Friday, September 27, 2013

Il Gesù

Piazza del Gesù
Via degli Astalli

Not far from Piazza Venezia is the 16th century Chiesa del Gesù, the mother church of the Jesuits. 
It is said to be one of the first churches to introduce the Baroque style into architecture and art and has served as a model for Jesuit churches all over the world. 
Although the church's interior was designed originally to be plain and unadorned, in the 17th century patrons of the church commissioned many artists to add to the decorations inside the church to indicate their wealth and status. 
Today the church is visited for its beautiful, illusionistic ceiling fresco by the Baroque artist il Baciccio, a large mirror on the floor allows you to look at the ceiling to see the detail without straining your neck.
The church also holds Bernini's bust of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine from 1623 in the right of the sacristy. 
The altarpiece at the high altar is a Circumcision by Alessandro Capalti from the 19th century.
The third chapel on the right is decorated with ceiling, wall frescoes and the altarpiece of the Archangel Michael and the Angels by Federico Zuccari
The chapel next, dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier, was designed by Pietro da Cortona with the altarpiece of Saint Francis Xavier by Carlo Maratta
On the left side of the nave, opposite the chapel to Saint Francis Xavier is the Cappella di Sant' Ignazio. It holds the marble and bronze tomb of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. It was designed by Andrea Pozzo, who was also responsible for most of the decorations and the fantastic ceiling fresco in the church of Sant'Ignazio da Loyola.  
The third chapel on the left is the Cappella della SS Trinità decorated by Durante Alberti with the altarpiece by Francesco Bassano the Younger of the The Most Holy Trinity.
The left side's second chapel vault frescoes are by Niccolò Circignani, known as il Pomarancio.

Artists in il Gesù
Agostino Ciampelli
Alessandro Capalti
Andrea Pozzo
Durante Alberti
Francesco Bassano the Younger
Niccolò Circignani

il Baciccio
Carlo Maratta

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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.