The page covers:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
S. Andrea della Valle (and Abate Luigi)
Fontana di Borgo
Palazzo Caffarelli Vidoni
SS. Sudario de' Savojardi
S. Giuliano dei Fiamminghi
S. Maria in Monterone
This 1756 etching by Giuseppe Vasi shows a section of Strada Papale, actually a series of streets from Ponte S. Angelo to il Ges¨ which were crossed by the solemn procession which accompanied the newly-elected pope
from S. Pietro to S. Giovanni in Laterano.
The street was rather narrow and notwithstanding a small square in front of the church, it did not allow a view of the tall fašade of S. Andrea della Valle as that drawn by Vasi.
The view is taken from the green dot in the 1748 map below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Papal Street; 2) Palazzo della Truglia; 3) Palazzo del Generale Manfroni; 4) Vicolo de' Sediari (chair-makers), a very narrow street leading to Archiginnasio della Sapienza. The small map shows also: 5) S. Andrea della Valle; 6) Palazzo Valle; 7) S. Maria in Monterone; 8) S. Elisabetta dei Fornari; 9) SS. Sudario de' Savojardi; 10) S. Giuliano de' Fiamminghi; 11) Palazzo Caffarelli Vidoni. The dotted line in the small map delineates the border between Rione Parione (left) and Rione Sant'Eustachio (right).
In the plate covering Palazzo Massimi alle Colonne Vasi showed in more detail Palazzo del Generale (Ludovico) Manfroni, a Renaissance building which is best known as Palazzo di Girolamo Pichi, its founder.
The view in June 2011
In the late XIXth century this section of Strada Papale was enlarged by pulling down the buildings which were not regarded as having a significant historical or artistic value and it was renamed Corso Vittorio Emanuele II; Palazzo Trulli (or della Truglia) was demolished and replaced by a building which was aligned with the fašade of S. Andrea della Valle and situated at a greater distance from the church; also the small church of S. Elisabetta dei Fornari which adjoined Palazzo Trulli was pulled down; it belonged to the brotherhood of the German bakers and it was one of many churches belonging to a guild.
The fašade seen from Corso Rinascimento in June 2009
In 1936-1938 a new large street (Corso Rinascimento) replaced Vicolo dei Sediari; this street brought an additional wave of traffic right to the front of the church, but it also allowed a better view of the fašade designed by Carlo Rainaldi in 1655-1665. Vasi showed in his plate statues also in the two upper niches, which now are empty and he also showed two angels at the sides of the upper part of the fašade, while today there is only one of them. It is possible that at Vasi's time the decoration of the fašade was completed with ephemeral cardboard or plaster statues.
(left) The dome seen from Area Sacra dell'Argentina (the image used as background for this page shows it from another viewpoint); (right) the upper part of the dome with details showing three mountains with a star and a lion between pears, heraldic symbols of Cardinal Alessandro Peretti, nephew of Pope Sixtus V (similar symbols can be seen on the dome of S. Pietro)
The Theatines belonged to a religious order founded in the XVIth century with the aim of restoring respect and admiration for the Roman Catholic Church by adopting an austere lifestyle and by fighting the teachings of Martin Luther. Pietro Carafa, Bishop of Chieti (Lat. Theate), one of the founding members of the order, was elected Pope Paul IV in 1555.
In 1582 the order was bequeathed a palace which included a small church by Costanza Piccolomini d'Aragona, Duchess of Amalfi, with the obligation of building a large church dedicated to St. Andrew, the patron saint of Amalfi; in 1591 the first stone of the new church was laid; in 1608 Cardinal Alessandro Peretti commissioned Carlo Maderno the completion of the church with the erection of the second largest dome of Rome.
Fašade: (left) Coat of arms of Cardinal Francesco Peretti between Hope and Strength by Giacomo Antonio Fancelli; (right) coat of arms of Pope Alexander VII
The dome was completed in 1622; Maderno designed a fašade similar to that of S. Susanna, but his project was not entirely followed by Carlo Rainaldi who completed the church at the request of Francesco, another Cardinal Peretti, during the pontificate of Pope Alexander VII.
The church is called della Valle because it is located near Palazzo Valle and to distinguish it from other historical churches of Rome dedicated to St. Andrew, e.g. S. Andrea delle Fratte and S. Andrea al Quirinale.
(left) Angel by Ercole Ferrata on the left side of the fašade (the nearby six mountains with a star are one of the heraldic symbols of Pope Alexander VII); (right) Abate Luigi, one of the Talking Statues of Rome
Rainaldi decided to replace the volutes designed by Maderno to link the lower section of the fašade to the upper one with two statues of angels; when the first statue was placed on the fašade it was so criticized that Ercole Ferrata, its sculptor, refused to work on the other one.
