ROME 22/6 – DAY 9: A pair of Pii

When was sunrise in Rome?  5:32  When is sunset?  20:47   When should the Ave Maria Bell ring?  21:00.


21:15!  We are in a new cycle for the Ave Maria bell.  The time of the ringing moves by 15 minute increments every once in a while.   The 21:00 cycle went from 24 May – 11 June. … No, wait.  11 June?  Today is 10 June, so why the day discrepancy?  Also, my old table says “8.-” and “8.15”, but that doesn’t take Daylight Savings Time into account.  So, the table is off (I doubt it) or the calendar is off (I sort of doubt it).  There must be some explanation.

Orrrrr… we can say, “Big deal!”, and move on with our day.  I’ll bet one of you clever boots out there will figure it out.

Church architecture and art, music and vestments, ceremonies reflect the over-arching Catholic identity of the time.

Welcome to Sant’Andrea della Valle, one of the great Counter-Reformation churches of Rome.

NB: It doesn’t look like a municipal airport or a doctors’ group office building.

Alas, when the “small men” get in charge and the dumbing down begins, this is what follows.   Happily it is not much more than a few strong guys with pry-bars and wheel-barrows can’t deal with someday.

This sort of crap has been going on all over Rome since about 2013.

Hmmm…. the colors are a little odd.  I must have hit some setting on the phone that I was unaware off.

The tomb of one of my favorite Popes, Pius II (Piccolomini… and I don’t mean “little man” in sense I used, above).   His relative, Pius III is directly across the nave in pretty much identical digs.

An interesting story about how they got here.  Pius II died in Ancona in 1464 and Pius III in Rome in 1503 after less than a month of pontificate.   There were both buried in the Gregorian chapel in the old St. Peter’s near their funerary monuments.  Near.  They were buried in earth under a slab.  The monuments were brought to St. Andrea della Valle in 1614 by Paul V, Borghese and their bodies were brought in 1623 by Gregory XV (Ludovisi) in the middle of the night and without any sort of ceremony.  They were put into the floor by the tribunes and rediscovered in 1758 when they were doing work on the pavement, moved and lost again.   So the sarcophagi way up there in Sant’Andrea never had bodies in them.  Such an ignominious end for one of the great humanists of the renaissance and his papal nephew who reigned for 26 days.

Pius III, by the way, was the successor of Alexander VI (Borgia) – whose tomb we saw recently – and was a compromise candidate between powerful families and factions.  From the first day of his election he was beset with military threats from various directions.  He was elected on 25 September, had an operation on his leg on 26 September was ordained to the priesthood on 30 September was crowned on 8 October caught a fever and was dead by 18 October.


The Zeffirelli production of Tosca was magnificent, especially with the Te Deum at the end against that dour motif. Wow.

Act II of Tosca takes place just up the street from where I write and Act III is just across the Tiber at Castel Sant’Angelo.

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One Comment

  1. LeeGilbert says:

    Also interred here the great Jesuit novice, St. Stanislaus Kostka. Well worth seeing on an upper floor, putatively his room as I recall, is a statue of him dying. A young Polish nobleman, he came to Rome on foot at age 17 to join the Jesuits over and against the wishes of his father. Surely this would be a great place to pray for restoration of his order. Sant’Andrea della Valle was the Jesuit novitiate in Rome, I believe.

    [Ummmm… not so much. This is the Theatine church. You mean Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, the Jesuit Church with Borromini brilliance.]

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