The crypt, constructed in the eighth century, is located beneath the altar and was built to store the relics taken from the catacombs by Pope Adrian I. The crypt is shaped like a small basilica. The side walls have several niches, each with shelves made of marble, where the different relics are displayed.
Another treasure worth discovering is the glass shrine with the skull of St Valentine, patron saint of love, located on the left side of the church.
Rome is considered the magnificent Eternal City; her history is complex and spans more that 2760 years.
Rome was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Its historic city center is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The best way to decipher Rome is to visit 7 principle areas of this magnificent city:
Christian Rome, Imperial Rome, Medieval Rome, Renaissance Rome, Baroque Rome, Neoclassical Rome and modern Rome.
Christian Rome can be witnessed in the Vatican City and the Patriarchal Basilicas: San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul Outside the Walls, as well as the Catacombs.
Let’s tour these 7 principle areas:
1. Imperial Rome contains the splendors of the Roman Emperors. Many of the Imperial Sites are visible from the Capital including: the Colosseum, the Imperial Forums, the Forum Romanum (Foro Romano); the Palatine (Palatino), the Domus Aurea, the Pantheon and Circus Maximus.
3. The Florentine Renaissance moved to Rome at the end of the 1400s. The popes were obsessed art patrons who embellished the city with magnificent art and architecture. They built magnificent churches like San Pietro in Montorio with the Tempietto del Bramante; and Santa Maria della Pace with frescoes by Raphael.
Existing churches were renovated; Santa Maria in Aracoeli had a face-lift by Pinturicchio and Donatello. Royal palaces were built including: Palazzo Farnese, Palazzo della Cancelleria, and Villa Farnesina.
The piazzas were embellished, the Campidoglio became one of Michelangelo‘s Roman masterpieces.
In Renaissance Rome, tour The Vatican City. Visit St. Peters Square and the Vatican Museums to witness the work of the Popes as art patrons.
4. Tour Baroque Rome (Il Barocco) which thrived in the 1600s dominated by architects like Borromini and Bernini. Baroque Rome includes: Palazzo del Quirinale, residence of the President of the Republic; Piazza Navona and the Four Rivers Fountain and Borromini’s church of St. Ivo alla Sapienza and Palazzo Spada.
Walk in the footsteps of Gian Lorenzo Bernini to Piazza Navona and then visit the elephant Obelisk in front of S. Maria sopra Minerva.
This period in Rome celebrates the contributions of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
5. In the transition from Baroque to Neoclassicism, Rome re-created the Piazza del Popolo, and built the Vittorio Emanuele II monument known as Il Vittoriano).
6. In Rome, you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of Modern Rome. On the southern bank of the Tiber River of you will find the newest bridge, it leads to Auditorium Parco della Musica, the MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art designed Zaha Hadid and the Olympic Stadium.
Enjoy a spectacular Vino con Vista in Rome. This glorious Eternal City is alive with cultural centers and contemporary events including: the Borghese Gallery, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, GNAM, the Macro, Scuderie del Quirinale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Chiostro del Bramante, Villa Giulia, the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Barberini, Palazzo Massimo, and Trajan’s Markets.
Check out the musical events: Teatro dell’Opera’s summer season at the Caracalla Baths; the orchestra at the National Academy of Santa Cecilia; the Teatro Brancaccio and Teatro Sistina for Broadway musicals and Shakespeare’s summer home in Villa Borghese’s Globe Theatre.
7. Where is the best Food and Wine in Rome? Decanter Magazine has compiled a list of the best restaurants in Rome:
These restaurants generally require reservations.
I have written posts about all of these amazing periods, people and places. Read my blog posts and join me for a tour the Eternal City.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com