Basilica of San Giovanni a Porta Latina

San Giovanni a Porta Latina

The Basilica of San Giovanni a Porta Latina is a three-nave church located next to the Porta Latina of the Aurelian Wall of Rome, which gave its name to the basilica. The first church on this place appeared already in the 5th century AD. During the following centuries the temple was rebuilt on multiple occasions and between the 16th and 17th centuries the basilica got its Baroque look. During the latest restoration conducted in the middle of the last century the Medieval appearance of the temple was returned to it with its ancient columns dating back to the year 1100. Next to the basilica there is a Romanesque belfry.

When you will be admiring the interior of the temple, take a glance at a series of frescoes depicting 46 scenes from the Old and New Testaments made by various Italian artists. The 12th century mosaic floor of the church is made of colored marble.

Not far from the church, a few steps from the Porta Latina there is a small octagonal chapel of San Giovanni in Oleo that, according to an apocryphal writing, is built on the exact spot where John the Baptist was thrown in a vat of boiling oil to test his faith. The disciple of Christ stood out of the vat unharmed and the first Christians erected a chapel in his honor, which was later rebuilt and expanded (it is thought that it was designed by Baldassare Peruzzi and Antonio de Sangallo the Younger). Borromini decorated the chapel with a frieze in terracotta with rose and palm leaves patterns.

Address: Via di Porta Latina, 17
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7.30 am – 12.30 pm, 3 pm – 7 pm
How to reach: Re di Roma
Coordinates: 41.877198, 12.501545