Sunday, May 5, 2019

Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

photo from the church website
where: Piazza di Santa Croce in Gerusalemmegetting there: bus 649 from Termini or bus 571 from Piazza Venezia, metro linea C/Lodi
open: daily 7:00-12:45 & 15:30-19:30

The Minor Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme is one of the seven pilgrimage churches in Rome.
Found near the Porta Maggiore it is also a short walk from the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.
The church was originally built in the 4th century to house The Relics of the Passion brought back to Rome from Jerusalem by Saint Helena, Constantine's mother. 
The church has been rebuilt and remodeled over the centuries. The Baroque facade and interior that can be seen today was ordered by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741.
The vault ceiling was decorated by Corrado Giaquinto. Dating to 1744 it shows Our Lady Presenting Saint Helena and Constantine to the Trinity.
Other works are attributed to Rubens, Liugi Garzi and Carlo Maratta.

In 1930 the relics in the chapel of Saint Helena were transferred to The Chapel of the Relics.
Here is a fragment of the Cross, two thorns from the Crown of Thorns, a piece of Saint Thomas' doubting finger, two nails used in the Crucifixion, and also a replica of the Shroud of Turin.

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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