Quite a perch…

May 22, 2012 / Places
Rome, Italy
Many of you are familiar with the Chiostro del Bramante as a nice and quiet place to take a short break, whether it’s lunch or per un caffe’. Rome can give sensory overload sometimes, so the cloister is a great spot to just stop and unwind.

While taking a break from all the art and sights is fully justified, you are in Rome after all, and it wouldn’t be quite right if here too you weren’t to find an absolute must-see.

Perhaps after your lunch, or even taking your caffe’ with you in hand, exit the bar and take a right to the end of the loggia. Enter through the doorway into an elegant space set up as a lounge that the Chiostro occasionally uses for events, and sit down in one of the comfy chairs in the far left corner.

You will be by an unusual window that instead of looking outside, looks in. In this case your bird’s eye view looks into Santa Maria della Pace, and specifically at the fresco that adorns Agostino Chigi’s chapel.

“Interrupt my Rome-overload break for yet another fresco in a church?!”

That’s Raffaello’s painting The Sibyls that you’re looking at… from above, while sitting in a sofa, sipping coffee. There’s even a free video about the fresco in English and Italian. Well worth it!


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

11 Responses to “Quite a perch…”

  1. Claire

    It’s very difficult to get inside Santa Maria della Pace, as it’s almost always locked up, so this is a wonderful way to see the beautiful Raffaello frescos inside.

  2. Toni DeBella

    My computer and me have enjoyed this view several times – it’s a quiet and inspirational place to sit and reflect on Rome’s amazingness (is that even a word?). t

  3. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Thanks to your earlier note on the cloister I have discovered the delights of the place, admired a Mir√≥ exhibition, sipped coffee and enjoyed the tranquility of a spot that’s a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona. Now I need to return for Raffaello!

  4. Joan Schmelzle

    Thanks for this. I knew about the Chiostro, but not the view. I am adding this to my “2012 Italy” file along with several other “Notebook” entries. I will be using them when I return to Italy in November for my 12th or 13th time since 1961.

  5. Marianna Whalen

    Makes me sigh and wonder what I am doing in Northern California.

  6. Deb Jacobs

    I believe the room mentioned is the same one that housed the “40 years of Hard Rock Art” this past October?
    I wish we had known about the “window” when we were at that exhibit.

  7. Thanks for sharing. As my husband and I will be going back to Rome, Florence and Venice in September of 2013. We will put this on our To-Do list. We cannot wait.
    Claudia McCadden

    • GB

      It’s behind Piazza Navona, by Santa Maria della Pace. Exact address is Arco della Pace, 5.


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