Villa del Priorato di Malta con permesso speciale
Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 4 -
P R I C E S
Cost 25.00 euros (entrance fee + guide + agency fees)
Next dates scheduled:
Saturday 26 May 2018 11.20 am
N.B. Limited seats and prepayment
For info and reservations
COOPERATIVA IL SOGNO
Guided visit to the Villa of the Priory of Malta with special permission. Exceptional opportunity to revisit together the historic headquarters of the Grand Priory of Rome of the Knights of Malta, today Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Due to restoration work on the Piranesi church, groups will not have access to the church. Instead, the facade of the church, the garden and exceptionally the interior rooms of the Villa, with shifts of maximum 20 minutes each within the Villa, will be included in the itinerary.
The site, an important strategic site up to the Middle Ages, situated on the Tiber emporium and in view of the Tiberina Island, was already occupied by a fortified Benedictine monastery as early as the 10th century. He then passed to the Templars and, after their suppression, to the host knights who established their priory. Radical restorations were carried out by priors from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century.
In 1765 the nephew of Pope Clement XIII, cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, entrusted the renovation of the entrance to the priory to Giovanni Battista Piranesi. The result, the only architectonic work of the author, was the extraordinary eighteenth-century square, an original example of rococo urban setting in Rome, decorated with war trophies that allude to the knights of Malta and the Rezzonico coats of arms, on which the portal to the villa. The square is also known because from the keyhole of the entrance door is precisely framed, at the bottom of the garden, the dome of St. Peter. Its size and setting allude to the armilustrium, the festival that was held in honor of Mars in October, to purify the Roman army before scrambling it for the winter, when the soldiers, after the parade at the Circus Maximus, climbed in a procession on the Aventine to sacrifice to the god.
The villa has its ideal center in the church of Santa Maria del Priorato, inside the garden, equally restored by the Piranesi, who decorated it with very elegant plasterwork. The iconographic project, created with great care and refinement, repeats everywhere - from the square outside the church to the furnishings of the garden - symbolic elements such as the snake, the ship, the cross, and then weapons and military emblems that evoke the military history of the Order . The small temple recalls the architectural model of a Roman temple outside, while the internal decoration integrates the Baroque and Counter-Reformation fantasy with the classical memories spread everywhere, starting from the funeral monument of Piranesi, in the second chapel on the right, depicted in full figure , togaed, with the sheets of drawings in his hand, leaning on a herm that bears the engraver's tools and vaguely resembling, in the face, to Cicero.
Observing from the latch of the entrance door you can see in perfect perspective two States: the Aventine, where the Villa is located in Rome, in the Italian State, then the Vatican City State with the dome of St. Peter's.