Wednesday, 27 June 2012 09:54

The World of Caravaggio

Rome Art Walking Tour: See Caravaggio’s finest works for free

There is something about Caravaggio that fascinates people. Even those who would normally prefer to cross a street of hot coals than spend time looking at paintings seem happy to make an exception for this rebel of Counter-Renaissance Art.

To celebrate Rome’s Caravaggio exhibition that has just opened at the Villa Borghese (and runs through January 24, 2010), it seemed timely to look at this bad boy of the paintbrush and take a tour around Rome to see some of his masterpieces for free!

So just who was Caravaggio?

Whilst most artists of the Middle Ages were more soft ruffles than tough scuffles, Caravaggio was not afraid of a fight, a drink, and the odd murder to boot. Commission happy, the taste of luxury did not bring out his lighter side. As well as pushing the Catholic church to the edge with his dark religious paintings, he eventually lost his temper once too often. After killing a young man who beat him in a tennis match in the Campo Dei Fiori, he fled Rome with a price on his head. He finally died in exile, never learning that he had been given a Papal Pardon.

Where can I see Caravaggio for free?

Sant’ Agostino Church
Via Sant’ Agostino

The Madonna di Loreto (painted in 1605, pictured above) is hung in the first chapel on the left. The church is close to Piazza Navona, and also includes a Raphael fresco. The church is currently under restoration, but don’t be fooled. Under the scaffolding, it is still open so you can see the paintings. For those who are pregnant (or wish to be), touch the statue of the “Madonna del Parto” near the door as you leave for luck.

San Luigi dei Francesi
Via Giustiniani

In the church of San Luigi dei Francesi you get three Caravaggio paintings for free with the Matthew trilogy, including  “The Calling of Saint Matthew”, “St. Matthew and the Angels”, and “The Matrydom of Saint Matthew”. This church is close to the centre, a short walk from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and next to the French institute with its wonderful bookshop.

Santa Maria Del Popolo
Piazza Del Popolo

This church is about a 20-minute walk from the historic centre, or you can take the Metro Linea A to Flaminio. Here you can find two paintings, the “Conversion of St. Paul” and “The Crucifixion of St. Peter”, so well worth the journey.

Please note that many churches are closed between 1 PM – 4 PM, but usually stay open in the evening until around 7 PM.

And if I want to pay?

Well if you are at the Santa Maria del Popolo, it is just a short walk up the hill to the Galleria Borghese, and its wonderful park. Here you can see three Caravaggio works, “Sick Bacchus”, “Boy with Bag of Fruit” and “Madonna dei Palafrenieri”. Entrance will cost you €8.50 but you also get to see the amazing Bernini sculpture of “Daphne and Apollo” amongst many other treasures.

At the moment, you can also access the Caravaggio and Bacon exhibition, on through January 24. Note that for the Galleria Borghese, you need to book in advance as only a limited number are allowed in at any one time (more details here).

Lastly, you can see the “Gypsy Fortune Teller” at the Capitoline Museums, entrance fee €6.50. Don’t forget that both of these museums are included in the Roma Pass, which is a 3-day pass that gives you free access to two museums, free travel on Rome’s public transport, and discounts to other museums and attractions. The pass costs €23. (read more about the Roma Pass).

About the author: Samantha Collins is a freelance travel writer and editor, who has lived in Rome for the past two years.  She is originally from Manchester in the UK.  Read all about her adventures by visiting her blog,

Published in art & culture
Thursday, 14 June 2012 09:27

You need Internet and a Caffè??


Online at the Launderette: Il Massello
Why waste time while you’re waiting for the dryer? Computer screens line the entrance to this laundromat. Put a few coins in the slot and you can create and print documents as well as surf the net. There are also phone booths providing low rates for international calls.
Via San Francesco a Ripa, 62 (Trastevere)
Open daily from 7 am - 10:30 pm

Online at the Wine Bar: Good
One of the most pleasant places to get online, if you have your own laptop, this café and wine bar is equipped with WiFi so you can get online at an outside table, as well as inside the bar itself. Wireless acess from 7 am to 6:30 pm. Coffees, a limited food menu, wines, appertivi. DJ set from 7:30 pm. It's just a few steps from John Cabot University, which makes it a hub for students.
Via di Santa Dorotea 89 (Trastevere) tel 06 97277979

Online at the Museum: Museo del Corso
The Museo del Corso in the heart of Rome's most active shopping street, offers a sleek internet cafe in the lobby. You can see the exhibition and then write home about it without leaving the premises.
Via del Corso, 320 (near Piazza Venezia) tel 06 678 6209

Online at the Pub: Abbey Theater
A real Irish pub where you can order a brew while surfing the net. Offering Guiness and typical Irish dishes. Open noon- 2 am
Via del Governo Vecchio, 51 (Piazza Navona) tel 06 686 1341

Online at La Casa del Caffé Tazza D’Oro
Rome's famous coffee house now has an adjacent Internet café. You can sit at individual workspaces and get online while ordering a great cappuccino.
Via dei Pastini, 2 tel O6 678 9792 (Pantheon)

Online at the Internet Café: Fico
This tiny café near the Piazza Navona offers scanning, printing and software training as well as Internet access —and coffee.
Vicolo del Fico, 17 (Navona)

Online at the computer repair shop: Rendweb
In the heart of the ghetto, Rendweb sells software in English and rents and repairs computers. You can surf the net here or take a course to update your software skills.
Via Portico D’Ottavia 2 (Ghetto)

Online at Mailboxes, Etc.
The familiar American chain is now open in Rome, providing packing and shipping services, as well as Internet access.
Via del Gesù, 91 (Pantheon)

You can now get online with your laptop in the park, café or historic site of your choice. Here's a list of hotspots within the city of Rome.

Circo Massimo/Piazza della Bocca della Verità
Campidoglio (Protomoteca e Palazzo Senatorio)
Mercati Traianei/Via Quattro Novembre
Villa Borghese-Casa del Cinema
Villa-Borghese-Torre dell'Acquamarcia
Villa Borghese-La Meridiana
Villa Borghese-Casina del Graziano
Villa Borghese-Museo Canonica
Villa Borghese-Via dell'Aranciera
Villa Borghese-Casina Valadier
Piazza di Pietra
Piazza di Sant'Ignazio
Piazza Pasquino
Piazza Navona
Via Dei Coronari/Piazza San Salvatore in Lauro - in manutenzione
Villa Torlonia-Casina delle Civette
Villa Paganini-Edificio Servizio Giardini
Villa Ada - Cascianese Country Club
Villa Ada - Zona Laghetto
Villa Ada - Ingresso Via Salaria - Edificio Servizi Giardini
Villa Doria Pamphili - Ingresso Via Aurelia Antica 183
Piazza Campo de' Fiori
Largo di Torre Argentina/Largo Arenula
Piazza Di Spagna - Keats and Shelley House
Fontana di Trevi
Piazza della Rotonda/Pantheon - Coming Soon
Castel Sant'Angelo - in manutenzione
Teatro Marcello
Auditorium Parco della Musica - aree esterne
Eur-Piazzale Konrad Adenauer (Bar Palombini)
Eur-Piazzale Metro Palasport (Help Point Palasport)
Eur-Passeggiata del Giappone (Help Point Piscina delle Rose)
Eur-Piazzale Stazione Metro Fermi (Help Point Fermi)
Eur-Safe Zone Palazzo ENI (Adiacente Viale Africa)
Eur-Viale Cristoforo Colombo
Eur-Largo Ataturk (Help Point Bar Giolitti)
Eur-Viale Oceania (Help Point Cefalonia)

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