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Churches and Basilicas

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Churches and basilicas of Rome from A to Z

Churches and basilicas in Rome

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S. ANDREA DELLA VALLE: it has become famous as scenary of the first act of Puccini's Tosca, this church is doubtless one of the most beautiful in Rome, with its magnificent facade by Carlo Rainaldi (1665); the cupola by Maderno (1622), the second highest in Rome after the one of St. Peter's, the frescoes in the interior are by Domeniochino and Lanfranco.
P.zza Vidoni, 6- Tel.06/6861339

S. AGNESE IN AGONE: built on the place where, according to the legend, St. Agnes was exposed naked to the pillory and miraculously covered by her untied hair.This church was begun by Girolamo and Carlo Rainaldi and taken over by Borromini in 1653-57. Inside, on the vault, we can admire frescoes by Ciro Ferri (1689 - 9) and pendentives by Baciccia (1665). In the cellars, findings of the Domitian Circus.
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P.zza Navona
Tel. 06/6794435

S. AGOSTINO: an example of the early Roman Renaissance, the church was erected in 1420. The interior: "the Lady of the Birth" by Jacopo Sansovino, "Isaia" by Raffaello and the beautiful "Lady of the Pilgrims" by Caravaggio.

V. della Scrofa, 80
Tel. 06/68801962

S. ANDREA AL QUIRINALE: masterpiece of Baroque architecture , it was commissioned by Camillo Pamphilj to Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1658. The interior: plenti of polychrome marbles, stuccos and gildings, here you can also find some paintings by Baciccia and Maratta.
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V. del Quirinale, 29
Tel. 06/4744872

S. ANDREA DELLE FRATTE: it is partly a work by Borromini who, in 1653, built the apse, the cupola and the church tower. The name of this church comes from its original site, outside the built-up area near a little wood. The beautiful church tower was decorated with angels as caryatids, burning torches and enormous spirals. The interior preserves the angels which Bernini carried out for Sant'Angelo's Bridge.
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Via Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, 1  Tel 06/6793191

S. ANGELO IN PESCHIERA: this church was built in 755 on the ruins of the Portico of Ottavia, whose entrance is the propylaeum, made with Corinthian columns. The curch is one of the most ancient cardinal-deacon's churches in the city. Decorations with patters of flora and aquatica fauna.
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Via Tribuna di Campitelli, 6    Tel. 06/68801819

S. ANSELMO: part of the beautiful buildings which surround piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, it was planed in 1762 by Piranesi. Every Sunday morning at 9.30 visitors can listen to the Gregorian chants.

P.zza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 5     Tel. 06/57911

S. BARTOLOMEO ALL'ISOLA: erected by Ottone III on the ruins of the temple of Aesculopius in honour of the bishop of Prague Adalbert, martyrized in 998, the church has a beautiful campanile dating back to the time of Pasquale II (1113).
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Isola Tiberina

S. BENEDETTO IN PISCINULA: according to the tradition, this church was erected on part of the former church of St. Benedict between the end of the XI and the beginning of the XII century. The facade of the church is a work by Pietro di Camporese the young (1844). In the interior you can visit the cell of the Saint and admire a beuatiful Madonna with Child, a fresco which was repainted on canvas in the IV century.

P.zza in Piscinula, 40
Tel. 06/5818297

S. BERNARDO ALLE TERME: this church was commissioned by Caterina Nobili Sforza of Santa Fiora, in 1598 and built on one of the four towers of the Baths of Diocletian. This church loocks like a small Patheon because of its octagona caisson cupolae which descend gradually toward the central anular window.
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Via Torino, 94
Tel. 06/4882122

S. BONAVENTURA AL PALATINO: it was founded in 1675 on a reservior of the Neronian aqueduct,...

Via S. Bonaventura, 7
Tel. 06/6793806

S. CARLINO ALLE QUATTRO FONTANE: a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, it was built by Francesco Borromini who begun it in 1638 for the barefooted Trinitarian Fathers and left it, still unfinished, at his dead in 1667. Particularly ingenious are its oval cupola and a small lantern.
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Via del Quirinale, 23
Tel. 06/4883261

SAN CLEMENTE: One of the most historically rich, and, and curious, churches in Rome, with its three time strata: the upper level basilica dates to the 12th century, the one below it dates to the 4th, and the building itself from antiquity. The more modern basilica features a medieval mosaic and frescoes by Masolino, with are worth particular attention. The older basilica houses some beautiful, if faded, frescoes depiciting the life of Saint Clement. Don't miss the stairway that leads down to the second - century insulae, where the mystical religion of Mithraism was observed.
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Via San Giovanni in Lanterano ( San Giovanni )
Tel. 06/70451018

