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Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

1. Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

The open-top, double-decker bus provides fantastic views and a great atmosphere to enjoy Rome's charm. From the iconic Colosseum and the famous Spanish Steps to the stunning Vatican, the city's history and majestic architecture will take your breath away. A fully narrated audio tour allows you to discover over 10 locations throughout the city with daily departures from the starting point at Termini Railway Station. You have the option to join the tour from any of the stops on the route. You may also experience the “eternal city” on foot with fantastic digital, self-guided walking tours. Some of the locations you can see on the tour route include: Colosseum Roman Forum Trevi Fountain Spanish Steps Piazza di Spagna Vatican St. Peter's Square Piazza Navona Pantheon Castel Sant'Angelo Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Circus Maximus Piazza Venezia Altare della Patria Piazza Barberini Termini Railway Station

Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica Guided Tour

2. Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica Guided Tour

Explore a Vatican territory without being in Vatican City. Discover a church where classical antiquity, Christianity and modernity meet. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome’s four patriarchal basilicas, one of the most significant Catholic Churches in the world. As you arrive at Santa Maria Maggiore, you find yourself in front of a beautiful elaborate facade and a striking bell tower. Upon entry to the church, the expansive central nave stretches out in front of the viewer. Its ceiling was decorated with the first gold brought back to Europe from the New World. Dominating the front side of the nave is a triumphal arch covered with intricate mosaics arranged in four rows which depict scenes from Jesus’ childhood. Beneath the triumphal arch, is the high altar which is above a relic which contains five pieces of wood said to be from the manger in which Christ was laid in Bethlehem.

Rome: E-Bike Night Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

3. Rome: E-Bike Night Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

Glide along the streets of the Italian capital at night on a guided e-bike tour. Enjoy some cheese and wine, admire highlights, such as the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, and uncover the history behind each turn. Start your sightseeing adventure with some tasty cheese and wine and views of the imposing Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Then, hop aboard your bike and discover Rome. Once you feel comfortable on your e-bike, follow an experienced guide and marvel at some of Rome’s most iconic spots. Glide through the narrow streets of Monti and admire the Fori Imperiali. Climb up the Campidoglio and go through the historic center with its famous squares, such as Campo de'Fiori, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. Don't forget to bring a coin for the Trevi Fountain. Take a relaxing sightseeing ride on an e-bike suitable for all fitness levels. Enjoy the support and guidance of your guide who is there to answer any questions and provide safety tips while navigating the Eternal City.

Rome: Murder Mysteries of Rome Guided Walking Tour

4. Rome: Murder Mysteries of Rome Guided Walking Tour

Peel back the layers of Rome's ghastly past on this chilling walking tour with a local guide. Uncover sights like the Church of Santa Maria which is decorated with human bones and skulls. Meet your guide in Piazza di Campo de' Fiori, whose history is shadowed in witchery and secrets. Embark on a spooky journey through Rome's ancient streets as you guide tells you fascinating stories of murders, prisoners, and tortured spirits. Stops at historical sites both on and off the beaten path along the way. Your itinerary may vary, but likely stops include the Church of Santa Maria which is adorned with human remains and the St. Angelo Bridge, where sinners were killed and put on display. Finish your spine-chilling experience outside of the Castel San Angelo with a new perspective on the city.

Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica Guided Tour

5. Rome: Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica Guided Tour

Join a walking tour of the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, located on Esquiline Hill. Discover the secrets of this impressive monument, one of the four papal basilicas in Rome. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was built on the site where the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream of pope Liberius. This is also where a blanket of snow appeared on the hill in the middle of summer. Find out how the locals commemorate this miracle every year with white flower petals. See the 14th-century bell tower, the highest bell tower in Rome standing tall at 75 meters. It is said that there are pieces of wood from Jesus' crib underneath the altar (Sacra Culla). Visit the patriarchal basilica, which contains the funerary monuments of Pope Clement IX, Paul V, and Nicolas IV. Discover a number of other famous Catholics who are buried here as well, including saint Jerome and the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Rome: The Secrets of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

6. Rome: The Secrets of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Enjoy a guided walking tour of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and discover the secrets that lie beneath the surface. Admire the Loggia of Benedicftion, Room of the Popes, Bernini's stairs, and the Historic Liberian Museum while learning legends from centuries ago. Arrive at the Basilica and enter into one of Rome's four patriarchal basilicas. Known as one of the most significant Catholic Churches in the city and the world, it was built at the top of Cispius, the highest part of the Esquiline Hill. Discover the legend that the basililica was founded in the year 356 after a miraculous event of snow falling in the middle of August. Then, arrive at Santa Maria Maggiore and find yourself in front of a beautiful and elablorate facade with a striking bell tower. Stare up at the ceiling, decorated with the first gold brought back to Europe from the New World. Admire the high altar, a relic that contains wood from the manger in which Christ was laid in Bethlehem. Marvel by the elegance of the Loggia of Benedictions on the second floor topped with a sculptural group. At the center, stand where Mary and Jesus flank the popes. Explore Bernini’s spiral staircase, a first of its kind. This architectural and engineering feat is an inspiration to the world of art and a model to replicate to the world of engineering. Discover the Liturgical vestments of the Popes that are also exhibited in the museum together with the historic Liberian museum’s collection consists of the most precious objects of the Basilica, also called the “Bethlehem of the West”, such as holy relics, chalices, ostensories and liturgical vestments.

