Saturday, May 21, 2011

San Paolo Fuori le Mura

where: Via Ostiense 
getting there: metro - Linea B/Basilica San Paolo
open: daily 7:00-18:30
cost: Basilica free, cloisters 9:00-18:30, €4

The Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura is outside the walls of Rome and the name literally translates to Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Here is thought to be the final resting place of the Apostle Paul after his execution.
The original church was built by Constantine in the 4th century, over the centuries the church was enlarged until a fire in 1832 almost completely destroyed it. The church was rebuilt to the same plan and style and reopened in 1840.
Inside is a 12th century candlestick that survived the fire. Reaching five meters high it is decorated with scenes of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection. The tabernacle dating from the 13th century, as well as the triumphal arch and original mosaics also survived.
Circling the top of the walls of the Basilica are mosaics of all popes from Saint Peter to the current pope, with still room for a few more portraits.
The statue of St Paul in the atrium garden in front of the church is by Giuseppe Obici and dates from the 19th century.

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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking Rome was the best way to see everything.

The metro, trams and buses are also an easy and cheap option.

Buses and the metro can get crowded. Tickets must be bought before boarding and validated.

Beware of pickpockets.

Buses 40 (express) and 64 start at Termini and end near Saint Peter's, traveling past places of interest, returning the same way.

Some stops along the 64 route are:


Piazza Venezia

Via Nazionale

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Bus 75 takes you past the Colosseum to Trastevere

Bus 910 takes you to Villa Borghese

Ticket Options

€1.50 B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro, unlimited tram or bus rides within 100 minutes.

€7.00 B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.

Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

Newsstands, train stations, metro stations, kiosks with the ATAC logo and tabacchi shops sell tickets for the metro, trams and buses.

Large fines apply to travelers not holding or validating their ticket. Tickets once validated start from the time they have been stamped.

These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.

other sites I trust for information on Rome are:
Rome Art Lover
Churches of Rome wiki