Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church Rome

The Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church in Rome is also known as the San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church. This church has two facades, the main one being on the Corso del Risorgimento. The second facade is on the Piazza Navona.

Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Corso del Rinascimento, 27 – Rome. Tel: (+39) 06 6875214 or 06 6840311 or 06 6877937. Opening hours: Weekdays: 06.30 till 09.50 and 17.00 till 19.00; Holidays: 07.30 till 12.00 and 17.00 till 19.00. Admission: Free.

History

Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church Rome
Facade Corso del Rinascimento

The San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church was built by Bernardo Rossellino, on the site of a former oratorium of the Sant’Andrea dei Benedettini Church. As an inscription on the church portal indicates, the church was constructed for the Jubilee in the year 1450.

The Bishop of Seville gave his protection to the church, which became the centre of the Spanish community in Rome.

The original entrance was in the Via della Sapienza, a street which does not exist anymore. Like more streets in the area, in 1936 it had to make place for the new Corso del Rinascimento.

The main facade is now in the Corso, but there is a second facade on the Piazza Navona. Pope Alexander VI was responsible for the construction of this facade in the 16th century.

A restoration, under Antonio Sangallo the Younger, took place in 1514.

Later, when the Santa Maria del Monserrato Church was built, the church lost its importance. At one point it was even close to collapsing.

After the French missionaries of the Sacred Heart commissioned Luca Carimini to reconstruct the church, it was newly consecrated. This was when it got its present name, “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart”.

The 1463 portal and thus the main entrance were moved to the Piazza Navona. At the same time Pietro Torrigiani‘s Renaissance portal travelled the other way.

When the Corso di Rinasscimento was laid, the apse and the transept of the church were damaged. Arnaldo Foschi created a new facade, with columns and a loggia on the upper part, and the main entrance was moved away from Piazza Navona.

Description

Piazza Navona Facade

Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore Church Rome - Piazza Navona side
Piazza Navona Facade

The Piazza Navona facade is divided into three parts by pilasters. Each part has a rose window and arched window, but the central part is surmounted by a tympanum with a cross.

The most striking part of this facade is the 15th century portal. The coat of arms lifted by the two angels on the pediment is that of Castile and Leon. The inscription opus Mini under the angel on the left refers either to Mino da Fiesole or to Mino del Reame. Opus Pauli under the right one refers to Paolo Romano.

Romano also made the statue of Saint James above the tympanum.

Interior

The interior consists of three naves with side chapels. Several works of art were moved to the Santa Maria di Monserrato Church. The majority ended up in museums in Barcelona and Madrid, however.

The San Giacomo Chapel was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The frescoes in this chapel are the work of Pellegrino Aretusi. The original of the Jacopo Sansovino‘s “San Giacomo” statue above the altar is in the Santa Maria in Monserrato Church.

Baldassarre Croce painted the vault frescoes. The marble choir is probably the work of Pietro Torrigiani.

Nostra Signora del sacro Cuore Church – Corso del Rinascimento 27, Rome

Santi Luca e Martina Church Rome

The Santi Luca e Martina Church is located next to of the Roman Forum in Rome. From the viewpoint on the Capitol Hill there is a beautiful view over the dome of this church. The interior was used in 2016 for the TV series “The Young Pope” as the interior of the St. Peter’s Basilica. The official name of the church is Santi Luca e Martina al Foro Romano.

Santi Luca e Martina Church Rome

Address, opening hours and entrance fee

The address of the Chiesa dei Santi Luca e Martina al Foro Romano is Via della Curia, 2 – Rome (tel. +39 06 6798848 (Accademia Nazionale di San Luca) ). Bus: 51, 85, 87, 117, 186, 810, FRP. Opening Hours: Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Entrance fee: Free.

History and description

Santi Luca e Martina Church Rome
Santi Luca e Martina Church

The Santi Luca and Martina Church was built in the 7th century by order of Pope Honorius I on the edge of the Roman Forum. At the time it was only dedicated to Santa Martina, who died a martyr’s death in Rome in the year 228.

