Duration: 2.5 hours
Piazza del Quirinale, S. Andrea al Quirinale, S. Carlo alle Quattro fontane, S. Maria della Vittoria
Rome is the capital of history, culture, religion; Rome is Italy.
The Quirinal Palace, built on one of the seven hills on which Rome was founded, was initially the popes’ summer residence, later becoming the royal palace of the House of Savoy after 1870. Following the constitutional referendum of June 2nd 1946, it became what it is now: the official residence of the President of the Republic. The hill is home to many important monuments, which can be visited on our route, including the Church of S. Andrea al Quirinale, designed by Bernini to a circular plan. Shortly afterwards, we can admire one of the masterpieces of Bernini’s rival, Borromini, the little Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (St. Charles at the Four Fountains), giving us an opportunity to compare the different approaches to a common theme adopted by two very disparate geniuses of Italian Baroque. One of the highlights of this tour of artistic treasures is certainly our visit to the Church of S. Maria della Vittoria, which houses in its Cornaro Chapel one of the finest masterpieces of Gian Lorenzo Bernini: the Ecstasy of St. Teresa. The whole design appears like a sort of stage set, with members of the Cornaro family looking on from the wings, and the entire composition is decorated with a profusion of gold, frescoes and precious marble. It is hard to describe the emotional power of this extraordinary work of art.