Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aracoeli information
Atop the 14th-century Aracoeli staircase on the highest point of the Campidoglio, this 6th-century Romanesque church boasts an impressive Cosmatesque floor and an important 15th-century fresco by Pinturicchio. But its main claim to fame is a much-loved wooden baby Jesus believed to have healing powers.
In fact, the Jesus doll is a copy. The original, which was supposedly made of wood from the garden of Gethsemane, was pinched in 1994 and never recovered.
The church sits on the site of the Roman temple to Juno Moneta and has long had an association with the nativity. According to legend, it was here that the Tiburtine Sybil told Augustus of the coming birth of Christ.