Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace (Church of Saint Mary of Peace), Rome

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace (Church of Saint Mary of Peace), Rome

In 1656, Pope Alexander VII commissioned Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669) to expand the small Peace Square (“Piazza della Pace”) in front of the 15th-century church of Saint Mary, so as to accommodate the carriages of wealthy parishioners. Cortona's solution involved designing a new church facade with a semicircular portico, demolishing select buildings to create a more spacious approach to the church, adding arches to architecturally unify the piazza, and constructing a series of small-size palaces. The outcome became one of Rome's most charming architectural ensembles.

Inside, you can find several magnificent Renaissance treasures, starting with Raphael's fresco above the first altar on the right, which depicts the Four Sibyls (exact replicas of Michelangelo's but with a more relaxed style). Meanwhile, the Cesi Chapel, located second on the right, features exquisite decorations designed by Sangallo in the mid-16th century. Across from it, you'll find Peruzzi's remarkable fresco of the Madonna and Child. Additionally, the octagon beneath the dome serves as an art gallery in itself, displaying works by Arpino, Gentileschi, and others, while Cozzo's "Eternity" adorns the lantern above.

Behind the church lies its cloister – designed by Bramante, the architect of St. Peter's Basilica – which stands as the first embodiment of the High Renaissance style in Rome. The cloister now hosts an exhibition space and a delightful coffee bar on its upper level.

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Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace (Church of Saint Mary of Peace) on Map

Sight Name: Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace (Church of Saint Mary of Peace)
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Holy Sites Walking Tour

Holy Sites Walking Tour

As the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's largest organizations, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each of its churches and basilicas represent a significant part of culture and history.

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
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Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

A movie beloved by generations of people, "Roman Holiday" (1953) was filmed entirely in Rome and starred two of Hollywood's greatest icons: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The romantic comedy would go on to earn three Oscars, including the best actress trophy for Hepburn, who is entirely sympathetic in a role that could have been off-putting. The main storyline centers on a day of...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles
Food Tasting Walking Tour

Food Tasting Walking Tour

Whether it’s a long lunch or a stop-off for an ice cream on an evening stroll, eating in Rome is a very social activity. Culinary traditions run deep here, and it may well be one of Italy’s most pleasurable cities in which to eat. Deli shops, prosciutterias, pizzerias, fornos (bakeries) and caffès are also very popular and offer a great alternative to a restaurant meal.

On this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Trastevere Walking Tour

Trastevere Walking Tour

Heading down from the Vatican along the River Tiber, one is bound to find yet another city hidden within the city – Trastevere. This name translates literally to "across the Tiber". Indeed, crossing the picturesque Ponte Sisto (Sisto Bridge) to the west bank, you will find yourself in a charming neighborhood with a distinct character that sets it apart from any other part of Rome.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Rome Shopping Streets Walking Tour

Rome Shopping Streets Walking Tour

Loved by tourists for its busy fashionable streets and significant baroque icons, the so-called ‘Tridente’ is one of the Eternal City's most lusted-after areas, formed by Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona, Via Frattina and the adjacent Via del Corso. It is perhaps the most high-end destination for Roman shopping, with a concentration of renowned jewelers and important Italian/international...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles

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