Overlooking the Spanish square and recognizable by its two bell towers – unusual in the Roman landscape, the church of the Trinity of the Mounts was consecrated in 1594. Like the convent associated, it owes its origin to the spiritual help that Saint Francis of Paola (Francesco da Paola) brought to the King of France Louis XI, after the latter had called him to join him at Plessis-Lès-Tours (France). In 1494, his son Charles VIII, grateful for the support granted, inaugurated the construction site of a complex on Mount Pincio, which was to house the French religious of the Order of Minims, founded by Francesco da Paola.
The Church of Trinità dei Monti
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:15 am – 7:45 pm*
Wednesday: noon – 7:45 pm*
Sunday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm*
*Visits are suspended during services, to which you are all invited to participate
A bit of history...
The construction work lasted throughout the 16th century and this place will now be considered as “the Roman church of the Kings of France”. By the time Francesco da Paola was canonized (1519), construction work on the church and convent was largely completed.
The church is built in Gothic style, using stones from the Narbonne region, and has a single nave bordered on each side by a succession of six chapels, to which the two transept chapels were added. The presumed architects of this work are Annibale Lippi and Gregorio Caronica.
Around 1774, on plans by Giuseppe Pannini, the main arch of the nave was altered, obliterating the original Gothic structures and modifying the harmony of the relationship between the main nave and the side chapels. A high wrought iron gate, first placed at the level of the diagonal head vault, was intended to preserve the original monastic life.
Today, the church has 17 chapels, each bearing the name of one of the families that obtained patronage in the 16th century. Their rich decorations makes the Trinità dei Monti church an extraordinary testimony to “Roman Manerism”.
Chapel Altoviti or The Baptismal Chapel
This chapel was built in 1570 and given to the Florentine banker Gian-Battista Altoviti in 1573. Around 1580, Gian-Battista Naldini decorated it. The altar painting on wood represents the Baptism of Christ and the frescoes in the vault of the scenes of the life of Saint John the Baptist (angel’s proclamation, visitation, birth, departure and preaching in the desert). On the right, John the Baptist imprisoned ; Left: Herod’s feast and Salome’s dance; Above: the martyrdom of the Precursor. On the sides of the altar, the prophets Isaiah and Zechariah.
🙏Let’s pray: Father full of love, thank you for creating me. Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for redeeming me. Holy Spirit, thank you for sanctifying me. God thrice holy, I beg you to make my Faith in you grow. Give me the joy of knowing you and living with you.
Chapel Simonetta or Chapel Saint Francesco da Paola
This chapel was first dedicated to St. Francis de Sales, after the year of his canonization (1665). But the scenes of his life that adorned the chapel, disappeared at the end of the 18th century. Now the chapel of “St Francesco da Paola”, recalls the memory of the founder of the Minimes, the first inhabitants of the Trinità dei Monti. The painting that represents him is the work of a nun of the Sacred Heart who painted him from the remains left on the bed of the Holy Hermit.
🙏Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for the projects of love you have for me. Burn my heart with your Charity so that I may love you ever more. Grant me to love like you those who surround me or who cross my path.
Chapel Lucrezia della Rovere or Chapel of the Assumption
Ceded by the Minimes to the niece of Pope Julius II, Lucrezia Gara della Rovere, in 1548 it was painted from 1548 to 1560 by Daniele Ricciarelli da Volterra and his students. In the centre Volterra’s Assumption, Mannerist work from the second period. On the right: the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple of Volterra. Left: the Massacre of the Innocents by Michele Alberti (a frequent theme since the sack of Rome in 1527). On the vault, there are other scenes from the Virgin’s life: the Escape to Egypt, the Meeting at the Golden Gate, the Marriage of Mary and Joseph, the Coronation of Mary.
🙏Let’s pray: Lord, thank you because you saved me and opened the gates of eternal life for me. Sustain my Hope, since your will is that nothing will ever separate me from your love.
Chapel Bonfil or Chapel of the Descent from the Cross
Here you can admire the famous « Deposition of the Cross » by Daniele Volterra, originally painted in the Orsini Chapel and based on sketches by Michelangelo, of which Volterra was a pupil. The paintings of the vault (the four Evangelists; scenes from the life of the Virgin) and the two lateral frescoes (the Fall and the Nativity) are by Paolo de Cespedes, Spanish painter and were exceuted between 1570 and 1577. King David and the prophet Daniel were painted by Louis Dupré around 1820.
🙏Let’s pray: Lord, we pray for all the people we know who are going through difficulties and who are suffering. We beg you: give them your strength to get through these trials. Through your Cross, you have given peace to the world: increase Your peace in our hearts too, so that, in this world, we may be artisans of your peace.
Chapel Elena Orsini or Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
First dedicated to St. Helena and the original site of the Descent from the Cross of Volterra, this chapel was granted to the Orsini family. The central painting of the Immaculate Conception was painted by Philip Veit (1830), representative of the Nazarene school. The paintings on each side the Annunciation and the Visitation are attributed to Joseph Ernst Tunner, a pupil of P. Veit (around 1830).
🙏Let’s pray: Lord, thank you for our families, for the people who are close to us, whom we love or with whom we have difficulty loving. We present them to you with their joys, their sorrows and their desires. With Mary our Mother, we pray to you: take care of them and open their hearts to your presence.
Chapel Borghese or Chapel of the Pietà
Built around 1570, this chapel was given as a concession in 1574 to the convent’s legal advisor, Marco-Antonio Borghese. The paintings in the vault are by Cesare Nebbia and represent events related to the Passion of Christ. Originally, it also included the painting of the Crucifixion, now in the back choir of the church. The plaster casting of the Pietà, made around 1860, was a gift from the sculptor Wilelm Theodor Achtermann. The marble original he had carved for Münster Cathedral was destroyed during the Second World War.
🙏Let’s pray: Lord, we entrust to you all those who have left this life and who are dear to us. Thank you for giving consolation and peace to those who mourn their departure. Welcome our deceased brothers and sisters close to You in your joy and the peace of your love.