Thursday, August 26, 2021

Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli

where: Via di Monserrato
getting there: short walk from Via Giulia, near Palazzo Farnese
open: weekdays 8:30-13:00 & 15:00-17:00, Sunday 10:00-12:30 & 17:30-19:30 closed August

The Baroque church of Santa Maria in Monserrato degli Spagnoli was dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat and is the nation church of Spain.
Construction of the church first began in 1518 with support from the notorious Borgia Pope, Alexander VI, but because of the pope's unpopularity problems raising funds for the church occurred and it took many years to be completed. The church was finally consecrated in 1594.
The Borgia Pope is buried here in the first altar on the right after his body was removed from Saint Peters.
The church was restored in the early 19th century and at this time another smaller Spanish church, San Giacomo degli Spagnoli (now Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore in the Piazza Navona) was absorbed along with many of its artworks.

The large altarpiece in the sanctuary depicts the Crucifixion by Sermoneta. 
In the first chapel on the right is an altarpiece by Annibale Carracci taken from San Giacomo degli Spagnoli. It is here that the two Borgia popes Callixtus and his nephew, Alexander VI are entombed.


Annibale Carracci and Pope Alexander VI 

Artists in Santa Maria in Monserrato
Francesco Nappi
Giovanni Battista Ricci da Novara
Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta
Francesco Preciado de la Vega
Louis Cousin
Francesco di Città di Castello
Jacopo Sansovino
Tommaso Boscoli

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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

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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