Santa Francesca Romana

Featuring an impressive Italian bell tower, this 10th-century minor basilica holds precious religious artworks and the relics of St. Francesca Romana.

The Santa Francesca Romana is one of Rome’s lesser-known ancient treasures. This minor basilica was built in the 10th century and incorporates an oratory dating back to the 4th century. Tour this remarkable basilica and discover religious artworks and spectacular Roman architecture.

Observe the stunning stained-glass windows and the exterior design of the Santa Francesca Romana. Notice the interior plan of this basilica, with a single nave and side chapels. The Santa Francesca Romana is located near a number of other Ancient Roman sites, including the Colosseum.

This church was rededicated to Frances of Rome in the 16th century. Her relics are stored in the crypt. The travertine porch and façade were completed in the early 17th century. See the the exquisite 5th-century icon of the Virgin Mary.

Look through the oratory, a small chapel built by St. Silvester in the 4th century and consecrated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The Romanesque-style bell tower is about 100 feet (30 meters) tall.

Walk to the Colosseum from Santa Francesca Romana in about 5 minutes. This amphitheater was built in the 1st century and is considered a masterpiece of Roman architecture. The Colosseum was used for entertainment, including gladiatorial contests, animal hunts and public spectacles.

Visit the Temple of Venus and Rome next to the basilica. This site is believed to have been one of the largest temples in Ancient Rome. The emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius built it in the 2nd century. Notice the columns of gray Egyptian granite identifying the perimeter of the platform.

Find the Santa Francesca Romana on the northern side of the Via Sacra, next to the Roman Forum. The basilica is free to visit. Walk to the site from the Colosseo metro station in about 10 minutes.

Book a walking tour and stop at the Santa Francesca Romana while visiting the Colosseum and some of Rome’s other ancient attractions.

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