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Chiesa e Spedale di S. Giovanni di Dio (Book 9) (Map C3) (Day 5) and (Day 6) (View C9) (Rione Ripa) and (Rione Trastevere)

In this page:
 The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
 Today's view
 A view from the Bridge
 S. Benedetto in Piscinula
 Casa di Sir John Leslie

The Plate (No. 173)

Spedale di S. Giovanni di Dio

This view is taken from Ponte Quattro Capi (green dot in the 1748 map below) and it shows the short and narrow street which crosses Isola Tiberina. To the left the Monastery of  S. Bartolomeo all'Isola. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Ponte Quattro Capi; 2) Spedale di S. Giovanni di Dio o de' Bonfratelli (Fatebenefratelli); 3) Ponte Cestio; 4) Part of Trastevere; 5) Parts of the Monastery adjoining S. Bartolomeo all'Isola. 1), 3) and 5) are shown in other pages. The map shows also 6) S. Benedetto in Piscinula; 7) Casa di Sir John Leslie.

Small ViewSmall View

Today

The view today

Part of the buildings close to Ponte Cestio have been demolished, whilst the part of them near Ponte Quattro Capi have not been altered. The island devoted to Aesculapius, retains this memory in the Hospital still existing of S. Giovanni di Dio dei Fate Bene Fratelli.

A view from the Bridge

A view from the bridge

A recent restoration of Ponte Quattro Capi brought back the coat of arms of Innocentius XI celebrating his action to preserve the old bridge (in the background the four-headed figure on the balustrade).

Coat of arms of Innocentius XI

S. Benedetto in Piscinula

S. Benedetto in Piscinula

Ponte Cestio leads to the very old church of S. Benedetto in Piscinula, where the Saint lived and where according to Vasi he used to pray before the framed sacred image shown above. The fašade was modified in the XIXth century. The church has the smallest bell tower of Rome and some XIIIth century frescoes.

Casa di Sir John Leslie

Casa di Sir John Leslie

The coat of arms of the owner of this finely restored old house near S. Benedetto in Piscinula, would puzzle even an expert in genealogy and heraldry of the Roman families. The meaning of the horses and the three buckles requires a visit to Castle Leslie in Ireland. The following is an excerpt from the owners' website:
"The Leslies can trace there ancestry back to Attila The Hun. Bartholomew Leslie was the chamberlain and protector of Margaret Queen Of Scotland. It is through him that the family motto Grip Fast originated. While fleeing enemies Queen Margaret rode pillion on the back of Bartholomew's horse. When fording a river the queen fell off, Bartholomew threw her the end of his belt and told her to grip fast the buckle. He saved the Queen's life & from that day forward she bestowed the motto Grip Fast on the Leslies.
The first Leslie to come to Ireland was Bishop John Leslie who was Bishop of the Isles of Scotland. In 1665 Glaslough Castle and Demesne was sold by Sir Thomas Ridgeway to the Bishop of Clogher John Leslie.
... the poetic Sir Shane transferred the property to his eldest son John Norman Leslie who became the 4th Baronet. Owing to ill health from five years in a prisoner of war camp he made the estate over to his sister Anita and lived the next 40 years in Rome until his return home to Castle Leslie in 1994 where he still lives."
Sir John Leslie embellished his Roman residence by adding a couple of modern madonnelle.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:


Chiesa di s. Giovanni Calibita, e spedale de' Benfratelli
Nel sito di questa chiesa aveva la sua casa il s. Titolare, la quale essendo poi convertita in chiesa, da prima fu unita ad un monastero di monache; ma essendo queste trasferite presso s. Anna de' Funari, fu questa con il convento conceduta ai religiosi spedalieri di s. Giovanni di Dio, dati i Benfratelli, i quali vi eressero lo spedale per li poveri civili e nobili. Quindi volendo nell'anno 1600. rinnovare la chiesa, trovarono alcuni corpi di Santi, fra' quali quello del s. Titolare con altre reliquie e poi nell'anno 1742. fu ornata di marmi, stucchi dorati, e pitture assai vaghe. Il quadro sull' altare maggiore Ŕ di Andrea Generelli detto il Sabinese, e i laterali sono di Corrado Giaquinto, il quale ha fatto tutte le pitture a fresco nella volta, ed anco il quadro di s. Antonio nell'altare a destra. Nel convento evvi la nativitÓ del Signore creduta opera di Raffaelle da Urbino.
Chiesa di s. Benedetto in Piscinula
Quanto antica e divota, altrettanto sguarnita, e mal ridotta Ŕ questa chiesa, sebbene sia parrocchiale. Fu eretta nell'estremitÓ del palazzo della antichissima famiglia Anicia, in cui dimor˛ s. Benedetto mentre era giovinetto, e vi Ŕ tradizione, che l'immagine della ss. Vergine, che si conserva in una cappelletta posta nel piccolo portico di questa chiesa, sia quell'istessa, avanti alla quale il santo Giovinetto spesso orava; perci˛ fu dipoi al medesimo s. Benedetto dedicata, la quale dall' antico nome della vicina piazzetta, si dice in Piscivola.

Next plate in Book 9: Spedale di S. Gallicano

Next step in Day 5 itinerary: Chiesa di S. Bartolomeo
Next step in Day 6 itinerary: Chiesa di S. S. Andrea dei Vascellari
You have completed your tour of Rione Ripa!

Go to    or to  Book 9 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