On Saturday November 10, Italian & International Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums visited the Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi, in Rome.
In the eleventh century various Basilian monks created a monastery in the Forum of Augustus, using the temple for worship and dedicating it to St. Basil.
In 1230 the entire building was incorporated into a property of the Knights of the Hospital Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also named “of Rhodes” and “of Malta“. In 1466, under prior Roman of the Order, Cardinal Marco Barbo, nephew of Paul II, the property underwent major renovations. It was on this occasion that the façade was built overlooking Piazza del Grillo with a large arch surmounted by a cross-shaped window and a beautiful five-arched loggia richly decorated, and from which, in the 15th century, the pontiff faced the crowd during blessing.
The building preserves the church of San Giovanni Battista, obtained from the atrium of a Roman house. The Group visited the Palatine Chapel, built between the remains of ancient Roman structures and large halls with antique wooden ceilings, precious frescoes, sculptures, paintings of various eras and furnishings.
In addition, two special rooms were opened to the Group by spercial permit: the Antiquarium of the Church of San Giovanni Battista, Patron
Saint of Knights, in the atrium of a Roman residence, and the Sala Bizantina.
At the end of the visit, Patrons visited the eight-arched loggia overlooking the Roman Forum, decorated with frescoes, that are unfortunately very deteriorated due to exposure to atmospheric agents. These depict medallions with emperors and landscapes populated by plants and animals of different species attributed to artists of the circle of Andrea Mantegna.
Sabrina Zappia & Amy Gallant Sullivan
Italian and International Chapter
Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums