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Chiesa di Santa Bibiana

23 Reviews
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Chiesa di Santa Bibiana

23 Reviews
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Via Giovanni Giolitti, 154, Rome Italy
Getting there
Vittorio EmanueleRome Metro6 min
TerminiRome Metro6 min
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Windowseatview wrote a review Jan 2020
London, United Kingdom371 contributions201 helpful votes
This small but airy and lovely little church, dedicated to a very early, almost forgotten, christian martyr, truly deserves the cliche "hidden gem". You will have it to yourself, apart from the sacristan. On the Via Giolitti, Santa Bibiana abuts the railway tracks into Termini Station, on the corner by the tunnel which takes you under the tracks to the Via Tiburtina which leads you the ten minute walk to St Lorenzo fuori le Mura (you could do both in a morning's stroll to the lesser known, but very much worth seeing, sights of Rome.) You'll probably notice the small bell tower from the train on the way in and out of Rome, wonder what it was, then forget it, that would be a shame, because it's charming and it's by Bernini. Others here have listed what's in the church, so I'll tell you that along with the other early virgin Saints/Martyrs, Victoria, Lucy, Agatha, Barbara, Cecilia, Agnes, Martina (the list is unusually long, how many could there have been?), the pious young Christian Patron (Matron?) saint of this church Bibiana (Vivian), attracted the attention of a powerful pagan suitor and refused to comply with his lustful advances or subsequent vengeful demands that she sacrifice to the Roman gods, and thus was first sent to a brothel to convince her to deny her faith, to no effect, and was then beaten to death with two other young women and their bodies were left to the dogs of Rome to eat, but the dogs would not comply. Her relics lie under the altar. The beautiful Bernini Statue of the Saint was part of the huge Galleria Borghese Bernini exhibition a year ago and returned to her church missing a finger, miraculously, the (a?) digit has reappeared. I visited at Christmas and they have a very nice Presepe. They've also published a small guide to the church (in Italian), for a few Euros. I liked it very much.
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Date of experience: December 2019
2 Helpful votes
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dapper777 wrote a review Feb 2019
Monaco24,333 contributions2,458 helpful votes
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Located on Via Giolitti, a noisy street that runs along the south side of Termini train station, the church of Saint Bibiana is a simple but beautiful building which is worth a visit. It is a gem. This small Baroque-style Catholic church may look modest from outside, but, as soon you enter, you will find and enjoy the elegantly beautiful work of famed architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who reworked the interior in the 17th century. On the walls there are some frescoes from the same century by Pietro da Cortona and Agostino Ciampelli illustrating the life of St. Bibiana, a martyr who was executed, like many other saints from that period, for refusing to deny her faith . Above the altar you will see a splendid marble statue of Saint Bibiana sculpted by Bernini. Although we didn’t plan to go there, since we were in the area, we stopped by for a short visit: it was really a great experience. it’s really stunning, a tranquil place which made feel us good. Recommended.
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Date of experience: February 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Della G wrote a review Dec 2016
Coquitlam, Canada808 contributions309 helpful votes
A small unassuming church located off the beaten track relatively close to the Termini train Station. Church is dedicated to Saint Bibiana whose martyred history goes back to the Roman period. Of note, Gian Lorenzo Bernini was assigned to complete the restoration of this small church. One of his early restoration project, the decor is simple but stately. The paintings are a subtle decoration along the walls. The prize piece of sculpture is the altar piece of Saint Bibiana. The relics of the saint, her mother and sister rests within the same niche as the statue. It is a very small church with limited seating for Sunday service. A rare gem in this neighborhood close to where we were staying.
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Date of experience: November 2016
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