Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

4.8
Basilica Papale 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 Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create an itinerary including Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Tours to Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore
Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
15,502 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Area was stunning and very historical. Great place to visit to learn about ancient Rome and its history.  more »
  • Quite stunning inside and beautiful outside. Because of it's size, it didn't feel at all crowded. Highlight of our trip, for me.  more »
Google
  • Absolutely loved it! As a Muslim I had no issues entering and exploring almost every part of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. I went with my wife and child (5 months). It was free and fairly easy to get around although you will have to carry the pushchair up a few steps to get in and also to gain access to some of the places inside. Nevertheless, we managed! It is a calm, peaceful place of prayer. I stood in awe of the artwork and the architecture- breathtaking! There are priests in prayer and ceremonies which I have never witnessed before. It has opened my mind so much more about faith from the view of Catholicism. I would highly recommend a visit (stop 2 of the hop-on, hop-off bus), there are no restrictions to gender, ethnicity or religion for that matter. Thank you for opening your doors to us. Let us learn and appreciate differences- respecting each others beliefs always. A very educational experience indeed. It was fairly hot due to the summer heat. There is no AC so children, particularly, can get frustrated. Please bare this in mind. Hope you enjoy as much as us! Will be sharing what I learnt on my YouTube channel soon if anybody is interested.
  • Very nice Basilica plus no charge to enter. Beautiful paintings and marvellous design whether it’s the roof or walls. As this was close to where I stayed so just went over but found it very relaxing and beautiful.
Places to stay near Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

Plan your trip to Rome

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Rome

View all >
4.7
Duration: 2​h
4.7
Duration: 1​h
4.4
Duration: 1​h
4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Historic Sites in Rome

View all >
4.6
Duration: 1​h
4.6
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h

Museums in Rome

View all >
4.5
Duration: 2​h
4.5
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Rome

4.8
Duration: 30​min
4.8
Duration: 1​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Shopping in Rome

View all >
2.4
Duration: 2​h
5.0
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.9
Duration: 4​h
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Nearby attractions in Rome

3.6
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.9
Duration: 4​h
5.0
Duration: 4​h
5.0
Duration: 3​h
4.4
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.2
Duration: 2​h
5.0
Duration: 2​h 30​min