Gubbio: The Duomo

The Duomo is often the most beautiful and most richly decorated religious building of a city or town. The Duomo of Gubbio or cathedral of Santi Mariano e Giacomo is unfortunately an exception. It is a dark and chilly building with a slightly gloomy atmosphere. Most Italian cathedrals adjoin large…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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.…

Continue reading

Portugal: Torre de Belém

It is perhaps a little hard to believe that the Torre de Belém was actually built as a fortress to protect the mouth of the Tagus river, the gateway to Lisbon. The tower is so beautifully decorated with Manueline and Renaissance elements, that it could easily have been part of…

Continue reading

Rome: Santa Maria in Domnica

The Santa Maria in Domnica, sometimes called the Santa Maria alla Navicella, lies on the crown of the Caelian Hill (Celio in Italian). The church is old, very old, but its earliest history is shrouded in mystery. The Santa Maria was built over the ruins of the barracks of the…

Continue reading