Basilica di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte
In the late 17th century, Pope Clement IX commissioned Bernini to sculpt a series of angels to line the parapet of the Ponte Sant’Angelo just outside Castel Sant’Angelo. The artist’s "Angel with the Crown of Thorns" and "Angel with the Scroll" were considered by the pope to be too precious to be left to the elements, so he had them replaced with copies and the originals placed in the Basilica di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte. Today, these two statues are the church’s crown jewels, but the interior paintings, gilded stuccoes, and soaring architecture by Borromini are also masterpieces of the Baroque style.
Things to know before you go
- The church is a must-see attraction for Baroque art and architecture enthusiasts.
- Choose attire that covers shoulders and knees to enter the basilica.
- If visiting as part of a Rome walking tour, be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Photography without flash is allowed in the basilica and photographers especially enjoy capturing Bernini’s delightful angels.
- The church is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
The Basilica di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte is on Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte in central Rome, an easy walk from the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain or from the Barberini metro stop along line B.
When to get there
The basilica closes briefly at midday, so time your visit for the morning or late afternoon. Avoid touring during the masses scheduled daily, when visitors are discouraged from lingering.
Sant’Angelo Bridge (Ponte Sant’Angelo)
Ponte Sant’Angelo is a pedestrian bridge that spans Rome’s Tiber river at Castel Sant'Angelo and is lined with 10 monumental angel statues designed by Bernini, including copies of the two angels now located inside the Basilica di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte. This historic bridge is considered the most beautiful in the city and is a dazzling way to approach St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
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