Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Flanking Piazza del Campidoglio, this houses part of the Capitoline Museums' collection of classical statuary.
Museo Centrale del Risorgimento
Inside Il Vittoriano, this small museum charts the history of Italian Unification through its collection of documents, military...
The most dramatic approach to Piazza del Campidoglio is via this graceful staircase up from Piazza d'Ara Coeli.
Piazza Santa Maria in Aracoeli · interesting places nearby
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Aracoeli information
Atop the steep 14th-century Aracoeli staircase, this 6th-century Romanesque church marks the highest point of the Campidoglio. Its rich interior boasts several treasures including a wooden gilt ceiling, an impressive Cosmatesque floor and a series of 15th-century Pinturicchio frescoes illustrating the life of St Bernadine of Siena. Its main claim to fame, though, is a wooden baby Jesus that's thought 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 has never been 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.