Though originally built in the 6th century, the current structure is from the 12th century. The Santi Quattro Coronati means “four crowned saints,” and refers to four soldiers who were martyred by Emperor Diocletian after they refused to sacrifice to a pagan god. Aside from the cloister’s colorful mosaics, don’t miss the rare 13th-century frescoes inside the Chapel of Sylvester,xa0 known as the “medieval Sistine Chapel.”
Travelers may explore Santi Quattro Coronati as part of a walking or Vespa tour of the city’s abundant holy sites. Trace the history of the early Church by visiting lesser-known sites including 900-year-old Basilica of St. Clement, the San Giovanni in Laterano, and the Sancta Sanctorum, a room that once held the most revered relics in Christendom including the heads of Saint Peter and Paul and a chunk of table used for the Last Supper.