Friday, August 28, 2015

Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore

where: Piazza Navona
open: Monday to Friday 6:30-12:00 & 17:30-19:00

I found this often overlooked and tranquil church in Piazza Navona near the Fontana del Moro at the south end of the piazza, so while most people are sightseeing at the popular Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Bernini, and the church of Sant'Agnes in Agone, this little church is worthy of a visit also.

The church was originally named San Giacomo degli Spagnoli and was built in 1450 over the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian.
It was dedicated to Saint James the Great, patron saint of Spain.

During Napoleon's occupation of Rome the church was looted. When peace was restored many of the art works, some by Perino del Vaga, Cesare Nebbia and Annibale Carracci, were transferred to Spain and some, taken to Santa Maria in Monserrato, the other church of the Spaniards in Rome.

The church's name was later changed to Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore – meaning Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

Some original fresco work by Pellegrino Aretusi still exists in the Cappella di San Giacomo.

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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.

€7.00 B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.

Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

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

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