Santa Maria della Fava
St Mary of the Broad bean
Santa Maria della Fava is the more popular name for Santa Maria della Consolazione; the story goes that it got its odd name in the old days from a pastry shop in the neighbourhood that was renowned for its fave dolci, the sweets that were eaten on All Souls’ Day.
Originally this church was a wooden chapel, built by the Amadi family in 1480 to house a miraculous picture of the Virgin (second chapel on the right). The current church was commissioned in 1705 by the Oratorians, whose 16th-century Roman founder, St Philip Neri helped invent modern sacred music.
Designed by Antonio Gaspari and Giorgio Massari, the church has an attractive grey and white interior behind its unfinished façade, decorated by some of the most popular artists of the period: Giambattista Tiepolo (Education of the Virgin), first altar on the right; the second chapel on the left holds his master Giambattista Piazzetta’s tenebroso masterpiece, The Virgin Appearing to St Philip Neri (1727), an intense, zigzagging composition of reds and browns. The statues along the nave are from the chisel of Il Torretto (Giuseppe Bernardi) perhaps best known as the master of Canova.
Hours Mon-Sat: 8.30-11.30am, 4.30-7pm