Thursday, September 3, 2015

San Carlo al Corso

where: Via del Corso, 440, not far from the Spanish Steps and the Mausoleum of Augustus
open: 7:30-19:00 daily
getting there: a short walk from Piazza del Popolo, closest metro stop linea A/Spagna
important information: visiting the church during mass is not permitted

San Carlo al Corso is where my interest in the art in Rome's churches began, so I have a special fondness for this Baroque church on the Via del Corso. 
I remember the first time I walked inside when it was still being restored around 2006, looking at the marvelous ceiling, altarpieces, and marble and gold stucco and wondering who the artists might be that could create such a beautiful interior.
When we returned to Rome in 2013 the church restorations had been completed after twenty years of work and the true beauty of the church could be seen. 

The church was built in 1612 and dedicated to Saints Ambrose and Charles Borromeo.
The vault ceiling frescoes, the Fall of the Rebel Angels were painted by Giacinto Brandi between 1677 and 1679. Brandi also painted the transept vault and the cupola which was designed by Pietro da Cortona.

The large altarpiece of The Glory of Saints Charles and Ambrose is by Carlo Maratta and was painted between 1685 to 1690.
In the third chapel on the left (Chapel of Saint Olaf) is the Holy Family with Saints Ann and John the Baptist by Cristoforo Roncalli.

With a small donation, a DVD of the paintings and the church's history is available.
Guide books can be found in English, Italian, French and Spanish.

Carlo Maratta

Artists in San Carlo al Corso
Giacinto Brandi
Pietro da Cortona
Carlo Maratta
Cristoforo Roncalli
Luigi Garzi
Ludovico Gimignani
Fabrizio Chiari
il Morazzone
Giovanni Battista Benaschi
Girolamo Troppa
Francesco Rosa
Paolo Albertoni
Pier Francesco Mola
Pasquale de Rossi
Tommaso Luini il Caravaggino
Agostino Cornacchini

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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