Sunday, we didn’t have any specific plans. I guess since we were just running around town, we visited several different interesting sites, planned and unplanned. Many of the public places are closed on Sunday. We went out anyway and found a few gems.
Santa Maria della Vittoria on Via XX Settembre, titular church of Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston MA. It contains the masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini called the Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila. When we entered after 12 noon, mass was in progress. After mass, we took a look around. But not long after, the priest asked everyone to leave. I guess he had to go to lunch.
Across from this famous sculpture is an altar, beneath which is a depiction of St. Victoria, virgin and martyr.
Down the street from Santa Maria della Vittoria is the church of Santa Susanna, which was closed. So we didn’t get the chance to go in.
We kept walking down Via XX Settembre and came upon the Via delle Quattro Fontane, with four fountains depicting the four rivers of Italy on each corner of the intersection. Rather crowded, but traffic stopped when tourists took pictures.
Down the street from that corner was the Palazzo Barberini, also closed to visitors at the time. I took photos of four sculptured figures in niches leading to another sculpture behind a fence, which I did not identify.
We were on our way to the Fontana di Trevi. Before getting there we stopped for some gelatto. Yes, it was a hot day! And it is Rome, so what the hey? Then we came upon the Fontana di Tritone, a lesser attraction compared to the Trevi, but quite dramatic nonetheless.
Around the block from the Fontana di Tritone on the Via Veneto was the Chiesa Immacolata Concezione (Church of the Immaculate Conception) of the Capuchin Friars, which houses the Ossuary Crypt. Using bones from long dead friars and others, the church contains five crypts with bones arranged in artistic designs, a rather macabre display. Photography was not allowed. The photo below is from the internet to give you an idea. You’ve probably seen this before, but I can tell you, it was very unsettling. I guess the idea is for people to contemplate death, and maybe live their lives better. Some kind of scared straight program, I guess. I shudder to think what mad rush will occur on judgement day when everyone goes searching for all their parts.
Then we arrive at the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) featured in the film “La Dolce Vita.” We threw a couple of coins in over our shoulders. Legend holds one who throws a coin in this way will return to Rome. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Across from the Fontana di Trevi is the Chiesa Sancti Vincenzo e Anastazio, belonging to the Cistercian Friars. Then we walked down the street and found ourselves in front of the Pontifical Gregorian University. We were actually looking for the Palazzo del Quirinale, once the papal summer residence for three centuries, now the home of the Presidente della Repubblica, Italy’s head of state. It wasn’t open to the public when we showed up at the door. What caught our attention was the many guards at the entrances, and the huge monument in the piazza out front.
We walked back to Domus Australia up the Via Quirinale, which turns into Via XX Settembre. I took photos of sculptures, buildings and interesting details.