Saturday, October 3, 2020

San Gregorio Magno al Celio

where: Piazza di San Gregorio
getting there: metro linea B/Ciro Massimo or Tram 3
open: daily 9:00–12:00 and 16:00–18:00
information: admittance to the church is gained by ringing the bell inside the courtyard then enter through the monastery

San Gregorio Magno al Celio is on the Caelian Hill, opposite the Palatine Hill, in the Piazza di San Gregorio.
The church is part of a Medieval monastery that was converted from the family villa of Gregory I before he became pope in the 6th century.
The church was renovated many times during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. 
In 1573 the church and monastery was entrusted to the Camaldolese monks who still occupy San Gregorio today.
A new facade and stairway were commissioned by wealthy Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew to Pope Paul V, for the 1600 Jubilee Year and the Borghese family crest can be seen on the facade in the form of giant eagles and dragons over the three archways. 
Between 1623 and 1633 the church was redesigned and rebuilt again under instructions from the Borghese cardinal.
The Baroque interior and decorative stucco work was by Francesco Ferrari and dates to 1725. 
The central nave fresco (which is being protected by netting) showing The Glory of San Gregorio, was painted in 1734 by Placido Constanzi.
At the main altar is the Madonna and Saints Andrew and Gregory altarpiece by Antonio Balestra.
In the first chapel on the right is Saint Gregory as a Boy and His Mother by John Parker (1749).

The buildings on the left of the church facade are the oratories of Santa Barbara (left), Saint Andrew (middle), and Santa Silvia (right) and were commissioned in the 17th century.
Unfortunately the opening times to visit the oratories seem unreliable. 

Oratorio Santa Barbara 
frescoes by Antonio Viviani

 Oratorio San'Andrea 
frescoes by Domenichino, Guido Reni, Giovanni Lanfranco and Cristoforo Roncalli

Oratorio Santa Silvia 
frescoes by Guido Reni and Sisto Badalocchio

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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

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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