San Sisto Vecchio Church Rome

The Church of San Sisto Vecchio in Rome was built in the 4th century. Since it was called Titulus Crescentianae at the time, it is assumed to have been founded by a Roman woman called Crescentia. At the moment (June 2021), the church is being restored.

San Sisto Vecchio Church Rome

San Sisto Vecchio Basilia Rome
San Sisto Vecchio

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazzale Numa Pompilio, 8 – Rome (tel. +39 06 77205174). Metro: Circo Massimo. Opening hours: From 09.00 till 11.00 and from 15.00 till 17.30. Admission: Free.

History and description

It houses the relics of Pope Sixtus II, which were transferred here from the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus in the 6th century. Legend has it that the church was constructed at the exact spot where Sixtus ran into Laurentius of Rome, just before they were both killed by orders of Emperor Valerianus I.

It was Pope Horius II who donated this building to Saint Dominicus in 1219, after which it became the first convent of the Dominican nuns.

Pope Innocent III rebuilt the San Sisto in the early 13th century, which resulted a.o. in the impressive bell tower.

In the 18th century the church was again reconstructed (under Pope Benedict XIII). The architect Filippo Raguzzino only left the apse and the bell tower the way they were.

Every year during autumn there is a chrysanthemum exhibition.

Works of art

  • 13th century fresco depicting Scenes from the Apocrypha and the New Testament.

Piazzale Numa Pompilio, 8 – Rome

2 thoughts on “San Sisto Vecchio Church Rome

  1. Patricia Cerniglia says:

    I am American, trying to locate family. Please help if you can.
    My great-aunt was a Dominican nun who lived, and was interred, at San Sisto Vecchio.

    Suor Maria Margherita Cerniglia O.P
    I believe she took her final vows on October 19, 1944
    She was close to another nun, Carmela Proface. The two nuns lived an traveled together.

    My family and I are planning a trip there in 2024 and would like to visit. If there is any information you can provide, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Patricia Cerniglia

    1. says:

      Hello Patricia,

      I am sorry, but I don’t think I can help you, since my website only provides tourist information. You could try phoning this number: +39 06 77205174, which I think might be the number of the Dominican Order in Rome. The church itself is closed at the moment and has been for a long time. Kind regards,



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