'S. Maria in Aracali. ROME. HI.'Southern Quarters. 199
tress. The present form of the Capitol dates from the 16th and 17th
centuries. Two new approaches from the city having been construct¬
ed in 1536 under Paul III., for the entry of Charles V. (p. 214),
the Capitol has since formed a kind of termination of the modem
part of the city in the direction of the ruins of ancient Rome.
From the Piazza Araceli (PI. II, 17), which is reached from
the Piazza Venezia by the Via Ripresa dei Barberi and Via Giulio
Romano (p. 165) and from the Corso Vittorio Emanuele by the Via
Aracoeli (p. 188), three approaches lead to the Capitoline Hill, that
in the centre being the principal ascent for pedestrians (p. 200).— On
the left a lofty Flight of Steps (124), constructed in 1348 and now
restored, ascends to the principal entrance of the church of S. Maria
in Aracoeli (generally closed, see below). — On the right the Via
dbllb Trb Pilb, in 1873 converted into a convenient drive (on
which occasion remains of the ancient Servi an wall, enclosing the
hill in the direction of the Campus Martius, and now seen behind
the railings to the left, were brought to light ; see p. xxvi), leads past
the entrance of the Pai. Caffarelli, which was erected about 1580,
and is now the residence of the German ambassador. The principal
approach and the Via delle Tre Pile lead to the Piazza del Campi¬
doglio, see p. 200.
*S. Maria in Aracoeli (PI. II, 20), a very ancient church, is men¬
tioned in the 9th cent, as S. Maria de Capitolio. The present name,
derived from an ancient legend (see p. 200), dates from the 14th
century. The church, of which the Roman senate formerly enjoyed
the patronage, has given a title to a cardinal since the time of Leo X.
The facade is unfinished.
Visitors generally approach the church from the Piazza of the Capitol
by the staircase to the E. of the Capitoline Museum. Over the door is
an ancient mosaic : the Madonna between two angels.
The Interior is much disfigured by modera additions. The nave is
borne by 22 ancient columns, chiefly of granite, varying greatly in style,
thickness, and height. The 3rd on the left bears the inscription 'A cubiculo
Augustorum'. The rich ceiling was executed to commemorate the victory
of Lepanto in 1571.
By the wall of the principal Entrance, to the right, is the tomb of
the astronomer Lodovico Grato (1531), with a figure of Christ by Andrea
Sansovino (?); on the left the fine monument of Card. Librettus or Ali-
brettis (a member of the celebrated d'Albret family of S. France; 1465),
with partly preserved painting, and the tomb-relief (much worn) of arch-
deacon Giov. Crivelli (d. 1432), by Donatello. — Right Aisle, lst Chapel
(Bufalini) : "Frescoes from the life of St. Bernardino of Siena, painted about
1484, by Pinturicchio, restored by Camuccini. The decoration of the ceiling
also desarres notice. Between the 2nd and 3rd chapels is a statue of
Gregory XIII., from the Palace of the Conservatori. The 5th Chapel (of
St. Matthew) contains good pictures by Girol. Muziano. — Left Aisle. In
the 2nd Chapel a manger (presepe} is fitted up at Christmas, i.e., a gorgeous
and brilliantly illuminateci representation of the Nativity in life-size, with
the richly decorated image of II Santo Bambino, or Holy Child, which is
highly revered. Between Christmas Day and Jan. 6th, from 3 to 4 o'clock
daily, children from 5 to IO years of age address their petitions to the bamb¬
ino, a carefully studied performance, but usually accomplished with great
naturalness of gesture and manner.