San Giovanni a Porta Latina, one of the most picturesque of the old Roman churches, sits just inside the ancient Aurelian walls.
The church was founded during the reign of Pope Gelasius I (r. 492-96), but rebuilt in the 8th century by Pope Hadrian I. It has been restored several times since. Its majestic bell tower was added in the 10th or 11th century.
The nave is lined with a variety of antique columns. The apse is pierced by three selenite windows, which, in the morning, fill the church with a soft warm light.
It is thought that the cycle of frescoes (not in the best condition) in the nave dates back to the 12th century.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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