Some of Rome’s most beautiful sites don’t actually take place outside amongst the cobblestone streets and vibrant old houses, but rather inside it’s numerous ornate churches.
In the year 313 AD Emperor Constantine developed the Edict of Milan allowing Christians to follow their faith without suppression. Constantine greatly boosted Christianity in Rome and is responsible for the original construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica (Later recreated to the one we see today).
One of the oldest preserved Catholic churches is Santa Maria in Trastevere. Look up to see a beautiful ornate gold ceiling, 13th century gold mosaics adorned walls, and truly take in an atmosphere of historic religious opulence.
Another one of my favorite churches, right next to the Victor Emmanuelle monument, is Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Looking fairly modest on the outside, the Aracoeli is filled with extravagant fixtures, detailed ceilings, and crystal chandeliers.
Home not only to an affluent interior, but also the legend of Il Bambino. A wooden carving of baby Jesus, Il Bambino has survived a fire, being lost at sea, and being stolen.
Il Bambino even has it’s own holiday (January 6th) and daily receives prayer letters.
Rome (or should I say Vatican city) is home to THE church of all churches, St. Peter’s Basilica. St. Peter’s is not only the symbol of Catholicism, but also a true artistic masterpiece.
With the help of the greatest artist the world has seen, St. Peter’s is a museum of fine religious art. Frescos by Rafael, Statues by Bernini and Michelangelo, and the Sistine Chapel are just a few among the vast collection.
One of the greatest things about Rome is the ability to walk around the city, find a cool looking church and then standing in awe once you see the inside.