AMO ITALY Travel Guide

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Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva (Santa Maria Sopra Minerva)

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
The only remaining Gothic church in Rome. Go up the left side from the Pantheon, it appears immediately on your left. Both a square and the facade of the church have a quadrangle shape. So cute!

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
The landmark of the church is "the elephant obelisk" of Bernini. It's pretty charming. It seems new but has a long history.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
The breathtaking beauty of inside. Especially, shining gold stars and the blue ceiling are literally mysterious. Even if you aren't christian, you would feel a holy atmosphere.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Inside, every chapel is decorated gorgeously. The lighting is charged by coin.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Michelangelo's "Christ the Redeemer". It's amagingly located in the reachable place.

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Filippino Lippi's "Annunciation." As if in a museum, you would be overwhelmed by these treasures.

Recommend: 5 stars

Traveling in Italy with a lot of churchs, you might get bored a little bit to visit those solemn churches... However, please don't miss this Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome. It's a must see place in your life! Although the appearance is simple, the inside is mysterious and fantastic. It's lose also to the Pantheon temple. Let's make a time to visit this church even if in 20 minutes. Admission is free.

Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, full of art masterpieces

Just beside the Pantheon temple, the church just standing quietly is Santa Maria sopra Minerva. This church has an only Gothic facade in Rome. It's very simple and modest. Even if the church is small, it's actually valueable as a luxury museum of rich art masterpieces. Of course, admission is fee. Please don't miss it!

This church was built on the Minerva temple

The Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva had been a church built on the temple of the Roman patron goddess Minerva (Athena in Greek mythology). "Sopra" means "on" in Italian. And its elephant obelisk in front of the church would be your landmark to find this church. This obelisk was invented by Bernini. The elephant is a symbol of intellect and culture. You know, Miderva is also known as a goddess of wisdom.

Once inside, the luxurious interior is really breathtaking!

There are three aisles inside. The cross vaults in deep blue is very beautiful and representing the universe. There are painted gold stars and saints. It would be difficult to imagin this spaious impression from outside. Of course, there is also a rose window located on the top front, as a classic style of of Gothic churchs. The stained glasses inlaid represents the white lily, a symbol of the purity of the Virgin Mary.

Overwhelmed by a group of luxury works like a museum!

In the churche you can see precious works like an art museum everywhere. At the entrance of the church there is a map of the works with photos, so please check it. In the right transept there is a chapel built by the order of the Carada cardinal in the 15th century. Inside this chapel, you can see the frescoes of "Assumption of the Virgin" and "Annunciation (Annunciazione)" of Filippino Lippi.

The story of Saint Catherine, the patron saint of Italy

Under the altar the body of Saint Caterina of Siena, one of Italy's patron saint is burried (another saint is St. Francis of Assisi). Catherine was born as a daughter of a wealthy dyer of Siena in 1347. and became a Dominican nun at the age of 18 aginst the objection of her parents. She had dedicated almost of her life to assist the sick and the poor people, traveling to northern Italy for the mission.
From 1376 until her death in 1380, she contributed for the return of the Holy See from Avignon (France) to Rome. And se died at the same age when Christ died, 33 years old (1380) in Rome.
After her death, the people of Siena wanted to get again her body in her hometown. Due to the demanding inspection, however, they planned to take only her head hidden in the bag. And when guard soldiers forced them to open that bag, a miracle happened. Her head transformed into rose petals. When they arrived in Siena safely, petals became back to the original head. For this legend, Catherine is always depicted with a rose.

Amazing! There is placed one of the precious sculptures of Michelangelo

In front of the column on the left before the main altar, there is a statue of "Christ the Redeemer (Redentore) " by Michelangelo. I feel the depth of Italian art from the fact that you can admire one of the Michelangelo's masterpieces freely from the close. You might feel a discomfort regarding the bronze loincloth on the marble statue. That is a good question. Because it had been considered "a flagrant nudity", this loincloth had been attached later.
In addition, you can see also the "Madonna and Child" of Fra Angelico and sculptures of Bernini. Please come stop by this church when you come to Rome.

from ITALY
Advices from a writer who lives in Italy

My favorite walking route in Rome is starting from the Trevi Fountain, to the Navona Square, the Pantheon, and this Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. When I went here, inside the church it was possible to take photoes without a flash. There were less tourists so I could enjoy it peacefully. Please don't interfere the masss.

from Rome staff of AMOITALY

Name Basilica di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Address Piazza della Minerva, 42-00186 Roma (Lazio), Italy
Phone number +39 06 679 3926
Closed None
Opening Hours Weekday: 7:00-19:00
Holiday: 8:00-19:00
price None
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