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S. Simeone Profeta (Book 6) (Day 4 ) (View C5) (Rione Ponte)

In this page:
 The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
 Today's view
 S. Simeone Profeta
 Palazzo Lancellotti
 Palazzo Cesi
 S. Salvatore in Lauro and Fontana del Leone
 S. Maria in Posterula
 S. Salvatore in Primicerio
 Arco di Parma, Via and Teatro Tordinona
 Palazzo di Via della Maschera d'Oro
 Renaissance buildings in Via de' Coronari
 SS. Simone e Giuda

The Plate (No. 108)

S. Simeone Profeta

We are here close to Ponte S. Angelo: Arco di Parma leads down to the river bank; it was one of the few accesses to it in this part of Rome. The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Palazzo Lancellotti; 2) Other buildings adjoining Palazzo Lancellotti; 3) Arco di Parma; 4) S. Simeone; 5) Palace once belonging to the Cesi family. The small map shows also: 6) S. Salvatore in Lauro; 7) S. Maria in Posterula; 8) S. Salvatore in Primicerio; 9) Palazzo della Maschera d'Oro.

Small ViewSmall View

Today

The view today

The view is not much changed but rather than going down to the river now there are steps going up to the Lungotevere.

S. Simeone Profeta

S. Simeone Profeta

The little church of very old origin was entirely rebuilt by Cardinal Girolamo Lancellotti in 1610, mainly to retain a parish church next door to his palace. The fašade is the only remaining part of the church .

Palazzo Lancellotti

Palazzo Lancellotti

The plate shows only a corner of Palazzo Lancellotti which was begun by Daniele da Volterra and completed by Carlo Maderno. The portal is attributed to Domenichino. The street to the left of Palazzo Lancellotti is Via dei Coronari, famous today for its antique shops. It was opened by Sixtus IV in the XVth century to facilitate the access to St Peter's and it was called Via Recta (straight street). There were many shops selling devotional goods to the pilgrims including rosaries and small crowns (hence Coronari).
The little square in front of Palazzo Lancellotti is a 1930s addition: the fountain comes from Piazza Montanara.

Palazzo Lancellotti (main entrance) and the fountain

The houses for the servants are shown in the plate and they still bear the star of the Lancellotti.

Palazzo Lancellotti (building for the servants)

Palazzo Cesi

Palazzo Cesi

In the first half of the XVIIth century the family Cesi was among the wealthiest families of Rome. Cardinals Donato and Angelo Cesi built the fašade of S. Maria della Vallicella, the duke Federico Cesi protected Galilei, another duke, Francesco Maria, married a niece of Clemens VIII and added to the heraldic symbol of the Cesi (a tree on a mountain) the stripes of the Aldobrandini. At Vasi's time the Cesi had left the palace shown in the plate, but they retained a larger palace near Piazza S. Pietro in what is called today Via della Conciliazione. The palace has a fine XVIth century portal and on a corner a gigantic head of a lion.

S. Salvatore in Lauro and Fontana del Leone

S. Salvatore in Lauro

The detail of the map shows the location of three churches near Palazzo Lancellotti. S. Maria in Posterula was a little church built in a small gate of the walls on the river (posterula means small gate) and was pulled down at the end of the XIXth century, together with Arco di Parma (marked with a blue arrow) and Teatro Apollo or Tordinona, one of the main theatres of Rome. Arco di Parma had this name because of a nearby (lost) palace which belonged to a cardinal who had been bishop of Parma. S. Salvatore in Primicerio (the red dot in the map) is no longer a church. S. Salvatore in Lauro is dedicated to our Lady of Loreto (the detail of the fašade shows the angels bringing the holy house to Loreto) and it is the national church of the inhabitants of Le Marche the Italian region on the Adriatic Sea which was part of the Papal state (click here for a list of national churches in Rome). The church was restored in neoclassical style by Guglielmetti in 1862. The building with a green border was pulled down to create the square opposite Palazzo Lancellotti.
A little fountain, now next to S. Salvatore in Lauro and once in nearby Via di Panico, shows a worn out lion's head. The long inscription explains how a dragon (the heraldic symbol of Gregorius XIII) tamed the lion and convinced the beast to provide such a useful utility. Another fountain on the parapet along the river marks the site of Teatro Apollo. The inscription says that in the theatre two operas by Giuseppe Verdi Trovatore and Ballo in Maschera had their first performance.
The southern side of Via di Tordinona was spared by the quaying of the Tiber. Its old and decaying buildings were occupied by squatters in the 1970s and only very recently municipal authorities were able to recover and restore these houses, some of which still retain their Renaissance features and in particular the positioning of the windows in order to provide space for mural paintings. The squatters made use of this space and one of their mural paintings which portrayed a flying donkey was spared.

Fontane

Palazzo di Via della Maschera d'Oro

Palazzo di Via della Maschera d'Oro

In Via della Maschera d'Oro (Golden Mask) there is a XVIth century palace (Palazzo Milesi) which was painted by Polidoro da Caravaggio, a pupil of Raphael. The subject of the paintings is the myth of Niobe, although many scenes were inspired by the reliefs of Colonna Traiana. The name of the street is due to a detail of the decoration showing a little boy hiding behind a golden mask. Part of the paintings were revived in 2004 (image on the left). Next to it there is another Renaissance building with evidence of graffito paintings and decorations.