Pope Sixtus donated the church in 1588 to the Accademia di San Luca (where drawing and painting were taught).

It was rebuilt by, first, Ottaviano Mascherino and then (in 1635) Pietro Da Cortona. This last renovation was completed in 1669, the year in which Da Cortonadied.

During the renovation, the remains of Saint Martina were found by accident.

The facade of Santi Luca and Martina Church is convex. It consists of two levels. At the very top is the coat of arms of Urban VIII, with statues depicting angels on both sides. The dome seems to be slightly behind the façade.

The interior of the church is characterized by a Greek cross with four apses.

Since it is forbidden to film or make TV series within the walls of the Vatican, Paolo Sorrentino used the interior of the Santi Luca e Martina Church in 2016 for his TV series “The Young Pope”.

Attractions

On the floor of the central nave you can see a memorial plaque under which Pietro Da Cortona himself is buried.

A plaque on the wall of the right chapel refers to a restoration commissioned by Pope Alexander IV in 1256.

At the main altar is a “San Luca Painting the Madonna”. This is a copy by Antiveduta Gramatica of an original painting by Raphael that can be seen in the Accademia di San Luca.

In the crypt, which was designed by Pietro da Cortona, two reliefs by the hand of Alessandro Algardi can be seen.

The altarpiece in the transept was painted by Sebastiano Conca.

The pendentives of the enormous dome are adorned with the symbols of the four Evangelists and were made by Camillo Rusconi.

Santi Luca e Martina Church – Via della Curia 2, Rome

Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio Church Rome

The Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio Church is a relatively new church in Rome. It is located in the Via Marsala, right by the main railway station Roma Termini. It was built between 1879 and 1887, by San Giovanni Bosco, who was helped by Francesco Vespignani.

Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio Church Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Via Marsala, 42 – Rome (District: Castro Pretorio). Tel.: +39 064453257. Public transport: Metro: Termini. Opening hours: Monday to friday from 09.00 to 12.00 and from 16.00 to 18.30.Closed: Saturday, sunday. Admission: Free.

History and description

Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio Church Rome
Facade

The neo-Renaissance travertine façade consists of an entrance portal between two smaller portals on the lower half and three windows divided by columns on the upper half. The whole is topped off with a triangular gable.

The most striking part of the church is its bell-tower, which is crowned by an enormous copper statue of Jezus.

The three naves are separated by granite columns. Most of the decorations in the church itself are by Virginio Monti.

Don Bosco

In the back of the church the room Don Bosco stayed in when he was in Rome (1887) for the consecration of the church can be seen. The wall between his bedroom and his study has been removed, in order to create more space for visitors who wish to pray here. Two of the miracles that helped elevate Don Bosco to sainthood were performed in this room. Amongst the relics there is a cotton wad with the saint’s blood on it.

Via Marsala, 42 – Rome

Santi Ildefonso e Tommaso da Villanova Church Rome

The Santi Ildefonso e Tommaso da Villanova Church is a small 17th century church on the Via Sistina in Rome.

Santi Ildefonso e Tommaso da Villanova Church Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

The address of the Chiesa dei Santi Ildefonso e Tommaso da Villanova is Via Sistina, 11 – Rome (tel. +39 0642014059). Metro: Barberini. Bus: 53, 62, 63, 83, 85, 116, 160, 492, C3, N4, N5, N12, N25. Opening hours: 07.15 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 20.00. Entrance fee: Free.

History and description

Santi Alfonso e Tommaso da Villanova Church Rome
“Adoration of the Shepherds”, Franco Siciliano (1667)

Towards the end of the 18th century, the Order of the Discalced Agostinians was founded in Spain. In 1619 they opened a hospital and a couple of years after that an oratory in Rome.

In 1667 the oratory was replaced by the Santi Ildefonso and Tommaso da Vilanova Church.

The architect was G. Paglia.

The Baroque façade was built between 1724 and 1730 by Francesco Ferrari.

