Although there are some differences, the edifice is popularly known as the twin church of the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, located nearby. The Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto has an elliptical plan and a dodecagonal dome, while its twin has a circular plan and an octagonal dome.
In the 17th century, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto replaced a small church which belonged to the Carmelite friars of the province of Monte Santo, in Sicily, hence the name.
The construction began in 1662 on the initiative of Pope Alexander VII after a design by Carlo Rainaldi. Following the death of the pope in 1667, the construction works were interrupted. The works were resumed in 1673, under the direction of Carlo Fontana and the supervision of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and the structure was completed in 1679.
The bell-tower of the church, built on a design by Francesco Navone, was finished in 1761.
In 1953, the church became the seat of the Mass of the artists, an initiative conceived by Ennio Francia, in which representatives of the world of culture and art take part. The funeral services of people linked to the world of culture are often celebrated in the church. For these reasons, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto is also known as the Church of the Artists.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The church has six side chapels. The third chapel on the right was built by Carlo Francesco Bizzaccheri and is decorated with an altarpiece and frescoes by Niccolò Berrettoni, and marble angels by Pietro Paolo Naldini.
In the second chapel on the right, is the altarpiece of the Emmaus Supper (Cena di Emmaus) painted by Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni.
In the main altar, the Virgin of Montesanto stands out, a painting from the 16th century which was discovered thanks to a recent restoration.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest Metro station is Flaminio, located about 350 meters away. The closest bus stop is in Piazzale Flaminio, about 200 meters away, on the bus Lines 61, 89, 120F, 150F, 160, 490, 495 and 591.
Find a place to stay