S. COSTANZA: built at the beginning of the IV century by Costantine, as mausoleum for his daughters, Costanza and Elena, later it was transformed in a baptistery and , in 1254, in a church. Beautiful building with round plant, in its barrel vaults of the deambulatory, it still preserves a mosaic representig puttoes who harvest grapes, one of the late ancient patterns with a Christian symbolic meaning.
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Via Nomentana, 349
Tel. 06/8610840

S. CRISOGONO: a typical example of "superposed city", this church was built between 1123 and 1129 on a pre-existing Basilica of the V century. It was restored at the beginning of 1600, when a simple facade with tympanum surmounted by armorial bearings and symbolds of the family Borghese was added to it. The interior preserves some valuable works of different Roman peirods: a Madonna with Child between St. Crisosgono and St. James, a mosaic dating back to the end of the XIII century, the Holy Virgin of the Knight of Arpino, the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, ascribed to Bernini. From the sacristy you can go down a stair and visit the ruins the the basilica of the V century. Here you can admire frescoes representing the history of St. Benedict and St. Silvester.
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P. zza Sonnino, 44
Tel. 06/5818225

DOMINE QUO VADIS: where the Apostle Peter, on fleeing from martyrdom in Rome, met Christ on the road nad asked him "Domine quo vadis?". This church dates back to the IX century and was rebuilt in the XVI and XVII century.
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V. Appia Antica, 51
Tel. 06/5120441

S. FRANCESCA ROMANA: known, during the Middle Ages, as the curch of Santa Maria Nova, in 1600 it was dedicated to Francesca Romana, a noblewoman who dedicated all her life to charity. This church was built in the IX century and restored in the mid XII century when a campanile and a decoration of the apse were added to it. The interior preserves a stone plate with knee prints which the tradition attributes to Peter and Paul.
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P.zza di Santa Francesca Romana
Tel. 06/6795528

CHIESA DEL GESU': an example of Counter-Reformation architecture, this church was planed by Giacomo della Porta and by Vignola who realized it between 1568 and 1584. In the vault, frescoes by Baciccia representig the "Triumph of the Name of Jesus" (1679).
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P.zza del Gesù.

CHIESA DI GESU' E MARIA: planed by Carlo Rainaldi between 1672 and 1675 on errand of the barefooted Augustinians; inside funeral monuments of the Bolognetti family and frescoes attributed to Giovanni Lanfranco.
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V. del Corso, 45
Tel. 06/ 3613717.

S. GIACOMO IN AUGUSTA: a work by Franceso da Volterra and Carlo Maderno, this church was begun in 1592 and ended for the Holy Year 1600. Its church towers were ascribed to Maderno and placed on each side of the apse instead of in front of it.
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Via del Corso, 499
Tel. 06/3219419

S. GIORGIO AL VELABRO: this church was founded in the VII century and several times restored., its present shape dates back to the XIII century. In 1993 it was seriosly damaged by a terrorist attack. It has been completely restored and opened to the public in the summer of 1996. The basin of the apse preserves frescoes ascribed to Pietro Cavallini (end XIII century).
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Via del Velabro, 19
Tel. 06/6793335

S. GIOVANNI A PORTA LATINA: founded in the V century and rebuilt for the first time in 720, it was restored in 1191. This church is surely one of the most charming Romanesque churches in Rome. In the interior, the central nave was decorated with frescoes of the XII century which show scenes of the Old and New Testaments.
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S. Giovanni a Porta Latina
Tel. 06/70491777

opening hours: 8a.m.-12.30a.m. / 3p.m.-7p.m.

S. GIOVANNI DEI FIORENTINI: the national church of the Florentines was commissioned by Leone X dei Medici to Jacopo Sansovino in 1519. The cupola is a work by Carlo Maderno (1602-20) and the facade by Alessandro Galilei (1734). The interior which reflects tan austere atmosphere, a consequence of the Council of Trent, is full of Baroque decorations and preserves, among others, the marvellous altar by Francesco Borromini.
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Via Acciaioli, 2
Tel. 06/6870886

opening hours: 7a.m.-11a.m. / 5p.m.-7p.m.

