Wednesday, January 29, 2014

San Pietro in Montorio

where: Piazza di San Pietro in Montorio/Gianicolo
open: church is open 8:30-12:00 daily
Temple of Bramante opens Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30-12:00 & 14:00-16:30
getting there: #8 tram to Trastevere/Mastai or walk up the stairway of Vicolo del Cedro onto Via Garibaldi

Above Trastevere, near to the white marble fountain (Fontana dell'Aqua Paola) on the Gianicolo Hill, is San Pietro in Montorio.
A church was first constructed here in the 9th century – during medieval times here was believed to be the place Saint Peter was crucified upside down.
In the early 16th century a new church was built and Bramante was commissioned by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain to design the Tempietto (1502) in the cloister, to mark the place where the saint was thought to have been martyred. Because of his Spanish connections the Spanish Borgia pope, Alexander VI personally oversaw the consecration of the church.

Once, at the high altar was the Transfiguration, one of Raphael's last works, but during Napoleon's occupation of Rome it was removed and taken to Paris. When the painting was returned to Rome it was then sent to the art gallery in the Vatican Museums.
At the high altar is the Crucifixion of Saint Peter by late-Baroque artist Vincenzo Camuccini. This is a copy of Guido Reni's painting, also now in the Vatican Pinacoteca.

On the right hand side of the church, starting at the first chapel, is the Flagellation of Christ (1518) by Sebastiano del Piombo.
In the second chapel is the Madonna of the Letter fresco by Niccolò Circignani (il Pomeranccio) dating from 1550.
In the fourth chapel is Giorgio Vasari's ceiling fresco. He also decorated the fifth chapel with the Conversion of Saint Paul.

On the left side of the church, in the first chapel are frescoes by Giovanni de'Vecchi.
The second chapel on the left was designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini in 1640.
The fourth chapel was decorated by Dutch Baroque artist, Dirck van Baburen. Influenced by the style of Caravaggio, this was his most important commission in Rome.
The last chapel on the left is the Baptism of Christ attributed to Daniele da Volterra.

The tragic story of Beatrice Cenci is entwined with the history of the church. She was a young Roman noblewoman condemned to death by Pope Clement XIII in the 16th century after her involvement in the murder of her abusive father. Her will requested that she be buried inside the church – although there is debate to whether she was interred at the high altar or in another chapel. 

Sebastiano del Piombo

Artists in San Pietro in Montorio
Sebastiano del Piombo
Dirk Van Baburen
Antoniazzo Romano
Giovanni de Vecchio
Niccolò Circignani
Giulio Mazzoni
Baldassare Peruzzi
Michelangelo Cerruti
Giorgio Vasari
Daniele da Volterra

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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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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