S. Maria del Popolo church
Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Italy
S. Maria del Popolo church Rome Reviews
DIY Path of Illumination Chigi Chapel Jan 07, 2013
First night in Rome and already following in Robert Landon's footsteps as he chases an assassin across Rome. No, I haven't lost my mind, I'm just a fan of Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons".
Santa Maria del Popolo is one of the 4(?) churches located at Piazza del Popolo at one end of Via del Corso; on the other end is Piazza Venezia.
When visiting keep in mind that most churches in Rome are closed during lunch hours (noon - 2:00pm).
We were here before closing at night (8:00pm). To view the Chigi Chapel you will need loose change. It doesn't matter how much you donate to the chapel, but the light will only come on after a donation was made. This keeps the artwork from deteriorating too quickly and pays for restorations.
The Chigi Chapel is the second chapel on the left side of the church. Habakkuk and the Angel, one of Bernini's sculptures points the way toward the next church of the "Path of Illumination". Yes, we're back in the fictional world.
It is one of many churches in Rome and apart from the reference in the movie it is probably not the most important, but I enjoyed Bernini's little chapel and the demon hole in the ground. There were several throughout the church being used as burial chambers.
I didn't regret visiting this church, even though it was the first of many churches I would visit on this trip, it was memorable even if only for geeky reasons.
Part of the Roma and Vatican city travel blog
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Beautiful historic church....must see!! Jun 13, 2011
From the outside this is a NO frills church. You won't believe what is INSIDE based on the outside.
The Chigi chapel was used in the film Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks from this church. The first dead cardinal was found here in the movie.
Bernini was commissioned to provide the statues of the prophets for the niches.
The church is larger than it appears.
The third chapel in the left hand aisle was done by Raphael for the Chigi family. Or I should say he designed much of it.
My favorite part is towards the alter and to the left. There is a chapel that holds 2 very large Caravaggio's. One is of St.Peter being raised upside down on the cross. The depth of light, foreshortening.... even the dirt on the guards feet is perfect. The other is The Conversion of St.Paul when he loses/regains his sight.
This church has many surprises... and the plaza outside has picture opportunities, and places to eat.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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