29 June 2010
This afternoon we went down to Trastevere - by taxi this time because of the heat - to visit St. Cecilia's. We'd been there before, but it is a nice little church and we wanted to visit again, since St. Cecilia is DD's patron saint. St. Cecilia's is connected to a Benedictine convent, with a small garden in front. Inside, it's a little baroque, with some white and gold, and vivid frescoes and mosaics. There were lilies everywhere, and the side aisles had painted murals and ongoing restoration.
What made the trip most worthwhile was the crypt area. St. Cecilia's is built atop the original 4th century church, which was built on St. Cecilia's own house and the site of her martyrdom. This time we were able to get into the original crypt chapel - last time we were here, it was locked.
It was amazingly beautiful - floor to ceiling mosaics in red, blue, and gold, with more muted mosaicwork near the ceiling on the walls.
We could see the area behind the altar, where the remains of St. Cecilia and her husband are, stone sarcophagi stacked atop each other. It was very still and cool, since it was underground. Other excavations outside the chapel are ongoing, and it's cool and damp. Some of the original mosaic floors from the Roman house are visible.
Looking at the bits and pieces of old and new (where 'new' means 'only 4 centuries') I got a few ideas for cross-stitch designs. I had an idea in St. Peter's as well, inspired by the marblework on one of the columns. I'll have to explore this further.
(Ed: This is the place I most regret my photos not turning out. There are some photos online, at least. Too bad there's no VR tour for this one..)