After a fairly successful morning, I wandered the searing streets of Rome. I’d had a delightful meeting with my dear friend Ginebri at Roma Tre. He recommended that I visit the church of S. Cecilia. So off I went. I waited three years for the 23 bus to alight. Then my trotters took me to Trastervere. On my way to this marvellous area of Rome, I tried to stop at Santa Cecilia. Of course Google maps is not accustomed to small narrow streets and slightly unusual addresses. Hence I ended up in Ospedale S. Francesca Romana.
Along the garden and up the stairs, you’ll enter the chapel. Take note of the ornate tiles and charming marble altar. Further in you’ll come to a room filled with beds. This is the most accurate representaion of how the hospital functioned in times gone by.
Take note of the dusty tomes behind glass enclosures flanking each side of this hall. They contain fascinating information about the day to day running of this establishment.
Upstairs is a gallery full of information about the history of the museum. This is replete with sordid tales of papal preference and government intervention. I won’t recount the whole story for you here, it remains for you to find out about this wonderful place by yourselves on your next visit to Rome.
Perhaps my favourite part of this hidden museum is the 12th century church, which closes one’s visit. Look inside carefully and take note of the various artefacts denoting scenes of great importance to the life of this church. My personal favourite is found beneath the archway of the original entrance. A glorious ancient painted cross adorns the wall.
I hope you enjoy the benign majesty of this museum as much as I have.