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Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore) Tours

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore)
The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore)—among the first churches in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary—sits on the summit of Esquiline Hill. An extraterritorial property of the Vatican, it is one of the city’s four major basilicas and has one of the best preserved Byzantine interiors in Rome.

The Basics
Expanded and reworked over the centuries, the original nucleus of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore dates from the mid-fifth century. Tour inside to see fifth-century mosaics depicting Old Testament scenes, a reliquary said to contain a piece of baby Jesus' crib, an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary, and the tombs of Saint Jerome and artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Don't miss the Sistine Chapel in Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, named for Pope Sixtus V.

The basilica's location near Rome’s main Termini train station makes it easy to pair a visit with other top sights in Rome by joining a scooter, Segway, e-bike, or hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • You must wear modest attire covering your knees and shoulders to enter the church.
  • Photography without flash is allowed inside the church.
  • The basilica is not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers due to a flight of stairs at the entrance.
  • A visit to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a must for those interested in early Christian art and architecture.

How to Get There
The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is located on the square of the same name; it's an easy walk from the Termini train station, which is also a bus and metro hub.

When to Get There
If you want to visit Rome without the crowds, come October through April, although prepare for chilly weather. Visit in May or September for warmer weather without the crowds that flock June through August.

Snow … in August?
According to legend, plans for the church—also known as Madonna della Neve (Our Lady of the Snow)—were drawn by Pope Liberius in the snow that miraculously fell on this hilltop on Aug. 5 in the fourth century. Every year on that date, the miracle of the snow is commemorated with a cascade of white petals falling from the ceiling onto the altar, one of the most evocative religious events in Rome.
Address: Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42, Rome, Province of Rome 00100, Italy
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76 Tours and Activities to Experience Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore)

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Private Tour of Catholic Rome

Private Tour of Catholic Rome

Customize a private tour of Rome with a visit to its famous Catholic sites. Be chauffeured in the personalized comfort of a private Mercedes car or minivan and stop at monuments, piazzas and cathedrals. See the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica and explore others in the Eternal City such as the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo and the Holy Stairs at St John Lateran. Note: entrance fees and private guide are not included in the tour price.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.58
From
$33.58
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Basilicas of Rome

Private Tour: Basilicas of Rome

star-5
Go behind the scenes to discover the five major basilicas of Rome and learn about the influence of Christianity on the Eternal City during this in-depth private guided tour. Get a peek at priceless relics—believed to be thorns from Jesus’s crown—and marvel at Renaissance artworks and stunning architectural gems. Tours include free time for lunch and comfortable transfers in your own private vehicle—plus the option to explore the mysterious catacombs.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$317.10
Price varies by group size
From
$317.10
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day Cristian Catacombs & Ancient Rome - Pick up and Lunch included

Full Day Cristian Catacombs & Ancient Rome - Pick up and Lunch included

This tour starts with a visit to two of the Four Major Basilicas in Rome: St. Mary Major, the most important and best preserved of the Roman Churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with its fifth-century mosaics; and St. John’s in Lateran, Cathedral of Rome and first Papal residence. After a stop at the Holy Stairs, we proceed to the ancient Appian Way, probably the most important of the Roman roads, until we reach the Catacombs of Rome, the ancient underground cemeteries and extraordinary expression of faith to the earliest Christians. After lunch, Walking through history: visit the Colosseum, symbol of the ancient Roman times, and its surrounding area, the most important and beautiful archaeological site in the world.The Palatine Hill, where the city of Rome was founded became. For centuries, the Roman Forum was the center of public and economic life, where the most important structures of the ancient city were located.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$220.85
From
$220.85
Taking safety measures

Flexible Skip-the-Line Roman Forum Guided Tour & Rome Hop on-Hop off Open Bus

Flexible Skip-the-Line Roman Forum Guided Tour & Rome Hop on-Hop off Open Bus

star-5
Avoid strict schedules while visiting Rome with this exclusive package that includes flexible, fast-track tickets to the Roman Forum and a hop-on-hop-off bus pass to see the top sights in the city at your own pace. Tour the Forum with a guide at the time you choose (even last minute) and take in highlights like the Colosseum and Vatican via open-top coach, stopping at the attractions that interest you most.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.43
From
$70.43

