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Tour of gothic church in Rome: Basillica Maria Sopia Minerva

Tour of gothic church in Rome: Basillica Maria Sopia Minerva

Apr 12th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 458
Tour of gothic church in Rome: Basillica Maria Sopia Minerva

We would like to take some sort of a tour of this church. I have googled and been unable to find a tour that includes this church. I would like to avoid an expensive private tour.
Any information would be much appreciated. Ciao.
hellokittie is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Be aware it is actually spelled "sopRa"

this might be a place to contact:



and you can e-mail them directly

zeppole is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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While beautiful, Santa Maria sopra Minerva is not huge or crowded, especially in comparison to other churches like St. Peter's, San Giovanni in Laterano or Santa Maria Maggiore. Personally, I think you could find out all you need to know by visiting websites and consulting a/some guidebook(s)in advance. That's what I did, and I don't think I missed out on anything.

Also, since you're in the neighborhood, you might want to visit San Luigi dei Francesi which is quite nearby and has beautiful Caravaggio paintings.
Delaine is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 11:35 PM
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I honestly can't imagine what a guide could tell or show you that you couldn't get from the Blue Guide to Rome (the Central Italy version is too vague), if you can't manage the Italian of the church's website.

The church is reasonably well captioned in English. The Blue Guide is £16.95 in any decent bookshop.
flanneruk is online now  
Apr 14th, 2009, 05:01 AM
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I will have to look at the Blue Guide then!
I was hoping for an art historian to discuss the gothic elements and compare with French and English gothic.
hellokittie is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Hi kittie, I'm not much help but I wanted to say that after many visits to Rome, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva remains one of my favourite churches and one place that I always make a point of visiting when in Rome!!!!

It really is so beautiful, peaceful (since it doesn't seem to appear on many radar screens) and very central. Yet a lot of people kind of bounce off the Pantheon and keep going, without ever noticing this gem (and Bernini's beautiful little elephant outside the church.)

I understand why you would want to know more about it, and if you can't find a guided tour, I think the advice to do some research before you go is solid. The Sacred Destination site mentioned above is quite helpful.

Fra Angelico is buried there and if you're fan, I see that a new exhibition of his work is opening at the Capitoline Museums. I definitely plan on seeing that.
sacc is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for the input, sacc.
Do you have an opinion on what not to miss during a 41/2 day first time visit? Ostia? Vatican--do we need a tour?
Tivoli? Borghesi?
Would love to hear what an experienced Rome visitot with an eye for the Gothic has to suggest!
hellokittie is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Kittie, I'm afraid that SMSopra Minerva is about the only true gothic church in Rome! But I have many other favourites.

I think San Clemente, near the Colosseum, is fascinating and often overlooked. It rests upon several interesting layers of history -- the existing church was built between 1100 and 1130, and has some beautiful frescos. Below it (and here you have to pay an entry fee) is a very cool and well-preserved fourth century church dedicated to St. Clement; and beneath that, is a pagan Mithraic temple. You can hear water burbling through Rome's aqueducts at that level.

Santa Maria in Trastevere is fantastic, its foundations date to about AD222, and its medieval mosaics are incredible.

If the Renaissance interests you, Santa Maria del Popolo has some wonderful art (including Caravaggios and the Chigi Chapel designed by Raphael) and the Piazza del Popolo is wonderful.

I'd definitely add the Galleria Borghese (don't forget you must have a reservation), but with only four-plus days I don't think I'd leave the city for Ostia or Tivoli. There is just so much to see right in Rome, including the Vatican, especially the Vatican museums!

I hope you'll have a wonderful visit to Rome.
sacc is offline  
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