Rome – Day 1: Not quite out of the way Churches

The usual breakfast. The Roman cornetto (roll) is not duplicated anywhere else.

Click the wavy flag to help me buy breakfast tomorrow, too!  (And many thanks to those who have donated.  Mass on Friday for my benefactors.)

We went to see three churches my travel friends hadn’t seen.

First, San Francesco a Ripa, in Trastevere.

It is a nice little church in the clutches of Franciscans.

Here you find the tomb of Bl. Ludovica Albertoni, with a sculpture by Bernini.  It is reminiscent of the more famous marble of St. Teresa in ecstasy on the other side of town.

And a pic from my camera, rather than from my phone.  I’m try to learn this new camera.  It is small and has a 40x optical zoom.  The format of the photos is huge, however, and it takes a couple steps to get them into the blog, so I’ll have to figure out a good method to make the transfer.   But this, in relatively low light and from a distance is a pretty good image.

Bernini… incomparable.    If you are looking for a fascinating read… or if you are in Rome or are coming to Rome, you must dig into The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry That Transformed Rome.  It’s riveting and it will change the way you view and visit Rome.


Again, every priest needs a pulpit like this.

And that is how you get into it!

Off to nearby Santa Maria dell’Orto.  This was/is a “university” church.  Various “colleges” (of tradesmen) got together to build the church where a chapel had been, set up around a miraculous image of Mary that was in the garden of …. a gardener, I think.  Memory is fuzzy.  Anyway, this was doubtlessly one of the wealthiest churches in Rome in its heyday.

Here is the chapel of my favorite among the guilds represented.

The “Vermicellari” or the “Pasta Makers”!

Then to tiny and ancient San Benedetto in Piscinula.

This was built where the house of the ancient Patrician family the “Anicii” were: St. Benedict’s family.  It was here, probably, that he sensed his vocation.

The church is mostly 13th c., but there are parts that go back to the 8th c.

And unusual depiction of Benedict as a young man.

One of the oldest of the ccsmatesque floors in Rome.

I’m not sure why they put mushrooms on my Saltimbocca, but it wasn’t bad.

A manhole cover that still shows the symbol of the fascist era.   I hear that it may become the new logo of the Dems if Hillary is elected.   Perhaps that’s just a rumor.

Er Belli!

The street where the main door of my seminary was is where Caesar was killed.  There is an inscription.

And just around the corner, on the side of the building attached to the church Sant’Andrea della Valle is scratched graffiti from the time of the Sack of Rome.   The dopes who did a cleaning of the facade sandblasted most of it off.  At one point you could read dates.  Very cool.  Alas, hardly anything is visible.


And tucked away in the corner is one of the Talking Statues.  This is Abbate Luigi.   He has lost his head several times, but it usually returns.

On the facade of a nearby building some Latin in dactylic hexameter.  Who can work it out?


Speaking of my seminary, my window was the open on to the right.

And, settling in for supper.  We definitely did our 10K step today!


Scottditto…. (stoopid iPhone) … scottadito.

So far so good.

In the coming day I have Mass in the evening at St. Trinità, a meeting with the Commandant of the Swiss Guard, and some clerical shopping.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. MacBride says:

    Pictures are great! If you are not going to make prints out of the digital pictures, you can try to lower the resolution on them. Most cameras allow you to do this. It may save you a step when putting them on the blog. This will also save you storage room on your SIMM card too.

  2. Kerry says:

    A manhole cover with the phrase, in Latin, (help me here someone), “As below so above” would be the perfect symbol for the Dems.

  3. Fr. W says:

    Great pictures. L’Angoletto was one of my regular spots when I was studying in Rome in the early 90’s. Great fish. Maybe the mushrooms on the Saltimbocca are a concession to tourists – but at least they didn’t add cheese. Hope the Abruzzi (roast baby pork – no receipts- and limitless digistivi) is still going strong. Great memories from the time of the lira. Safe travels.

  4. roma247 says:

    Spent a year in Rome when I was in college, and our hotel (La Lunetta) was one of those built into the ruins of Pompey’s Theater…as my room was at the very rear, I would have been able to see your seminary from my window!

    And incidentally, I knew someone who lived in the fascist building with the dactylic hexameter…

    *small world!*

  5. jameeka says:

    Great pictures, Father Z! I like your new camera. Thank you very much for posting all these. We are praying you have an outstanding and holy anniversary.

  6. Jacob says:

    Very cool pictures. I like the church in St. Benedict’s house. I like how the altar facing the people is right there in front of the altar along the wall. There’s some room it looks like, but I’d like to see how priests maneuver back there when saying the new Mass.

    On the subject of Roman churches, I know it’s been mentioned here at the blog before. Does anyone remember what church in Rome Cardinal Newman liked to visit to pray when he was in the city. This was not his titular church. Thank you for any replies!

  7. NBW says:

    Wonderful pictures, Fr. Z.! The artwork is so beautiful!

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks for the photos Fr. Z, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Rome and these are great. Even the manhole covers and graffiti in Rome tell a story.

  9. Mary Jane says:

    A group from our parish just returned from a pilgrimage to Rome; my aunt went and brought back some great photos. Thanks for posting yours! Brings back memories of my own trips to Rome.

  10. Animadversor says:

    Perhaps for

    Italiae fines promovit bellica virtus et novus in nostra funditur urbe decor.

    something like this

    Martial virtue hath extended the bounds of Italy and a new comeliness hath been brought forth in our city.

  11. PostCatholic says:

    So close, but I’d say it’s more like:

    Warrior strength has extended the boundaries of Italy and a new glory is founded in our city.

    AD 1937 [and the] first of the Empire

  12. PostCatholic says:

    Never mind, I ought not have corrected. Old eyes turned Martial in to Marital. Well done Animadversor.

  13. Evensong says:

    Thanks, Father, for the recommendation – I just bought the Kindle version of the book. I’m going to be in Rome in the Fall and looking forward to reading it before I go.

  14. Orlando says:

    Father , the churches a certainly beautiful but is the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, ever celebrated in them? Or are these just nice museums at this point?

  15. oklip955 says:

    Humm, next time I go to Rome, I need to go to the resturants you go to. Much better looking food then the last ones I went to in Jan for the close of the year of consecrated life.

  16. KateD says:

    Coffee, roll and….

    Sambuca for breakfast?

    Oh, wait, no coffee bean…..never mind.

Comments are closed.