The interior consists of a single nave with two chapels.

Tourist attractions

The first altar on the right has a “Nativity” by Francesco Grassia (1667).

Santi Ildefonso e Tommaso da Villanova – Via Sistina 11, Rome

Basilica of San Silvestro in Capite Rome

The Basilica of San Silvestro in Capite is the English national church in Rome. The church stands on the Piazza di San Silvestro and was built in the 8th century. The Romanesque bell tower is the result of a renovation in 1210. At the end of the 17th century a new, extensive restoration took place.

Basilica of San Silvestro in Capite Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

The address of Chiesa di San Silvestro in Capite is Piazza di San Silvestro, 17/a – Rome (tel. +39 066977121). . Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 07.00 to 19.00 and Sunday from 09.00 to 12.45 and from 15.30 to 18.30 hrs. Entrance fee: Free.

History

Basilica of San Silvestro in Capite Rome
San Silvestro in Capite

The San Silvestro in Capite Church is built on the ruins of the Tempio del Sole (“Temple of the Sun”). Construction began in the 8th century under Pope Stephen II and was completed under his brother, Paul I. After this, the church was entrusted to the Benedictines.

The basilica is dedicated to Pope Sylvester I.

The church was called in Capite, after a relic, part of the head of John the Baptist which was venerated there.

Originally, the church was dedicated to Saint Dionysius. Historians believe this was either the French bishop Saint Denis or the former pope Dionysius (259-268).

From the 12th century the church is dedicated to Saints Stephanus, Dionysius and Sylvester. The former was Pope Stephanus I (254-257).

In 1286 the Benedictines were expelled from the monastery and the Franciscan Order of the Poor Poor Clares was entrusted with the church.

At the end of the 16th century the church got its present appearance. Francesco da Volterra started this work in 1588. Work was finished in 1601. However, the architect, who died in 1594, did not live to see this.

Between 1667 and 1697 various artists, including Carlo Rainaldi, gave the church a baroque facelift.

After a renovation in 1703, Dionysius disappeared from the dedication. An inscription on the facade only mentions the popes Stephanus and Sylvester. There were also only two statues on the facade. The new consecration probably took place after the relics of the two saints were buried in the church. The new façade was the work of Giovanni Antonio de Rossi.

After the Poor Clares were expelled from the monastery in 1876, the building was converted into Rome‘s main post office. The church came into the hands of the Irish Pallottines in 1910 and still is.

Description

Exterior

When entering through the gate, one first enters a courtyard, where dozens of marble decorations can be seen. The largest of these was found in 1906, when a crypt was to be excavated in front of the church.

The statues on the façade depict Popes Sylvester and Stephanus and Saints Francis and Clara of Assisi.

The Romanesque bell tower from 1198 is the oldest surviving part of the church and has five floors.

Above the entrance we see a so-called Mandylion, an image of a piece of cloth on which the face of Jesus can be seen.

Interior

Head of John the Baptist - Basilica of San Silvestro in Capite Rome
Head of John the Baptist

Inside the church, which consists of one single nave, you can see an even more Mandylions. In the pediment of the altar aedicula Rainaldi depicted one and on the wooden pulpit the face of Christ as well as the head of St. John on a plate are depicted.

To the left of the actual entrance is a chapel in which, supposedly, part of John the Baptist‘s head is on display.

Ludovico Gimignani painted the fresco in the apse, which represents “The Baptism of the Emperor Constantine”. Although it is Pope Sylvester who is depicted performing the baptism, in reality it was Eusebius of Nicomedia who baptized the emperor. This happened in 337, when Sylvester had been dead for two years.

The large ceiling fresco of the “Assumption of the Virgin” was painted by Giacinto Brandi in 1682.

Basilica di San Silvestro in Capite – Piazza di San Silvestro 17/a, – Rome

Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica Rome

The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere was the first church in Rome to be dedicated to the Madonna and maybe also the first one where Mass could openly be celebrated. The depiction of Maria on the facade is probably the first one that show her breastfeeding Jesus. The church was built over a very early Christian foundation and is famous for its ornate mosaics.

Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere – Rome (tel. +39 06 5814802). Opening hours: From 07.30 till 21.00 (in August from 08.00 till 12.00and from 16.00 till 21.00. Admission: Free.

History and description

Santa Maria In Trastevere

The Basilica was built by orders of Pope Callisto I, at the site where there used to be a Taberna Meritoria (a kind of rest-house for ex-soldiers). The Emperor Septimius Severus had given it to the Christians, saying he would rather that it was in the hands of believers, regardless of what these believers believed in.

In 340, under Pope Julius I, the church was enlarged and later two more restorations followed. In the year 1140, when Pope Innocent II had the basilica , including the tomb of his predecessor and rival Pope Anacletus II, completely torn down and rebuilt, including a tomb for himself in exactly the same spot, underneath the altar.

The foundation was left intact, however, and the basilica was reconstructed according to the original floor plan, The granite columns separating the nave from the aisles were taken from the Terme di Caracalla.

The ionic capitals alongside the nave were either also taken from these Baths or from the Temple dedicated to Isis an the Janiculum hill. In 1870 Pope Pius X, who was obviously less enlightened than Emperor Septimius, had all embellishments referring to Egyptian  Gods removed.

Both the facade (1702) and the octagonal fountain in the Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere were restored by Carlo Fontana. The picture of Maria on the facade is thought to be the first representation of Maria with Jesus at her breast.

The head of Saint Apollonia is kept as a relic in the basilica.

Works of art

The ceiling fresco Ascension (1617) is by Domenichino, who also designed the ceiling itself.

The Avila Chapel is the 5th chapel on the right. This chapel was designed by Antonio Gherardi at the end of the 17th century. The most striking feature of this chapel is the dome, which itself has a dome, which seems to be held up by four angels.

The Altemps Chapel is the chapel to the left of the altar.

The mosaics between the windows were made in 1291 by Pietro Cavallini.

The facade of the basilica has been restored by Carlo Fontana. However, the paintings on the facade are of older date. In the wall of the portico fragments of older versions of the church can be seen. These were found during excavations. The octagonal fountain on the square in front of the basilicawas also designed by Fontana.

The head of Saint Apollonia is kept as a relic in the basilica.

From the Via della Paglia you can see a part of the annex of the Santa Maria in Trastevere Church.

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere – Rome

Saint John Lateran Basilica Rome

The Saint John Lateran Basilica (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) is the Cathedral of Rome. Until the Pope came back from Avignon and took up abode in Saint Peter’s Basilica, it was the most important Christian church in the world. The original church was built by Constantine, who was the first Christian emperor.

Address, Opening Hours and Admission

The address of the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran is Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano – Rome (tel. +39 0669886493). Opening times: 07.00 till 18.45. Admission: Free. The cloister is open from 09.00 till 18.00 and the museum from 10.00 till 17.30. Entrance to the cloister is 5 Euros (free with the Omnia Card, which also gives you fast access to the basilica). Note that, being one of the most important churches in Rome, your bags will be checked before you enter the church.

Saint John Lateran Basilica Rome

History

Saint John in Lateran
Saint John in Lateran

The official name of the church is Arcibasilica Papale e Cattedrale del Santissimo Salvatore e dei Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano, which would mean so much as “Patriarchal Arcibasilica and Cathedral of the Holy Savior and of the Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in Lateran”.

Already in 314 a basilica was erected in the same spot, on land that at the time belonged to the Laterani family, which also gave its name to the entire area. The current basilica follows the floor plan of the original one, which had been commissioned by the emperor Constantine.

The reason it was built so far from the then center of Rome is that, although Constantine himself was a big supporter of Christianity, most of his contemporaries were not and he did not want to antagonize his people too much by building an enormous Christian church in the city center.

For almost one thousand years Saint John in Lateran used to be the Pope’s residence, the center of his power and the most important Christian church from the moment it was constructed until the Pope moved his seat to Avignon.

