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  • Address: Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42, Rome, Province of Rome 00100, Italy
  • Hours: Museum is open Daily 9:30am - 6:30pm.

Rome ATTRACTIONS See all

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

There are many churches in Rome - and throughout the world - dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The largest one is the Basilica Papale (or Papal Basilica) of Santa Maria Maggiore near the Termini Train Station in central Rome.

As you might guess from the name, Santa Maria Maggiore is technically part of the Vatican - just as a foreign embassy might be. As part of Vatican City, the Basilica is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes all extraterritorial properties of the Holy See in Rome.

Although the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore has been expanded upon and redecorated over the centuries, it was originally built in the mid-5th century and much of the original structure is still in place. In the years after the papacy was moved back to Rome from Avignon, part of the church was used as the papal residence until renovations to the Vatican Palace was completed.

Some of the highlights of a visit to the basilica are its 5th century mosaics, a reliquary said to contain a piece of the crib that once held the baby Jesus, an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary, the tomb of Saint Jerome, and the tomb of the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. There is a Sistine Chapel in the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, named for Pope Sixtus V (the one in Vatican City is named for Pope Sixtus IV).

Tours & Tickets

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Full Day Tour: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's and the Most Important Basilicas of Rome, Rome, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full Day Tour: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's and the Most Important Basilicas of Rome

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1163 Reviews

Mark your visit to Rome with special tour of the Vatican and Rome’s patriarchal basilicas. After a skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums, step inside the ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $126.85
Christian Rome Afternoon Tour, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Christian Rome Afternoon Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 161 Reviews

Explore the highlights of early Christian Rome on this 3-hour coach and walking tour. With an expert guide, visit the magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.83
Rome in One Day: Colosseum and Catacombs Tour with Skip the line, Rome, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Rome in One Day: Colosseum and Catacombs Tour with Skip the line

Learn the stories behind the grand monuments of Rome, discover the Colosseum, the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill and finally the mysterious Catacombs

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $139.75
Skip the Line: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 1098 Reviews

Enjoy a morning or afternoon of Vatican splendor on a 2-hours skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. Explore the ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: Varies

From USD $68.80
Private Tour of Catholic Rome, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour of Catholic Rome

Visit some of the most Catholic churches of Rome traveling in a comfortable, air-conditioned Mercedes car or minivan. See St. Peter's, St. John Lateran, St. ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $29.03
Rome by Scooter Escorted Half-Day Sightseeing Tour, Rome, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Rome by Scooter Escorted Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

You will be guided on a panoramic tour of Rome's main monuments by scooter, escorted by a local guide who will let you experience Rome as the Romans do. This ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $102.13
Passion of Christ Walking Tour, Rome, Vespa, Scooter & Moped Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Passion of Christ Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Superb tour providing an intimate encounter with the physical objects collected and/or related to the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. This tour visits ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.88
Rome Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Rome Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 3258 Reviews

Let the sights of Rome unfold before you on an open-top, double-decker, hop-on hop-off bus. Climb aboard to admire top Rome attractions including the Vatican ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: Flexible

From USD $26.88
Rome Segway Tour, Rome, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Rome Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1161 Reviews

See the sights of Ancient Rome by Segway on a 3-hour tour, passing incredible monuments like the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Circus Maximus. On a self-balancing ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.56
$80.63 Save $8.07
Rome Day Trip from Milan by Train, Milan, Segway Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Rome Day Trip from Milan by Train

3 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

Leave Milan by high-speed train and spend the day sightseeing in Rome. After a 3.5-hour morning train journey to Rome, you’ll have the rest of the day to ...  Read more

Location: Milan, Italy
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $213.93

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