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Chiesa di S. Carlo ai Catinari (Book 7) (Map C3) (Day 7) (View C8) (Rione Sant'Eustachio), (Rione Sant'Angelo) and (Rione Regola)

In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
Today's view (S. Anna dei Falegnami/S. Elena dei Credenzieri)
S. Carlo ai Catinari
Cappella di S. Cecilia
Palazzo Santacroce
Casa di Alessandro Gancia
Chiesa di Ges¨ Nazzareno o dei Santi Cosma e Damiano dei Barbieri and Palazzo Cavallerini
Palazzo Boccapaduli

The Plate (No. 136)

Chiesa di S. Carlo ai Catinari

The church is dedicated to S. Carlo Borromeo but the reference to Catinari is due to the nearby many little shops which manufactured and sold smallwares (catino=little basin). The view is taken from the green dot in the 1748 map below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) S. Carlo de' Catinari; 2) Monastero delle Monache di S. Anna; 3) Strada dei falegnami (joiners/carpenters); 4) Street leading to Piazza Giudia; 5) Palazzo Mattei. 5) is shown in another page. The small map shows also 6) Palazzo Santacroce; 7) Casa di Alessandro Gancia; 8) Chiesa di Ges¨ Nazzareno o dei Santi Cosma e Damiano dei Barbieri; 9) Palazzo Boccapaduli; 10) Palazzo Cavallerini. The dotted line in the small map delineates the borders between Rione Sant'Eustachio (top left quarter), Rione Pigna (top right quarter), Rione Regola (lower left quarter) and Rione Sant'Angelo (lower right quarter).

Small ViewSmall Map

Today

The view today

Although a large street (Via Arenula) divides the area of Campo di Fiori from the Ghetto still the view from the church towards Palazzo Mattei is pretty much the same, although Monastero di S. Anna was pulled down for the opening of Via Arenula in 1887. The small churches of S. Anna dei Falegnami and S. Elena dei Credenzieri, both in the vicinity of S. Carlo dei Catinari were pulled down too. The names of two existing streets (Via di S. Anna and Via di S. Elena) help in understanding where the churches were located.

S. Carlo ai Catinari

S. Carlo ai Catinari

The church has a fašade by G. B. Soria and one of the finest domes of Rome. The view taken from the terrace of the Monument to Victor Emmanuel shows that the dome is very close to the fašade (click here for a page on the Domes of Rome). This occurs because the church has a Greek cross shape, where all the arms have the same length. The interior is lavishly decorated with paintings and frescoes most of which represent San Carlo Borromeo whose motto Humilitas is written on the fašade. Below you see also a picture of the motto taken in the gardens of Palazzo Borromeo at Isola Bella (Lago Maggiore). The many coats of arms showing three clubs belong to Cardinal G. B. Leni who generously financed the erection of the building.

Cardinal Borromeo


Cappella di S. Cecilia

Cappella di S. Cecilia

Antonio Gherardi (1644-1702) was a painter who acquired a great reputation for his frescoes in the ceiling of S. Maria in Trivio. In 1695 he was commissioned the design and decoration of a chapel dedicated to S. Cecilia, saint patroness of the musicians. While his large painting above the altar is rather academic, the architecture and the stuccoes decorating the vault of the chapel are an excellent addition to the chapels designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini a few years earlier.

Palazzo Santacroce

Palazzo Santacroce

The plate shows to the far right the street leading to Piazza Giudia. The second building in this street is the old Palazzo Santacroce (a larger Palazzo Santacroce is opposite S. Carlo ai Catinari), built at the end of the XVth century. The decoration, which reminds of Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, is unique in Rome. Close to the building is the Santacroce's church of S. Maria in Publicolis.

Casa di Alessandro Gancia

Casa di Alessandro Gancia

The street leading from S. Carlo dei Catinari to the little church of S. Salvatore in Campo is very narrow and the unaware passer-by may fail to notice what is left of the painted fašade of a Renaissance house. Here lived Alessandro Gancia who held several positions in the Papal court at the time of Paulus III (1534-50). He paid homage to his master by having painted on his house the coat of arms of Paulus III.

