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The Basilica of St Sabina

The Basilica of Santa Sabina Rome is located on the Aventine Hill among the orange trees. In fact, it is said that the first orange tree in Italy was planted in the courtyard of this church by St Dominic himself.

Its central location allows you to reach it easily by many means of public transport: by metro getting off at the Circo Massimo stop, or by many buses including 51, 81, 85 and 170.

Built in the 5th century AD at the behest of the wealthy priest Peter of IllyriaOver the years, it has undergone major restorations that have also made major changes to the original early Christian style, incorporating parts in Baroque and Neo-Paleo-Christian style. It is considered by many to be one of the best preserved examples of early Christian art.

The main feature of this basilica is to have no façade as it is totally incorporated within a Dominican Monastery.

In the atrium you will see artefacts from the numerous archaeological excavations. Prominent among them is the original entrance door made of cypress wood with the carving of the crucifixion of Christ among the thieves, famous for being reputed to be the oldest representation of the crucifixion.

Once inside the Basilica will show you its three naves divided by 24 columns, joined by small arches and lit by 34 windows. The inlays of the arcades represent the victory of Christianity over the Roman pagan gods. You will be able to see the Pipe Organ, or rather just the pipes, from the Mascioni Factory, built during the 20-year fascist period when it was decided to give the church back its early Christian appearance.

Several associations organise guided tours to the basilica, which is open daily from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Of course, tourists are not allowed to enter during services either. In addition to the church, you will also find interesting the dungeons where archaeologists have found a section of the servian walls.

Near the basilica Santa Sabina Rome you will find plenty of other interesting attractions.
I suggest this itinerary that will take you through more than two millennia of Roman history in one day: Circus Maximus, Piazza dell'Ordine dei Cavalieri di Malta, Church of Sant'Anselmo, Church of Santa Prisca, Church of San Saba, Baths of Caracalla, and the inevitable Roman Forum.

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