Rome Sights

Santi Giovanni e Paolo

  • Piazza di Santi Giovanni e Paolo 13 Map It
  • Celio
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 06/07/2016

Fodor's Review

Perched up the incline of the Clivio di Scauro—a magical time-machine of a street, where the dial seems to be stuck somewhere in the 13th century—Santi Giovanni e Paolo is an image that would tempt most landscape painters. Marked by one of Rome's finest Romanesque bell towers, it looms over a picturesque piazza. Underneath, however, are other treasures, whose excavations can be seen in the Case Romane del Celio museum. A basilica erected on the spot was, like San Clemente, destroyed in 1084 by attacking Normans. Its half-buried columns, near the current church entrance, are visible through misty glass. The current church's origins date to the start of the 12th century, but most of the interior dates to the 17th century and later. The lovely, incongruous chandeliers are a hand-me-down from New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, a gift arranged by the late Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York, whose titular church this was. Spellman also initiated the excavations here in 1949.

  • Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Rome, Italy

    © Ross Brinkerhoff / Fodors Travel

Sight Information


Piazza di Santi Giovanni e Paolo 13, Rome, Latium, 00184, Italy

Map It



Published 06/07/2016


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