Rome Travel Guide

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The "Doctors" of San Giovanni in Laterano: a Neighborhood Treat

This year we lived in the area generally known as San Giovanni, after the basilica at its northern end, San Giovanni in Laterano.  Our apartment was on via Olbia, and the commercial center of our particular neighborhood--and in Rome all neighborhoods are "particular"--was via Gallia.

The neighborhood has many virtues, including quick access to some of Rome's biggest attractions--the Coliseum is just a mile away. And one of them involves the basilica, though we seldom go inside.

The building is rightly famous for the 12 statues of the doctors of the church--teachers, intellectuals, popes and saints--those involved in religious and moral instruction--that, along with Christ and the two Saint Johns, grace the top of the facade.

Because the building is so large--with the statues adding additional height--and because the basilica is located on a bluff overlooking the community to its south, the "doctors" become one of the neighborhood's now-and-then pleasures, poking up here and there, sometimes surprisingly, sometimes comfortingly, reminders of the area's storied past.


1 comment:

Dianne Bennett and William Graebner said...

from a follower: We lived on Via Fregene in 2010. Absolutely loved that area. Our favorite restaurants were the ones nearby that were recommended in your book.