Saturday, May 23, 2020

Santo Stefano Rotondo

where: Via Santo Stefano Rotondo, 7
getting there: short walk from the Colosseum to Via Santo Stefano Rotondo, look for a gateway in the large stone walls surrounding the church with a sign reading Chiesa S Stefano Rotondo, 7
open: 10:00–13:00 and 14:00–17:00, closed Monday

The minor basilica of Santo Stefano Rotando is on the Celio Hill, only a ten minute walk from the Colosseum.
The church originally dates to the 6th century and was commissioned by Pope Leo I and dedicated to Saint Stephen, whose body was taken from Jerusalem and placed here.
The church has a circular plan and is often visited by art lovers who wish to see the macabre frescoes dating from the 16th century depicting scenes of the Suffering of the Martyrs that circle the interior walls.
The graphic frescoes of death and torture were by late Renaissance artists Nicolò Circignani (il Pomerancio) and Antonio Tempesta and were commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII in 1583. 
Under each painting of the Saint or Early Christian Martyr is a description in Latin and Italian explaining the method of execution under which Emperor's orders.

Underneath the church is a 2nd century Mithraeum that once belonged to a Roman soldiers' barracks in the neighbourhood that is being excavated.

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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