Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio a Tor de' Conti is a small 19th century devotional chapel at Via di Tor de’ Conti 1, east of the Forum of Augustus in the rione Monti.

The dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Good Counsel .

Do not confuse this with Santa Maria del Buon Consiglio ai Monti which is nearby.

History Edit

This little devotional chapel was founded in 1834 by the Sturbinetti family, who were slum landlords in the Suburra district at at time when this was a seriously deprived area.

The location of the chapel used to be a dead-end alleyway from the present Via di Tor de' Conti to the backs of houses on the Via dei Ibernesi. The family complained that this was being used by muggers lying in wait for victims, and by couples indulging in what the English (for the last three centuries) have called a knee-trembler. As a result, the family members obtained a formal order extinguishing the right-of-way and were able to build a chapel.

The enterprise is though to have been encouraged by St Vincent Pallotti, who was active in promoting devotional acts in honour of Our Lady in the city at the time.

There is a story that there was an apparition of Our Lady here in 1836.

This is not a sacello or devotional shrine for an icon, but an actual chapel. Apparently in the early 20th century a priest was in charge, and had a room fitted out above the actual chapel for his use.

Another, more successful example of a place of worship taking over an alleyway is Santa Maria dell'Archetto.

Exterior Edit

The exterior façade is a dignified neo-Classical composition, in travertine limestone that could do with a clean. A pair of Doric pilasters supports a triangular pediment, on the frieze of which is a simple dedicatory inscription: Mater Boni Consilii. The entrance is an arch with Doric imposts within the pilasters.

Interior Edit

The dignified interior is on a slightly trapezoidal plan, and has a barrel-vaulted ceiling. The early 19th century devotional icon is within a wooden Baroque frame with cherubs, and is thought to be by one Domenico Cassarotti who was a local artist patronized by St Vincent Pallotti. A printed likeness of the latter is to be found on the left hand wall.

Access Edit

Apparently Mass is celebrated here occasionally, but the writer has not found any details.

External links Edit

Italian Wikipedia page

Nolli map (the dead-end alleyway is south of the piazza at 127)

Info.roma web-page

"Specchioromano" web-page

"Romeartlover" web-page

Annas Rom Guide (in Danish)

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