Hg2 : The Hedonist

Santa Maria del Popolo

Raphael mosaics decorate the cupola of the Chigi chapel. This houses the remains of Agostino Chigi, the Sienese playboy banker who patronized the arts and partied hard in the Villa Farnesina. There’s an Assumption of the Virgin by Annibale Carracci and some Pinturicchio frescoes. The real heart-stoppers, however, are the two unostentatious Caravaggio paintings in the first chapel on the left of the altar. The Crucifixion of St Peter and The Conversion on the Way to Damascus (both from 1600) demand quiet contemplation, and have an emotional, troubling beauty. The church is apparently haunted by demons, and is said to be built over the emperor Nero’s secret grave.

Piazza del Popolo 12,
Centro Storico
+39 06 361 0836
Opening Times
7am-noon, 4-7pm Mon-Sat; 8am-7.30pm Sun.
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