|San Francesco da Paola|
|English name:||St Francis of Paola at the Hills|
|Latin name:||Sancti Francisci a Paula ad Montes|
|Dedication:||St Francis of Paola|
|Clergy:||Order of Minims|
|Architect(s):||Gioan Pietro Morandi|
|Artists:||G. A. de Rossi Corsini et.al.|
|Address:|| 10 Piazza di San Francesco a Paola
|Phone:||06 48 80 250|
San Francesco di Paola ai Monti is a titular church dedicated to St Francis of Paola, the 15th century founder of the Minim Friars. It is at Piazza San Francesco di Paola 10, perched on the raised corner above the Via Cavour and the Via degli Annibaldi just to the west of San Pietro in Vincoli. Pictures of the church on Wikimedia Commons. 
Construction of the church took place in 1645-1650, using funds given by Princess Olympia Aldobrandini Pamphilj who had roots in Calabria, the southern Italian region where St Francis of Paola was born. It was given to the order of Minim friars that he had founded, and also became the national church of the Calabrians. It was designed by Orazio Torriani, who has work at several other churches in Rome to his credit (the façade of San Bartolomeo all'Isola being perhaps the best-known and the staircase at Santi Domenico e Sisto being the prettiest).
It is the conventual church of the Generalate of the Order of Minims next door, and is served by priests from that order.
The present titular deacon of the church is Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, who was created Cardinal on 21 October 2003.
The rather severe façade is not very easy to appreciate because there is a drop to the Via Cavour below on the other side of the narrow street. It is in two storeys, with travertine limestone for the first and pale orange render for the second. The lower part was refinished with stucco detailing in the 18th century.
The entrance is flanked by a pair of semi-round Composite columns supporting a triangular pediment containing a relief of a virgin's face in Classical mode. The tall lintel has a winged putto's head decorated with swags. The nave section of the frontage is slightly brought forward, and is flanked by two pairs of rectangular Ionic pilasters with the capitals decorated with swags and putto's heads. The aisle sections have no entrances, but each has a blank arched and conched niche flanked by half-round Composite columns supporting an entablature and segmental pediment with a scallop shell, and with swags between their capitals. There is another pair of Ionic pilasters on the corners. These six pilasters support an entablature with a blank frieze, and above this the gabled second storey has a rectangular window with a small round one above, no pediment but with a pair of sunburst symbols flanking the former.
The 12th century Torre dei Margani was transformed into a bell-tower for the church, and is attached to its top left-hand corner. It can be glimpsed from the walkway on the other side of the Via degli Annibaldi. The medieval coat-of-arms on the tower has been preserved.
The late Baroque high altar was made by Giovanni Antonio de Rossi c. 1655. The altarpiece is of exceptional beauty. A wooden tabernacle, of great workmanship, is set in a sculptured entrance of a military pavilion. The pavilion is a reference to the original meaning of tabernacle, a tent. It also refers to God's presence among the Jews when they carried the Ark of the Covenant with them and kept it in a tent-temple - God is present in this tabernacle as He was with the Jews. The work is attributed to Giovanni Antonio de Rossi.
The icon of St Francis of Paola is said to be a copy of a portrait. Scenes from the life and miracles of the saint can be seen in the sacristy; please ask before entering.
The ceiling was redecorated with cassettes in 1953 by Cesare Minestra.
The second chapel on the right has two paintings of miracles of St Francis of Paola by Giuseppe Chiari.
The ceiling of the sacristy was painted by Sassoferrato. The motif is The Blessed Virgin appearing to St Francis of Paola. On the side wall is the Crucifixion and St Francis of Paola by Francesco Cozza. Special notes
The church is often closed, but you may ask to be admitted at the monastery.
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