Rome: Ara Pacis Augustae

The Ara Pacis Augustae – the Altar of Augustan Peace – is what one could call a monument in the wrong place. The large open-air altar is not in its original position. It can now be found next to the remains of the gigantic circular Mausoleum of Augustus, but it…

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Rome: The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of Rome’s most famous landmarks. In its current form, it dates from the second century. What is special, is that it is still more or less in one piece and that it has never been substantially modified. Rome does have a few other buildings from the…

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Rome: Santa Maria della Scala

Although certainly not the most interesting church in Trastevere, the Santa Maria della Scala may come as a pleasant surprise to many. Behind a fairly simple facade, one can find a rich Baroque interior. The name of the church – Our Lady of the Staircase – refers to a medieval…

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Rome: Sant’Egidio

There is a fair chance that I would never have visited the small church of Sant’Egidio in Trastevere, had I not found it open on a mild winter evening in January of this year. I had walked past simple facade of the church countless times, and since the gates were…

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Rome: Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

It was a pleasant surprise during our last visit to Rome: the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj (pronounced Pamphili[1]) and its amazing art gallery. The Palazzo is located next to the Baroque church of San Maria in Via Lata and can be entered from the Via del Corso. A ticket to the…

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Rome: Triclinium Leoninum

Just a stone’s throw away from the cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano, one can find one of the most curious pieces of architecture in the streets of Rome. The Triclinium Leoninum consists of a brick aedicule with an apse and a colourful apse mosaic. At first glance, the mosaic…

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Rome: San Giovanni in Laterano

The San Giovanni in Laterano is the most important Roman Catholic church in the world. It is the seat of the Pope as bishop of the diocese of Rome and is therefore the city’s cathedral. It ranks first among Rome’s four major basilicas[1] and five papal basilicas[2]. But more importantly…

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Rome: Galleria Borghese

There are two things anyone interested in visiting the Galleria Borghese should know. First of all, it is risky to show up without a reservation. Strictly speaking, pre-booking is not compulsory, but this is a popular museum and there is a fair chance that no more tickets are available if…

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Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore

I have procrastinated the gargantuan task of writing a post about the Santa Maria Maggiore for far too long. I have mentioned this major basilica several times now in other posts, and have visited it at least half a dozen times. The church is one of four major basilicas in…

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Rome: Santa Maria dell’Orto

I used to think that there were only three interesting churches in Trastevere, my favourite neighbourhood in Rome: the Santa Maria in Trastevere of course, and then the Santa Cecilia and the San Crisogono. I now realise I was wrong all the time. The Santa Maria dell’Orto should be on…

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Rome: San Giovanni in Fonte

San Giovanni in Fonte is the name usually given to the octagonal baptistery next to the cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano, the seat of the Pope as Bishop of Rome. The story of this great basilica is well-known. After his victory over his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge…

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Rome: Chiesa Nuova

The name Chiesa Nuova is obviously just a nickname. The official name of this immense Counter-Reformation church is and has always been the Santa Maria in Vallicella. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and has a subsidiary dedication to Pope Saint Gregorius the Great (590-604). This latter dedication…

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Rome: San Lorenzo in Damaso

The San Lorenzo in Damaso is one of several churches in Rome dedicated to the third century deacon and martyr Saint Lawrence. Other churches in the city seem to be connected to episodes in his life. For instance, the San Lorenzo in Fonte was built on the alleged spot where…

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Rome: San Lorenzo in Fonte

The San Lorenzo is Fonte is an attractive little church that can be found in the Via Urbana, at the intersection of that ancient street with the Via de’ Ciancaleoni. The church is hemmed in between a hostel for pilgrims on the left – the famous Ostello Marello – and…

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Rome: San Luigi dei Francesi

The San Luigi dei Francesi is located slightly east of the Piazza Navona and can be found right next to the Palazzo Madama, currently the seat of Italy’s senate, the Senato della Repubblica. The church was built in the sixteenth century and is the national church of France, its primary…

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