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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 December 2010.

Chiesa di S. Andrea della Valle (Book 7) (Map C2) (Day 4) and (Day 5) (View C7) (Rione Sant'Eustachio)

In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
Today's view (and S. Elisabetta dei Fornari)
S. Andrea della Valle (and Abate Luigi)
Fountain from Borgo
Palazzo Valle
Palazzo Vidoni o Caffarelli
SS. Sudario de' Savojardi
S. Giuliano dei Fiamminghi
S. Maria in Monterone

The Plate (No. 134)

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 (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 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 the Papal Street 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; 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 1936-38 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 1655-65. 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.

S. Andrea della Valle

(left) The dome seen from Area Sacra dell'Argentina; (right) the upper part of the dome with details showing three mountains with a star and a lion between pears, the heraldic symbols of the Peretti

The Theatines belonged to an 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, one of the founding members of the order became pope in 1555 with the name of Paul IV; 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, nephew of Pope Sixtus V 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 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; the first act of Tosca, a popular opera by Giacomo Puccini, is set in a chapel of the church (the second act takes place in Palazzo Farnese and the third one in Castel Sant' Angelo).

(left) Angel by Ercole Ferrata on the left side of the fašade (the nearby six mountains with a star are the heraldic symbol of Pope Alexander VII); (right) Abate Luigi

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 (click here to learn more about the Talking Statues of Rome).
You can see the fine ceiling of the church in a page covering the ceilings of many Roman churches, Cappella Rucellai and a monument by Domenico Guidi, a marble altarpiece by Antonio Raggi and a funerary monument also by Antonio Raggi in pages covering Baroque sculpture and the monument to Pope Pius II in the historical section.

Fountain from Borgo

(left) The fountain; (right) detail showing a dragon, one of the heraldic symbols of Pope Paul V

In 1958 a fountain which previously was located in S. Giacomo in Scossacavalli was reconstructed in the square in front of 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, which instead today are kept to a minimum.

Palazzo Valle

(left) Main fašade; (right) decoration of the rear entrance including an ancient funerary relief

The palace was built 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). 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 its contents to decorate his villa. 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; 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.

Palazzo Vidoni

(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 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 XIXth century.

SS. Sudario de' Savojardi

(left) Fašade; (right-above) lions supporting the coat of arms of Savoy; (right-below) relief showing the Holy Shroud

The Duchy of Savoy was considered a minor state with little say in the 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 national church of the Savoyards was dedicated to the Holy Shroud (It. sudario or Santa Sindone), the main relic of that country (in Turin since 1578). The church was built in 1605, but the fašade was completed in 1687 by Carlo Rainaldi (click here for a list of national churches in Rome).

S. Giuliano dei Fiamminghi

(left) Via del Sudario and the Flemish hostel; (centre) fašade; (right) monument to Winnoch de la Wiel

Flemish merchants in Rome joined the brotherhood of St. Julian 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 in 1536 became a member of the brotherhood when he visited Rome.

(left) Detail of the portal with the bronze copy of a wooden statue of St. Julian by Judocus van Haerts; (right) detail of the hostel

The church is dedicated to St. Julian the Hospitaller, a saint about whom many legends abound, 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 restored its original name (click here for a list of national churches in Rome).

S. Maria in Monterone

(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.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:

