Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome

Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome (must see)

Situated just behind the Pantheon, the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, is more than just a temple but a true hidden gem packed full of art. The former Roman headquarters of the Dominican order, if there is only one thing in particular this church is worth visiting for, it is the statue of Christ by Michelangelo, plus the series of late 15th-century frescoes in one of its chapels.

While many other medieval churches in Rome have got Baroque makeovers, covering their Gothic features, the Minerva church has survived pretty much unscathed in its original guise. There are several magnificent stained glass roundels above the nave, richly colored in red, green, blue and gold, producing the appearance of bursting fireworks. Above the main door, there is a lovely roundel of Mary surrounded by saints. This could easily be the best stained glass in all of Rome. As for the ceiling, it is painted deep blue with golden stars, just like the night sky.

At the front of the building stands an obelisk on the back of an elephant sculptured by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Curiously enough, the obelisk is Egyptian and was brought to flank the entrance to the temple of Isis that stood on this site in the 1st century. Apparently, this is the smallest of the eleven obelisks existing in Rome, and quite fortunately so for the elephant that carries it. Still, the name of this former Egyptian temple – Sopra Minerva, ascribing it to Minerva instead of Isis, was given in error.

If you have time for a guided tour, there is one offered every day for a small free. As part of the excursion into the church and the Dominican order history, they will show you to the cloister behind the church as well, which is just as beautiful.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7am-7pm; Sat: 10am-12:30pm / 3:30pm-7pm; Sun: 8:10am-12:30pm / 3:30pm-7pm
Free admission

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Santa Maria sopra Minerva on Map

Sight Name: Santa Maria sopra Minerva
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Fountains and Squares Walk

Fountains and Squares Walk

In Rome there is a lively piazza round almost every corner, each with its own unique atmosphere and its own story to tell. These public squares have been the center of Roman culture for centuries, and some of the city’s most popular attractions are located within them.

Most piazzas have a fountain in the center and a lot of cafes around. In fact, Rome holds the largest number of fountains in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Rome Introduction Walk I

Rome Introduction Walk I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Rome Shopping Streets Walk

Rome Shopping Streets Walk

You may come to Rome for the ancient history, stunning architecture or out of this world gelato, but you shouldn’t leave the city without discovering the variety of shops it has to offer. From big brands to artisanal boutiques, there’s enough to keep even the most discerning shopaholics happy. Amid the lack of one-stop shops or malls in downtown Rome, if you really want to indulge in retail...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Rome Introduction Walk II

Rome Introduction Walk II

The historic center of Rome is packed with numerous landmarks and genuine works of art, to see all of which may take days if not weeks. This Rome Orientation Walk Part II highlights some of the key sights emerged during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, comprising some truly magnificent marvels of architecture. Among the featured landmarks here are the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Holy Sites Walking Tour

Holy Sites Walking Tour

Being the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's biggest religions, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each church and basilica represents a significant part of Rome's culture and history. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover Rome's magnificent religious heritage.

...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles

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