Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birdwalking on the Aventine Hill

Yesterday I took the opportunity for a couple of "birdwalks" on my way home from Sant' Anselmo on the Aventine Hill. (Birdwalking: a style of going from "A" to "B" in a way that is similar to a bird's zig-zag path as it picks at food while walking.)

My first "birdwalk" was to the the Piazza del Cavalieri di Malta and the door of the Priory of the Knights of Malta. Peeping through the keyhole you get of view of Michaelangelo's dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
My next "birdwalk" was into the courtyard and church of Sant' Alessio, originally built in the 8th century, but now mostly an 18th century building.

Leaving Sant' Alessio, I continued along the road until I came to the simple exterior of the Basilica of Santa Sabina. (The Pope gave this church to St. Dominic for his order in 1218. St. Dominic and St. Thomas Aquinas were both residents of the adjacent monastery.) Like so many churches in Rome, Santa Sabina saw many architectural modifications over the centuries, but in the 1930's it was restored back to its 5-9th century appearance.
When I entered the church, I was captivated by the play of light coming through the windows, illuminating the beauty of marble Corinthian columns, the flat wooden ceiling and the decoration made of colored marbles on the clerestory.

The chapel on the left side of the nave maintains its' 17th century appearance. I caught a meditating Dominican in this chapel with his shoes off.

My final "birdwalk" before getting on the bus to go home was to enjoy the refreshing Bernini inspired fountain of the Tritons constructed in 1715.

1 comment:

Moniales said...

I love this photo of the Friar praying! May I please post it on our blog? I will credit yours!
Thank you!
Sr. Mary Catharine