Exclusive Appian Catacombs Tour and Rome Open Bus Ticket

Exclusive Appian Catacombs Tour and Rome Open Bus Ticket

With your Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour, you will have 10 stops all around the city centre close to each of the fantastic monuments scattered around the city of Rome. You can use your sightseeing panoramic bus with the Hop-On Hop-Off ticket of either 24 or 48. You will be able to admire great funerary monuments such as the tomb of Cecilia Metella along with your journey at the ancient catacombs of the Appian Way. This underground, characterized by nearly 15 km of tunnels spread over several levels, was the most important in Rome and became the official cemetery of the Church of the city, where popes, martyrs and even apostles were buried. You will cross imposing galleries full of burial niches, admiring spectacular inscriptions, frescoes and the incredible Christian iconography. The guides and drivers are carefully selected for their knowledge, enthusiasm and to share their passion for Rome with you. With this tour, you can maximize your time while enjoying a fantastic experience.
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  • 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.34
From
$88.34
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Tour

Christian Rome Tour

See Rome's most important Christian sites with this half-day tour. You'll visit the Basilica di San Clemente, built on three levels, the Basilica of San John Lateran, the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs), and the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, all with an expert English-speaking guide with deep knowledge of ecclesiastical traditions.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$250.69
Price varies by group size
From
$250.69
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Flexible Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour and Rome Hop on-Hop off open bus tickets

Flexible Skip-the-Line Colosseum Tour and Rome Hop on-Hop off open bus tickets

star-1
Take a guided tour of the Colosseum with skip-the-line privileges at a time that is convenient to your vacation schedule. With ticket in hand, show up whenever you wish (during opening hours) and you'll be slotted into the next tour, within 45 minutes of you arrival. This allows for flexible scheduling at your convenience. You'll also enjoy the addition of a hop-on, hop-off bus pass to explore further in Rome.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.08
From
$99.08

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome on this all-day shore excursion. Choose between a self-guided tour or a customized tour with a guide. The itinerary may include visits to the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Holy Stairs, St. Peter’s Basilica, Christian Catacombs on the Ancient Appian Way, and more.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$274.57
Price varies by group size
From
$274.57
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Holy Sites of Rome

Private Tour: Holy Sites of Rome

star-5
Visit the major religious history sites of Rome on this private day tour. Visit the Basilica of Rome, Basilica of Saint Praxedis, and the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major, and learn the hidden secrets behind these important sites from your guide. You'll also get the chance to cross the threshold of the Holy Door in the Cathedral of Rome. Round-trip transportation from central Rome hotels is included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$348.19
Price varies by group size
From
$348.19
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome in One Day - Luxury Private Tour

Christian Rome in One Day - Luxury Private Tour

This tour was design to cover, in one day and in a very comfortable way, the main places of Christianity. We'll discover how martyrs planted a seed for the development of Christian religion in Rome, that quickly started to gain followers over the dominant paganism, up to the conversion of the Emperor Constantine (IV century AD).
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$583.62
Price varies by group size
From
$583.62
Price varies by group size

Christian Rome Tour

Christian Rome Tour

This tour includes the symbols of the Christianity, such the four most important Basilicas of Rome such St.Peter's Basilica
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$291.82
per group
From
$291.82
per group

Special One Run 1 Hour 40 Minutes Tour Without Hop-On Hop-Off - Through Rome

Special One Run 1 Hour 40 Minutes Tour Without Hop-On Hop-Off - Through Rome

We have specific stops for our tour. But if you have that special ticket you can not get on get off. For get on get off you can see our other products. But you can see with our bus those of the places 1.Termini Station 2.St. Major 3.Colosseum 4.Circo Massimo & Mouth Of Truth 5.Piazza Venezia 6. Vatican City 7. Spanish Steps (Via Ludovisi) 8. Barberini & Trevi Fountain Other attraction is near by all of the places. From our bus travelers can Hop-On Hop-Off. So you can visit easily all of those places. For again pick up the bus you come those specific stops and bus is coming every 15 minutes frequently. Rome open bus tour provided you several companies hop-on hop-off bus tickets. Those bus are double deck. From the open upper deck you will enjoy the best panoramic views in the most comfortable way. You can enjoy unique panoramic view of the city. The lower deck is air-conditioned and all our vehicles are equipped with anatomical seats to make your trip more comfortable.
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  • 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$16.71
From
$16.71

