Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

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

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

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

Explore the beautiful city of Rome at night on a guided tour by e-bike with an art historian guide. You will see iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Capitoline hill, and more before tasting some traditional Italian meats with a glass of wine. Begin your adventure close to St. Maria Maggiore, one of the most beautiful basilicas of Rome. Pedal up to the top of the Aventino hill and admire one of the most striking sunset panoramas of the eternal city. Enjoy the views over the Fori Imperiali, Campidoglio, and Circo Massimo by dusk. Then, head for the Trevi Fountain, and make a wish as you throw a coin in. See popular landmarks such as the Colosseo and San Pietro, illuminated by the moonlight biking through little-known streets far away from the city traffic. End the adventure with the cold cuts accompanied by a glass of wine.

Rome: Murder Mysteries of Rome Guided Walking Tour

2. 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

3. 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: Half-Day Semiprivate Christian Tour

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

5. 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.

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

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

7. 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. Explore the site and use the audio guide to hear tales of exotic animal exhibitions, prisoner executions, ancient battle recreations, and most famously, the fierce gladiator fights. 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: Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica Guided Tour

8. 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: Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore Tour

9. Rome: Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore Tour

Although enlarged and redecorated, the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore retains much of its original structure of the fifth century. In the years following the return of the papacy to Rome from Avignon, part of the church was used as a papal residence until the complete renovation of the Vatican palace. Admire its mosaics of the fifth century, a reliquary that is said to contain a piece of the crib that once held baby Jesus, an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary, and the tomb of St. Jerome and the tomb of the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage site that includes all extraterritorial properties of the Holy See in Rome. See the Sistine Chapel in the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, dedicated to Pope Sixtus V.

Rome: Open-Top Bus and Navona Underground Entry Ticket

10. Rome: Open-Top Bus and Navona Underground Entry Ticket

With this ticket you can enjoy Rome from a unique perspective and discover the history of Rome by listening to a multilingual audio commentary, you can get on and get of the IOBUS at any of the stops whenever you want for the entire validity of your ticket. Moreover, you will have included the entrance ticket to the Domitian Stadium one of Imperial Rome’s Seven Wonders, located around 15 feet (4.5 meters) under Piazza Navona and also a digital audioguide of the Square. Board the bus at centrally located stops like Terminal via Marsala (Termini station), the National Roman Museum, Saint Mary Major Church, the Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Venice Square, the Vatican, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain.

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What people are saying about Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 540 reviews

We had Ivana as our guide for the evening we booked. Ivana had great stories and a great sense of humour that made us enjoy the experience more! If you get Ivana as your guide, you will not regret it! Ivana also gave us great recommendations to eat and the Pope’s gelato supplier.

Our guide was so knowledgeable and her obvious love for what she was doing, she and this tour was exceptional! The experience was so informative and such a blessing that I would not hesitate to recommend this tour

One of our highlights in Rome!! Dilala was our guide and she was amazing - very chill and very knowledgeable. Incredibly interesting and thrilling stories. Highly recommended!

Our tour guide Delilah was AMAZING! All of the stops along the tour and the stories were so interesting. This was honestly my favorite experience in Rome.

Great experience travelling around Rome by bike in an evening to see more than you could ever achieve by walking. Extremely knowledgeable guide too.