From Rhome86 to San Giovanni and San Paolo

Starting at Rhome86 let’s walk down following via Emanuele Filiberto and in 20 minutes we arrive to San Giovanni. The San Giovanni Basilic is the church of the Pope since he is also Rhome’s bishop. It is indeed second in importance only to Saint Peter. It is the first church, and the Mather of all Churches, first before all other churches. Charles the Great choose to be baptized in this church in 774. It was built during a period where paganism was the main religion and Christianity was only tolerated. Across the centuries it went through a number of restorations and was damaged by fires and earthquakes. The floor is still the medieval one and the ceilings were painted by Michelangelo’s students. It houses the relics of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. In the right navel, you can admire the painting of Giotto illustrating the first Jubilee in 1300.
A must is a visit to the cloister from the 1200s.

Now let’s take the metro and go visit another jewel of Christianity: Saint Paul.
The antique Roman law required all people to be buried outside of the city walls. The area where Saint Paul is erected was a large cemetery. Underneath the altar, there is a tomb stone on which Saint Paul’s name is inscribed “paulo apostolo mart”.
After the decree instituted by the emperor Constantine, in the IV century, the persecutions of Christians was stopped. The first small basilica was built right on top of Saint Paul’s tomb stone. This church was then substituted with a larger one to accommodate the growing number of Christians. Saint Paul’s Basilica, with its byzantine architecture, is the largest basilica in Rome after Saint Peter.  After the damaging fires of 1823 the church was restored and few years later the large porch was added outside. 

(itineraries from here: Piramide Cestia, Terme di Caracalla, catacombe di San Callisto, di San Sebastiano, neighbourhood Testaccio)

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