Thursday, January 25, 2018

San Marco

where: Piazza San Marco
open: 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-18:00

This serene, dimly lit church is located a few steps away from the chaotic traffic on the busy Piazza Venezia.
The church, one of Rome's oldest, is dedicated to Saint Mark the Evangelist and was founded in 336 by Pope Mark.
The church has been rebuilt and restored many times during the 5th, 8th and 9th centuries and it was restored yet again between 1455 and 1471 by Cardinal Pietro Barbo (who later became Pope Paul II) while building his family palace, the Palazzo Venezia.
In 1744 the church was remodeled in the Baroque style by Filippo Barigioni.

An interesting funerary plaque on the right hand wall of the portico belonged to Vannozza de'Cattani, who was the lover of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI and mother to his infamous children Lucrezia, Juan and Cesare.

Down the staircase into the church, and starting on the right hand side, is the Chapel of the Resurrection with the altarpiece by Palma il Giovane.
In the next chapel, the Cappella di San Antonio, is the altarpiece of the Madonna and Child with Saints Anne and Anthony by Luigi Primo.
In the Cappella dell'Adorazione dei Magi is the Adoration of the Magi by Carlo Maratta. There is also fresco work in the Altare Pasquale on the left hand side of the nave attributed to him.
In the Cappella della Pietà is a Pietà by Bernardino Gagliardi with the left and right wall frescoes by Jacques Courtois.
The Cappella de SS Sacramento is the last chapel on the right hand side near the apse, and was designed by Pietro da Cortona. The altarpiece of Pope Mark is by Melozzo da Forli and the frescoes above are by Ciro Ferri.
The apse mosaics date from the 9th century.
On the left hand side of the nave, starting close to the apse, is the Cappella di San Michele with the altarpiece of the Archangel Michael Confusing Lucifer by Francesco Mola. The side frescoes are by Jacques Courtois.
Next is the Cappella di San Domenico with the Miracle of San Domenico attributed to Baccio Ciarpi and the frescoes of Saint Frances by Lazzaro Baldi and Saint Nicholas of Bari by Ciro Ferri.

Artists in San Marco
Bernardino Gagliardi
Jacques Courtois
Francesco Mola
Melozzo da Forli
Baccio Ciarpi
Lazzaro Baldi

Adoration of the Magi
Carlo Maratta

Archangel Michael Confusing Lucifer
Francesco Mola


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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