Rome: Nighttime Tour of the Eternal City by Open-Top Bus

7. Rome: Nighttime Tour of the Eternal City by Open-Top Bus

See the highlights of Rome under the light of the night sky on an open-top double-decker bus tour. Drive by the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Circus Maximus, and the Colosseum, and stop for a bite to eat at Eataly, an Italian food hall/grocery store. Hop on board the bus at Termini station just as the sun is beginning to set. Pass through the historical center and watch as the night sky illuminates the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Pyramid of Cestius. Listen to the onboard audio guide to learn more about the history of each location. Stop for a break at the Eataly food hall. Enjoy some free time to grab a bite to eat or pick up some fresh Italian produce from one of the stalls. Choose whether to enjoy a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven or sit down at Terra, the new restaurant, with its 3-meter handmade grill. Refreshed and refueled, hop back on the bus to continue your sightseeing. Pass by landmarks like Circus Maximus, Piazza Venezia, and Saint Angelo Castle. You will also drive through the charming square of Piazza Barberini and Via Veneto before ending outside the Colosseum.

Rome: Half-Day Semiprivate Christian Tour

8. Rome: Half-Day Semiprivate Christian Tour

Discover Rome and explore the sites that have made this city the center of Christianity. Relive this ancient history walking through the impressive Papal Basilicas, places where history, faith and art blend together through the lives of popes, saints and artists. You can visit the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls, with its beautiful medieval cloister, then move on to the first basilica in Rome, St. John Lateran, the place of the agreements between the political powers and the power of the church. Continue your journey in Catholicism at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the most important of the Roman churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with many mosaics and decorations. At the end, admire the elegance and the artistic and architectural majesty of St. Peter's Basilica and the masterpieces of Bernini and Michelangelo.

Rome: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour + Colosseum, Forum & Palatine Hill

9. Rome: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour + Colosseum, Forum & Palatine Hill

Experience the best of Rome with a 24-hour open-top hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus taking you through the Eternal City and its major highlights. Hop off and explore at your own pace, plus receive admission to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour While aboard the bus, listen to engaging audio commentary in 9 languages to learn about Rome’s long and rich history. When hopping off, continue the adventure by taking advantage of the complimentary digital, self-guided walking tours. Explore the Vatican first, passing Castel Sant’Angelo en route to St. Peter’s Square to take in awe-inspiring views of St. Peter’s Basilica. Discover Barberini Square and the iconic Spanish Steps before taking a stroll nearby to soak in the stunning beauty of Trevi Fountain.  Big Bus Rome Red Route: • Termini Station• Santa Maria Maggiore• Colosseum• Circo Massimo• Piazza Venezia• Vatican / Castel Sant’Angelo• Spanish Steps• Piazza Barberini  Colosseum Enjoy the included access to the Colosseum, an amphitheater built during the Roman Empire that entertained Romans for over 500 years. Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Visit the Roman Forum, the birthplace of Ancient Rome, and explore what was once the heart of the Empire. Learn how the Forum was the central point of Ancient Rome’s politics, religion, and culture. See where Romans voted in their elections, watched trials, and gathered to hear speeches. Explore Palatine Hill, which was once the high-society neighborhood of Ancient Rome’s grand elite. Explore the ruins that Roman emperors and aristocrats once called home.

Rome: Catacombs of Rome and Main Basilicas Half-Day Tour

10. Rome: Catacombs of Rome and Main Basilicas Half-Day Tour

Begin your tour with visits to 2 important basilicas. Discover the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest of Rome’s 4 main basilicas and home to the Holy Stairs, a pilgrimage site. Then head to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to see the amazing collection of historic and religious artefacts. Admire the mosaics and the Crypt of the Nativity. Continue along the historic Appian Way, passing the Chapel of Domine Quo Vadis. Arrive at the ancient underground Catacombs of Rome. Explore these remarkable subterranean cemeteries, some dating back to the 2nd century. See historic artwork in the catacombs, and learn about how these underground passageways give insight into the early days of Christianity.

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What people are saying about Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 618 reviews

Our guide was fantastic and we learned a lot about the church. You would have to do a lot of research to gain that knowledge. It's so much more practical to have a knowledgeable guide explain things to you as you're seeing them. The Basilica is huge, beautiful, and culturally rich, yet doesn't have the crowds and noise of St Peter's.

Fantastic tour. The guide was lovely and well informed on the history. She was clear to understand and gave enough time for everyone to look around and take photos. The tour took the whole hour and was easy to locate where to find the guide.

Excellent guide named Elias. Lots of historical and city knowledge of Rome. It was well worth the money spent. E-bikes very easy to drive and effortless. Full and well-watered tasting.

The tour guide was really great,not very good English but understandable. Not very crowded like the vatican and the place was magnificent!

Good route, we could visit great historical places in Rome.