The Borromini’s lantern: the fire of the Knowledge

Imagine to walk peacefully throught the fine streets in the city centre of Rome.
Now, imagine to have to the right an open door.
Passing the entrance, you will stay just in the centre of a courtyard, surrounded by columns. But what is majestic and truly beautiful is a white and brilliant lantern set above a church in front of you.

That lantern, the architectural final part of a dome in a church, has a spiral shape, recalling movements and virtuosism. It isn’t a dream, but a true church which stands not far from Piazza Navona. This is the church of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, and the genius who created it and its wonderful lantern was one of the most important artists in Rome: Borromini

The Borromini’s lantern

Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza

It was a church projected during the XVI century, when all the area was under restoration.
What is foundamental to say is that this place was famous in Rome, just because it was the first headquarter of the La Sapienza University.
It was inaugurated during the first years of the XIV century by the Pope Bonifacio VIII, who wanted to show how the city could be the birthplace and the core of the Knowledge.
But over the centuries it was quite destroyed and abandoned.
This is the reason why in the Renaissance, a time in which whatever you want in Rome was restored and built, La Sapienza University was one of the palaces chosen for some restorations.

Cupola - Chiesa Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza

After many years the construction site wasn’t finish.
It was a huge problem, due to the image of Rome which had to indicate the city not only as the place of the Church, but also the refuge of Arts and Wisdow.

They could be created thanks to the deeds of the Christian Church and for this reason the sacred building was essential. Borromini started to work there with a simple aim: he had to built something that could remember to everybody the real symbols of the place.

The Lantern

We could speak a lot about the great project created by the master. How he was able to use geometrical shapes in order to produce a star map, how the inside of the church was so brilliant… but we have to put our attention to the fantastic lantern! An architectural element which connects the ground with the sky, with its curved lines and decorations.

What do it represents?

The lantern is the Fire of the Wisdow, but not only…it symbollically regains the Babele Tower, which was also a symbol of the human Knowledge. Moreover, the lantern regains also the Headlight of Alessandria, other human masterpiece.
So, in this way we could understand how Borromini played with the history and the traditions, in order to obtain something that managed to represent some of the most important human discretions.

Then, he was able to create something more: a new must see monument in Rome!

Roma Barocca

La scorsa Domenica ci siamo dedicati alla ricerca della “Roma Barocca”, ovvero di tutte le Chiese, Palazzi e Basiliche risalenti al XVII sec. D.C. di stile Barocco. Non siamo riusciti a vederle tutte ma non mancheremo!

Per ora un pò di foto

1- Arrivati a Piazza del Popolo abbiamo provato ad accedere a Santa Maria del Popolo ma ahimè era chiusa. Un’assaggio della Piazza grazie alla nostra Gopro.

2- Abbiamo proseguito per via del Corso imbattendoci negli Artisti di Strada…

artisti di strada roma
artisti di strada roma

3 – …fino ad arrivare alla Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi di Gian Lorenzo Bernini e la bellissima Piazza Navona. Come non visitare la Chiesa di Sant’Agnese in Agone? una meraviglia…

Sant Agnese in Agone
Sant Agnese in Agone
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona

Abbiamo poi proseguito per Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza ma anche questa chiusa…vi allego comunque qualche foto presa dal web.

Sant Ivo alla Sapienza
Sant Ivo alla Sapienza

Continuando a camminare ci troviamo di fronte all’imponente statua di Giordano Bruno a Campo dei Fiori (non è Barocco ma ne vale la pena osservarla). Proseguiamo e ci dirigiamo verso Galleria Spada con la sua Collezione Privata di opere d’Arte e…

Prospettiva Borrominie la Prospettiva del Borromini

Prospettiva BorrominiDulcisi in Fundo come poteva mancare una visita alla Fontana di Trevi dopo il restauro?

Fontana di Trevi
Fontana di Trevi


Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy 2016

Do you know what the importance of Jubilee for Rome? Pope Francis announced the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy: a great opportunity for Art Tourism to wondering the Holy Places and the Holy Art. Discover the meaning and the history of the Jubilee and the Churches involved.

