Saturday, January 25, 2014

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

Piazza di Santa Cecilia

Hiding behind an archway, under an imposing white building in the Piazza di Santa Cecilia, is a pretty courtyard leading to the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. The church is dedicated to 3rd century martyr Cecilia, patron saint of Musicians, whose house was thought to have been on this site.
The first know church was built here in the 9th century to hold the relics of saints moved here from the catacombs. 
In the 1599 a restoration of the church interior was underway for the Holy Year of 1600, and it was while the shrine of Saint Cecilia was being redesigned, her tomb was opened and her incorrupted body was discovered. Stefano Maderno based his moving sculpture of Santa Cecilia in the sanctuary on what was documented when the body was found.
The large nave of the church is white with gold stucco, along the right and left aisles are altarpieces by Giuseppe Ghezzi, Giovanni Baglione and Giuseppe Cesari.  The Chapel of the Bath leads off from the right hand aisle and holds a tondo of the Marriage of Saints Cecilia and Valerian and an altarpiece of the Beheading of Saint Cecilia by Guido Reni from 1603.
The nave ceiling vault shows the Coronation of St Cecilia in Heaven and was painted by Sebastiano Conca around 1727.
The entrance to the underground crypt is at the rear of the left aisle and guide books can be bought here.

Sebastiano Conca

Giovanni Baglione

Giuseppe Cesari 

Stefano Maderno

Artists in Santa Cecilia in Trastevere
Stefano Maderno
Sebastiano Conca
Paul Brill

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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


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.