An ancient statue known as Abate Luigi stands in the street to the left of the church; it is made up of the body of a statue portraying a senator or an emperor and of the too small head of another statue; together with Pasquino (which is not far away), Madama Lucrezia, il Babuino, il Facchino and Marforio, Abate Luigi voiced the views of the Romans on the papal government.
(left) Interior with paintings by Mattia Preti in the apse (see his later works at Valletta); (right) dome painted by Giovanni Lanfranco
with pendentives by il Domenichino who painted also the ceiling of the apse (see his pendentives at S. Carlo ai Catinari
This Church is a very Noble one, and very
Light; the Grand Cupola of Lanfranco and the Tribunal, or Mezzo Cupola of Dominichino with the Angels, and Ornaments, appear at one View as one enters the Church; and
being very Bright, and Gaily Painted, strike
the Eye, and give a vast Pleasure from the
mere Beauty of the Colours.
Jonathan and Jonathan Richardson - Account of Some of the Statues, etc. in Italy - 1722
The interior is not divided into naves. This layout suited the delivering of homilies by leading members of the order from a high pulpit. The Theatines were known for being proficient preachers. The homilies were accompanied by music and on special occasions by short theatrical pieces, especially during Lent.
The Strozzi were a family of Florentine bankers. The Roman branch of the family acquired a chapel at S. Andrea della Valle in the early stages of the construction of the church, which was near their palace. It was designed in a very Renaissance style to the point that some art historians suggested it was based on a project by Michelangelo.
Apart from Cappella Strozzi the decoration of the church is very much in line with the prevailing style of the XVIIth century. In other pages you can see Cappella Rucellai, a monument by Domenico Guidi, a marble altarpiece by Antonio Raggi and a funerary monument also by Antonio Raggi. The church houses the Monuments to Pope Pius II and Pope Pius III from S. Pietro Vecchio.
The first act of Tosca, a popular opera by Giacomo Puccini, is set in a chapel of the church (the second act takes place at Palazzo Farnese and the third one at Castel Sant'Angelo).
The design of S. Andrea della Valle had an influence on that of other churches of the Theatine Order. That at Munich was built in 1663-1690 and, similar to S. Andrea, it is characterized by a dome and a single large nave. It was designed by Agostino Barelli who was also involved in the construction of Schloss Nymphenburg, a countryside palace of the Bavarian Electors.
In 1958 a fountain which previously was located opposite S. Giacomo in Scossacavalli was reassembled in the square near S. Andrea della Valle. It is attributed to Carlo Maderno by contemporary writers, but according to other sources it was designed by Giovanni Vasanzio; it was famous for its high spouts, similar to the fountains of Piazza S. Pietro.
(left) Main fašade; (right) decoration of the rear entrance including an ancient funerary relief
The palace was built in ca 1520 for Cardinal Andrea della Valle (whose name is written at the top of some windows; he was bishop of Mileto, a town in southern Italy). The palace is slightly curved; it was enlarged in the XVIIth century and the main entrance was relocated; in the following century a storey was added; Giorgio Vasari attributes the design of the palace to Lorenzo Lotti aka Lorenzetto, a friend of Raphael, but today there are doubts about Vasari's statement.
Cardinal della Valle had a large collection of ancient statues and reliefs which embellished his palace until 1584 when it was sold to Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici who utilized it to decorate his villa and which eventually were moved to Florence.
Pietro della Valle (1586-1652) is known for having travelled through Egypt and Asia and in particular for his account of his stay at Isfahan and for the description of some monuments he visited in his journey, e.g. the Mausoleum of Oljeitu at Soltaniyeh.
Florence - Galleria degli Uffizi: works of art from the Valle collection: (left) porphyry she-wolf (stripped of its Renaissance additions); (right) young satyr
British Museum: funerary relief (late Ist century BC) of Lucius Antistius Sarculo and his wife and freedwoman (former slave) Antistia from the Valle collection
(left) Original fašade in Via del Sudario; (right) entrance
Similar to Palazzo Valle, Palazzo Caffarelli was built at the beginning of the XVIth century: the design of the ground floor
(almost the only part not modified in the following centuries) was attributed to Raphael on the basis of the letters R. V. written on a corner of the fašade; they were interpreted as meaning Raphael Vrbinas (from Urbino), but today they are thought to be a reference to Cardinal Pietro Vidoni who enlarged and modified the building in the XIXth century.
