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Santo Stefano Rotondo

#106 of 996 things to do in Rome
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Address: V. di Santo Stefano Rotondo 7, 00184 Rome, Italy
Phone Number: 0039-06-42119130
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One of my favourite churches in Rome

This is one of the oldest, nicest and most unusual churches in Rome (for starters, it is round). The centuries' old frescos depict the various forms of martyrdom the early... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 30, 2015
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2015

This is one of the oldest, nicest and most unusual churches in Rome (for starters, it is round). The centuries' old frescos depict the various forms of martyrdom the early Christians suffered, but not too graphically. (You can imagine one of the bored-looking lions think "O no, not another Christian for dinner"). The church is often used for weddings and... More 

Thank Yawnn
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015

This is a little-known church in Rome that is well worth your visit. It is a round church, not like most others in Rome. The walls are covered with frescoes depicting - in exacting detail - the persecution of Christians. There are descriptions of who the people are in the frescoes, and what is happening to them - everything from... More 

Thank JonRuiter_11
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
286 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2015

A totally unique church - it is the only early round Christian church in existence today. It was built to house the relics of St. Stephen. This church was built on top of a 2nd century Mithraic temple (currently being excavated). It was built as a copy to Jerusalem’s church of the Holy Sepulchre. It houses some odd things –... More 

Thank Maggi713
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
759 reviews
661 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 566 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2015

A 0 minute walk down the Via Claudia from the Colosseum, or a 10 minute walk west from St. John Lateran along the Viale San Stefano Rotondo (keep the hospital on your left). Dates from the mid 4th century. Round in the style of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Financed by a landowning family in the area... More 

Thank etweeden
Nis, Serbia
Level Contributor
97 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2015

The church of Santa Pressede is my favorite in Rome, but this one comes very close to it! An unbelievably impressive and bloody frescoes! Various ways to torture someone can be found on those walls! It is interesting to note letters A - B - C - D - E on some of the frescoes and look for their meaning!... More 

Thank Bob R
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2015

We ended up here almost by chance. The circular interior is impressive, plus the dramatic frescoes on the walls make a huge impression. It's one of those hidden spots that make this city so unique and magical, like no other place I've been to.

Thank Add-Jay
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
391 reviews
190 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 368 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2014

It's not because the church is round that you might become queasy while visiting Santo Stefano. Rather, it is for the gruesome frescoes on the walls. They depict the various ways that Christians of note were martyred: limbs chopped, breasts cut off, boilings, hangings, crucifixions, being stretched and raked with a horrible-looking rake, animal attacks, etc. Unfortunately, many of the... More 

4 Thank jsctraveler
Berkshire, England
Level Contributor
165 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

After being disappointed in finding Santo Stefano Rotundo closed three years ago, we were finally able to visit this September. It's an amazing space, being one of the largest and oldest circular churches in existence. Incredibly the church was once much larger. The frescoes are rather gruesome, being scenes of martyrdom.

4 Thank ES1211
Sliema, Malta
Level Contributor
74 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

The Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo on the Celian Hill is among the most beautiful buildings. let alone churches, I have ever visited. i would suggest looking up the church before visiting in order to be able to appreciate its historical and architectural significance.

4 Thank Karlito81
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

This was a truly interesting and spatially inspiring church. the plan is particularly unique with the 8 original entrances. Furthermore, if you can imagine the interior space without the central structure added in its truely an architectural wonder. Definitely wiki the brief history of the church before going because it becomes that much more impressive.

1 Thank isabelob113

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Staying in Monti

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Monti is Rome’s rebel yell. This neighborhood just west of Termini train station mixes grit with fun as it continues to fight for its reputation as a magnet for the artsy, alternative, and hipster. Every season, quirky boutiques and food spots sprout up on its cobblestone streets. The neighborhood supports unique and homegrown businesses that cater to its longtime residents as well as hipsters on the hunt. Hang out at Piazza della Madonna dei Monti anytime after lunch and you'll always find something going on.
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