SAN GIOVANNI IN LATERANO: The construction of Rome's first basilica, erected on land belonging to the noble Laterano Family, began before 313, and was named only in the 7th century, after Saint's John and Baptist and the Evangelist. Few traces of the original strycture remain, owing to vandalism, earthquakes and fires, but there are some exceptional examples of art and architecture present from medieval and renaissance times. Borromini (17th century) were the architects responsabile for the refacing of the cathedral.
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Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4 ( San Giovanni )
Tel. 06/69886433
Bus 15, 16, 30b, 85, 87, 186, 218, 613, 650, 714, 715- Metro A (S. Giovanni)

S. LORENZO IN LUCINA: built on the residence of the Roman matron Lucina in the V century, this church was restored by Pasquale II in the XII century. It was then that it received its characteristic Romanesque structure. Towards the end of the XVII century it was restored again, and its aisles were transformed in aristocratic chapels. The interior preserves the chapel Fonseca by Bernini; the altar by Rainaldi (who built also the chaple of the Sacrament and the convent); and the beautiful crucifix by G. Reni.
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V. in Lucina, 16/a
Tel. 06/6871494

opening hours: 8a.m.-12a.m. / 5p.m.-8p.m.

S. LUIGI DEI FRANCESI: the national French church was founded in 1518 and ended in 1589 thanks to the contributions of G. della Porta and Domenico Fontana. The interior preserveds one of the masterpieces of Caravaggio, the beautiful chapel Contarelli (1598-1600), with episodes of St. Matteo's life; and Histories of St. Cecil, Domenichino's masterpiece (1616-1617).

V. Santa Giovanna d'Arco
Tel. 06/6833818

opening hours: 8a.m.-12.30p.m. / 3.30p.m.-7.30p.m.

S. MARCELLO AL CORSO: the most ancient church in Via del Corso, it was probably built in the V century on the "titulus Marcelli". In 1519 it was destroied by a fire and rebuilt under the management of Sansovino and, from 1527 of Antonio da Sangallo the Young. The facade, a masterpiece of Carlo Fontana (1682-86) is tipically Baroque; the interior preserves important paintings, among which, frescoes with scenes of Maria di Francesco Salviati's life.
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P.zza S. Marcello, 5
Tel. 06/6780888

opening hours: 6.30a.m.-12a.m. / 4p.m.-7p.m.

S. MARIA ANTIQUA: it is the transformation of one of the halls of the palaces of the Palatine and consacrated in the VI century. It preserves an extraordinary document of the tramsformations of painting in Rome between the VII and the XI century.
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Archeological Area of the Roman Forum

S. MARIA D'ARACOELI: erected on the temple of Juno Moneta and on the site of a monastery of Greek monks, this church was rebuilt in 1285-87. The interior preserves, among others, Histories of St. Bernardine by Pinturicchio (1486).

P.zza del Campidoglio, 4
Tel. 06/6798155

S. MARIA DEL POPOLO: erected by Pasquale II in 1099, on the site of the mausoleum of the Domizi, where Nero was buried, the church was rebuilt in 1475 and several times restored . The interior is a real art gallery; among other frescoes by Pinturicchio; Assumption by Annibale Carracci; Crucifixion of St. Peter by Caravaggio.
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P.zza del Popolo, 22
Tel. 06/3610836

opening hours: 7a.m.-12.15p.m. / 6p.m.-7p.m.

S. MARIA DELLA PACE: rebuilt in 1482, perhaps by Baccio Pontelli, and restored in 1656 by Pietro da Cortona who added the convex facade, preceded by a pronaos. In the interior, among others, the chapel Chigi and Sibilla by Raffaello. Beautiful cloister, first Roman work by Bramante (1501).

V. della Pace, 5
Tel. 06/6861156

S. MARIA IN COSMEDIN: erected in the VI century on the Ara maxima of Hercules, it was widened by Hadrian I (VIII century). It was by that time that it was given the name of "Kosmidion" because of its beautiful decorations. It was several times restored and given the Romanesque campanile, one of the fines in Rome. Beautiful its floor in opus sectile of the VIII century.
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P.zza Bocca della Verità, 8
Tel. 06/6781419

S. MARIA IN DOMNICA: it was built in the VII century on the ruins of the barracks of the V "vigiles"'s cohort, this church was rebuilt under Pasquale I and restored in 1513-14, on a plan of Sansovino. The interior preserves a freize with Medicean heraldic patterns by Perin del Vaga, mosaics dating back to the times of Pasquale I; apse with frescoes by Lazzaro Baldi (XVIIcentury).

P.zza della Navicella, 10
Tel. 06/7001519

SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE: The only patriarchal basilica created outside of Emperor Constantine's time, and one of the few that has managed to preserve many of its original aspects, despite modificatios brought about by Nicolò IV and Clemente X. Of particular note are the mosaics that adorn the walls of the central nave. Above the trebeation of the nave are 36 panels ( originally 42) the portray scenes from the childhood of Jesus Christ.
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P.zza di Santa Maria Maggiore ( Esquilino)
Tel. 06/483195 - Bus 4, 9, 14, 16, 27, 70, 71, 714, 715 - Metro A and B ( Termini )

S. MARIA IN VALLICELLA: this church is known with the name of Chiesa Nuova and owes its foundation and fame to St. Philip Neri, who died here in 1595. The interior, by Matteo da Città di Castello and Martino Longhi the Old, contains fine works by Lanfranco, di Pietro da Cortona, Cavaliere d'Arpino, Pomarancio and Rubens.

