A Guide For The Pilgrim in Rome
Campo de' Fiori
The region near Campo de' Fiori has a rich faith history beginning with the early martyrs and culminating in the late 16th and early 17th centuries with the construction of the three great preaching churches: Il Gesu, Chiesa Nuova, and Sant’Andrea della Valle.
Begin your route at San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini. This church borders the Tiber River and is just east of the Vatican. From this church continue east along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele until you reach Sant’Andrea della Valle. From here head south-west as the following map indicates to reach San Girolamo della Carita and Santa Brigida a Campo de' Fiori. This route will take you through the markets of Campo de' Fiori. After visiting these churches continue as the map indicates to reach San Carlo ai Catinari. From this church you will cross the relatively busy street called Via Arenula. Then follow along the Via Funari until you reach Santa Maria in Campitelli. After visiting this church cut across as the map indicates until you once again come to the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the church called Il Gesu.
The following churches are listed according to the order of the suggested route. The total distance is about 1.5 miles. To walk will probably take about 4 hours when one stops at each of the churches. The churches are generally open from 7AM-1PM and from 4PM-7PM. San Girolamo della Carita & Santa Brigida a Campo de' Fiori may not be open as frequently.
San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini
(Saint John the Baptist of the Florentines)
Via Acciaioli 2
*This church is just east of the Vatican. It is next to the Tiber River and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
*St Philip Neri (d. 1595) became rector of this church in 1564. He also founded the Congregation of the Oratory at this church.
*A relic of St Mary Magdalene’s foot rests in a shrine to the left of the main sanctuary.
Sant'Andrea della Valle
(Saint Andrew of the Valley)
Piazza Vidoni 6 / Piazza Sant'Andrea della Valle
*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Prior to the construction of this church in the 17th century a small church dedicated to St Sebastian was located here. Tradition claims that this ancient church rested upon a sewer from which the body of St Sebastian (d. 288) was recovered following his martyrdom. Today a remnant of this ancient church is partially preserved within a niche found in the first chapel on the left side of the nave.
*Also the third chapel on the left side of the nave is dedicated to St Sebastian. The altarpiece within this chapel was painted by Giovanni de’ Vecchi in 1614.
*The second chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. A reproduction of Michelangelo’s Pietà is located within this chapel.
*The large paintings in the sanctuary depict the martyrdom of St Andrew.
San Girolamo della Carità
(Saint Jerome of Charity)
Via di Monserrato 62/a
*This church is near Piazza Farnese.
*This church was built on the site of the house of St Paula. Tradition claims that St Jerome (d. 420) lived in this house when he was secretary to Pope St Damasus I (d. 384).
*St Philip Neri (d. 1595) lived here from 1551 to 1583.
*In the left transept is a spectacular chapel honoring St Philip Neri. A marble statue of the saint is surrounded by a gilded frame. The ceiling also opens up revealing a small domed space filled with further statues of angels.
Santa Brigida a Campo de' Fiori
(Saint Bridget at the Field of Flowers)
Piazza Farnese 96
*This church is at Piazza Farnese.
*Following the death of her husband, St Bridget of Sweden devoted herself completely to a life of prayer and service. After founding the Bridgettine Sisters in Sweden she felt compelled to visit Rome in order to seek official approval for her community. Her visit resulted in her permanently remaining in the city for the next twenty-four years until her passing in 1373. Today a few of her relics rest within this Bridgettine convent which still to this day is occupied by members of her community. Her body was returned to Sweden shortly after her death.
San Carlo ai Catinari
(Saint Charles at the Catinari)
Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 117
*This church is near the Largo di Torre Argentina.
*A chapel in the right transept preserves a copy of the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary entitled Mother of Divine Providence. The original is located in a Barnabite church in Trastevere.
*On February 3rd several relics of St Blaise are presented within this church for veneration. Of special note is a reliquary which contains a bone from the throat of St Blaise. This relic is used to bless the throats of the faithful.
Santa Maria in Campitelli
(Our Lady in Campitelli)
Piazza di Campitelli 9
*This church is near the Jewish quarter.
*The body of St John Leonardi (d. 1609) is enshrined in the second chapel on the left side of the nave.
Il Gesu (The Jesus)
Via degli Astalli 16
*This church is located along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It honors a number of Jesuit saints.
*St Ignatius of Loyola (d. 1556), the founder of the Jesuits, is buried under the altar in the left transept. His rooms are located in the Generalate next to the church and may be visited.
*An arm of St Francis Xavier (d. 1552) rests within a reliquary above the altar in the right transept. With this arm he baptized thousands of individuals in India and the Far East.
*The remains of St Peter Faber (d. 1546), an early companion of St Ignatius, are also located here. They are said to rest below the main entrance to this church having been placed here when the church was built in the 16th century. During the placement of these relics it was impossible to separate the bones of St Peter Faber from the bones of other individuals; therefore, his bones are buried together with theirs.