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It is reported that a Sicillian priest witnessed angels in the ruins of teh Baths in 1541 after which it was ordered by Pope Pius IV that a church should be built there.The beginning of the work saw Michelangelo designing the church to be finished by Jacopo Lo Duca (Michelangelos student) after his death.Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary the church was first founded by Pope Liberius and financed by patrician and his wife who were childless and decided to leave their fortune to the Blessed Virgin who appeared to them in a dream and told them to build a church in her honour.Should you stay here in August on August the 5th white rose petals are dropped from the dome during the mass to commemorate the the legend dating back to possibly 358 when a miraculous snowfall outlined the plan of the church.It contains some of the finest pieces of art including the statue of La Pietà di Michelangelo and Il Baldacchino di Bernini(the papal alter).Also the home of the Pope who can be seen at the papal audiences outside in the Piazza in front of the Basilica on Wednesday mornings ( weather and the pope's schedule permitting).There is a strict code of dress within the churches and please note that shoulders and knees must be covered when entering any of the cities churches and controls are especially thorough at the Vatican where you will be turned away should these requirements not be respected.
One of the 4 patriarchal basilicas of Rome and centrally located nearby to the colosseum.
Today Santa Maria degli Angeli is often the host of prestigous weddings and funerals promoted by the state.
Centrally located at the top of Via Nazionale this church is well worth the visit.
The inscription in the mosaics is a poem describing the importance of the cloisters in the life of a monk and the use of cloisters as a place of meditation and study.
Although when one thinks of churches in Rome The vatican springs to mind but The Basilica San Giovanni is actually the oldest and the mother of all churches in Rome, ranking before the other basilicas.
What was originally used as the palace of constantine was later re-modelled to serve as the church of the pope in Rome and today it serves as Romes official cathedral.