Built partly on command of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain in 1481 near the spot where, tradition says (evidently mistakenly), St. Peter was crucified, this church is a handsome and dignified edifice. It contains a number of well-known works, including, in the first chapel on the right, the Flagellation painted by the Venetian Sebastiano del Piombo from a design by Michelangelo, and St. Francis in Ecstasy, in the next-to-last chapel on the left, in which
Bernini made one of his earliest experiments with concealed lighting effects.
However, the most famous work here is the circular Tempietto (Little Temple) in the monastery cloister next door. This sober little building—though tiny, holding only 10 people, it's actually a church in its own right—marks the spot where, legend has it, St. Peter's cross once stood. It remains one of the key Renaissance buildings in Rome. Designed by Bramante (the original architect of the new St. Peter's Basilica) in 1502, it represents one of the earliest and most successful attempts to reproduce an entirely classical building. The basic design came from a circular temple on the grounds of the emperor Hadrian's great villa at Tivoli, outside Rome.
Piazza San Pietro in Montorio 2 (Via Garibaldi), entrance to cloister and Tempietto at portal next to church, Rome, 00153, Italy
06-5813940-San Pietro in Montorio; 06-5812806-Tempietto (Accademia di Spagna)