Basilica Santa Maria in Domnica

Santa Maria in Domnica

Santa Maria in Domnica is the Basilica on the Celio Hill dedicated to the Mother of God. The Basilica is also known as la Navicella (A small ship), which repeats the name of the ship-shaped fountain placed in front of the church. Newly weds like to come here to be photographed at the Navicella fountain. The Basilica was erected in the IX century in times of Pope Paschalia I and replaced some former buildings. The Pope gave shelter to Greek monks fleeing from the Byzantine aniconism. The Greek took active part in painting of the Roman basilicas and pictured the Pope, in particular. Paschalia still is the most renowned Pope of the early Medieval period. His portraits are represented in three churches, Santa Prassede, Santa Maria in Domnica and Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.

The apse of the Basilica holds a remarkable mosaic with Madonna holding a kerchief in her hand, with angels and Pope Paschalia I, his halo square, kneeling in front of the Mother of God. John the Baptist and John the Apostle are portayed in the lower part of the apse. After the church was rebuilt in 1513 in the Renaissance style, the caisson ceiling with white reliefs on blue background and the magnificent facade by Andrea Sansovino remained. Two antique Roman sarcophaguses are located in one of the side naves. General lighting isn’t used in the church, but you do visit it to see the masterpieces it holds.

Address: Via della Navicella, 10
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8.30 am – 12.30 pm, 4.30 pm – 7.30 pm
How to reach: Circo Massimo
Coordinates: 41.884715, 12.495647