The Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio

May 17, 2010 / Art & Archaeology
Rome, Lazio
TempiettoSanPietro1Although it is considered to be one of the most aesthetically sound Renaissance buildings around, the Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio (pronounced tem-PYET-toe, little temple) is hidden from view.

Designed by Donato Bramante (the artist commissioned to redesign St. Peter’s Basilica), the tiny domed structure is tucked away within the walls of the church’s courtyard.

TempiettoSanPietro2The location of the church of San Pietro in Montorio was selected as it supposedly is the site of St. Peter’s crucifixion.

Although the place of the martyr’s death has been called into question, the setting for the church, and the Tempietto enclosed within, is still magnificent. Tucked away perhaps, but not to be missed!

The site atop the Gianicolo hill provides stunning views of the city and plenty of places to explore, including the Royal Spanish Academy and the Giancolense park with a famous statue of Garibaldi nearby.


Ian Zurzolo

by Ian Zurzolo

Writer, editor, American University of Rome graduate, Italian Notebook Editorial Intern.

9 Responses to “The Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio”

  1. Frank Scaramella

    I wish I could have spent some of my free time while attending College in Roma,to see all the Magnificence that you keep on delighting us with your notes,Having lived mostly in via 4 Fontane at the corner of Via Nazionale,,I had access to every mean of transportation that ,had I known, would have filled me with some wacuum in The Arts History!No complaints,,because I did graduate with Honors and in less time than requested.Roma will allways be in my heart6 and mind with the rest of Italy, my very beautiful and undescribable Country of Birth.

  2. Joan Schmelzle

    I have a question. I have been to Rome 12 times and have visited the Tempietto probably twice. I hope to again when I am there in December since my last try in 2007 was stopped by a large wedding crowd in the church yard. My question is where is that set of steps in the second picture? I would probably not walk up them, but down might work. I would really just like to see them. I believe I reached the church in 2007 by walking down a street; I would have to check my map.

  3. hebegb

    Joan, with your back to the church and/or tempietto, those steps (that lead downwards from there) are to your left, through the iron gate.

  4. Joan Schmelzle

    Thank you so much for the answer. I am saving this site and info in my very long list of things to do in a month in Rome!

  5. I was up there a few weeks ago when I was in Rome–so magnificent! There were preparations for a wedding in the church–so it was filled with white roses and the pews draped in blue velvet…So many times in Rome the timing works out that you stumble upon such unforgettable visions!

  6. Mary jane

    And the main church is an impt. one for Irish history…with the tombs of the Earls who fled to Rome in 1607. Ask the sacristan to roll back the blue carpets in the main aisle to view them.

  7. Barbara, Kangaroo Island Australia

    I lived in Rome in the ’70s and visited San Pietro in Montorio but did not know about Il Tempietto. I’m visiting in Sept. Can you please advise opening hours/days. Many thanks for great site.


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