The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven

Roma, Piazza dell'Arce Capitolina 12

  • Location: Roma, Piazza dell'Arce Capitolina 12
  • Address: Piazza dell'arce capitolina 12
  • E-Mail:
  • Phone#: 06 69763839
  • Transportation: Metro: line B, station colosseo
  • Visit lasts: 1 hour (about)

Built for the fraciscans in the mid-Thirteenth Century (1250-68) above the temple of Giunone Moneta and a benedictine monastery from the Eighth Century named Santa Maria in Capitolio, it owes its name to the apparition of the Virgin to Octavian Augustus. Arnolfo di Cambio took part in its design and the apse, demolished under Pius IV in 1564, was frescoed by Pietro Cavallini. At the beginning of the 1800s, during the french occupation, it was desacrated and used as a stable.


On 1 February 1994, the "bambinello" of Aracoeli, a well-loved sculpture from the 1400s, was stolen. Tradition has it, that the sculpture was made from the wood of one of the olive trees at the Garden of Gethsemane featured in the gospels.