Saturday, January 25, 2014

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

where: Piazza di Santa Cecilia, Trastevere
open: 10:00-13:00 & 16:00-19:00

Weaving through the streets of Trastevere I came across the Piazza di Santa Cecilia and an imposing white building. I walked through the archway and found myself in the tranquil courtyard of the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.

The church is dedicated to third century martyr, Cecilia, patron saint of Musicians, whose house was thought to have been on this site.

The church interior is decorated in white with gold stucco. The nave ceiling vault shows the Coronation of St Cecilia in Heaven and was painted by Sebastiano Conca around 1727.
On the right and left aisles are altarpieces by Giuseppe Ghezzi, Giovanni Baglione and Giuseppe Cesari.
The Chapel of the Bath leads off from the right hand aisle and holds a tondo of the Marriage of Saints Cecilia and Valerian and an altarpiece of the Beheading of Saint Cecilia by Guido Reni from 1603.

A miraculous discovery was made in 1599 during a restoration of the church interior for the Holy Year of 1600. When the shrine belonging to Saint Cecilia was being redesigned her tomb was opened, inside was her incorrupted body.
Stefano Maderno based his sculpture of Santa Cecilia in the sanctuary on what was documented when the body was found.

The entrance to the underground crypt is at the rear of the left aisle and guide books can be bought here.

The first know church was built here in the 9th century to hold the relics of saints moved here from the catacombs.

Sebastiano Conca

Giovanni Baglione

Giuseppe Cesari 

Stefano Maderno

Artists in Santa Cecilia in Trastevere
Stefano Maderno
Sebastiano Conca
Paul Brill

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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