Ok, forgive the terrible pun, but recently I decided to visit a very famous (for art historians) church that I thought for sure would also be another check-mark off my Lonely Planet Rome List. Turns out I was wrong, it’s not on the list, so no check-mark for me. However, the Mausoleum of Santa Costanza and the church of Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura should be on that list, because they are lovely, peaceful, and in a part of the city (out along the via Nomentana) that visitors usually don’t see.
Santa Costanza (and yes that’s Costanza as-in the daughter of Constantine) is part of the complex at Sant’Agnese fuori le Mura (fuori le Mura = outside the walls), which apparently is also supposed to have catacombs too, though there was no evidence of any catacomb visiting while I was there. However, Sant’Agnese is a pretty church all by itself and to have a perfectly round little mausoleum to go along with it makes it a one-two punch of Early Christian coolness. And as I noted above, it’s not even listed in my Lonely Planet guide, so it’s perfect for seeing a major monument without the increasingly large and increasingly looming crowds.
Next up, Berlin!