Saturday, May 16, 2020

Santa Maria in Domnica alla Navicella

where: Via della Navicella, 10
getting there: bus 81 from Piazza Venezia/10 minute walk from Metro stop Colosseo
open: not available

Santa Maria in Domnica is a minor basilica on the Celio Hill, not far from Santo Stefano Rotondo.
The first records of a church being on this site date to the 5th century. 
The church was named for la Navicella, the small stone carved boat in front, which was a copy of a statue found nearby and turned into a fountain by Pope Leo X during the redesign of the church in the 16th century.

The interior of the church reflects the 9th century design, with stunning mosaics in the apse commissioned by Pope Pascal from this time.
The three large frescoes in the main altar, underneath the apse, were painted by Lazzaro Baldi in the 17th century.
The frieze frescoes around the upper nave walls date to the 16th century restoration and were painted by Perino del Vega and designed by Giulio Romano, who studied under Raphael. 
Carved and painted onto the wooden ceiling are papal and Medici family heraldry showing the financial contributions of the Medici family and Pope Leo X. The design includes ships, fleur-de-lis, lions and the Medici palle.

At present (2020) the church opening hours are affected by the works of metro Line C and the exterior is surrounded by scaffolding to protect the church from damage.

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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