Wednesday 5th to Tuesday 11th November 2014
A unique opportunity for members and friends of the parish to investigate the historic architecture of Rome with a particular focus on the changing character of Christian building at different times in the city. The tour will be led by Alistair Rowan, former head of the Department of the History of Art in UCD and a member of the select vestry.
The tour will be similar to the earlier visit made by members of the parish to Padua in May 2013 and is planned to last for six nights running from Wednesday 5th to Tuesday 11th of November. Rome is an expensive place to visit but the cost of hotels drops significantly in the low season, which runs from November to the end of March. Our dates have been chosen to take advantage of the lower hotel rates at this time, while the mid-week starting and ending days will allow for travel at a time when air fares cost less than at weekends.
Accommodation has been booked in an excellent and well-appointed four-star hotel, the Londra & Cargill which offers a very competitive group rate. The hotel is situated beside the Piazza Sallustio, in a quiet residential area immediately above the old city with numerous small restaurants in the surrounding streets. It is within easy walking distance of two of the stops of the underground, the Piazza Barberini and the Piazza della Repubblica.
The Roman underground provides a fairly basic network but it is useful when travelling as a group, and we will make good use of it. We will hire a bus for one day to take us to outlying places otherwise our time will be spent within the city. It is easiest to see and understand Rome on foot, and there will be a good deal of walking during the trip.
The price for the tour includes bed & breakfast accommodation in the hotel for six nights (the breakfast is really nice), the bus trip and two runabout day tickets for the underground, entry to all the places we will visit, two dinners for the group – one at the start and the other at the end of the tour – and two lunches. The cost of the tour for a couple sharing is €620 each and €760 for a single room. Members should make their own travel arrangements. It will be possible, by arrangement with the hotel, to add a day or days at either end of the tour.
Buildings that feature in the tour will be the early churches founded soon after Constantine changed the official religion of the Roman empire to Christianity – Saint Constance, Saint Stephen’s round church, the Baptistery of Constantine and the Early Christian churches of Saint Clement, Saint Agnes, Saint Laurence and Saint Prassede.
We will visit the three great basilicas which, though now part of the Italian state, are retained as the extra-territorial property of the Vatican: Saint Paul’s outside the walls, where Saint Paul is buried, Saint Mary the Great and Saint John Lateran.
We will study the vast ideal Renaissance structure planned by Bramante and Michelangelo for Saint Peter’s, see how it was elaborated by later popes and we will visit the excavated Roman cemetery on which the basilica is built. We will see the buildings of the counter-reformation orders, the Jesuits, and the Oratorians – the Gesù, Saint Ignatius and the Chiesa Nuova – and examples of superb Baroque architecture by Maderno, Bernini and Borromini. We will also look at the Anglican churches in the Via del Babuino and Via Nazionale, each designed by G. E. Street, the architect responsible for the restoration of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. And we will visit the Baths of Diocletian, where the Tepidarium of the baths was converted by Michelangelo into a spectacular church – Saint Mary of the Angels – to serve a Carthusian monastery. Our focus will be on the buildings of Rome, with here and there a moment to consider an altarpiece, a family chapel or piece of sculpture as these occur within a church. There will be two free afternoons allowing time for people to visit some Roman antiquities or art galleries which are not included in the programme.
To reserve a place or to obtain further information about the tour to Rome please contact us.