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San Carlino, Roma, Italia

We stumbled upon the San Carlino church by accident. We were taking photos at the Quattro Fontane, and from the street, the church was a nondescript, almost invisible structure built into the wall, blending in.

It was a real hidden gem, though. Inside, the church was small and monochromatic but quietly beautiful, with high vaulted ceilings and an oculus with streaming light. It felt very intimate and neighborhood-y, and there wasn’t as much red tape (or velvet ropes) keeping wanderers from exploring the grounds.

In the back, there was a tiny architectural courtyard, the type you’d picture in a monastery, cloister or convent.

Beneath the church, an eerily empty and cold crypt.

In the halls, glass cases with old mementos of dead children were on display. Not exactly sure what the significance is, but one look at the paintings and the artifacts and you can imagine theĀ horror-thriller movie.

This church is not as flashy or adorned with gold and expensive paintings as most famous churches, but it’s definitely a church that’s not as simple or nondescript as it appears to be. If you happen to be at the fountain of the four rivers and have a spare mezzora, step off to the side street and visit the San Carlino (that is, if you can find it).

Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm

Filed under travel europe europa roma rome italia italy church basilica san carlino monastery cloisters convent courtyard architecture oculus crypt quattro fontane fountain roman italian italy 2010