Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

4.7
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. Using our international travel planner, Rome attractions like Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Reviews
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4.7
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  • You can not let it go, normally it is not a preferred site, but it's big and architecture is spectacular! Does not stop it losing!
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  • Entering hits you the ceiling with no gold leaf (the first gold brought from the Americas). Climbed the Loggia dei Papi admire among the various what the architectural jewel of the spiral staircase without central pillar by Bernini (son). Solemn atmosphere during the celebration of the assumption (15 August). In the evening, you will be enchanted, thanks to an excellent lighting, and appreciate the height of campaile (the tallest of Rome with its 75 meters). Not to be missed.
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  • This Basilica is definitely 'must see' in Rome. It it beautiful, stunning historical place. Don't forget visit it while you are in Rome and you wont regret.  more »
Google
  • One of the four major Basilicas. It contains a piece of wood from the manger. It’s the final resting place of Bernini. For a fee you can tour the mosaics, the Bernini staircase and more. I recommend it. For a fee you can tour the excavations. They’re very interesting but be aware they’re only open in the morning.
  • The beauty of this place is beyond words. Extremely magnificent is the artistic or mosaic narration of Christianity. Worthy of mention are the two major symbolic doors at the ends of the arc in the central alter. I adore this place
  • Beautiful church of St Mary Major! Love the mosaics and also don’t forget to take the stairs down near the nave.
  • A very calm and peaceful place. We spent more then two hours inside, wandering around before taking a seat to relax and take in the atmosphere. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and the sunlight shimmering in through the windows on a sunny day is amazing, if you enjoy details like that. Entry is free, and you can partake in guided tours, for a small fee. I definitely recommend a visit to this basilica.
  • The most beautiful place I visited in all of Rome. Our Lady's mantle is certainly wrapped around the pilgrims who visit. I definitely recommend arriving as early as possible, before 9 am is best.

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Where to stay in Rome

For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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