Friday, April 12, 2013

Santa Maria di Montesanto e Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Piazza del Popolo
metro - Linea A Flaminio/Spagna

Santa Maria di Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli are known as the twin churches because of their similar appearance.
They stand at the entrance of the Via del Corso in the Piazza del Popolo and were both commissioned by Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi in the 17th century.

Santa Maria in Montesanto

The church is known as the Church of the Artists and has celebrated an Artists' Mass since the 1950s. 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 was added in the 18th century.
The sacristy was designed by Carlo Fontana.
The altarpiece of the Deposition is by Biagio Puccini and the vault fresco of the Glory of Angels with the Instruments of the Passion is attributed to the school of Baciccio.
The Chapel dedicated to Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzi was designed by Carlo Rainaldi and the ceiling and altarpiece of the miracle of the Saint (c 1685) is by Ludovico Gimignani.
The Cappella Monitoni was designed by Tommaso Mattei. The altarpiece of the Madonna with Child and Saints Francis and Jacob (c 1687) is by Carlo Maratta.
The fresco of the Assumption is by Giuseppe Chiari.
In the Cappella di Sant'Anna are the paintings and altarpiece of the Holy Family by Nicholas Berrettoni with the 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 and Ludwig Venuti's the Story of Tobit and the Prophet Amos.
The church is open from Monday to Friday from 5pm until 8pm and Sundays from 10:30am until 1:30pm.

Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Construction began in 1675 after the completion of Santa Maria di Montesanto.
The church was finished in 1681 and the bell tower was also added in the 18th century.
The stucco interior decorations are by Antonio Raggi who was a pupil of Bernini.
The painting of Santa Maria dei Miracoli at the high altar, of which the church is named, is by an unknown artist and is surrounded by four angels by Antonio Raggi.
The church is open daily from 7am until 12:30pm and from 4pm until 7:30pm.

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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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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