Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo ☆☆

Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Rome, Italy (Photo by 0ro1)

The Stanza dell'Incendio in the Vatican's Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) is a papal apartment frescoed by Raphael and his students

Fire in the Borgo (1514) by Raphael and Giulio Romano, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Rome, Italy. (Photo Public Domain)
Battle of Ostia (1514-15) by The School of Raphael, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Rome, Italy. (Photo Public Domain)
The Oath of Leo III (1516–17) by The School of Raphael, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Rome, Italy. (Photo Public Domain)
The Coronation of Charlemagne (1514) by The School ofRaphael, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Rome, Italy. (Photo Public Domain)
The ceiling (c. 1508) by Pietro Perugino, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Rome, Italy. (Photo Public Domain)

The first Raphael Room, the Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, was actually the third one painted (1514–17), during the reign of Pope Leo X (also a Raphael fan), which explains why the frescoes detail exploits of previous popes named Leo.

The best of the frescoes depicts the Borgo Fire, which swept the neighborhood around the Vatican in AD 847 and was extinguished only when Pope Leo IV hurled a blessing at it from his window in the background.

The setting, though, is classical, showing Aeneas carrying his jaundiced father Anchises and leading his son Ascanius as they escape the fall of Troy (eventually, according to Virgil, Aeneas will make it the village started by Romulus and found the city of Rome).

Although pupils like Giulio Romano painted most of this fresco, some experts see the master's hand at work in the surprised woman carrying a jug on her head and possibly in the Aeneas group.

The other frescoes in the room

Raphael's pupils executed all of the other works on the walsl according to the master's designs—and all of them of are of yet more famous moments during the reigns of Popes Leo III and Leo IV (both of whom, oddly enough, bear a striking resemblence to Leo X).

On one wall is the Coronation of Charlemagne, (an event which occured here in Rome in AD 800 when the French king was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III). On the other two are the Battle of Ostia (which occured in AD 849 under Pope Leo IV) and the Oath of Leo III.

The ceiling frescoes by Perugino are slighly earlier holdovers (1507–08) done for the previous pope, Julius II.

Photo gallery
  • , Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Italy (Photo by 0ro1)
  • Fire in the Borgo (1514) by Raphael and Giulio Romano, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
  • Battle of Ostia (1514-15) by The School of Raphael, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
  • The Oath of Leo III (1516–17) by The School of Raphael, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
  • The Coronation of Charlemagne (1514) by The School ofRaphael, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
  • The ceiling (c. 1508) by Pietro Perugino, Raphael Rooms: The Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Italy (Photo Public Domain)
 

Tips

How long do the Raphael Rooms take?

The Raphael Rooms take about 25–40 minutes (more if you're a true fan), but expect to spend all day at the Vatican.

Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for sightseeing

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is?... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the museum il museo eel moo-ZAY-yo
...the church la chiesa lah key-YAY-zah
...the cathedral il duomo [or] la cattedrale eel DUO-mo [or] lah cah-the-DRAH-leh
     
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
Closed day giorno di riposo JOR-no dee ree-PO-zo
Weekdays (Mon-Sat) feriali fair-ee-YA-lee
Sunday & holidays festivi fe-STEE-vee
     
ticket biglietto beel-YET-toh
two adults due adulti DOO-way ah-DOOL-tee
one child un bambino oon bahm-BEE-no
one student uno studente OO-noh stu-DENT-ay
one senior un pensionato oon pen-see-yo-NAH-toh

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).