In the Bull Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis announced the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will begin on 8th of December, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and conclude on 20th of November 2016, with the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Arts in Rome
Jubilee of Mercy Logo 2016

A little bit of Jubilee History:

From the first Holy Year of 1300, wanted by Boniface VIII, to St. John Paul II in 2000, millions of faithful uninterrupted went through the doors jubilee of the four Papal Basilicas : St. Peter, St. John Lateran , St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Church Holy Doors refers to the passage that every Christian is called to accomplish from sin to grace , looking to Christ who himself says : “I am the door”. The Holy Door, indulgences and pilgrimages. These are signs that characterize every Jubilee and that will be the focus also of the Holy Year of mercy by Pope Francis .

What is Jubilee of Mercy?

Its origins date back to the Jewish world when it was a year, declared saint, which fell every 50 years , in which it was meant to restore equality to all the “Children of Israel”, offering new possibilities to families which had lost their property and even their personal freedom. The rich, however, the jubilee year reminded that the time would come when their Israelite slaves would once again become their equals and would be able to reclaim their rights. The Catholic Church has started the tradition of the Jubilee with Boniface VIII in 1300. At first the timing between a Holy Year and the other was 50 years but then was cut in 25 years so that each generation of experiencing at least one, because of  high mortality rate .

How does it develop?

Holy Door
Holy Door

In the Bull Misericordiae Vultus which is called the Jubilee of mercy, Pope Francis announced that will cross the Holy Door at St. Peter’s on 8th of December, the opening day of the Holy extraordinary, open wide as that of St. John Lateran on the third Sunday of advent, 13 December. The same gesture will be repeated later in the Holy Doors of the other two major Basilicas of Rome ( St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls ). He will “Doors of mercy” – writes Francis in the Bull – where everyone will go beyond the “will experience the love of God, who comforts, forgives and gives hope”. Again on 13th of December will open the ” doors of mercy” in every dioceses of the world will be in the cathedrals or in a church but also of special significance in the sanctuaries where pilgrims can “find the way of conversion”, notes the Pope .


Arts in Rome
The Works of Mercy

An indulgence is one of the constitutive elements of the Jubilee. In it we see the fullness of the Father’s mercy, who comes to all with his love. In the Bull of Indiction of the Holy extraordinary Pope Francis explains the sense of indulgence. “All of us – the Pope writes – we experience the sin. We know we are called to perfection (cf. Mt 5:48), but we feel a strong sense of sin. (…) Despite the pardon, in our lives we bring the contradictions which are the consequence of our sins”. The Pope recalled that “in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God forgives sins, which are really deleted”. Yet “the negative imprint that sins have left in our behavior and in our thoughts remain. The mercy of God, however, is even stronger than that. It becomes indulgence of the Father through the Bride of Christ (the Church, ed) reaches the sinner forgiven and free from any residue of the consequence of sin”.

In fact, with the indulgence, the repentant sinner receives a remission of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven (with Confession). To gain the indulgence, you must be in a state of grace. Then comes that the faithful have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin; that is to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation; receiving the Eucharist and to pray for the intentions of the Pope.

It also serves to make a ”work“. There are works of mercy, that is making a pilgrimage to a Jubilee shrine or place (you can obtain the indulgence doing this work, not only in Rome – in the major basilicas and in other churches or shrines of the eternal city – but also in places of their dioceses in all five continents, usually in the cathedrals or shrines). Or there are the works of penance, that is, refrain from unnecessary consumption (smoking, alcohol …), fast or abstain from meat and donate a sum to the needy. Or there are The Works of Mercy of which the Pope speaks in the Bull of the Jubilee. And the lists showing that they are a “way to awaken our consciousness often dormant before the tragedy of poverty and to enter more and more in the heart of the Gospel, where the poor are the privileged of God’s mercy”.

Are CORPORAL WORKS of Mercy: feeding the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assisting the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead.

And they are SPIRITUAL WORKS of Mercy: counseling the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses, stand troublesome people patiently, praying to God for the living and the dead.

In the Holy Year pilgrimage are the main goals of the four major Basilicas of Rome ( St. Peter , St. John Lateran , St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls ) where you can get indulgence . But in each diocese will be shown pilgrimage sites related to the Jubilee.