The Church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere combines the history of ancient Christianity with magnificent Renaissance art and religious sanctity. A garden courtyard with an elegant reflecting pool graces the entryway to the church, which was built on the site of Cecilia's home when she was martyred by Marcus Aurelius. Sculptor Stefano Moderno shows the saint in peaceful repose, the folds of her garment gracefully draped over her body -- just as he swears he saw her when her body, uncorrupted by death a millennia earlier, was exhumed in 1599. Moderno's oath is carved in the marble stone before the statue at the base of the altar. The facade of the church dates from around 1740, and the bell tower from around 1100. Stunning frescoes, mosaics and paintings adorn the bright and airy interior. Not to be missed: the remnants of Cecilia's ancient home underneath the church, for a small admission fee.
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