If you are staying in Rome longer than 3 days or you are one of those tourists that likes to break from the norm and venture off the beaten track then you should check out Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, the Museum and the Opera!
The church was closed for nearly 30 years while the renovated and opened again late 2014. I was lucky to be invited for one of the first tours of the church, see a Caravaggio masterpiece in the museum and a private opera performance by Roma Opera Omnia. Incredible! the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up! A truly spiritual place.
The church was designed by Antonio Casoni and built between 1626 and 1631. It comprises a small nave and several side chapels. The chapels are notable as one contains the body of St. Felix of Cantalice and another is the tomb of the Blessed Crispin of Viterbo. The first chapel has a dramatic altarpiece of St. Michael the Archangel (c.1635) by Guido Reni, and Gherardo delle Notti’s Christ Mocked. The second chapel has a Transfiguration by Mario Balassi, and a Nativity (c. 1632) by Lanfranco. The third chapel has a Saint Francis receives stigmata by Domenichino. The fourth chapel houses a Prayer in the Gesthemane (c. 1632) by Baccio Ciarpi. In the fifth chapel is a Saint Anthony by Sacchi, who also painted the Apparition of the Virgin (1645) to Saint Bonaventure in the fifth chapel on the left. The tomb monument for Alexander Sobieski was sculpted by Camillo Rusconi. The third chapel has a Deposition by Andrea Camassei and a Stigmatization of Saint Francis (c. 1570) by Girolamo Muziano. The second chapel has a Santa Felice da Cantalice by Alessandro Turchi, while the first has a painting of Saint Paul restores vision (c. 1631) by Pietro da Cortona. (wikipedia)
The church is most famous as an ossuary, known as the Capuchin Crypt, in which is displayed the bones of over 4,000 Capuchin friars, collected between the years of 1528 and 1870. The bones are fashioned into decorative displays in the Baroque and Rococo style.
You can just visit the church and museum alone but I totally recommend doing the tour and learning about the history and experiencing the performance of Roma Opera Omnia. It’s only €30 inclusive of tickets, guide and concert. Ask for the Crib Rentals Rome discount and you get all for only €24.
BOOKINGS: Paola – +39 3881975179