The basilica of Saint John in Lateran consists of five naves.

In the course of the centuries the basilica underwent many restorations, sometimes to repair damages, often in honor of a Jubilee.

The Loggia delle Benedizioni was created for the 1300 Jubilee, while Francesco Borromini was commissioned by Pope Innocent X Pamphili to reconstruct the interior of the Basilica.

Borromini remodeled the interior between the years 1645 and 1650 and later also redesigned the floor. He had also wanted to redo the 16th century ceiling, with the 12 aediculas hosting 12 statues of the Apostles and decorated with a dove, the symbol of the Pamphilj family, but in the end it was left intact.

It was Borromini‘s idea to place the funerary monuments in the side naves, between the chapels and on the inner side of the pillars.

The facade was designed by Alessandro Galilei and was erected between 1732 and 1735. The work was ordered by Pope Clement XII Corsini. It consists of a row of pillars and Corinthian semi-columns, a central tympanum and a balustrade with 15 statues of a.o. Christ and Saint John the Baptist. Pope Clement had the Corsini coat of arms as well as an inscription honoring Pope Clement placed on the facade.

The presbytery and apse were redone in the end of the 19th century.

The portico is embellished with reliefs showing scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist. The statue of Constantine was originally found on the baths on the Quirinale.

The wings on the central door originally decorated the Curia in the Roman Forum.

The Holy Door (only to be opened during Jubilee years) is the last one on the right.

Works of art in San Giovanni in Laterano

  • The mosaic in the apse was made by Jacopo Torriti and commissioned by Nicholas IV. The present mosaic is a copy of the original and was done by Vespignani.
  • The Loggia delle Benedizioni: The Loggia of the Blessings, commissioned by Boniface VIII, was constructed for the 1300 Jubilee. The present loggia is a result of a late 16th century restructuring by Sixtus V however.
  • There are 15th century frescoes by Gentile da Fabriano and Pisanello.
  • The transept was decorated by Clement VIII (1600).
  • The stucco reliefs are by Alessandro Algardi.
  • Giovanni di Stefano made the tabernacle at the end of the nave. Beneath it is the papal altar. Here only the Pope himself is allowed to serve mass.
  • The tomb of Pope Martin V was made by Simone Ghini.
  • Cavalier d’Arpino, Cesare Nebbia, Orazio Gentileschi, and Giovanni Baglione are some of the 16th century mannerist painters whose work can be found in the transept.
  • The fresco fragment in the right middle nave was originally part of the Loggia delle Benedizioni.
  • The far left nave shows a copy of a lying statue by Arnolfo di Cambio. (Its original can be found in the cloister.)
  • The mosaics in the Chapel of St. Venantius include the figure of St. Venantius himself.

Cloister

Apart from the basilica itself it is well worth visiting both the cloister, which holds pieces of the original basilica, and the museum (which displays vestments, altar cloths and holy vessels). The entrance fee to the cloister is 5 Euros.

Underneath the Basilica

Six meters underneath the floor of the basilica there are ruins that partially belong to the 1st century estate of the Laterano family and partially to the 2nd century Castro Nova Equitum, the barracks of a horse brigade. The brigade, which had supported Maxentius, was dissolved after Contantine had defeaten his enemy and the barracks were distroyed, its walls to be used as a foundation for the Saint John in Lateran Basilica.

Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano – Rome

Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church Rome

Saint Andrew at the Quirinal (Italian: Sant’Andrea al Quirinale) is a church on the Quirinal Hill in the Monti district of Rome. It is located across the road from the Palazzo del Quirinale, seat of the Italian President. Its architect Bernini used strong and dynamic curves for the oval interior of the church.

Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Via del Quirinale, 30 – Rome (tel. +39 06 4874565), Opening hours: 09.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 18.00. Note that it is forbidden to visit the church during mass. Admission: Free.

History and description

Sant'Andrea al Quirinale Church Rome
Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church

Before this version of Saint Andrew’s was built, a 16th century church stood called Sant’Andrea a Montecavallo stood in this exact spot.

