Route: THE WALLS OF ROME. PROSPECTS OF THE ETERNAL CITY
You are along the route: THE PATRONS OF ROME. HISTORY OF PETER AND PAUL
Via Raffaele Persichetti
Always visible on the outside.
Entry by advance reservation only. Admission fee.
During his Roman preaching, Paul would have journeyed along via Ostiense, admiring the bizarre pyramid-shaped tomb built about 50 years earlier for Gaius Sestius, the form of the construction probably being influenced by the recent Roman conquest of Egypt.
He probably never imagined that he himself would be buried in the vicinity of the Pyramid, outside the urban walls, in the Ostiense necropolis, where a large Basilica would be built on top of his grave. A long portico, the pillars of which have recently been excavated near Piazzale Ostiense, then connected the Basilica to Porta Ostiense, also known as Porta San Paolo (St. Paul’s Gate). Built in 270 AD, it was part of the new defensive battlements of the Aurelian Walls surrounding Rome, which had been weakened by Barbarian attacks, and also incorporated the ancient, white pyramid of Gaius Sestius.
Via Raffaele Persichetti, 3
Every day except Monday 9:00-13:30. Closed on December 25th, January 1st, May 1st and bank holidays. Admission fee.
Inside the Porta San Paolo, where the Via Ostiense entered the city beyond the Aurelian Wall, is the Museum of the Via Ostiense which conserves the ancient stone, at one time placed in the Cappella del Santissimo Crocifisso (Chapel of the Holy Cross), with the inscription that alludes to the tradition of embrace the two Apostles exchanged here: “In this place parted St. Peter and St. Paul going to martyrdom and Paul said to Peter, the light is with thee foundation of the church and pastor of all lambs of Christ. Peter to Paul: go in peace, a preacher for the good and a guide for the salvation of the righteous”. These words quote a piece of the medieval anthology “Legenda Aurea” by Jacopo da Varagine.
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