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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Rome: Santa Maria del Popolo

The Santa Maria del Popolo is located on the edge of Rome’s historical city centre (centro storico) and only just within the third century Aurelian Walls. It is right next to the Porta del Popolo, the former Porta Flaminia. The present church was built in the fifteenth century, replacing a…

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Rome: Palazzo Barberini

After discussing three dozen churches in Rome, it is now time to discuss a museum again. The Palazzo Barberini was a pleasant surprise during my last visit to the Eternal City back in January of this year. It is one of two locations of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, the…

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Rome: San Bartolomeo all’Isola

The San Bartolomeo has perhaps the best location of all the churches in Rome: it is located on the edge of the Tiber Island. The church is opposite a hospital, the Ospedale Fatebenefratelli[1], and the island has been associated with disease and healing for over 2.300 years, ever since the…

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Rome: San Clemente

Up until fairly recently I had a love-hate relationship with the church of San Clemente. It is easily one of the most fascinating churches in Rome, a twelfth century basilica built on top of a fourth century basilica that was itself constructed over Ancient Roman buildings dating back to the…

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Rome: Santa Costanza

The Santa Costanza is a little gem. Located on the Via Nomentana, just a stone’s throw away from the Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura, it is not frequented much by tourists and I was in fact the only visitor when I visited the church in January 2017. The edifice used to…

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Rome: Santa Maria in Aracoeli

It is not difficult to rattle off pages about the Santa Maria in Aracoeli. The church has a long history and it is chock-full of beautiful art. Although there are a lot of Baroque ornaments, the Santa Maria in Aracoeli is an interesting mix of medieval and more modern elements.…

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Rome: San Lorenzo in Lucina

The San Lorenzo in Lucina is one of many churches in Rome dedicated to Saint Lawrence. Lawrence was a church deacon who was martyred in 258 during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Valerianus. He can very well be considered historical, much unlike the many legends that surround him. Tradition…

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Rome: Santa Maria della Pace

I stumbled upon this lovely little church by chance. It is located directly behind the Santa Maria dell’Anima, not far from the Piazza Navona. The most intriguing exterior feature of the church is its facade, and especially the round portico designed by Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669) in the seventeenth century.…

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Rome: Santa Maria Antiqua

The Santa Maria Antiqua is a little jewel on the edge of the Forum Romanum. It is a ruined sixth century church that is no longer used for religious services. The church can be visited on the ticket that gives access to the Forum, and at the moment it should…

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Rome: Santa Francesca Romana

The Santa Francesca Romana is located on the north-eastern edge of the Forum Romanum, close to the Colosseum. Confusingly, the official name of this church is actually Santa Maria Nova. The name means “New Saint Mary’s” and suggests that there is or was an “Old Saint Mary’s” as well. That…

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Rome: San Crisogono

There are two churches in Trastevere that anyone should visit: the Santa Maria in Trastevere and the Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. The San Crisogono, also in Trastevere, cannot hope to match those two in terms of art of history, but it is interesting in its own right. The church is…

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