Situated on via Urbana, Santa Pudenziana is at the heart of Rome’s Monti district, and a few minutes away from Santa Maria Maggiore.
The church claims the accolade of being the oldest place of Christian worship in the city. Built in the 4th Century, it’s situated over a previous house church, the main form of Christian worship until Constantine’s legitimisation of the religion. As with most churches of this era, it’s now significantly below current street level. The belltower is relatively new, dating from the 13th Century.
We had the space almost to ourselves and there didn’t seem to be any attempt to explain the history once there, which was a shame, especially as this church may have been the residence of the early popes before the Lateran was gifted by Constantine. The apse mosaic depicts Christ in a toga and may be original to the site’s early life as a 4th Century church.
Have you visited Santa Pudenziana, or have you got a favourite, off the beaten track, church in this city of churches?