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Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome

(260+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site
An off-the-beaten-path church in Rome, Santa Cecilia in Trastevere stands atop the former home of a wealthy woman martyred in the 3rd century. The exact story of Santa Cecilia's life and martyrdom is unclear, but she likely lived from 175 to 250 CE. Inside the church, discover the statue underneath the altar, which depicts the martyr's body exactly as it was found in 1599 after exhumation. If you look closely you'll notice the three severe axe cuts in her neck, modelled accurately by sculptor Stefano Maderno who was present when the tomb was opened, and whose promise to record the body as found reads on a marble slab in front of the statue. The relatively bland exterior of the church hides the graphic recreation of Cecilia's body, as well as mosaics, murals, and impressive columns. Venture below the church to tour the remains of Cecilia's Roman home. Plan your visit to Santa Cecilia in Trastevere and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Rome vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Having read the true story of Saint Cecilia I found this a beautiful, haunting church. Cecilia lived in the third century and the church is built on the site of the house where she lived before her ma...  more »
  • The church inside is very beautiful, but I would definitely recommend looking up the history of St. Cecilia and the church before you go to appreciate her statue, the ruins, etc. even more before you ...  more »
  • We heard the tragic story of Saint Cecilia whilst visiting the Catacombs and decided to visit the church where she was buried. This place was a real find and one of our highlights in Rome. The church ...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful basilica dedicated to St Cecilia, patron saint of music. A nun was playing the organ when we were there - very atmospheric. Peaceful with not too many tourists. Closed at 1pm and not open again until 4.30pm.
  • Enjoy the beautiful statue of St. Cecilia under the main altar. The excavations below are also interesting from an archeological point of view as they tell us about urban development of the time. The chapel under the altar is majestic.
  • Enter scavi through gift shop at north transept to see ruins of a 2nd century house. Also moving marble statue of saint cecilia.
  • Exquisite site to visit regardless of whether or not music / musicians are a part of your life. The original church in the vaults is stunning, dating back to early early Christians in Rome. The statue of St Cecilia's miraculously preserved body is at the front of the altar, and worth pondering over whilst remembering that there is little dispute that she existed and was buried here (her religious story is less certain).
  • Beautiful basilica in the heart of Trastevere