The Gallery of Maps in Cortile Della Pinacoteca

The Gallery of Maps takes its name from the forty topographic maps made up of 40 frescoes along its walls, which depicts the Italian regions and its possessions of the Church that Pope Gregory XIII attained. The maps were painted between 1580 and 1583 by Ignazio Danti, a major cosmographer of the sixteenth century.

The tunnel is 120 meters long and six meters wide, with a barrel vaulted ceiling. The hallways was built between 1578 and 1580 by Octavian Matte.

Each map is divided by Italy’s regions, from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea. Each regional map is accompanied by its native plant and a small illustration of the most populated town.

Four major ports of that period are depicted at the entrance wall; Civitavecchia, Genoa, Venice and Ancona. the Siege of Malta, Battle of Lepanto, and Elba Island are a collection of battles depicted in the gallery as well.

In 1631, by order of Pope Urban VIII, the maps were completed by Luca Holste. Two other painters by the names of Cesare Nebbia and Girolamo Muziano coordinated the completion of the Gallery of Maps, along with a larger group of painters who painted a series of 80 episodes with stories of saints of the Church, linked to the corresponding maps.

The impressive Gallery of the Maps is being restored thanks to the generosity of the United Kindom and California Chapters.

Italia Antiqua