Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Santa Barbara dei Librai

where: Largo dei Librai
getting there: near Piazza Farnese

It is thought that Santa Barbara dei Librai was built in the 10 or 11th century. It was rebuilt in the late 17th century and belonged to the guild of bookmakers and booksellers. The little Baroque church was dedicated to Saint Barbara, the martyred virgin from the third century. 
In the late 19th century the church was deconsecrated and used as a warehouse. It was finally rescued and restored in the nineteen-eighties, reconsecrated and again used as a church and venue for music concerts.
The interior walls are cleverly decorated with imitation marble. Above, on the vault ceiling, is the Apotheosis of Saint Barbara by Luigi Garzi, who also decorated the Chapel of the Crucifix and the transept walls with frescoes.
Other works date from the 19th century restoration by Domenico Monacelli who was commissioned to complete the frescoes in the transept and apse and retouch the ceiling by Garzi.
Of interest is the painting of Saint Saba in the Specchi Chapel on the left by Giovanni Battista Brughi, pupil of il Baciccio. 

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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