The church of Sant' Onofrio al Gianicolo was founded in 1419 by Blessed Nicolo da Forca Palena. It was built as part of the monastery for the cloistered Order of St Jerome, also known as the Hieronymites.
An L-shaped Renaissance portico connects the church and the monastery. In the lunettes are three frescoes (1605) illustrating scenes from the life of St Jerome, the work of Domenico Zampieri, better known as Domenichino (1581-1641).
The great Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544-95), author of Gerusalemme Liberata, died in the monastery of Sant' Onofrio on April 25th, 1595.
The French writer and politician François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848) thought Sant' Onofrio 'un des beaux sites de la terre' ('one of the most beautiful places on earth'). He noted in his autobiography, Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe (Memoirs from Beyond the Grave), that if he had the good fortune to end his days in Rome, he would like to die in a room next to the one in which Tasso had passed away. Sant' Onofrio sports a plaque recording these sentiments.
Chateaubriand actually died in Paris on July 4th, 1848, and was buried, as requested, on the tidal island Grand Bé near Saint-Malo, accessible only when the tide is out.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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