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The church leaves a wondeful impression at first sight with an eye catching medieval mosaic that adorns the exterior and shows the Virgin and Child and a procession of 10 vergens approaching from both sides.One of the 4 patriarchal basilicas of Rome and centrally located nearby to the colosseum.It is reported that a Sicillian priest witnessed angels in the ruins of teh Baths in 1541 after which it was ordered by Pope Pius IV that a church should be built there.The beginning of the work saw Michelangelo designing the church to be finished by Jacopo Lo Duca (Michelangelos student) after his death.
Although when one thinks of churches in Rome The vatican springs to mind but The Basilica San Giovanni is actually the oldest and the mother of all churches in Rome, ranking before the other basilicas.
All entrants to this army must be Swiss, catholic, and they must take the oath to the pope.
This oath is always taken on the 26th May to commemorate the same day in 1527 when Swiss guards protected pope Clement VII during his escape to Castel Sant'Angelo when of 189 guards only 42 survived.
Trastevere is one of the oldest and most vibrant areas of the city showing the real roman life and offering a variety of some of the best pizzerias and trattorias that the city has to offer.
Santa Maria in Trastevere is the oldest church dedictaed to the Virgin and at this actual site 38 b.c a fountain of oil flowed for an entire day which was later interpreted by Christians as a sign of the birth of the Saviour.
A trip to Rome would not be complete without a stop at the Spanish Steps, that has now become a famous meeting place for Italians and foreigners alike.