Court of the Pigna

Type
Attraction, Historic
Highlights
  • The Huge statue known as the Pigna (pine) or the Fontana Della Pigna depicts a giant Pine Cone
Description
The Huge statue known as the Pigna (pine) or the Fontana Della Pigna depicts a giant Pine Cone. It is located in St. Peter's, in an area called the court of the Pigna.The Court of the Pigna is the northern part of the grand renaissance Belvedere Courtyard that stretches between the Papal Palaces to the "palazzetto" which belonged to Innocent VII's . The courtyard was segmented into three parts after the construction of Sixtus V's Library and the Braccio Nuovo of Pius VII.  The present courtyard derived its name form the beautiful pine cone statue set into the "nicchone", borders on the south side with the Braccio Nuovo, and on the east it borders with the Chiaromonti Gallery. To its north you can find Innocent VIII's Palazzetto and on the west the galleries of the Apostolic Library are located.

The pine cone was cast out of bronze in the 1st or 2nd century by the sculptor Publius Cincius Salvius. He was identified as its creator because his name was written on the base of the huge pine. The Statue's height is almost 4 meters and on both sides of the pine cone there are bronze peacocks which are copies of the ones in Hadrian's tomb.

Before it was moved to its current location, known as the Court of the Pigna, the statue of the Pine was situated in the Campus Martius. This area is still known today as "Pigna" after this statue. At its previous location it was used as a fountain with the water pouring from holes pierced in the scales of the cone. At the 8th century it was transferred to the entrance hall of the medieval basilica of St. Peter. It was placed decoratively in the middle of the fountain covered by ornate baldachin. We know this because the statue was identified in Renaissance drawings of the hall. Eventually, during the construction of the current basilica, in 1608, the giant pine cone fountain was moved and situated in its current location.

This statue is a beautiful and ancient one and it's definitely worth stopping by and admiring it as it has been part of Rome's landscape for almost 2000 years!
 
Tours
  • The Vatican Museums, located in the popes’ former living and working quarters, allow you to enter in His Holiness’ kingdom, even if you aren’t wearing red shoes.
  • Sistine Chapel - You’ll gaze upon his marble models for the Sistine Chapel – the Belvedere Apollo,
About your tour “Welcome to the Vatican!”, says the Italy with Us guide, stepping inside the massive, ninth-century walls that protect the world’s smallest country. ... more“We aren’t in Italy anymore”. No passport required, just a desire to be enthralled by art, archaeological finds and religious objects spanning two millennia.
Italy with Us’ daytime tour transports you into this artistic and spiritual paradise. The Vatican Museums, located in the popes’ former living and working quarters, allow you to enter in His Holiness’ kingdom, even if you aren’t wearing red shoes. To fully enjoy this labyrinth of interconnected rooms, a seasoned, official Vatican guide is necessary. Italy with Us’ guides are experts not only in art history but also in avoiding the crowds that justifiably flock to this bucket-list destination.

From the mosaic-covered floors that look like paintings to the painted ceilings that appear to be bas relief, the Vatican Museums are jam-packed with priceless art collected by the popes. Marvel at a rare gilded bronze statue of Hercules dating from the first century. Admire the Raphael-designed tapestries depicting Christ’s life (and some mind-blowing optical illusions). In the stately Gallery of Maps, your guide will take you on a journey through Italy. Forty glorious blue and green maps frescoed on the walls in the late 16th century astound with their beauty and seriously pre-GPS accuracy.

Just when the crowds are becoming too much, your guide will lead you into some rooms that are off-limits to the general public. The Hall of Animals offers almost a Noah’s Ark-sized collection of animals sculpted in marble, bronze and alabaster.

Just like you, Michelangelo walked these halls some 500 years ago to gain inspiration. You’ll gaze upon his marble models for the Sistine Chapel – the Belvedere Apollo, the muscular Laocoön and a stark, perfectly proportional torso, all around 2000 years old. The stunning culmination of your visit will be the Sistine Chapel.

“The truths of our faith speak to us here from all sides”, Pope John Paul II said about the chapel. Your guide will have opened your ears – and eyes – to its artistic icons. See the work of a dream team of Renaissance artists who depicted the lives of Moses and Christ on the side walls. Even more remarkable is Michelangelo’s ceiling. Tilt your head upward, just as the artist did when painting the ceiling, and you’ll be amazed by these legendary scenes from the book of Genesis, which resonate far more in person. Ponder Michelangelo’s encore, the monumental Last Judgement. Those destined for heaven and hell swirl around Christ in the moment before he declares their fate. At least you’ll have seen the paradise that is the Vatican.
Inclusions:
Small Group, Tour Guide, Entrance Fees
Language:
English
Max Group Size:
20 people
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