Art historians believe Lorenzetto was involved in the design of the palace, which was given a second fašade along Corso Vittorio Emanuele at the end of the
The Caffarelli built another palace on the Campidoglio Hill towards the end of the XVIth century. They are chiefly known because of Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli, nephew of Pope Paul V Borghese. The Vidoni had an elegant funerary chapel at S. Maria della Vittoria.
(left) Fašade; (right-above) lions supporting the coat of arms of Savoy; (right-below) property tablet on an adjoining building showing the Holy Shroud
The Duchy of Savoy was considered a minor state with little say in Italian affairs. Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples were for centuries the main actors on the political scene. In the end, however, an heir of the Dukes of Savoy became the first King of Italy. The church of the Savoyards and Piedmontese living in Rome was dedicated to the Holy Shroud (It. sudario or Sacra Sindone), the main relic of their country (in Turin since 1578). The church was built in 1605, but the fašade was completed in 1687 by Carlo Rainaldi.
(left) Interior; (right) a capital
The church was deconsecrated in 1801-1814 when it was used as a stable. It was properly restored in 1871 when it was placed under the patronage of the King of Italy. The interior has a very colourful decoration, similar to other Baroque churches, with unusual and highly elaborate capitals.
Stucco angels holding a copy of the Holy Shroud
Pope Alexander VII was presented with a copy of the Holy Shroud by a nun of the Savoy family. He in turn donated it to the Savoyard/Piedmontese community. A complex stucco group was designed by Antonio Gherardi, a painter known for the ceiling of S. Maria in Trivio, but also an architect (Cappella di S. Cecilia at S. Carlo dei Catinari), to properly exhibit the copy of the Holy Shroud. The statues were made by Pietro Mentinovese in 1689.
You may wish to see a directory of national churches in Rome.
(left) Via del Sudario and the Flemish hostel; (centre) fašade; (right) monument to Winnoch de la Wiel, the inscription says he made a bequest to the church and therefore was entitled to periodical masses for the repose of his soul, including a yearly "cantata" mass
Flemish merchants in Rome founded a brotherhood and built a small chapel and a hostel for pilgrims in the XIth century. At the end of the XVth century the two buildings were largely renovated. Emperor Charles V, who was born in the Flemish city of Ghent, became a member of the brotherhood when he visited Rome in 1536.
(left) Detail of the portal with the bronze copy of a wooden statue of St. Julian the Hospitaller by Judocus van Haerts; (right) detail of the hostel
The church is dedicated to St. Julian the Hospitaller, who according to one of the many versions of his life was born in today's Belgium. The decoration of the church is based on lions, the heraldic symbol of the County of Flanders; the reference to the Flemish was lost in 1815, when Flanders became part of the Netherlands. After 1830 the chapel was called S. Giuliano dei Belgi, but in 1975 King Baudoin of Belgium restored its original name. A (lost) hostel for pilgrims coming from LiŔge, the main town of the French-speaking part of Belgium, was founded in 1699 in Rione Campo Marzio.
(left) S. Maria in Monterone; (centre/right) Convent of the Mercedarians
The church of S. Maria in Monterone (after the name of a family from Siena) is mentioned in very old documents; it was rebuilt in 1682. In 1728 it was assigned by Pope Benedict XIII to the Mercedarians, the members of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, who, similar to the Trinitiarians, had the objective of ransoming Christian slaves in Muslim countries. In Rome the order was represented by very few members and for this reason the convent adjoining the church is perhaps the smallest one in Rome; it was designed by Francesco Bianchi. You may wish to see the gruesome Monument to Cardinal Stefano Durazzo inside the church.
Next plate in Book 7: S. Silvestro al Quirinale.
Next step in Day 4 itinerary: Archiginnasio della Sapienza.
Next step in Day 5 itinerary: Chiesa dell'Arciconfraternita delle Stimmate di S. Francesco.
Next step in your tour of Rione Sant'Eustachio: SS. Benedetto e Scolastica.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Prese un tal nome questa magnifica chiesa dalla valle in cui siede; o secondo altri dal palazzo della famiglia
Valle, che Ŕ ivi presso. Fu eretta ad istanza di D. Costanza Piccolomini, la quale don˛ ai chierici regolari
Teatini un palazzo, che quivi aveva, e per˛ fu principiata l'anno 1591. dal Card. Alfonso Gesualdo
Napoletano col disegno di Pietro Paolo Olivieri; e fu seguitata dal Card. Alessandro Montalto, e
poi terminata dal Card. Francesco Peretti suo nipote, col disegno di Carlo Maderno; il prospetto per˛ Ŕ del