Tour of the Most Beautiful Churches by Mini Vintage Cabriolet

SPECIAL OFFER

Tour of the Most Beautiful Churches by Mini Vintage Cabriolet

The tour includes departure  from the hotel, lasts for 2-3  hours ,  well come present and tipical italian Hats ( only in the winter) , water,  and fantastic Roman  cappuccino and croissant in a tipic Bar  in cool place where are only roman people. Steps  to San Peter , Santa Maria della Pace Church , Basilica di Santa Sabina in Aventino , Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin ( mouth of truth- the Roman Holiday movie) , Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere , Pantheon , basilica di San Paolo out of the walls, Mausoleo di Santa Costanza , San Gioacchino Church , Santa Maria in Aracoeli
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  • 2 to 3 hours
From
$169.12
$211.40
$42.28 savings
From
$169.12
$211.40
$42.28 savings

Rome's Papal Basilicas: Private Tour of Early Christian Rome

Rome's Papal Basilicas: Private Tour of Early Christian Rome

Rome’s religious history extends beyond the Vatican and this tour visits three of the city’s most important Christian sites. Visit Rome’s oldest church, St. John Lateran; admire ancient Christian artworks at St. Mary Major; and see the tomb of St Paul at St. Paul Outside the Walls. Travel in the comfort of a private vehicle and learn all about Rome’s early Christian history from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
From
$345.60
Price varies by group size
From
$345.60
Price varies by group size

Sunrise in Rome- Ebike tour with Coffee Tasting

Sunrise in Rome- Ebike tour with Coffee Tasting

star-5
Explore Rome on this easy cycling tour during the magical early morning hours. Discover some hidden gems as well as see popular spots around the city with the help of a guide. Catch the sun rising over the Roman Forum then ride across the Trastevere towards Gianicolo Hill where you’ll enjoy an Italian breakfast. The tour wraps up with a visit to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.40
From
$68.40

Private Tour: Catholic Rome Half Day Tour

Private Tour: Catholic Rome Half Day Tour

Immerse yourself in Rome's historically important Catholic side on this info-packed and entertaining tour through the spiritual underbelly of the Eternal City. With a driver chauffeuring you around Rome in a comfortable car, tour the city's main churches, from ancient basilicas to significant saintly sites, and then stop into a restaurant to tuck into a hearty Roman lunch.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$334.92
per group
From
$334.92
per group

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

We are immensely pleased to lead to you to visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome. Included one Papal Blessing on Parchment in English. • Saint John Lateran • The Holy Stairs • Saint Mary Major • Saint Paul Outside the Walls • St. Peter’s Basilica (if and when open) • One Christian Catacomb (Skip-The-Line tickets included) Lunch included in a tipical Roman Restaurant. Upgradable with Official Licensed Expert Tour Guide (in Private option) Pickup and dropoff will be at your ship. Private or Shared Tour available options. Worry-free Shore Excursion: We will ensure your timely return to Cruise Port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. See terms and conditions for full details.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$274.57
Price varies by group size
From
$274.57
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Basilicas of Rome

Private Tour: Basilicas of Rome

Get a comprehensive overview of Rome's basilicas on this 7-hour private tour. Visit important sites in religious history such as St John in Latheran, the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and the Church Quo Vadis. Take advantage of the flexibility and personal attention that comes with booking a private tour; be sure to let your guide know if there are any sites you are particularly interested in. Round-trip private transportation from your Rome accommodation is included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$317.10
Price varies by group size
From
$317.10
Price varies by group size

