Saturday, April 30, 2016

San Carlo ai Catinari

where: Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 117
open: 7:30-12:00 & 16:00-19:00
getting there: bus 40 or 64 (near Chiesa il Gesù), tram stop Arenula/Cairoli

Near the tree filled Piazza Benedetto Cairoli and the tram station on Via Arenula, is the 17th century Baroque church of San Carlo ai Catinari, dedicated to saints Charles Borromeo and Blaise.
The church takes its named from the street on which it was built, the location of the stalls of the catinari — wooden dish makers.

When I visited the church in 2013 it was under heavy restoration with the nave ceiling and many of the chapels covered with scaffolding and sheets of protective plastic, but I was lucky enough to be taken through a doorway into the sacristy and choir by one of the clergy in the church who proudly showed me the painting by Giuseppe Cesari of the Mocking of Christ from 1640, the fresco of Saint Charles by Guido Reni and the Miracle of Saint Blaise by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini.

So many artists contributed to the decoration of the church.
The cupola fresco and the pendentives of the four cardinal virtues, Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude date from 1627, created by Domenichino.

On the wall, at the entrance are the frescoes, Charity of St Charles by Mattia Preti and Charles Borromeo Fighting Against Heresy by his brother, Gregorio Preti from 1642.

The church has one of Giovanni Lanfranco's last works, the fresco of San Carlo Borromeo in Glory, completed between 1646 and 1647. Also in the first chapel on the right is his altarpiece of the Annunciation from 1624.

At the high altar, a painting of St Carlo Carrying the Holy Nail in Procession during the Plague, is by Pietro da Cortona from 1667.

Giovanni Lanfranco

Antonio Gherardi

Artists in San Carlo ai Catinari
Gregorio Preti
Giovanni Giacomo Semenza
Scipione Pulzone
Francesco Cozza
Antonio Gherardi
Giovan Francesco Romanelli
Andrea Commodi

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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


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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.