Sunday, 29 August 2010

St. Peter from the keyhole

On the Aventine hill, at the end of via di Santa Sabina, there is the Villa del Priorato di Malta, home to the Grand Priory of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. This is a catholic secular order and his birth can be traced back from the ancient Order of Hospitallers, born in 1050 in Palestine. It became a military order when the necessity of defending their own hospitals from various attacks suggested to their followers to start using the violence. Eventually it became an armed order and obtained territories, slowly constituting itself as a real state. It controlled the island of Malta for several centuries until Napoleon's time. Today it is based in this villa on the Aventine and looking at the keyhole of the main entrance you would notice in a perfect perspective the dome of St. Peter, at the end of a very elegant garden. A real and nice surprise which is always delightful.