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Chiesa di S. Maria del Rosario (Book 7) (Day 8) (View C2)

In this page:
 The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
 Today's view
 Villa Mellini e S. Lazzaro in Borgo
 Cappella del SS. Crocifisso
 S. Francesco d'Assisi
 Villa Massimo alla Balduina

The Plate (No. 129 - ii)

Chiesa di S. Maria del Rosario

Monte Mario is the hill which closes the little marshy plain north of Castel Sant'Angelo which was called i Prati (meadows) di Castello. In the valley between the two peaks of Monte Mario there was the Friary of S. Maria del Rosario. The view is taken from the green dot in the XIXth century map below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) S. Maria del Rosario; 2) Cappella del SS. Crocifisso e Villa Mellini. The small map shows also 3) S. Lazzaro in Borgo.

Small ViewSmall View

Today

View of Monte Mario


Today's view of Monte Mario is not very different from that of the past . The 1841 print shows a line of trees going up the hill. They flanked Via Trionfale (Triumphalis) a road linking Ponte Trionfale with Via Flaminia and which was part of the itinerary followed by the consuls returning to Rome to be recognised for their victories in a procession called triumph.

The view today

S. Maria del Rosario is today a Nunnery and behind it there is one of the poshest boroughs of Rome. The fašade was built in 1726 by Filippo Raguzzini during the pontificate of Benedictus XIII. The pope had been a Dominican friar and the monastery belonged to the Dominicans.

Villa Mellini e S. Lazzaro in Borgo


Observatory of Monte Mario

Villa Mellini, today the seat of the astronomical observatory of Rome (once in Collegio Romano) was built in the XVIth century and it was known for its excellent view over Rome. S. Lazzaro in Borgo is a tiny XIIth century church at the foot of the hill, now a bit difficult to find as it is hidden by modern buildings.
Read Henry James's account of his visit to Villa Mellini in 1873.

The little chapel of the SS. Crocifisso mentioned in the plate is lost.

S. Francesco d'Assisi


S. Francesco d'Assisi

The small church dedicated to St. Francis is located along Via Trionfale where St. Francis first saw Rome. Today the urban development of Rome obstructs the view. The church was built during the pontificate of Benedictus XIII and it has the fine (and not very expensive) stucco decorations typical of that period. A modern relief shows the reaction of St. Francis when he first saw the Eternal City.

Villa Massimo alla Balduina

Villa Massimo alla Balduina

Abito alla Balduina "I live in Balduina" is not only an indication of where you live, but a sort of status symbol which says that you are very wealthy (or that you pretend to be). It is very expensive to buy or rent a flat in this modern quarter of Rome, built on the rear part of Monte Mario on the site of some old villas, chiefly of Villa Massimo. The pines which here and there embellish the most expensive houses belong to the old villa.
Its main building still exists at No 296 of Via della Balduina, behind a modern church. The two wings have lost their late XVIIth century decoration, but the central part retains it. From this point the Massimo enjoyed a great (although remote) view over Rome.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Chiesa di s. Lazzaro
Circa l'anno 1187. fu questa piccola chiesa eretta da un povero di nazione Francese con uno spedale per i poveri lebbrosi, e fu dedicata a s. Lazzaro mendico, e similmente al fratello di s. Maria Maddalena penitente; ma essendo ora stato eretto lo spedale di s. Gallicano in Trastevere per li rognosi, con quelli furono uniti i lebbrosi, rimanendo quivi la cura delle anime, dipendente dalla basilica Vaticana, proseguendo poi il cammino per il clivo del monte, che anticamente dicevasi di Cinna, si trova nell'alto la
Chiesa del ss. Crocifisso a monte Mario
Fu questa piccola chiesa, o cappella eretta circa l'anno 1470. in onore della ss. Croce da Pietro Mellini, quivi presso una sua possessione, e vi si conserva il corpo di s. Moderato martire. Si vede poi dall'altra parte della strada, e sull'alto del monte la
Chiesa e Conv. di s. Maria del Rosario
Da Gio. Vittorio de Rossi fu eretta questa chiesa, a cui Ŕ unito il convento de' frati Domenicani, che fu rinnovato da Benedetto XIII. il quale vi andava spesso a dimorarvi, trattenendosi religiosamente e senza Corte, appunto come uno di quei frati. Nell'altra punta del monte evvi la
Villa e casino Mellini
Non giÓ da Mario Console, ma da Mario della famiglia Mellini Romana, prese il moderno nome questo monte, mentre avendo nel Pontificato di Sisto IV. eretta questa villa nel pi¨ alto e delizioso luogo del monte, che malo dicevasi, egli cambiolli il nome in monte Mario. Dalla parte di esso verso ponente, e verso il fine delle vigne, evvi la chiesa di s Francesco di Assisi edificata dall'abate Neri con il convento, ove oggi abitano i frati Girolamini di s. Onofrio, i quali amministrano la cura delle anime di quella contrada.


Next plate in Book 7: Chiesa e Convento di S. Pasquale

Next step in Day 8 itinerary: Villa Madama

Go to    or to  Book 7 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