Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rome Palm Sunday: Santa Maria Della Quercia

Santa Maria della Quercia to the southeast of Piazza Farnese in Piazza della Quercia, was designed by Filippo Raguzzini, the same architect who designed one of my favorite little piazza's in Rome, the "stage set" outside S. Ignazio.

Walking in Rome it is easy to miss this little Piazza della Quercia and Santa Maria della Quercia because it is tucked away in Rome's centro storico where on a Rome walking tour there is so much to see on a walking tour of Rome's centro storico. Nevertheless, this spot deserves a few moments.

Raguzzini is a late Baroque architect whose personal style may best described by the word "simplicity" because his buildings take a single idea, explore it and stop in contrast to Baroque architecture in Rome which typically loads up the visually complex. This individual Baroque architecture style is evident on the Santa Maria della Quercia's facade which is a single sinuous curve. Note the middle pair of pilasters, which rather than follow the curve, are compressed to make them interact with the facade creating an illusion that they are being swallowed.

Santa Maria della Quercia is maintained by the butchers of Rome. Every Palm Sunday in Rome Rome's butchers come here , set up grills, and cook for Rome's people. The funds gained are used to buy food for the poor on Easter Sunday in Rome. When traveling in Italy for Palm Sunday be sure to take a walk past Piazza Farnese, close to Campo de' Fiori to come eat some grilled meats by the butchers of Rome who are grilling here in Piazza della Quercia on Palm Sunday.

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