Barberini Bees Romepa0l0
Bumble bees are carved into marble and wood, woven into curtains, and dominating just about every square in Rome. The bee is the crest of the powerful Barberini family. The Barberini family were originally a family of minor nobility from the Tuscan town of Barberino Val d’Elsa, who made their money as wool and textile merchants. Their influence peaked with the election of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini to the papal throne in 1623, as Pope Urban VIII. The Barberini are to Rome, what the Medici are to Florence.
The wealth of the Barberini dynasty meant that they commissioned many a beautiful monument embellished with the three bumble bees.
Been to Rome, but never noticed the bees?
These are some of the most beautiful bees to discover on your next trip to Rome.
Stained glass window with bumble bees in the Basilica Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, Rome
When walking around the city, look out for these Barberini coat of arms on many palaces and churches, especially in Piazza Barberini, home to the family residence, Palazzo Barberini, completed in 1633 by Bernini.
The Barberini coat of arms: Three bees, the crown and the keys. Where are these bees? On the base of the Baldacchino, Bernini’s bronze masterpiece, in Saint Peters Basilica, the largest church in the world. Bernini was in demand, as one of the main artists patronised by the Barberini.
Bee fountain, Piazza Barberini
Be sure to book our Baroque Walking Tour and discover more about the Barberini family, the magnificent works of art that adorn the churches which they commissioned, and the decadence of Rome.