The Church of

Santa Maria dell’Orto


Sacred art and architecture, over the centuries, have aimed at greater majesty and monumentality in the creation of religious works and this we can see when we visit any ancient church.

Speaking of majesty: even in Trastevere there is a church that responds well to this term and it is the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto.

This sacred building, built in the 16th century, stands in Trastevere at the intersection of via Anicia and via Madonna dell’Orto and delightfully blends the Renaissance and Baroque styles, becoming a magical place that cannot leave the eyes of those indifferent.

In this short article, we will tell you about the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto, this magnificent church that has appeared in many Italian films and has become the national church of the Japanese in Rome.

The History of the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto

The history of the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto began many centuries ago. The historical documents of the time narrate that, towards the end of 1400, on the ground where this magnificent church was built, a miracle took place: a sick peasant, in fact, one day prayed an image of the Madonna present near his garden where he went every day and, following this prayer, he recovered from his illness.

This miracle became well known in the Trastevere district and prompted the authorities to build this church which took the name of the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto in memory of that painting of the Madonna which had been made right next to a vegetable garden.

It is said that the expenses for the furnishings and construction of the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto were borne by universities, i.e. the trade associations of the time (not to be confused with the current universities).

The history of this church continued growing, so much so that Pope Alexander allowed you to establish a brotherhood which, under Pope Sixtus V, became important to the point of being able to ask for the release of a person condemned to death every year.

Moreover, having risen on an area for commercial use, the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto also became the reference point for the entire food sector.

Why visit the Church of Santa Maria Dell’Orto?

There are not many words to describe the Church of Santa Maria Dell’Orto other than “wonder”.

This church shows off its elegance and its beauty in every corner, in each of its three naves, chapels, frescoes and panels.

It is not known who built the church (the architect seems to be still unknown – things that happened at the time, when Twitter and Facebook did not yet exist on which every member posted any moment of the day), but it is well known who made the frescoes: the Orazi brothers, Giovanni Battista Parodi, Federico and Taddeo Zuccari and Giacinto Calandrucci.

The names, we must admit, are not well known to the general public, but their works in the Church of Santa Maria Dell’Orto really leave you breathless for the mastery used in their creation and for their beauty.

Obviously many other names of the art of the time took part in the construction of the interiors of the Church of Santa Maria Dell’Orto and the final result is a sacred place to visit and savor up to its last millimeter.

How to visit the Church of Santa Maria Dell’Orto

As already mentioned in articles concerning other churches, when you visit a place of worship, you must enter it with respect for the sacredness of the place and for those who have faith in a particular religion, no matter which God you worship or whether you are an atheist or otherwise: respect is important and is the primary thing when you enter a church.

Having made this important premise, the Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto is open at the following times:

  • Monday: from 14:00 to 18:00
  • Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Wednesday: from 14:00 to 14:00
  • Saturday: from 10:00 to 13:00

On Sundays the Church of Santa Maria Dell’Orto is open only for liturgical services and cannot be visited, while it is always closed on January 1st, Easter Monday, on civil holidays and during throughout the month of August.

If you have planned a sightseeing tour with a guide, this will make sure you choose the right times to visit this church; if, on the other hand, you decide to visit it independently and without guides, we recommend that you first find all the information on timetables on the official website of the church here.


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Santa Maria dell'Orto