Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo

sights / Religious

Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo information

Location
Rome , Italy
Address
Piazza del Popolo
Getting there
Metro: Flaminio
Opening hours
7.30am-noon & 4-7pm
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A magnificent repository of art, this is one of Rome’s earliest and richest Renaissance churches. The first chapel was built here in 1099 to exorcise the ghost of Nero, who was secretly buried on this spot and whose ghost was thought to haunt the area. Some 400 years later, in 1472, it was given a major overhaul and Pinturicchio added a series of frescoes in the Bramante-designed apse and the Cappella Delle Rovere.

Raphael’s Cappella Chigi – completed by Bernini some 100 years later – features a famous mosaic of a kneeling skeleton, but the church’s dazzling highlight is the Cappella Cerasi with its two Caravaggio masterpieces: the Conversione di San Paolo (Conversion of St Paul) and the Crocifissione di San Pietro (Crucifixion of St Peter).