Thursday, June 9, 2016

San Lorenzo in Damaso

where: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza della Cancelleria, 1
open: daily 7:30-12 & 16:30-19:30
getting there: bus 64 from Termini

Not far from Piazza Navona and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II – built into the chancellery building of the Palazzo della Cancellaria – is the church of San Lorenzo in Damaso.
The entrance can be found in the Piazza della Cancellaria on the side facade via an unassuming door that looks nothing like the entrance to a church let alone a basilica.
This church, along with San Lorenzo in Lucina, was dedicated to the martyred saint Lawrence, patron saint of chefs and firefighters whose legendary last words supposedly were, "I'm done. Turn me over!"
The church was commissioned by Cardinal Riario who also paid for the building of the palazzo and it was thought to be built on the site of the house of Pope Saint Damasus from the 4th century.
The interior was commissioned by the grandson of Pope Paul III, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, the palace resident and cardinal of the church in the 16th century.
Inside near the entrance, is a sculpture of a winged skeleton designed by Bernini in 1639 as a memorial for a minister of Pope Urban VIII.
At the main altar is the canvas Saints and Coronation of Mary by Federico Zuccari.
In a chapel on the right is the ceiling fresco by Corrado Giaquinto of the Glory of San Nicola and the Virgin with saints Filippo, Neri and Nicolò by Sebastiano Conca.
In the chapel near the sacristy is the altarpiece by il Pomerancio (Nicolò Circignani) and two silver statues by Ciro Ferri of saints Lorenzo and Damaso.
The chapel of Santissima Concezione was frescoed by Pietro da Cortona between 1635 and 1638.
During the occupation of Rome by the French in 1799 the church was used as a stable by French troops and the church has also been restored after fire in 1944.

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Getting Around

I found walking around Rome was the best way to see everything but the metro, trams and buses are an easy and cheap option also.

Most buses and metros do get crowded and tickets must be bought before boarding and validated when you first get on but it is a great way to get around and see Rome if you are short on time or suffer from sore feet.

Buses #40 and #64 starts at Termini and ends near St. Peter's traveling past other places of interest, returning the same way.

Bus #75 takes you past the Colosseum

Bus #910 takes you to Villa Borghese

#64 & #40 Express Bus


Piazza Venezia

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Campo de'Fiori

St. Peter's

The Electric buses that are around Rome can travel into the older parts of the city and wind around the narrow streets. Bus #116 travels though the streets of Centro Storico.

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B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro,tram or bus ride for a 100 minute period.

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Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

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Large fines apply to travelers not holding ticket. Tickets once they are 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.