P.zza della Chiesa Nuova
Tel. 06/6869374

S. MARIA SOPRA MINERVA: the only Gothic church in Rome, it was rebuilt in 1280 and reopened to the cult in the XIV century. Its interior contains the sarcophagus of St. Chateriene of Siena, who died here in 1380 and the beautiful chapel Carafa with frescoes by Filippo Lippi (1488-93).

P.zza della Minerva, 42
Tel. 06/679280

opening hours: 7a.m.-12a.m. / 4p.m.-7p.m.

SAN PAOLO FUORI LE MURA: The largest Christian basilica before the construction of St. Peter's, St. Paul's was erected on the orders of Constantine and on the spot where Saint Paul had been buried. The original basilica had five splendid naves, and the interior was richly adorned. The structure was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1823, and the new basilica was completed in 1854 as a collaborative effort of numeous architects. Between the end of the 19th century and the begining of the 20th the immense four - sided portico was constructed, based on a design by Guglielmo Calderini.
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P.zza le S. Paolo (Ostinese)
Tel. 06/5410341

S. PIETRO IN MONTORIO: founded perhaps in the IX century, the church was completely rebuilt between the end of 1400 and the beginning of 1500. Its courtyard contains the magnificent Tempietto by Bramante (1508), a fine round temple one of the finest example of High Renaissance architecture.

P.zza S. Pietro in Montorio, 2
Tel. 06/5813940
opening hours: 9a.m.-12a.m. / 4p.m.-6p.m.. If closed ring the bell
on the door at the right side of the church.

SAN PIETRO IN VATICANO: First constructed on the orders of the first Christian Emperor Constantine the Great around 320, as t5he first basilica dedicated to the pirince of the apostoles, St. Peter's rises from where the saint is said to have been buried. Recent studies lend credence to this theory. The first stone of the current basilica was laid in 1506. It was Pope Giulio II who dedicated to "raze the Paleo-Christian basilica to the ground to build a colossal temple for the sake of beauty, power and as the most eloquent symbol of the continuity between Christian and Imperial Rome," as one historian writes. 1300 years after the consecration of the first basilica, and 120 years after the commencement of the work, San Pietro was solemnly consecrated by Urbano VIII in November 1626. It Remains the most famous basilica in the world
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P.zza San Pietro ( Borgo)
Bus 19, 32, 51, 64, 81, 492, 907, 991

If you want to know more about San Pietro in Vaticano click here

SAN SABA: This 7th - century church, which gave the neighborhood its name, reflects the quiet and gracious atmosphere of the surrounding Aventino. It was dedicated to the Capadocia monk, who had founded several monasters in the Middle East. The Church remained with the Greek monks until the 11th century, when it passed to the Benedictines. For all its beauty, silence seems to reign when it comes to tourists, and it thus is recommanded for its value as a "hidden treasure".

Via San Saba ( Aventino)
Bus 94

SANTA SABINA: The most important of the churches in the Aventino hills, founded in the 5th century by the priest Pietro d'Illiria, and one of the few churches to have the much of its original structure and decorations intact, through careful reconstruction and renovation. Of particular note is the central door, made of cypress, with its panels contained 18 scenes from the New and Old Testaments. The majestic iterior houses 24 imposing Corinthian columns.
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Piazza Pietro d'Illaria ( Aventino)
Tel. 5743573 Bus 94

SANTO STEFANO ROTONDO: At the top of the Celio hills, and not far from the Chiessa dei SS. Quatro Coronati, this church is the oldest religious edifice in Rome, and one of the oldest in Italy, to have a circular plan. The church is dedicated to the first Christian martyr and was constructed in the 5th century. Among the more radical restorations was that conducted on the orders of Nicolò V, in which the diameter of the building was reduced by several maters. The marvelous circular hall contains 22 ionic columns constructed in granite. The walls are adorned with frescos that recount the Martyrology executed in the 16th century: 34 scenes of martyrdom that are disturbing in their depictions of cruelty.
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Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo ( Center)
Tel. 06/70493717

SS. QUATTRO CORONATI: Hidden from view, this church holds two treasures - the 13th century cloister, defined as "perhaps one of the most suggestive in Rome," and the Oratorio of San Silvestro, which is famos for its 13th-century frescos. The Church was originally constructed in the 4th century.
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Via dei Santi Quattro Coronati 20 ( Center)
Tel. 06/70475427

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