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

We are immensely pleased to lead to you to visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome. Included one Papal Blessing on Parchment in English. • Saint John Lateran • The Holy Stairs • Saint Mary Major • Saint Paul Outside the Walls • St. Peter’s Basilica (if and when open) • One Christian Catacomb (Skip-The-Line tickets included) Lunch included in a tipical Roman Restaurant. Upgradable with Official Licensed Expert Tour Guide (in Private option) Pickup and dropoff will be at your accommodation in Rome. Private or Shared Tour available options. Worry-Free and Safe Private Tour Experience, operated only with: • Expert Professional English-Speaking Drivers • Selected local Expert Licensed Tour Guides (when booked) • Welcoming by private licensed fully-insured air-conditioned comfortable Vehicles
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$256.66
Price varies by group size
From
$256.66
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

CRYPTS AND CATACOMBS small group tour

CRYPTS AND CATACOMBS small group tour

You wanna discover the Rome out off the beaten paths that may be the Colosseum or the Pantheon ? Your are looking for a bit of thrill, but also some cultural, artistical and historical major sites ? Well, come to marvel at our selection of crypts and catacombs around Rome. You will see the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the amazingly well preserved Capuchin Crypt, the less famous but nevertheless impressive catacombs of San Clemente, the catacomb of San Calllisto, which is among the biggest ones in Rome, and finally have a small stop on the Aventin Hill, for an amazing, yet really special, point of view on the city. Let yourself be guided through the magnificience of the Roman underground.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$373.05
From
$373.05

CRYPTS AND CATACOMBS small group tour

CRYPTS AND CATACOMBS small group tour

You wanna discover the Rome out off the beaten paths that may be the Colosseum or the Pantheon ? Your are looking for a bit of thrill, but also some cultural, artistical and historical major sites ? Well, come to marvel at our selection of crypts and catacombs around Rome. You will go from places to places with a driver. You will see the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the amazingly well preserved Capuchin Crypt, the less famous but nevertheless impressive catacombs of San Clemente, the catacomb of San Calllisto, which is among the biggest ones in Rome, and finally have a small stop on the Aventin Hill, for an amazing, yet really special, point of view on the city. Let yourself be guided through the magnificience of the Roman underground.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$265.29
From
$265.29

Christian Rome: 4-hours private tour

Christian Rome: 4-hours private tour

Enjoy this 4-hour private tour to discover the 4 main major basilicas in Rome, thanks to an exlcusive service driven by an English-speaking chauffeur
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.43
Price varies by group size
From
$109.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Unique Rome, Churches, Angels and Art Photo Tour and Workshop

Private Unique Rome, Churches, Angels and Art Photo Tour and Workshop

star-5
Rome is one of the most photogenic cities in the world, but it’s not always easy for a visitor to know where to get the best shots. Capture the Eternal City’s unique spirit with this photography tour, a moving workshop that stops in historic churches across the city to frame the lavish frescoes and carved angels, sumptuous naves and crypts, and soaring domes and other architectural details.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$197.31
From
$197.31
Taking safety measures

Monti District Street Food and Sightseeing Tour

Monti District Street Food and Sightseeing Tour

Monti is the neighborhood tourists choose while visiting Rome because it is close to the Colosseum, then they discover that it is also a very trendy and peaceful area. A pleasant surprise, both for its elegant and romantic views, and for some gems that it conceals, such as the Moses by Michelangelo, preserved in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli. With this tour you will spend 2 and a half hours around the neighborhood, discovering its beauties and appreciating some treats of the local and national street food, like the salty maritozzo, a brioche stuffed with various options of salami, cheeses, or marinated vegetables, or the typical Neapolitan pizza. You cannot miss a taste of Roman pizza and mortadella, accompanied by a good sip of Lazio wine, to conclude with one of the best artisan ice creams in the city. After a morning spent at the Colosseum or around Rome, what better opportunity to spend a relaxing afternoon discovering the neighborhood and nice places to eat well!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$51.74
Price varies by group size
From
$51.74
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures