The figure of San Filippo Neri,”Apostolo di Roma”, canonized in 1622, is historically tied to the church of S. Maria in Vallicella. In 1548 Filippo Neri, defined “Pippo buono” by the people, founded the Confraternita dei Pellegrini e dei Convalescenti aiming at assisting the needy pilgrims that would arrive in Rome. As a recognition to his efforts, Gregorio XIII gave him the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella as a gift, which is already documented as of C. XII (so called for the presence of a basin). The reconstruction of the church (that gave it the definition of Chiesa Nuova), which began in 1575 by Pietro Bartolini from Città di Castello, went on through 1583 with Martino Longhi il Vecchio. In 1599 the church was consecrated while the façade was completed in the early 1600s, following the model of the Chiesa del Gesù. The façade, completed in 1605, comprises two orders articulated into Corinthian pilaster strips. In the lower part the central portal opens up sided by columns and smaller portals. In the upper order one finds a window with a balustrade amidst columns that support a curved tympanum. By the sides, there are two niches with statues of San Girolamo and San Gregorio Magno. Theinterior, with three naves and vaulted roofing, presents a big central hallsided by communicating chapels. In the main nave’s roofing, dome and apse onefinds frescoes by Pietro da Cortona. The altar is decorated by Rubens’smasterpiece “Angeli in Venerazione della Madonna” (1608), a painting the coversthe old canvas of the Vergine con Bambino; Rubens also carried out the two sidecanvases portraying “SS. Gregorio Magno, Mauro e Papia” and SS.Domitilla, Nereo and Achilleo” (1608). To the left from the presbitery one finds the chapel dedicated to SanFilippo Neri, rich of precious marbles, semi-precious stone and nacre. In thesacristy, which was carried out in 1629, one also finds works by Pietroda Cortona, Alessandro Algardi, Guido Reni, Guercino.
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