Chiesa di Ges¨ Nazzareno o dei SS. Cosma e Damiano dei Barbieri and Palazzo Cavallerini

SS. Cosma e Damiano dei Barbieri

In 1560 the Barbers' guild was assigned a little church dedicated to SS. TrinitÓ. The barbers renamed the church which was dedicated to SS. Cosma e Damiano (two Syrian saints of the IVth century, thought to be doctors). In 1722-24 the church was almost completely rebuilt (the architect is unknown). It continued to belong to the Barbers' guild until 1888 when it was assigned to Confraternita (brotherhood) di Ges¨ Nazzareno and it was renamed. It is in bad need of being restored. For a list of the churches belonging to a guild click here.
A large palace opposite the church is unlikely to attract the attention of a passer-by both because of the narrowness of the street and owing to its poor maintenance. However a glance through the big portal reveals in the darkness a coat of arms of Clemens X Altieri (1670-76), who was the ruling pope when cardinal Giovan Giacomo Cavallerini built this palace, still named after him.

Palazzo Boccapaduli

Palazzo Boccapaduli

In 1555 Paulus IV issued a decree which forced the Jews living in the Papal States to move their residence to a restricted area (ghetto) either in Rome or in Ancona. The area selected for the Roman ghetto had a mixed population, both from a religious and a social viewpoint. The Boccapaduli, a very ancient Roman family, left their palace located in the ghetto and bought a palace immediately outside it in Via de' Falegnami. The palace was subsequently enlarged and what we see now is mainly an XVIIIth century building.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Chiesa e Monastero di s. Anna
Apparteneva questa chiesa ai Cavalieri Templari, e chiamavasi allora s. Maria in Giulia; ottenuta poi l'anno 1297. dalle monache Benedettine, che stavano appresso la chiesa di s. Gio: Calibita, la rinnovarono in bella forma l'anno 1675. , e perchŔ queste monache conservano l'anello di s. Anna madre della ss. Vergine, le posero il titolo della medesima, e dicesi ai Funari. L'altare maggiore Ŕ tutto ornato di preziosi marmi secondo il disegno del Cav. Rainaldi; il quadro di s. Anna nell'altare a destra Ŕ del Cavarozzi, ed il s. Benedetto incontro del Savonazzi, le pitture per˛ sulla volta sono graziose opere di Giuseppe Passeri. Nelle cantine del monastero si vedono varj muri antichi con archi, e pavimenti di mosaico, quali si credono essere residui di bagni privati.
Ritornando poi sulla strada de' Falegnami, si vede in ultimo di essa la
Chiesa e Convento di s. Carlo a' Catenari
Prese un tal nome questa magnifica chiesa dagli artisti, che in questa contrada lavoravano certi vasi di legno, chiamati catini, e fu edificata insieme colla casa de' Chierici Regolari Barnabiti dal Card. Gio: Batista Leni in occasione, che que' religiosi quý presso avevano una piccola chiesa detta s. Biagio dell' Anello, per l'anello, che vi si conservava di detto Santo, atterrata per dar luogo all'abitazione de' Chierici Teatini, e per un grande incendio quivi seguito: onde su quelle rovine nell'anno seguente 1612. fu piantata la chiesa con disegno di Rosato Rosati, il prospetto per˛ Ŕ del Soria. E' ornata di bellissimi altari di marmo, e di pitture celebri; il quadro del s. Carlo nell'altare maggiore Ŕ opera di Pietro da Cortona, le pitture a fresco nella tribuna sono del Lanfranco dipinte in tempo della sua vecchiaia, e quelle negli angoli della cupola sono del Domenichino similmente delle ultime sue opere, il Dio Padre per˛ nel cupolino Ŕ di Gio: Giacomo Semenza allievo di Guido. Il quadro nella cappella, che segue Ŕ del Romanelli, e quello incontro con s Cecilia, di Antonio Gherardi; la s. Anna nella crociata Ŕ di Andrea Sacchi, ed il s. Bartolommeo incontro di Giacinto Brandi; la ss. Nunziata per˛ nella cappella laterale Ŕ del suddetto Lanfranco.

Next plate in Book 7: S. Maria in Vallicella
Next step in Day 7 itinerary: Palazzo Pio
You have completed your tour of Rione Sant'Angelo!
You have completed your tour of Rione Regola!
Start your tour of Rione Sant'Eustachio; next step: S. Maria in Publicolis.

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 - 2005 by Roberto Piperno. Write to romapip@quipo.it