Tucked into a tiny and quiet corner of an alley street across from the much larger and famous Santa Maria Maggiore, is the very impressive, 8th century church called Santa Prassede, with its beautiful Byzantine mosaic work and well preserved, wall-to-wall frescoes, some over a millennium in age.
It is the collection of mosaics that get much of the attention within Santa Prassede and they are well deserving. However, what impresses us most with Santa Prassede is the quality of preservation of the wall to wall fresco cycles, some possibly dating back to the 8th century, found in throughout the church nave. For those not able to visit the masterpiece work of the Bancacci Chapel (Florence), this is probably our favorite fresco work in Rome. Its just superb, making it easy to spend lots of time in Santa Prassede admiring this small church.
This very impressive church visit, like many others is free and you can take pictures inside. What a blessing and what a precious place for the city of Rome. Anywhere else in the world, Santa Passade would routinely be considered a top 5 'Must See' attraction. In Rome, it is drowned in a sea of wonderful and magnificent churches and infrequently visited, making it one of cities hidden gems to visitors, if we can really call it that.
Having visited Rome more times than we can count, we include Santa Prassede as one of our Top Five churches in the city. It is a must see for us, and will always be included on our short list of 'must repeat' visits when in Rome. In addition, its worth your time to visit the more famous Santa Maria Maggiore just across the street from Santa Passed
Hint: Its quite dark inside and for very good reason. Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult to take photos inside this church due to the very low light conditions. Slow down your shutter speed and take a deep breath before making pictures, hold as still as you can to maximize the quality of those you take inside. Or just turn the camera off and enjoy what you are seeing! That works just as well.