San Francesco a Ripa


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Rebuilt in the 1680s, this church took the place of a 13th-century one that held now-lost frescoes by Pietro Cavallino chronicling the life of St Francis of Assisi. The saint stayed in the adjoining convent when he visited Rome in 1229: if you ask the sacristan, he may show you the cell where St Francis lived and the rock on which he placed his head to sleep.

An orange tree in the garden was supposedly planted by the saint, ever in harmony with nature. Nowadays, though, most visitors stop here to see a 1674 sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini of the Beata Ludovica Albertoni, a Franciscan nun of noble origins who is shown in a dramatic, sexually ambiguous Baroque ecstasy with a few plaster putti heads thrown in years later for effect.

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San Francesco a Ripa details

Piazza San Francesco d'Assisi 88

Area Rome

Transport Bus 23, 44, 75, 115, 280, 630, 753, 780, H/tram 8.

Telephone 06 581 9020

Open 7am-noon, 4-7pm Mon-Sat; 7am-1pm, 4-7.30pm Sun.

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