The present Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini together with Domenico de Rossi and belongs to Rome’s Jesuit Seminary. Bernini himself considered the church to be his masterpiece and it is generally considered to be a highlight of the Roman baroque architectural style.

Construction of the church took 20 years, from 1658 until 1678.

It is oval in shape and the head altar can be found along the shorter axis of the ellipse.

The portal is also elliptic and is decorated with the coat of arms of Cardinal Camillo Pamphili, who was a cousin of the then Pope Innocent X and had financed construction of the church.

The two side apses do not contain chapels. Only the supporting pillars are visible, which causes the visitor’ attention to be directly focused towards the main altar. The source of light illuminating the altar piece itself is hidden, a technique Bernini also used in his more famous Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria.

The two wings of the churchyard were partly destroyed when the street was widened and are now further back compared to the steps leading up to the church entrance, which diminishes the intended effect.

The King of Sardegna Charles Emanuel IV, who had renounced his throne in order to become a Jesuit, is buried in the church.

Sant’Andrea al Quirinale was, after the Chiesa del Gesù and Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the third Jesuit church in Rome.

Highlights Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church Rome

The altar piece is made by Guillaume Courtois.

In the first chapel on the right, the Kapel van Sint Franciscus Xavierius, three paintings by Baciccio can be seen. The ceiling was painted by Filippo Bracci.

The Chapel of the Passion is also called Chapel of the Flagellation and contains 3 paintings by Giacinto Brandi that have the Passion of Jesus Christ as their subject.

To the left of the main altar the Chapel of Saint Stanislaus Kostka can be seen. The painting above the sepulchral monument is made by Carlo Maratta and the ceiling fresco is the work of Giovanni Odazzi.

The first chapel on the left is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, with a painting by Ludovico Mazzant and a ceiling fresco by Giuseppe Chiari.

The statue of Saint Stanislao Kostka in the rooms annexed to the church was sculpted by Pierre Legros. Saint Kostka himself is also buried in the church.

Via del Quirinale, 30 – Rome

San Clemente Basilica Rome

The Basilica of San Clemente in Laterano in Rome was built in the 4th century, on top of an already existing church. This church in turn had been constructed on top of the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the heathen God Mithras. The church itself is particularly worth a visit for its magnificent mosaics and the chapel in honour of Saint Catherine of Alexandria with its frescoes by Masolino.

San Clemente Basilica Rome

Address, Opening Hours and Admission

The address of the Basilica di San Clemente in Laterano is Via Labicana 95 – Rome. Tel. +39 067740021. Public transport: Metro A: Manzoni; Metro B: Colosseo. Tram: 3, 8. Bus: 51, 85, 87, 117, 186, 810, N11. Admission: Free for the basilica, 10 Euros for the mythraeum. 

History and description

Basilica di San Clemente in Rome (underground)
This underground room was called horreum.

The present Basilica is dedicated to Pope Clemens I. It is located in the Monti district in a valley between the Celio and Esquiline hills. Titus Flavius Clemens was a Roman consul and one of the first Romans of any importance who converted to Christianity.

The Basilica di San Clemente is really a church built on top of an older (4th century) church, which in turn is built on top of a temple. In this 1st century temple the pagan God of the Sun Mithras was worshiped, but the space had been largely abandoned when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. When the first basilica was built here the temple was filled with rubble and earth so that it could serve as a foundation for the new structure.

In the early 12th century the basilica underwent the same treatment the mythraeum had experienced. Norman invasions had left the building about to collapse, so more rubble and earth were added and the old basilica started a new life as a foundation for the new one.

The church was built by Pope Pasquale II. The ground plan of the first version of the basilica was followed and materials of the former church were incorporated in the new basilica.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the church was restored by Carlo Fontana by order of Pope Clement XI. For the portico of the austere façade, Fontana used the ancient columns.

The bell tower to the left of the façade, built between the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, used to be on the other side.

