All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to email@example.com. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in April 2009.
S. Eustachio (Book 6) (Day 4) (View C6) (Rione Sant'Eustachio)
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The area is untouched since Vasi's time. As usual Vasi enlarged the street and rearranged the perspective in order to show the façade and the bell tower of S. Eustachio.
The church gives the name to the quarter (rione). The stag is a reference to an event associated with the conversion of the saint (see below); the account is now regarded by the Roman Catholic Church as a legend. The bell tower (which was recently restored) goes back to the XIIth century while the church was almost totally rebuilt between 1701 and 1730 mainly on the basis of a project by Giovan Battista Contini (the head of the stag was criticized for looking like a donkey's head).
The University of La Sapienza was founded in the XVth century and the front was completed by Giacomo Della Porta for Pope Sixtus V. Francesco Borromini decorated the side shown on this plate and built the church during the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII and his successors. The design of the lantern was meant to represent the path to achieve supreme wisdom; the flaming crown is a symbol of divine charity.
Palazzo Cenci Maccarani
This palace has four names: Stati, Cenci, Maccarani, di Brazzà. Cristoforo Stati commissioned the building to Giulio Romano, an architect and painter who started his career as an assistant to Raphael. The design of the palace is characterized by the use of jack arches (It. piattabanda). A jack arch is an "arch" which is flat in profile, but has the advantage of discharging strength as a regular arch through the use of wedge shaped stones.
In 1561 the palace was bought by the Cenci who passed it to the Maccarani, a branch of the family, at the end of the XVIIIth century. It was eventually bought by the Savorgnan di Brazzà. It is close to Palazzo Madama, and it is now used by the Senate of the Republic as an ancillary location.
Palazzo Medici Lante
Next to Palazzo Cenci, Palazzo Lante (which once belonged to Pope Leo X Medici) is attributed to Giuliano da Sangallo. A Lante married the last heir of the Della Rovere, the family of Pope Julius II (1503-13). He was allowed to add to his surname that of his wife and to make use of her coat of arms.
The Coat of arms of Pius IV
The plate shows on the left an elegant small building, decorated with frescoes by Federico Zuccari. The façade on the piazza shows the coat of arms of Pope Pius IV and between the windows of the top floor the miracle of S. Eustachio; he was a Roman soldier who was hunting a stag, but refrained from killing it when he saw a cross on its head. Renaissance palaces were very often painted (see also Palazzo Ricci and Palazzo della Maschera d'Oro).
Tizio di Spoleto was house-steward of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and this explains the presence of fleur-de-lis (the Farnese heraldic symbol) in the very elaborate decoration of the building.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Next plate in Book 6: S. Lucia alle Botteghe oscure
Next step in Day 4 itinerary: S. Maria in Monterone
Next step in your tour of Rione Sant'Eustachio: Piazza de' Crescenzi