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Roman Rituals – Peep through the keyhole at the Priory of the Knights of Malta

If you walk up the hill from the Circus Maximus along the Via di Santa Sabina, you’ll arrive at a pleasant square where a surprise awaits you.

Here in the Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, surrounded by churches you’ll find the gateway to the Priory of the Knights of Malta.


A queue forming at the closed gates may give you a clue to what’s in store. Peep through the keyhole and you’ll find a perfect view of St Peter’s dome, framed by an arch of cyprus in the garden beyond the gates.

In 1765 the Order of the Knights of Malta commissioned the famous architect and painter Giovan Battista Piranesi to build the facade of the priory, as well as the garden beyond, which raises smiles of delight from those who view it through the keyhole.


Beside the nearby church of Santa Alessio was a lovely gift shop selling honey, herbs, liqueurs and fragrances from different religious orders as well as other religious souvenirs.

Ambling back down the Via di Santa Sabina we spent a relaxing half hour in the Parco Savello, planted with orange trees beneath the shady cyprus and a terrace with more great views across the Tiber towards St Peter’s.

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Other Roman Rituals
Three coins in the Trevi fountain
Kiss St Peter’s toe at the Vatican
The mouth of truth at Santa Maria in Cosmedin

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heatheronhertravels' Rome - St Peter's Basilica photoset heatheronhertravels’ Rome – St Peter’s Basilica photoset

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6 Comments

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    Roman Rituals - kiss St Peter’s toe at the Vatican : Heather on her travels
    February 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    […] Other Roman Rituals Three coins in the Trevi fountain Peep through the keyhole at the Priory of the Knights of Malta Loc… […]

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    December 18, 2010 at 5:47 am

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    Rome through the eyes of the Bishop's great-nephew | Heather on her travels
    February 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    […] Posts The view from the dome of St Peter’s Peep through the keyhole at the Priory of the Knights of Malta Kiss St Peter’s Toe at Vatican The Turtle fountain in […]

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    Roman Rituals - lock up your love on the Ponte Milvio | Heather on her travels
    May 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    […] Other Roman Rituals Three coins in the Trevi fountain The mouth of truth at Santa Maria in Cosmedin Peep through the keyhole at the Priory of the Knights of Malta […]

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    Roman Rituals – the Mouth of Truth at Santa Maria in Cosmedin | Heather on her travels
    June 1, 2011 at 9:03 am

    […] Other Roman Rituals Kiss St Peter’s toe at the Vatican Lock up your love and throw away the key at the Ponte Milvio Peep through the keyhole at the Priory of the Knights of Malta […]

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    Roman Rituals - Three coins in the Trevi fountain | Heather on her travels
    June 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

    […] Roman Rituals Peep through the keyhole at the Priory of the Knights of Malta The mouth of truth at Santa Maria in Cosmedin Kiss St Peter’s toe at the […]

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