San Cosimato, Uncovered

June 23, 2008 / Local Interest
The 10th century entrance to the cloister of San Cosimato is one of those great examples of the “burying” of Rome through the ages. In the first photo, you can see the level of the ground of the surrounding area of the piazza that takes its name from the cloister. Prints from the mid-18th century show that the entrance was already quite below street-level even then.

Since then it only got worse. Until recently the lower half of the entrance was basically buried below ground and no longer even in use, its upper half barely visible behind an ugly metal grate and thick opaque piece of plexiglass . . supposedly to “protect” it.

Fortunately, in 2006 it became the focus of some TLC when the entire square was re-done. The ground around it has been completely removed so that the new sidewalk is now back at the original 10th century street level, visible in the photo below. The height of the ground before this work was equivalent to that of the iron railing walk-way on the left. Now the beautiful 10th century entrance is in harmony with the 19th century buildings in this 21st century piazza.


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

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