In the 5th century, the original church was used for a number of councils.

Since 1667, when the Irish catholic church was banned in England and the entire Irish clergy was told to leave, the Basilica di San Clemente is run by Irish Dominicans.

Highlights in the church

The baroque interior, which was also rebuilt by Fontana, still shows elements of the old Roman basilica. The three naves are separated by marble and granite columns with Ionic capitals.

Chapel of Santa Catarina of Alessandria: In the left nave, with frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Catarina. These are considered to be among the first Renaissance paintings in Rome and were done by Masolino.

The beautiful mosaic in the central apse shows Christ on the cross between Mary and John the Evangelist. The twelve doves on the cross represent the apostles. Under the mosaic a 14th century fresco depicting the apostles can be seen.

The marble inlay used to decorate the floor is called cosmatesque.

Highlights underneath the church

The bottom basilica, which was discovered by Joseph Mullooly in 1860, contains extremely beautiful frescoes depicting the life of San Clemente himself. They form one of the earliest examples of medieval wall-paintings ever discovered.

The archaeological complex below the Basilica of San Clemente is located in the valley that separates the Celio from the Esquiline Hill.

Two buildings are currently visible. The first is a large house of at least two floors built between the end of the first and the beginning of the second century AD. Subsequently, between the end of the second and the beginning of the third century, the central environment of this house was transformed into a mithraeum.

In the central hall of the sanctuary, on the side walls there are two long counters where the faithful sat. In the back of a niche is the altar of worship where Mithra is depicted killing the bull and at the sides his assistants carrying torches, Cautes and Cautopates. The mithraeum was abandoned at the end of the fourth century and the whole complex was buried.

The second building lies at a lower level, to the east of the mithraeum. It probably served as a warehouse or, according to some inscriptions found in the area, as a Mint for the manufacture of imperial coins. Towards the middle of the third century the first floor of this building was demolished. The new construction replacing it was most likely the Titulus of Clement, home of the first Christian community in the area. During the fourth century this building was partly demolished to build the early Christian church still visible below the current one.

“Legend of Sisinno” Fresco

Legend of Sisinno Fresco - San Clemente Basilica Rome
Legend of Sisinno

The fresco known as the “Legend of Sisinno” dates from the end of the 11th century. The scene shows the patrician Sisinno, who wants to punish Clemente for converting his wife Theodora to Christianity, and orders three servants to handcuff the saint. The men are struck by a momentary blindness and attempt to drag a heavy column away while Clemente escapes.

The inscriptions are particularly striking. The words attributed to Sisinno are in the vernacular, while the closing words of Clemente are in Latin.

San Clemente Basilica – Via Labicana 95, Rome

San Giuseppe al Trionfale Basilica Rome

The San Giuseppe al Trionfale Basilica in Rome‘s Trionfale district was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the initiative of San Luigi Guanella. He was assisted by Pope Paul VI.

San Giuseppe al Trionfale Basilica Rome

Address, opening hours and entrance fee

Address: Via Bernardino Telesio, 4/B – Rome (tel: +39 06 39751607). Opening hours: From 7 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. During mass the church is not open to tourists. Admission: Free of charge.

History and description

San Giuseppe al Trionfale Basilica Rome
Facade

Construction of the church lasted from 1909 to 1912. On March 19, 2019, the feast day of Saint Joseph himself, the church was consecrated by Guanella.

The facade was designed and built by the architect Aristide Leonori. He followed the construction of the old Basilican churches.

The lower part of the façade is decorated with a number of pillars. The mosaics in the side doors were assembled in 1937 by the mosaic workshop of the Vatican.

The interior consists of three naves, separated by ten granite columns. The central nave is 60 m long and 22 m high. The two aisles are shorter than the nave and ends at the transept.

The stained-glass windows in these aisles show events from the life of Saint Joseph.

The beautiful coffered ceiling is divided into finely decorated geometric pieces.

San Giuseppe al Trionfale Basiliek – Via Bernardino Telesio 4/B Rome