One of the geniuses of Baroque architecture, Francesco Borromini (1599-1667), is interred in the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini.
Borromini hailed from Bissone, a small Swiss village on Lake Lugarno, but Rome was the city in which he lived and worked for most of his adult life. Here we see so many of his masterpieces, such as the churches of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Sant' Ivo alla Sapienza, to name but two.
Borromini lived in Vicolo dell' Agnello (today's Vicolo Orbitelli), a stone's throw away from San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. During the night of August 2nd/3rd 1667, he took his own life by falling on his sword. Although he was mortally wounded, he had time to repent, receive the last sacraments and write his will. In it he stated that he wanted to be buried, without any name, in the tomb of Carlo Maderno (1556-1629), his uncle and a fellow-architect.
Centuries later, Borromini's name was inscribed on a marble disc in the floor of the church.
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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