Italy: Rome high school students take their art history lessons in Baroque churches

Covid-19: Italy's high schools may be closed but its art-filled churches remain open.

A handful of lucky high school students in Rome have been attending their lessons against the magnificent backdrop of the Roman Baroque, thanks to the efforts of teachers at one school in Rome.

Italy's high schools are currently closed for senior students, due to the covid-19 crisis, with lessons being held remotely.

However the pupils of Rome's Liceo Scientifico Kennedy have taken a break from distance learning to enjoy the splendours of the capital's Baroque churches.

Francesca Romana Bixio, an art teacher at the Kennedy High School, came up with the novel idea.

Together with some colleagues, the school has been taking small groups of students to study the architecture, art and history of the Roman Baroque.

Held in the format of a walking tour, the socially-distanced lessons have been organised in relays of five students at a time, accompanied by Prof. Bixio along with the school's teachers of art history and religion.

One student per group is tasked with illustrating the masterpieces they encounter along the way.

"The first group started from the Church of S. Maria del Popolo, dominated by the Cerasi Chapel with the masterpieces by Carracci and Caravaggio," Bixio told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Then S. Ivo alla Sapienza, Piazza Navona and S. Carlino alle Quattro Fontane, "splendid places of the Roman Baroque," says Bixio, with the relays of students welcomed by "the art history teacher at the start of the walk, me halfway through and the religion teacher at the end of the journey."

Image: Bernini's Ecstasy of St Teresa in S. Maria della Vittoria. Photo Wikipedia.