The Grand Priority in Rome on the Aventine Hill

Villa Malta | Saint Peter | keyhole

The Grand Priority in Rome on the Aventine Hill

The Grand Priority in Rome on the Aventine Hill. Enclosed on two sides by cypresses, the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta was planned by Piranesi in 1765 and is best known for a small hole in the arch-headed central portone, through which the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica can be viewed at the end of a garden allée framed in clipped cypresses.

The place is the seat of the Villa del Priorato di Malta, a complex of buildings with gardens which is home to the Grand Priority in Rome of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an order of chivalry, which remains a sovereign entity. It also hosts the embassy of the Order of Malta to Italy.

Saint Peter's Basilica | Villa Malta

Saint Peter’s Basilica through the keyhole at the Villa Malta.

The parterre garden links the villa with the Church of Saint Mary of the Priory. Also the church was restored and decorated by Piranesi and can be visited only with a special permission of the Order.
The Art post Blog, thanks to the collaboration with Miramuseo, has obtained the authorization to visit this marvel, and I hope the visitors will tell us their comments.

Cardinal Rezzonico (nephew of the Venetian Pope Clement XIII Rezzonico, whose family lived in Venice in one of the most splendid palaces on the Grand Canal, which today is a public museum dedicated to 18th– century Venice, and which history I wrote about) commissioned Giovanni Battista Piranesi the restoration of the whole complex in 1765. Piranesi tried to give this place a particular elegance decorating it with emblems, war spoils and other references to the military and naval associations of the Knights of Malta and the Rezzonico family heraldry.

I think it’s one of the most fascinating and mysterious place in Rome and you must see at least once in your life.

LEGGI ANCHE: I Piani Moretta a Ca’ Rezzonico

Santa Maria del Priorato |Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Santa Maria del Priorato, by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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6 thoughts on “The Grand Priority in Rome on the Aventine Hill

  1. Una visita molto piacevole! Sono molto contenta di aver avuto l’opportunità di visitare il Gran Priorato, Belli i giardini e interessante la chiesa. Faccio i complimenti alla nostra guida, davvero bravo e colto, e capace di tener desta l’attenzione. Grazie!

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