A series of performances will be held in both indoor and outdoor venues, over the New Year period
Santa Maria di Montesanto is situated on Piazza del Popolo facing the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls and guards the entrance to Via del Popolo, along with her sister church Santa Maria dei Miracoli, both churches were financed by Cardinal Girolamo Gastaldi whose crest can be seen in both.
Previous to the present church seen today, there was another church called Montesanto, or Holy Mountain, which was home to Carmelite monks and named after Mount Carmel in Israel. Building of the present church was started in 1662 with original designs by Carlo Rainaldi but revised by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and completed in 1675. It is thought the saints on the exterior of the church are also the work of Bernini. Inside the church, the second chapel is dedicated to Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzi in honour the Carmelite nun canonized by Pope Clemente XI in 1669 and the presbytery is stuccoed with angels and houses the miraculous 15th Century altarpiece depicting the Virgin of Montesanto, which is believed to have been painted by an 11-year old girl. The belfry was added in the 18th century and in 1825 the church was given the honour of being named a minor basilica.
Since 1953, the church has been known locally as the Artists’ Church with the tradition of a mass for Artists held every Sunday, from June to October, where an artist reads the lesson, music is played and a prayer for all artists is said at the end of the mass.
This national church of Florence took two centuries to complete and is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, also known as the protector of Florence. This graceful minor basilica was commissioned by Pope Leo X and designed by the Florentine artist Jacopo Sansovino. It lies in the ancient Ponte district of Rome, increasingly becoming the home of artists, hipsters and where the local Roman community and visitors can enjoy contemporary dining and one-off, boutique shops.
Neoclassical in style, the Piazza del Popolo, or People's Square, is one of Rome's largest urban piazzas and lies within the city's northern gate, Porta del Popolo, the ancient starting point of the most important road north and, until the birth of the railways, all visitors first sight of Rome. It was the place of Rome's public executions, the last of which took place in 1826. The Eygptian oblelisk, in the centre of the square, is the tallest and second oldest in Rome, arriving in 10BC by order of Augustus Caesar, originally on the Circus Maximus but re-erected here in 1589. On the northern side of the square, guarded by the sister churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto, are the three shopping streets, locally known as the 'trident', Via del Corso, Via Babuino and Ripetta, which is the route of Rome's New Year's Day Parade.
Frascati is an idyllic hill top town located 12 miles south-east of Rome in the Alban Hills famous for its crisp white wine, the aristocratic Villa Aldobrandini, winding cobbled streets and magnificant views over the plains surrounding Rome. Piazza San Pietro, named after Frascati's 16th Century Basilica, which watches over the square, is in the historic centre and a popular pedestrian hub. Piazza del Mercato, as its name suggests, has produce and craft markets held throughout the year as well as an array of small market shops located around the square making it a bustling and busy area. Both squares are regularly used as outdoor spaces by our performers.
The Basilica Cattedrale di San Pietro Apostolo is a Roman Catholic church right in the heart of Frascati dominating the Piazza S. Pietro. Designed by Ottaviano Nonni, work started in 1598 and the first mass was celebrated 12 years later in June 1610. The two impressive bell towers either side of the façade are 18th century additions. Notably, the cathedral houses an 11th century wooden crucifix, a relief depicting Jesus handing the famous keys to Saint Peter and the heart of Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender to the Scottish throne, is interred under the floor.