San Lorenzo In Miranda in Rome

San Lorenzo In Miranda In Rome: History, Tickets & Things to See

4.7/5 - (4 votes)

Famous as the Church within a Temple, San Lorenzo in Miranda is a seventeenth century baroque church.

Originally known as the Temple of the Deified Antoninus Pius and Faustina, it is a must visit for any trip to Rome, here is everything you need to know about this wonderful church.

The History of the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda Rome

Visually striking, the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda Rome has been made famous as the church within a temple.

It began life as the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the second century. The massive columns of that temple now form a protective barrier around the church, the marble facings long gone, but still impressive.

Roman Forum church

It is not unique in being a church built within the walls of a Roman temple, but is by far the clearest and best example.

During this period the columns and other structures found throughout Rome were recycled into new buildings, with many churches featuring this Roman architecture in their interiors.

However, here the columns remain as they were, with the church built within.

The church of San Lorenzo in Miranda in Rome is not the first church at this location, the original church being built inside the temple in the seventh century, although nothing is left of that now.

The church of San Lorenzo in Miranda Rome sees today was built in the seventeenth century by Orazio Torriani, who also carried out work on the façade for the ancient basilica on Tiber island.

How San Lorenzo In Miranda Looks Today

When you see the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda in the Roman Forum, the disparity between the ancient columns and the church that sits within them is very clear.

The Roman temple columns are interesting in that there are very clear grooves cut into them. Historians have speculated that these grooves could have been caused by ropes in an attempt to pull down and move the columns, or were perhaps where a makeshift fabric roof was attached.

The church itself is classic baroque style, with the main entrance seemingly hovering in the air around 5 meters from the temple floor. This is the result of an 1801 excavation to uncover the remains of the temple, requiring significant excavation around the entrance area.

This means that it is the rear of the church that is the only accessible point of entry if you visit the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda in the Roman Forum.

Church Of San Lorenzo Miranda In Rome Interior

While the exterior of the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda is the striking reason that you may visit, seeing the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina itself is a real experience, the interior of the church is just as impressive.

Black marble columns adorn the 4 chapels, but the highlights beyond the beautiful intricate architecture are the paintings, which include:

  • The Martyrdom of St Lawrence by Pietro da Cortona
  • Madonna with Child and Saints by Domenichino
  • Our Lady with SS Philip and James by Raffaelo Vanni
  • and Annunciation by Alessandro Fortuna, among others

Outside Look Chiesa Di San Lorenzo In Miranda

Chiesa di San Lorenzo Miranda Roman Forum

Despite its status as a must-see church, San Lorenzo in Miranda is easy to get a good view of as there is plenty of space around to see it all.

The large columns and interesting architecture stand out from other buildings in the area, making the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda somewhere you can enjoy at any time.

3 Attractions Not to Miss Nearby

Sitting in the Roman Forum, when you visit the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, you are at the heart of the incredible history of this amazing city.

There are so many other attractions nearby you are never short of something to do, but we’ve picked out some highlights to really make it a special day out exploring Roman history.

The Colosseum

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum. It’s just a short walk from San Lorenzo in Miranda and remains the most impressive historic building we can explore today, whether in Rome or anywhere else in the world.

Around two thousand years old, it stands as testament to the ingenuity of its builders, and apart from touring this amazing building, there are often fairs and events held within its walls to enjoy.

The Pantheon

Another world-famous piece of history, the Pantheon has been a consecrated church since 609, and remains in active use to this day.

Wonderful architecture and beautiful interiors, along with a wide range of paintings and artifacts from its long history make this a fantastic place to slow down, relax and just soak in the surroundings. There are audio guides or an app that ensure you don’t miss anything on your time in the building.

Trevi Fountain

A short walk from the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda, Trevi Fountain is a part of the ancient Vergine aqueduct, which is still in use today.

Probably the best known of the Roman fountains, it is a nice change of pace from exploring ancient buildings. Not only beautiful, the fountain is a social space, where you can watch the busy life of Rome go by as you enjoy the energy of the city.

How to Get Tickets – 3 Tours We Highly Recommend

Tickets for Roman Forum

The Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda is not always easy to gain access to, but by taking tours that include the church, you avoid all those problems and get the best experience possible.

Here are our picks for the three best tours to take to see the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda.

  1. Rome: Colosseum Guided Tour with Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – Taking around 3 hours, this comprehensive tour takes you around much of the Roman Forum, including the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. It’s a walking tour, and you enjoy the benefit of a tour guide to help you make the most of your experience.
  1. Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Entry Tickets – Another way to get access to San Lorenzo in Miranda, this lacks a guide to help you, but allows you to get tickets to all the sites in the area quickly and easily, and well worth it for a day exploring this amazing part of Rome.
  1. Tickets for Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill: Priority Entrance – Another all-in-one ticket solution to gain access to the various attractions in the Roman Forum and the nearby monuments including the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Saves you time and includes digital guides and priority access.

Best Time To Visit – Opening Hours

Days Opening Hours
Monday-Sunday 9:30 - 18:30

Access to the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda is only possible when the Roman Forum is open. The Roman Forum is open every day from 8-30 am to 7 pm, except January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th, when it is closed for public holidays.

Location & How To Get There

San Lorenzo Miranda location

The Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda is located within the Roman Forum close to the major attractions including the Pantheon, Colosseum, and Spanish Steps.

Tip – You can use the Metro on either of the MEB and MEB1 lines, getting off at the Colosseo stop. You can also use buses numbered 51, 75, 85, 87, and 117 to get there.

Hotels near to the Roman Forum

Getting accommodation close to all the sites really makes things much easier when visiting Rome, here are three we recommend:

  1. Residenza Roma Imperiale – Offering great accommodation, superb service, and useful extras such as bike hire, this hotel is just a 2-minute walk from the Roman Forum, so within easy reach of San Lorenzo in Miranda.
  1. Roma Five Suites – Just a few minutes from the Church, this is a modern hotel with subtle style, great food and more. Definitely, one to consider, they offer both traditional Italian and continental breakfasts, so you always start your day the right way.
  1. La Calla al Colosseo – An apartment with its own garden area to enjoy the evenings under the stars, this accommodation is just a minute away from the Colosseum itself, and within easy walking distance of the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda. You have the freedom of your own place with the convenience of the location, the perfect spot for those who like to live to their own timetable.


frequently asked questions faq visit colosseum rome

How old is San Lorenzo in Miranda in Rome?

The original structure of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina dates from around the second century, with the church itself constructed in the early seventeenth century, making it around 600 years old.

Who built San Lorenzo in Miranda?

The Church was built by Orazio Torriani, a prolific architect of the era who was involved in numerous projects around Rome.

Do I need tickets to see San Lorenzo in Miranda?

No, you can see the church any time, although you cannot gain entrance to the interior any longer.


As a unique example of the church within a temple idea, the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda is both an interesting historical piece and a wonderful example of architecture.

Including both Roman era construction and the birth of modern Rome, it is a bookmark in time that shows how those two worlds come together. A must-visit if you travel to the Roman Forum, it is an essential and fascinating part of your tour of Rome.

About Writer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.