Aventino (91)

Monte Aventino is one of the seven hills over which ancient Rome was built. In its time, it formed a strategic point in controlling trade over the River Tiber, being completely fortified in 1000.

The hill is today an elegant residential area of Rome, and also one of the quietest. Here you will find the Parco Savello, one of the prettiest in the city, and above all the orange garden, with its beautiful balcony over the Tiber and the rooftops of Rome.

If you climb to the top of the hill you will reach the magnificent basilica of Santa Sabina, founded by Priest Petrus of Illyria in 425 BC. This church was donated to the Dominicans in the 13th century, and here is the tomb of one of the most important members of the order, Muñoz de Zamora. Look carefully at the interesting mosaic of the upper part of the entrance, with a dark blue background and gold letters, where you will see two female figures that represent the pagans and the Jews. Also not to be missed is the side portico, with some fantastic wooden doors with images from the Old and New Testament, among which feature one of the earliest representations of the crucifixion of Christ.

On the Aventino hill you can also visit the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, surrounded by cypresses and full of obelisks. This square was designed by Piranesi and it houses the priory church, which can only be visited by permission of the order.

As a curiosity, go up to the headquarters of the Order of Malta, and on the front door you will see a round hole, il bucco. Peep through the hole and you will see between the hedges the dome of Saint Peter’s.

If you go to one of the corners of the square you will see the beautiful church of Sant’Angelo, where on Sunday mornings you can hear Gregorian chants. 

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