Roma Barocca: Dueling Geniuses (Bernini and Borromini) in Rome’s Downtown

Rivalry fueled Bernini and Borromini's genius. Nearly the same age, they had wildly different temperaments: Borromini dressed in an ostentatious (and out-of-fashion) "Spanish style," cultivated his studies ptivately, and unintentionally alienated his patrons. He put an end to his tormented career by committing suicide. Bernini, who lived to a venerable old age, surrounded by family and friends, was a personable mad-hatter with public relations skills in overdrive!

Roma Barocca: Bernini and Borromini on the Quirinal Hill

This Baroque romp takes us from Piazza Quirinale to Santa Maria della Vittoria and back again. The visit starts with two sculptures that were used to decorate an ancient Roman public bath and it ends with the boldest architectural and artistic statements of the Roman Baroque: Bernini's Santa Teresa in Ecstasy, Borromini's spartan San Carlo whose curved lines seem to breath, and Bernini's Sant'Andrea, abounding in sunlight and marble.

Roma Barocca: The Borghese Gallery and the Capuchin Crypt

The art-collector Cardinal Scipio Borghese considered himself the luckiest man alive: thanks to his uncle-Pope, he possessed unlimited funds in an era in which talent abounded. He collected his contemporaries' masterpieces (six Caravaggio paintings and four remarkable Bernini sculptures) as well as stunning works from the past (such as Raphael's "Entombment"), not always ethically... Meanwhile, on what was once the property of the neighboring Barberini family, a nondescript Capuchin church boasts a Baroque crypt with an unusual memento mori...