Chiesa di San Gregorio al Celio


in San Giovanni & Testaccio

Ring for admission to this landmark church standing on the spot where Pope Gregory the Great supposedly dispatched St Augustine to convert the British. Originally the pope’s family home, in 575 he converted it into a monastery. It was rebuilt in the 17th century and given a baroque makeover a century later.

Inside, the Cappella Salviati, a 16th-century chapel by Carlo Maderno, contains a fresco of a Madonna with Child that is said to have spoken to St Gregory.

Outside, the Oratorio di Sant’Andrea (open 9.30am to 12.30pm Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) is the most interesting of three small chapels, with frescoes by Domenichino, Guido Reni and Giovanni Lanfranco.