338 HI- Southern Quarters. ROME. ^« S. Maria in Domnica.
To the left, the Via Claudia descends to the Colosseum (p. 303).
On the right lies the oblong Piazza della Navicella (PI. Ili,
25) with a doublé row of trees, and the church of Santa Maria in
Domnica. In this vicinity, to the S. of the Aqua Marcia, in the
direction of the Villa Celimontana, lay in antiquity the Castra Pere¬
grina, or barracks of the centurions ('frumentarii') of legions on
foreign stations sent to Rome, whose service somewhat resembled
that of an officer of the intelligence department. The barracks in¬
cluded several small temples (of Isis, Jupiter Redux, etc). St. Paul
on his arrivai in Rome was consigned to the Castra Peregrina,
until he was permitted to remove to his own hired house (Acts,
xxviii, 16, 30). The small Marble Boat ('Navicella') which stands
in the piazza recalls the thank-offerings dedicated in the temples
by the centurions after dangerous journeys, a small marble boat
being an appropriate gift after a sea-voyage. An antique vessel
of this kind formerly stood in the vestibule of the church, and
having been injured, was replaced by this copy by order of Leo X
Remains of similar marble boats have been found in the Villa
The church of Santa Maria in Domnica, or della Navicella,
one of the oldest deaneries of Rome, was rebuilt by Paschalis I. in
817, to which era the columns of the nave and tribune belong; the
portico was erected by Leo X.
The nave rests on eighteen fine columns of granite; the arch of the
tribune on two columns of porphyry. On the wall above the nave is a
fresco by Giulio Romano (retouched). The Mosaics (817-824) were freely
restored under Clement XI. : above the arch, Christ between two angels and
the apostles, below, two saints ; in the vaulting, the Madonna and Child
imparting blessings, Paschalis I. holding her foot, on each side angels;
beneath ali the figures spring forth flowers. — The church is open on
the second Sunday of Lent only ; on other days visitors ring at the door
to the right of the church.
Adjoining the church is the entrance to the * Villa Celi¬
montana (PI. Ili, 25; adm., see p. 172; fee 25-30 e), or Villa
Mattei, founded in 1582, now the property of M. von Hoffmann.
The most beautiful part of the grounds, commanding a striking
view of the S. quarters of Rome and the Alban Mts., lies to the left
of the entrance. Among the few antiquities may be mentioned an
obelisk , which in antiquity stood probably in the tempie of Isis
Capitolina and in the middle ages near the Aracoeli until 1582,
when it was presented by the Roman Senate to Ciriaco Mattei.
Opposite, Via di S. Stefano Rotondo 6, is the large new Hospital
and Convent ofthe English Blue Sisters ('Little Company of Mary',
p. 159), dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The building is
cruciform, and the church in the centre has the shape of a heart. —
To visit the adjacent church of Santo Stefano, we follow the Via di
Santo Stefano Rotondo to the left, pass through the first green
door on the right, and ring to the left on the fourth column.