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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: Holy Churches of Rome with private chauffeur

Private Tour: Holy Churches of Rome with private chauffeur

On our Holy Church of Rome tour, your personal chauffeur will escort you in a premium luxury vehicle to 3 out of the 4 Papal Basilicas, as well as the Basilica of Santa Croce. These four churches are on the “must see” list if you’re visiting Rome! The Basilica of Mary Major, also known as Our Lady of Snows, is home to the crib of the baby Jesus, is the largest Church to Mary in Rome. Afterwards you will get to see St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome which has the seat of the bishop of Rome, and St. Paul’s outside the Walls. In the Basilica of the Holy Cross, you will see many relics of the Passion of Christ, including pieces of the crown of thorns and the actual cross of Jesus. It is a truly holy and reverent experience, and with no formal guide inside the churches, you'll have the freedom to explore the churches at your leisure, maybe even stop to pray or sit in silence to meditate on the years of history and art before you.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$191.00
Price varies by group size
From
$191.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Rome at Sunset - Hop On Hop Off & Walking Tour

Rome at Sunset - Hop On Hop Off & Walking Tour

Start on our I Love Rome Panoramic Open Bus to have a first overview on the most important monuments of the Eternal City, from the open upper deck. Get off at Piazza Venezia Stop on Via del Teatro Marcello and start your walking tour. You will cross the characteristic area of the Jewish Ghetto, one of Rome’s most beautiful neighbourhoods. Then you will walk into Piazza Della Rotonda and enjoy the lit view of the Pantheon: this is the only ancient Roman temple that remained untouched through the centuries and it’s stunning at night when the crowds are away. Next Stop…Close your eyes and throw a coin over your right shoulder straight into the Trevi Fountain: it’s said that those who do so, are granted to come back to Rome someday. Your walk continues towards Piazza di Spagna: walk up these famous steps to enjoy a lovely view from the top! After this intense and gratifying walk, there is only one thing missing a creamy and tasty Gelato!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$51.33
From
$51.33
Taking safety measures

I Love Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Tour

I Love Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Tour

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Explore Rome's museums, architecture and art with this hop-on, hop-off tour. Purchase a ticket and discover the city's charms at your leisure while riding on a cheerful pink double-decker bus. Don the provided headphones and enjoy recorded audio commentary in 13 languages for the 8 stops.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$16.71
From
$16.71
Taking safety measures

Hidden Rome: St. Callistus Catacombs and Papal Basilicas

Hidden Rome: St. Callistus Catacombs and Papal Basilicas

Get out of the beaten tracks and stay far away the main touristic flows! Hire a Private Driver-Guide with this tour, who will pick you up at your address in Rome (right down the street at your Hotel or Apartment) and will drive you and your party (the vehicle is a comfortable, luxury minivan, max 8 people) to visit the Papal Basilicas of Rome, among the most amazing and gorgeous churches in town, and to finish you will join a guided tour of the St. Callistus Catacombs, a real hidden gem among the many of Rome. The Papal Basilicas are the 4 highest-ranking Roman-catholic churches also known as Major Basilicas and all of them are in the territory or Rome. St. Peter's in Vatican City is for sure the most famous one, but the other 3 are not less interesting for what concerns the treasures stored and the histories behind their built. The tour includes also a visit at the Catacombs of St. Callistus, located on the ancient Appian Way
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$429.76
Price varies by group size
From
$429.76
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures