Basilica of the SS. XII Apostles

Piazza dei Santi Apostoli 51. (Open Map)


The Basilica dei SS. Apostoli was probably ordered by Pope Pelagio I after the expulsion of the Goti (C.VI), restored by Martino V Colonna, by Sisto IV della Rovere and Pio IV Medici, it was almost fully rebuilt by Francesco Fontana. The unadorned neoclassical façade was carried out on a plan by Giuseppe Valadier (1827). It is preceded by a big porch, by Baccio Pontelli (end of C. XV), which extends via nine arcades on two different orders, the first with octagonal pilasters with the coat of arms of the Della Rovere family on the capitals, and the second one with Ionian semi-columns against the pilasters, creating a continuous gallery. The latter was closed by Carlo Rainaldi, who added up rich baroque windows and the balustrade with the statues of "Cristo e i dodici Apostoli" (1681). The interior, divided into three wide naves by big pilasters and matching Corinthian pilaster strips, with three chapels per side, each one roofed by a dome, ends up being splendid for the decorations and frescoes: among the others, one can admire si possono sculptures by Canova.