Saturday, October 17, 2020

San Tommaso ai Cenci

where: Piazza Cinque Scole, 3
getting there: bus 40 or 64/stop Argentina, then a short walk toward the Jewish Ghetto
open: weekdays 10:00-12:00
information: the facade of the church is in a little piazza in Via Monte de Cenci, but the actual entrance to the church is via the doorway in Piazza Cinque Scole (pictured)

The small church of San Tommaso ai Cenci was built in the 16th century. 
It is surrounded by the properties and palaces once owned by the family of Beatrice Cenci and was the Cenci family chapel.
The church has many symbols of the Cenci family crests incorporated into the decorations. The nave ceiling fresco painted with crescent moons, the Cenci family crest, and the first chapel on the left, commissioned by Ludovica Velli, widow of Giacomo Cenci has heraldry of both the Velli family crests, the tree and the Cenci crescent.
The Baroque chapel on the right is also similarly decorated with heraldry of the family.
There is a counter facade lunette fresco depicting Christ and the Samaritan Woman dating to the 17th century which was rediscovered during a 1972 restoration of the church.
At the high altar is a painting of Our Lady of Sorrows  from the 17th century.
In the second chapel on the left is a fresco by Girolamo Sicolante de Sermoneta dating to 1565.

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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