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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

(10,000+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Historic Site
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, a World Heritage site crowning the top of the Esquiline Hill, features fifth-century mosaics that are some of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary. This ancient church is renowned for all its ancient mosaics, which are particularly impressive when the floodlights are turned on. The depictions of the site's triumphal arch and the nave served as models for many other representations of the Virgin Mary created during subsequent centuries. The building contains a 14th-century bell tower, the highest in the city. The site's 16th-century coffered ceiling is said to be gilded with Incan gold that Christopher Columbus initially brought for his patrons, Spain's joint rulers Ferdinand and Isabella. The church also includes a museum that details the history of the site and features several notable works of art. For Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and beyond, use our Rome vacation route planner to get the most from your Rome vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Italy has so many beautiful spots to see and this is another one I recommend. It's stunning inside and out. It's also in a convenient location near the termini. There are good restaurants nearby too.  more »
  • Must see Church, especially those devoted to Mother Mary. Free entry and photos allowed. The interior for me is probably the best for any Basilica in Italy.  more »
  • This is such an amazing church with many different sections that are so beautiful. The size of it does not show in the photo's and the detailed work of the domes and art work on the ceilings are spect...  more »
Google
  • One of four major Basilica (church) in Rome. Impressive interior and exterior. Quiet place away from bustle of the city. A holy place for worship and prayer
  • Views from d roof top out this world. You can Realy understand location in Rome from here. . Don't miss out
  • Santa Maria is one of the must see places in Rome. What amazed me the most about it is that it is not only a tourist attraction, but an active Catholic Church with confession and intentions as well. It has such beautiful ceilings and art that one must experience with their own eyes.
  • Santa Maria Maggiore is a beautiful church with a rich history. I especially like the apse mosaic that you can see lit before or after Mass. The confessionals on the side offer face-to-face or though-screen confessions on various days, including Sundays. There wasn't a line when I went. The music at the main Sunday Mass was also lovely and made my Sunday trip downtown worthwhile. The seats are not the most comfortable, but it's a Roman Basilica, so don't expect much there. If you visit Rome, make time to visit this Basilica. One last note: make sure you visit the basilica's museum if you like old religious articles. Also visit if you're a fan of Pope St Pius V or St Robert Bellarmine.
  • Looks grand, especially at night, with the lights on. Massive. We saw the place only from outside. Accessible by public transport.