The Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Church is located in Rome‘s Colonna neighborhood. The church stands a short distance from the Spanish Steps and is one of the most famous churches (in part) designed by Borromini. The Bernini-designed originals of the angels on the Ponte Sant’Angelo are also in the church.
Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Church Rome
Address, hours, tickets
The Chiesa di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte is located in Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 1 – Rome (tel. +39 06 679319). Bus: 52, 53, 62, 63, 71, 83, 85, 116, 116T, 160,160F, 175, 492, C3, N4, N5, N12, N25 (stop: Tritone – Fontana di Trevi). It is open Monday to Friday from 06:30 to 12:30 and from 16:00 to 19:00. On Saturdays and Sundays, the church stays open an hour longer in the afternoon. Mass is celebrated at 07:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:15, 18:00 and 19:00 on Sundays and holidays. During the week it is at 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 18:00 (in winter) or 19:00 (in summer). On days preceding public holidays, Mass only takes place at 18:00 and 19:00. Since it is forbidden for tourists to disturb the ceremonies, it is recommended to not enter before 4:00 pm.
History and description
The word fratte means “woods” and refers to the orchards among which the original church was located.
When the church was built in the 12th century, in what was then one of the northernmost parts of the city, it was called Sant’Andrea infra hortos (“Sant’Andrea among the Gardens”).
Initially, the church was administered by the Agostinian monks, then by the Scottish Nation and finally by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (Confraternita del Ss. Sacramento). In 1985 it was donated by Pope Sixtus V to the Order of the Ministries of St. Francis of Paola.
Because of its dilapidated condition, the friars had to almost completely restore teh church not long after building it. Originally, this was paid for by the Marquis Paolo del Bufalo, who lived near the church, in the Palazzo del Bufalo. Eventually, due to lack of funds, it would take more than a century to complete the renovation.
The convent, like many other religious buildings, became the property of the new Italian State in 1870, which first turned it into an elementary school and later a barracks. After the Conciliazione (between Mussolini and the Pope, in 1929), the Order of the Minims got back part of the monastery while the rest houses the office of the Ministry of Defense.
Architects Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Church
To Gaspare Guerra, who worked on it from 1604 to 1612, the general design and façade can be attributed.
From 1653 until his death in 1667, Francesco Borromini worked on the church. He was responsible for the apse, the drum of the dome and the bell tower.
The church was delivered in 1691, by Mattia de Rossi, even though the facade was not quite finished yet.
Pasquale Belli, in 1826, put the finishing touches on this facade.
The Bell Tower
The campanile was designed by Borromini. The Caryatids (buttresses shaped like statues of women) represent angels. Other decorations include flaming torches and huge volutes supporting a diagonal cross (referring to St. Andrew) and a buffalo (coat of arms of the Bufalo family). On top is a crown. The nickname of the campanile is “ballerina”, since it vibrates quite a bit each time the bells ring.
The church is graced with paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. It consists of a single nave with three chapels on either side.
The third chapel on the left is called the “Madonna del Miracolo” chapel. It appeared on Jan. 30, 1842, to a Jewish visitor to the church called Alfonso Ratisbonna, who was immediately converted. The painting in this chapel was the work of Domenico Bartolini.
In 1667 Bernini crafted 10 angels for the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge. However, Pope Clement IX Rospigliosi found them too beautiful to expose them to the outdoors and had copies placed on the bridge. The pope had wanted to take them to his hometown of Pistoia, but in the end the statues remained in Rome. When the Pope died, they were returned to Bernini and in 1729 they were donated to the Sant’Andrea delle Fratte church and placed in the presbytery. Incidentally, only two of the statues, symbolizing 10 of the Stations of the Cross, were made by Bernini himself. These are the statue with the cartouche and the one with the crown of thorns.
The cloister is another highlight. It can be entered both from the church and from the adjoining convent. The beautiful garden is flanked on each side by porticos with Doric columns supporting arches (nine on the long and seven on the short sides). The lunettes under the porticoes are decorated with a series of frescoes depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis of Paola. These were created by various artists, including Francesco Cozza and Filippo Gherardi.
More Artworks Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Church
The decoration of the dome is by Pasquale Marini.
In the 1st chapel you can see a wooden temple by Borgognone from 1674. Ludovico Gimignani painted the “Baptism of Christ” in this chapel.
The tomb of Pierluigi Carafa is in the third chapel and was made by Pietro Bracci.
The altar in the transept is by Filippo Barigioni, while the painting “St. Francis of Paola” is by Paris Nogari.
The dome of the presbytery is painted with the fresco “Multiplication of the Bread and Fish” by Pasquale Marini.
In the left transept is an altar by the hand of Luigi Vanvitelli and Valadier.
The painting in this transept, “St. Anne, the Young John the Baptist and Mary,” was painted by Giuseppe Bottani.