Must-See Masterpieces Outside the Museums
Collected by Katie Parla, AFAR Local Expert
Rome's museums have their obvious merits, but nothing quite compares to seeing frescoes, mosaics, paintings and other works in the very place they were meant to be displayed.
Via del Caravita, 8a, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
While a lot of people would go see the Sistine Chapel when visiting Rome, fewer travelers venture out to this grand church at the Piazza di San Ignacio near the Pantheon, which features an almost equally beautiful painted ceiling done by Andrea...
Piazza della Minerva, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Just behind the Pantheon hides the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, a gem in its own right. The only Gothic church in Rome's center, it's a breath of fresh air from over-the-top Baroque opulence. Plus, it has gorgeous frescoes by Filippo Lippi...
Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
In 1857, the prior of the Basilica di San Clemente thought there might be something underneath his 12th-century church, already renowned for its relics and striking mosaic of the Crucifixion. When he excavated, he found not only the original,...
Via Sacra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
On the Via Sacra east of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Titus is a beautiful and imposing triumphal monument, commemorating Titus' victory following the Siege of Jerusalem in the first century, C.E. The south relief panel on the interior of the arch...
Piazza di S. Luigi de' Francesi, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
In 1589, the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi became the official church of Rome’s French community, and with true Bourbon flair, the church's decorations are a celebration of France's power and wealth, with gilded stucco, lavish...
Piazzale San Paolo, 1, 00146 Roma RM, Italy
A sycamore-shaded stroll along the Tiber River takes you to the palm-treed paradise of the Basilica Papale di San Paolo fuori le Mura. Being greeted by this gold facade like the rising sun is a majestic yet calming experience. Colors like these,...
Via del Porto Fluviale, 12, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
The ex-Caserma del Porto Fluviale in the Ostiense district south of the city center has become a palate for Blu, a world renowned street artists, whose ambitious painting on the surface of this squat gives prestige and attention to the hundreds of...
Via di Santa Prassede, 9, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The 8th century Saint Zeno Chapel in the Church of Santa Prassede was built by Pope Paschal to serve as a funeral chapel for his mother Theodora. The Pope employed talented artisans to bedazzle the chapel in gold and glass mosaics, which can still...
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