The San Filippo Neri and Maria Santissima della Pietà Church is the centerpiece of the main square in the Borgo San Filippo Neri neighborhood, which is located outside the ancient city walls of Bassano Romano.
San Filippo Neri and Maria Santissima della Pietà Church in Bassano Romano
Address: Via Cesare Battisti, 49, 01030 Bassano Romano. Ticket price: Free. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The Borgo San Filippo Neri is located outside the medieval city gate. This district is the result of an urbna renewal initiative carried out by Prince Andrea Giustiniani in the 17th century. The Borgo ends in the small square where the San Filippo Neri and Maria Santissima della Pietà Church is located.
When the church was built, in the first half of the 17th century, it was dedicated only to San Filippo Neri himself. It was built as a tribute to Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani, who was the major force behind the canonization of the saint to whom the church is dedicated.
Toward the end of the 19th century, the Giustiniani family had the church restored, which also explains the presence of the eagle (the family’s coat of arms) above the pillars that were installed at that time.
What to see
Four altars were also added, decorated with candlesticks, chalices, altar crosses, etc., all paid for by the family Giustiniani.
The two images of the crucifixion were created by Raffaello Persichini in 1827. The wooden ceiling dates from the 19th century, but was restored in 1941. The central part of this ceiling shows the “Ascension of San Filippo Neri” himself. The paintings on either side show the coats of arms of the Odescalchi and the Giustiniani families.
First altar on the right: the painting “The Archangel Michael with his Foot on Lucifer’s Body” is a 19th century copy of a work by Guidi Reni, which can be seen in the Santa Maria della Concezione Church in Rome. According to tradition, the devil is said to be depicted with the head of Pope Clemens X, a member of the Altieri family. This Pope happened to be an enemy of the Barberini, who were Reni’s patrons.
Second altar on the right: “San Francesco di Paola,” in Capuchin garb.
First altar on the left; “Sant’Anna and Child with San Giovannino.”
Second altar on the left: “The Apparition of the Virgin to San Filippo Neri,” also a copy of an original painted by Guido Reni, which hangs in the Santa Maria in Vallicella Church in Rome.