Renaissance Buildings in Via de' Coronari

Renaissance buildings

Via de' Coronari has several Renaissance buildings worth a short note. The portal of the house of Prospero Mochi was designed in 1516 and it shows some typical elements of Renaissance architecture (the use of the arch, the entablature with a moral inscription, the lateral pillars). Palazzo Ruiz or Sampieri is a Late Renaissance palace attributed to Bartolomeo Ammannati. Casa di Fiammetta is a (much restored) XVth century detached house at the end of Via de' Coronari. Fiammetta is the name of a Florentine courtesan, who was "friendly" with Cesare Borgia, the preferred son of pope Alexander VI, who in turn had been friends with another famous courtesan, Vannozza Cattanei.

SS. Simone e Giuda

SS. Simone e Giuda

SS. Simone e Giuda was also known as S. Maria in Monticello, with a reference a small elevation called Monte Giordano. The tiny church was deconsecrated at the beginning of the XXth century and turned into a cinema, then into a restaurant and finally into a theatre. The only thing left is the XVIIIth century portal.

Via dei Coronari has one of the oldest frames for sacred images shown in the streets of Rome. It was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger in 1523 for Cardinal Alberto Serra da Montefeltro (whose name is written below the image).

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Chiesa di s. Maria in Posterula
Era questa chiesa unita all'antico palazzo Gaetani, che quý ebbe quella nobilissima famiglia prima del Pontificato di Bonifazio VIII. ma poi avendola egli conceduta ai monaci Celestini, vi stabilirono il loro collegio, che dicesi Urbano.
Arco di Parma
Per quel che appare, era questo anticamente una porta per iscendere al Tevere, ora per˛ serve per lo spurgo, e scarico dell'immondezze, che si raccolgono per la CittÓ. Nel vicolo incontro corrisponde la
Chiesa di s. Simone Profeta
Da alcuni monumenti, che sono in questa chiesa si arguisce essere stata molto risplendente la sua antichitÓ, ma poi per la vecchiezza minacciando rovina l'an. 1610. fu rifatta dal Card. Lancellotti. A sinistra di questa evvi il palazzo Cesi, e nel casamento incontro si vede dipinto in chiaro e scuro il ritratto di Raffaelle da Urbino, in memoria di aver ivi abitato quell'insigne pittore de' nostri secoli; ed appresso si vedono altre pitture fatte similmente dichiaro e scuro, che rappresentano diversi fatti degli antichi Romani, e sono opere ammirabili di Polidoro da Caravaggio, e del Maturino, allievi del detto Raffaello: ma per disavventura hanno molto patito. Evvi a sinistra il palazzo Lancellotti, e a destra la
Chiesa di s. Salvatore in Primicerio e Palazzo Lancellotti
Quasi niuna notizia si ha di questa antichissima chiesa consagrata lĺanno 1113. ed ufiziata ora dalla compagnia di s. Trifone; e per˛ passeremo ad osservare le statue, li busti, e bassirilievi antichi, co' preziosi quadri del palazzo Lancellotti. Fu questo edificato con disegno di Carlo Maderno; il portone per˛ Ŕ del Domenichino; la strada laterale si dice de' coronari, perchŔ vi sono le botteghe di questi, e la scalinata, che si vede dall'altra parte della strada, porta alla piccola chiesa de' ss. Simone, e Giuda Apostoli, come fra poco diremo parlando del monte Giordano. Pigliando poi il cammino a destra, si trova la
Chiesa di s. Salvatore in Lauro
Insieme con questa chiesa fu eretto un monastero dal Card. Latino Orsini circa l'an. 1450. per li Canonici di s. Gregorio in Alga, i quali, poi riedificarono la chiesa col disegno di Ottavio Mascherini; ma essendo soppresso quell' ordine da Clemente IX. fu conceduta l'anno 1669. alla confraternita de' Marchigiani, i quali dedicarono la chiesa alla ss. Vergine di Loreto, e nel monastero eressero un collegio di nazionali. Nella chiesa sono delle cappelle ornate di marmi, e di pitture; fra le quali Ŕ rimarchevole il Presepio di nostro Signore nell'ultima cappella, per essere la prima opera di Pietro da Cortona; la ss. Vergine nell' altare maggiore Ŕ di Gio: Peruzzi d'Ancona, ed il s. Filippo Neri con altri Santi nella crociata Ŕ del Cav. Ghezzi. Indi scendendo per il vicoletto a destra della medesima chiesa. si torna alla strada dell'Orso, e piegando a sinistra in primo luogo il
Teatro di Tordinona
Erano quivi ne' secoli passati le carceri; dipoi fuvvi un magnifico teatro tutto costruito di materiali senza legno; ma essendo stato atterrato da Innoc. XI. ultimamente vi Ŕ stato rifatto di legno sul medesimo piantato dell' antico.

Next plate in Book 6: SS. Celso e Giuliano

Next step in Day 4 itinerary: SS. Celso e Giuliano
Next step in your tour of Rione Ponte: Palazzo Boncompagni Corcos

Go to    or to  Book 6 or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.


All images © 1999 - 2003 by Roberto Piperno. Write to romapip@quipo.it