The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere (Our Lady in Trastevere), commissioned by Pope Callistus I, was founded during the third century, when Christianity was not yet widely accepted. Although it has been reconstructed on several occasions, it maintains its early Medieval architecture.
The church’s exterior is notable for the stunning golden mosaics on its facade and for its bell tower, which dates from the twelfth century. Once inside, the building is divided into three naves by a score of columns from the Baths of Caracalla.
Despite the beautiful altarpieces and other decorative elements that fill the church, visitors’ eyes fixate particularly on the golden mosaic located in the apse. To the left of the High Altar you can visit the Baroque-style Chapel of Altemps, which holds the Madonna della Clemenza, a life-size image of the Virgin.
At the entrance of the left nave is the sculpture of San Antonio, known for granting wishes. Many people leave requests.
The Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere enjoys a very special location in the charming bohemian neighbourhood of Trastevere. This means that it’s common to pass by the temple several times, and it’s well worth a visit.