Sunday, April 10, 2016

Baciccio...a walking tour

I love walking around Rome and visiting the churches that I've read about and I especially fell in love with Baciccio, the Baroque artist, when I first saw his trompe l'oeil ceiling in il Gesù.
Il Gesù is a 16th century church that belonged to the Jesuits and it is located two streets from Piazza Venezia and on the bus route that takes you along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
The ceiling was created in 1678 and it is a stunning illusion named the Triumph of the Name of Jesus. The ceiling glows with the fresco and gilded stucco which can be seen more easily with the large mirror placed on the church nave floor that reflects it.

Two streets north behind the Pantheon, in a small piazza, is another Baroque church called Santa Maria Maddalena and in the Chapel of St Nicholas Bari is an altarpiece by Baciccio showing the Vision of Nicholas from 1698. I love this small church but it only seems to be open in the mornings and closes at midday.

Santa Maria Maddalena

Heading back onto the Corso and down Via dei Santi Apostoli, is the church of Santi Apostoli. In this dimly lit church is one of Baciccio's last works, the ceiling fresco of the Triumph of the Order of Saint Francis from 1701. The church is very dark and it is hard to see some of the details and flash photography is not allowed in here.

Santi Apostoli

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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