Saturday, November 9, 2019

Santa Maria della Consolazione

where: Piazza della Consolazione
getting there: 64 bus from Termini to Piazza Venezia, then a five minute walk from Piazza Campidoglio
open: daily 6:30-12:15 & 15:30-18:00

Santa Maria della Consolazione is a 16th century church below the Capitoline Hill and next to Monte Tarpeo (the Tarpeian Rock–overlooking the Roman Forum–was a place of execution where condemned criminals were thrown from the cliff in early Roman times and hanged in the Middle-ages.)
In the 14th century an imprisoned nobleman left money in his will for the commissioning of a fresco of the Virgin Mary to be placed on the wall near the site of execution.
The founding of the church began later after an innocent man who prayed to the painting was hanged but miraculously survived.
A small chapel was built around the icon of the Virgin Mary, then in the 16th century a church was built on the site and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Inside the church are frescoes of the Scenes of the Passion (1556) by Taddeo Zuccari in the first chapel on the right.
In the second chapel on the right is the Madonna and Child with Saints by Livio Agresti from the 16th century.
The third chapel on the right is decorated in the Baroque style and is enclosed by an intricate iron gate. The chapel was decorated by Giovanni Baglione with the altarpiece depicting the story of the Nativity.
The sacristy holds two large damaged pieces of  frescoes, one showing Christ Rising from the Tomb that date to the 15th century.
The 'original' icon that the church is named for is in the Chapel of Our Lady of Graces.
At the High Altar are two frescoes by Cristoforo Roncalli.
In the first chapel on the left church is a marble relief of the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine by Raffaello da Montelupo (c. 1530) who was a student of Michelangelo.

Chapel Mattei
Taddeo Zuccari

Chapel Mattei
Taddeo Zuccari

Pelucchi Chapel
Livio Agresti

Giovanni Baglione

Chapel of the Affidati


Chapel of the Pescatori

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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

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.

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Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

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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