Wednesday, January 17, 2007

December 2006 - Rome, Italy - Churches & Museums

With our time in Rome coming to an end, this week we focused on visiting churches and museums that we had not visited in the past 4 months.

The church of Santa Barbara is just outside of Campo dei Fiori and we walk by it almost everyday on our way home from school. This tiny baroque church is squeezed in between 2 palazzos.The Chiesa Nuova (New Church) is a large baroque church designed by Maderno (same architect that designed the facade of St. Peter's Basilica) with an art collection including works by Carvaggio and an amazing ceiling frescoed by Cortona. The church is located next door to our Italian language school and after hopping off the bus in front of the church everyday for 3 months, we finally decided to check out the inside.On our way home from Chiesa Nuova we stopped at the Basilica di San Andrea, which was also designed by Maderno and is famous for the 3 frescoes by Cortona in the niche behind the main alter.This week, we also visited the Palazzo Barberini built by Cardinal Barberini for his family. This Palazzo is now a museum with an amazing collection of Renaissance paintings and sculptures. On our way, we took these shots of Piazza Barberini, at the foot of the famous Via Veneto, and the impressive Fontana di Tritone in the center.Here's Casandra in front of the Palazzo Barberini.The ceiling of the main hall of the Palazzo is frescoed by Cortona, similarly to the churches described above. Although this is arguably Cortona's most magnificent fresco, its subject is far less interesting than his others, as its sole purpose is to glorify the Barberini family.

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