt after a destructive fire.
The Cornaro Chapel is the fourth chapel on the left and what the church is mostly visited for.
Gianlorenzo Bernini designed the chapel in 1646 for Cardinal Cornaro and inside is his white marble sculpture of the Ecstasy of St Teresa which depicts Saint Terese and her vision of an angel who appeared and pierced her with a golden spear, leaving her in a rapture of religious ecstasy.
In the third chapel on the left is Guercino's The Most Holy Trinity and Guido Reni's portrait of Cardinal Berlingèro Gessi.
The second chapel altarpiece is Jesus Appearing to the Saints by Nicholas Lorrain, he also painted the two canvases on the chapel's side walls.
On the side walls of the first chapel on the left are two portraits by Giuseppe Cesari. The altarpiece is by an unknown artist and depicts the martyrdom of the Apostle Saint Andrew.
On the right, in the second chapel dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, is The Virgin and St Francis by Domenichino, he also decorated the chapel with frescoes on the side walls.

The church is open from 8am until noon and a guide book on the church can be bought from the sacristy.


The Most Holy Trinity

Artists in Santa Maria della Vittoria
Nicholas Lorrain
Sebastiano Conca
Ferdinando Fuga
Gherardo della Notti
Giovanni Domenico Cerrini
Andrea & Giuseppe Orazi

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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking Rome was the best way to see everything.

The metro, trams and buses are also an easy and cheap option.

Buses and the metro can get crowded. Tickets must be bought before boarding and validated.

Beware of pickpockets.

Buses 40 (express) and 64 start at Termini and end near Saint Peter's, traveling past places of interest, returning the same way.

Some stops along the 64 route are:


Piazza Venezia

Via Nazionale

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Bus 75 takes you past the Colosseum to Trastevere

Bus 910 takes you to Villa Borghese

Ticket Options

€1.50 B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro, unlimited tram or bus rides within 100 minutes.

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Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

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Large fines apply to travelers not holding or validating their ticket. Tickets once 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.

other sites I trust for information on Rome are:
Rome Art Lover
Churches of Rome wiki