Pointy, pyramidal stones cover the face of the Gesù Nuovo. They are those of a palazzo (15th century), not of a church, but don’t be fooled. The Jesuit’s lavish Baroque house of worship lies just behind this facade. Before you step through the doorway though, take a closer look at these grey, ashlar stones. You’ll see each bears an unusual marking, one of seven Aramaic letters that corresponds to a musical note. Put them together and you get a 45 minute long musical score written for a stringed instrument.
Behind this musical facade find a symbolism of a different vein. Here, the symbols are in the form of silver body parts covering the walls of two side chapels; ex-votos, they are hung here by worshippers who are seeking miracles, healing or in gratitude for having been healed. They are most prevalent in San Giuseppe Moscati’s chapel, a physician who doctored to the poor and was canonised in 1987.