Chiesa di s. Andrea della Valle
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 Cav. Rainaldi.
E' notabile, che nel cavare i fondamenti di questo, dalla parte verso Campo di fiore furono trovate le rovine della curia di Pompeo Magno, ed il Nardini asserisce di averne vedute sotterra due grosse colonne di marmo. Fabbricolla quivi Pompeo, come diremo nella settima giornata appresso al suo teatro, acci˛ in tempo di spettacoli teatrali si potesse per maggior comoditÓ del popolo tenere Senato in essa: ma in essa fu poi seguita la grande tragedia sopra il fondatore dell'Impero Romano Giulio Cesare, il quale nel tempo, che vi teneva Senato fu assalito da' congiurati, e con replicate ferite fu lasciato estinto a pie' della statua di Pompeo; di che sdegnato il popolo abbrugi˛ la curia, e poi perseguit˛ a morte i congiurati.
Questa chiesa oltre la magnificenza della fabbrica, Ŕ riguardevole: per le nobilissime cappelle ornate di marmi, e sculture, ed ancora per le celebri pitture del Domenichino e del Lanfranco: onde per dare piacere al mio Lettore, principieremo dalla prima cappella a destra incrostata tutta di bellissimi marmi; evvi sull'altare la Fuga in Egitto scolpita di tutto rilievo da Antonio Raggi; e ne' laterali due depositi con statue, ed altre sculture opere di Alessandro Rondone; nella seconda cappella similmente tutta ornata di preziosi marmi col disegno del Buonarroti, si vede sull'altare la ss. Vergine con Ges¨ Cristo morto in seno, e due statue laterali tutte di bronzo, ricavate da' modelli del medesimo Buonarroti, ed ancora sono ammirabili le quattro urne di marmo nero, e le dodici colonne con capitelli e basi di metallo dorato, ed insieme li due gran candellieri con altri di simil metallo. Il s. Carlo nella cappella, che siegue, Ŕ pittura del Crescenzi, ed il s. Andrea Avellino nella crociata Ŕ del Lanfranco, il quale dipinse a fresco la gran cupola. Il martirio di s. Andrea Apost. e i due laterali nell'altare maggiore, sono del Cav. Mattia Calabrese; i due per˛ posti sopra gli archi uno Ŕ del Cignani, e l'altro del Tarsi Bolognese, e tutte le pitture sopra del cornicione, e nelli spartimenti della gran tribuna, ed ancora i quattro Evangelisti sotto la cupola sono opere, celebri e stupende del gran Domenichino. E' notabile ancora la penultima cappella dedicata a s. Michele Arcangelo per essere tutta ornata di marmi preziosi, ma di pitture solamente vi Ŕ il s. Principe colorito dal Cav. Cristofano Roncalli; l'ultima poi Ŕ ornata di marmi, pietre dure, e varie sculture, e dove Ŕ la piccola cappelletta di s. Sebastiano, si crede da molti, che corrispondesse la chiavica, di dove il corpo del s. Martire fu levato dalla s. Matrona Lucina: perci˛ il Card. Maffeo Barberino, che poi fu Papa Urb. VIII. nel fare la nobilissima cappella, fecevi tale memoria. La statua di s. Maria, Ŕ del Mochi, il s. Gio. Evang. del Malvicino, il s. Gio. Batista, di Pietro Bernino, la Maddalena, di Cristofano Santi, il quale fece ancora le due statue a sedere nella detta cappelletta; ed il quadro sull'altare con i laterali e lunette, sono del Cav. Passignani.
Nell'uscire dalla porticella laterale vedesi la chiesa di s. Elisabetta della confraternita de' Fornari oltramontani, i quali l'hanno ornata di marmi finti e varie pitture; ed eravi prima un monastero di monache.
Prima di uscire dall'altra porticella evvi a sinistra il deposito del Conte Tieni fatto col disegno di Domenico Guidi, il quale fece le due statue, ed altri lavori di marmo; uscendo poi evvi a destra la seguente
Chiesa del ss. Sudario de' Savojardi
Era qui presso una chiesa antica spettante alla badia di Farfa, la quale avendo nell'an. 1537. ottenuta la confraternita de' Savoiardi, l'eressero di nuovo col disegno del Cav. Rinaldi nell'anno 1605. e ora l'hanno ornata di marmi, stucchi dorati, e pitture; il quadro nell' altare maggiore Ŕ di Antonio Gherardi; il san Francesco di Sales, di Carlo Cesi, ed il Santo incontro, di Paolo Perugino; il ss. Sudario per˛ fu fatto sulla stessa misura di quello, che sta in Torino, e dall'Arcivescovo Alfonso Paleotto fu donato a Clemente VIII. il quale poi lo don˛ a questa chiesa.
Palazzo Caffarelli
Dinanzi alla suddetta chiesa si vede questo bel palazzo eretto col disegno di Raffaelle da Urbino, e nel di lui cantone evvi una brutta statua entro una nicchia, che per dispregio si dice l'Abate Luigi, e pochi passi dopo evvi a destra la
Chiesa di s. Giuliano e lo spedale della nazione Fiamminga
E' questa molto antica, mentre da Roberto Duca di Fiandra fu ristaurata insieme collo spedale l' anno 1094. quando pass˛ da Roma per andare alla ricuperazione de' luoghi santi di Gerusalemme. Fu poi nel 1575. rinnovata ed ornata di marmi, sculture, e pitture di buoni autori, e sopra la porta, vi fu messa la statua del Santo.
Chiesa di s. Maria in Monterone
Dalla famiglia, che la fond˛ forse prese il nome questa piccola, ed antica chiesa, e la possiedono i frati Trinitarj riformati del Riscatto.

Next plate in Book 7: Chiesa di S. Silvestro
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.