The Basilica di San Saba was founded in the 7th century by monks from the monastery of St. Sabas in Palestine, who were fleeing from the Islamic invasion. The church was rebuilt in the 10th century and restored in the 13th century. The portico houses fragments of sculpture, some oriental in character, including a curious rider with falcon/hawk (?).
The nave, which is lined with a motley collection of ancient columns, sports a beautiful 13th century Cosmatesque pavement. The fresco of the Crucifixion in the apse dates back to the 14th century, while that of the Annunciation (high up, under the roof) was commissioned in 1463 by Cardinal Piccolommini.
There are remnants of 13th century frescoes in the so-called fourth aisle, on the left side of the church, including one of St Sabbas with the Virgin and Child.
St Sabbas (439–532), a Cappadocian-Syrian monk, is usually depicted in a monk's garb holding a paterissa (crozier).