Photographer's Note

Previously known as Santa Maria Nova, this church is located at the entrance of the Roman forum. It's not nearly as old as some others in the immediate vicinity, having been built in the tenth century, but it also incorporates an eighth-century oratory in the wing of the portico of the Temple of Venus and Rome, which previously occupied the site.

One of the more striking sights is a view of the rear of the structure, which sits inside the ruins of the ancient Roman temple. A previous church was also once here, the Santa Maria Antiqua, or ancient Saint Mary. The fašade is even more recent, completed in 1615, so it's somewhat out of character with the rest of the building, although it is impressive. The interior is rather austere, but it retains the schola cantorum of the previous structure, which is adorned with mosaics. The confessional was designed by Bernini, and is made of polychrome marbles with jasper columns.

Seems there's a patron saint of just about everything: Saint Francesca Romana is the patron saint of auto drivers, so on the feast day, March 9th, cars line up to partake in the blessing. That's a useful thing in Rome!

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 78 N: 1077] (1922)
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