Friday, April 12, 2013

Santa Maria di Montesanto e Santa Maria dei Miracoli

where: Piazza del Popolo
getting there: metro - Linea A Flaminio/Spagna

Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli are on either side of the start of the Via del Corso at the Piazza del Popolo.
They are known as the twin churches because of their similar appearance. 
Built in the 17th century at the request of Pope Alexander VII the church on the left is known as the church of the artists and is elliptical inside while the church on the right has an oval interior.

Santa Maria di Montesanto

open: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 12:00 & 17:00 – 20:00, Saturday 10:00 – 12:00
           Sunday 11:00 – 13:00

Santa Maria di Montesanto is on the left of the Via del Corso. The church is a minor basilica, known as the Church of the Artists it has celebrated an Artists' Mass since 1950. 
Construction of the church began in 1622. It was completed by Carlo Fontana in 1675 after designs by Carlo Rainaldi and Gianlorenzo Bernini. The bell tower wasn't added until the 18th century.
The sacristy was designed by Carlo Fontana. The Deposition altarpiece was by 17th century Roman artist Biagio Puccini. The vault fresco, Glory of Angels with the Instruments of the Passion, is attributed to the school of il Baciccio.
In the Chapel dedicated to Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzi is the ceiling and altarpiece fresco of the miracle of the Saint. It was decorated by Ludovico Gimignani.
In the Cappella Monitoni is the altarpiece of the Madonna with Child and Saints Francis and Jacob (c 1687) by Carlo Maratta. The fresco of the Assumption by Giuseppe Chiari.
In the Cappella di Sant'Anna are the paintings and altarpiece of the Holy Family by Nicholas Berrettoni with the surrounding stucco cherubs by Paolo Naldini.
The Cappella dei Crocifisso holds the Head of Goliath, and Judith with the Head of Holofernes (c 1822), by Ferdinando Cavallori.

Santa Maria dei Miracoli
open: Monday to Saturday 7:00 – 13:00 & 16:00 – 19:30, Sunday 8:00 – 13:00 & 16:30– 19:30

The Construction of Santa Maria dei Miracoli began after Santa Maria di Montesanto was completed.
The church is decorated with beautiful creamy stucco work by Baroque artist Antonio Raggi, who was a pupil of Bernini.
At the high altar is the painting, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, for which the church is named. It is by an unknown artist and is surrounded by four of Antonio Raggi Baroque angels.

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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

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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.

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