Santa Maria in Aquiro
is a late 16th century parish and titular church of ancient foundation in the rione Colonna, just north-east of the Pantheon. It is dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, and is located on Piazza Capranica.
For reference, a plan of the church is available here
The church is of ancient foundation, and its origins as well as the meaning of the appellation Aquiro have been lost in time. The first documentary reference is to its restoration by Pope Gregory III (731-741). The church was granted by Pope Paul III in 1541 to a confraternity, the Confraternita della Visitazione
, which was dedicated to the care of orphan children.
Cardinal Antonio Maria Salviati
, who took over the hospice in 1583, entered into a program of rebuilding in 1588. From 1591 to 1594, the architect was Francesco Capriani da Volterra
but from the latter year there was an eight-year pause with the church unfinished. After Capriani died in 1601, Carlo Maderno
. In 1774, the fašade was finally completed by Pietro Camporese the Elder
In 1826 the Ignatian confraternity was suppressed, and the church handed over to the Somaschi Fathers
, who still administer the parish. There was a major fire in 1845, which spoiled the interior. As a result, the sanctuary and high altar were re-fitted in 1856 by Luca Carimini
. A thorough restoration of the rest of the church interior took place from 1864 (the chapels) and 1866 to 1868 (the nave and transept), resulting in the present frescoes on the interior walls. The work was supervised by Pietro Gagliardi
and Gaetano Morichini