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All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to romapip@quipo.it. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in July 2010.

Chiesa e Monastero di Sant'Egidio (Book 8) (Map D3) (Day 6) (View D10) (Rione Trastevere)

In this page:
 The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
 Today's view
 S. Egidio
 Tribuna di S. Maria in Trastevere
 Oratorio del SS. Sacramento and Oratorio di Maria SS. Addolorata
 Palazzo Velli

The Plate (No. 147)

This etching by Giuseppe Vasi which shows a peaceful corner of Trastevere was chosen by Museo di Roma in Trastevere - external link as its logo. The museum is housed in the former nunnery and it shows documentation of daily life in Rome in the last three centuries; it is a very well chosen location because this neighbourhood still retains fragments of the traditional Roman way of living.
The view is taken from the green dot in the 1748 map below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) S. Egidio; 2) Tribuna (rear part) di S. Maria in Trastevere; 3) Palazzo Velli. The small map shows also 4) Oratorio del SS. Sacramento; 5) Oratorio di Maria SS. Addolorata.


The view in June 2010 from slightly different angles

Today Trastevere is associated with Roman nightlife, but during the day and especially in the morning it can be pretty quiet; there are more trees in the streets of Rome than there were at Vasi's time, but this is the only change which has occurred at Piazza di S. Egidio.

S. Egidio

(left) Fašade; (right) XVIIIth century sacred image on the side wall of the church; a detail of its stucco decoration can be seen in the image used as background for this page

S. Egidio was built in 1630 when Pope Urban VIII was the reigning pope and the etching by Vasi shows that the fašade had his coat of arms; the adjoining nunnery belonged to the Discalced Carmelites and above the entrance there is an inscription saying that the church was dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel; however because it replaced a previous church dedicated to St. Giles it maintained also the old dedication, which eventually prevailed to avoid confusion with S. Maria del Carmelo.

(left) Main altar with ecumenical symbols of the Community of S. Egidio - external link; (right) monument to Petronilla Paolini Massimo, a member of Accademia dell'Arcadia

The church and a section of the nunnery are currently utilized by the Community of S. Egidio, a lay association having among its aims service to poor people and working for peace; in this field this organization has achieved results where international agencies have failed.

Tribuna di S. Maria in Trastevere

(left) External wall of the transept of S. Maria in Trastevere; (right) rear view of the bell tower

The medieval transept of S. Maria in Trastevere was modified in the late XVIth century and three windows were closed; the side entrance was still being used at Vasi's time, but it was closed in the XIXth century.

Oratorio del SS. Sacramento

(left/centre) Oratorio del SS. Sacramento; (right) Oratorio di Maria SS. Addolorata

Religious brotherhoods often specialized in providing specific services: members of Arciconfraternita del SS. Sacramento took care of bringing the Eucharist to the very sick as a form of spiritual comfort; they initially had their meetings in Cappella di S. Maria della Clemenza in S. Maria in Trastevere, but for the Jubilee Year 1675 they built a small oratory in a nearby alley; the fašade has a very theatrical stucco decoration showing putti raising curtains. Today the building houses a restaurant.
Members of Pia Unione di Maria SS. Addolorata e delle Anime Sante del Purgatorio prayed for the souls in Purgatory; they did so at Cimitero di S. Spirito, but in 1787 they moved their meetings to a small cemetery on the right side of S. Maria in Trastevere, where in 1819 an oratory was completed, in part modifying existing buildings.

Palazzo Velli

(left) Palazzo Velli; (right) coat of arms of the family

The Velli were an important family of Trastevere during the XVth century; a 1526 census recorded 188 members of the enlarged Velli family, which included servants. In the late XVth century the Velli gave a uniform appearance to a series of houses opposite S. Egidio; the left entrance has a more elaborate design, similar to that of Palazzo Lancellotti in Piazza Navona.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:

Chiesa e Monastero di s. Egidio
Quivi era prima una chiesa dedicata a s. Lorenzo martire, spettante al Capitolo di s Maria in Trastevere, il quale avendola conceduta ad Agostino Lancellotti nell'anno 1610. questi la dedic˛ a s. Egidio abate; ed invogliatisi alcuni pii Cristiani di unirvi un monastero di religiose Carmelitane, il Lancellotti fecelo erede di una buona parte de' suoi beni; dipoi facendovi donazione Francesca Mazziotti di tutto quello, che possedeva, allor che fu rimasta vedova, vi pigli˛ l'abito religioso anche essa. Dipoi nell'anno 1630. fu rinnovata la chiesa da D. Filippo Colonna, e fu ornata di quadri del Camassei, del Roncalli, e del suddetto P. Luca Fiammingo.

Next plate in Book 8: Monastero di S. Susanna

Next step in Day 6 itinerary: Monastero di S. Pietro in Montorio