Oratorio del Gonfalone

June 18, 2008 / Local Interest
The Oratorio del Gonfalone is a rarely visited, off the beaten path secret of Rome. Literally the “Oratory of the Banner”, this was simply the meeting room of a religious organization founded in the 13th century. By the 16th century the group had become an Arci-Confraternita with the full support of the pope; with the rights to maintain embassies as far as Constantinople and Algiers, and to grace prisoners.

Informally it’s called the “Sistine chapel of Mannerism”, due to the fact that it is covered floor to ceiling in 16th century frescoes depicting the Passion for the most part, with a few handfuls of prophets and sibyls thrown in for good measure.

Definitely worth a visit . . but why do things half way? Combine it with one of the many classical music concerts that are held here each year. For example, the 2008 Rome Chamber Music Festival is currently taking place. Why not admire the frescoes while listening to Händel, Vivaldi, and co.? Simply breathtaking . .

Oratorio del Gonfalone, in Via del Gonfalone, 32, just off Via Giulia.


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

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