Church of Santa Maria del Popolo

Church of Santa Maria del Popolo: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour

1. Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour

Explore Rome following the trail of Robert Langdon in Dan Brown's best-selling novel, Angels and Demons. The 3.5-hour tour begins at Pantheon, where Robert Langdon, the protagonist of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, arrives having misunderstood a clue. His intended destination was the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, and that is the tour's second stop. The church is noted for the Chigi Chapel, where Langdon found the first dead cardinal, branded with the word earth on his chest. Next, stop outside St. Peter's Basilica, the center of Christianity. In the middle of St. Peter’s Square you’ll find an obelisk surrounded by a wind compass rose. On the west ponente oval tile the protagonist found another dead cardinal, branded with the word air. After this, Langdon enters the Vatican’s secret archives to look for information about the Illuminati. From the Vatican you’ll head to the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, where you’ll see Bernini's sculpture, Estasi di Santa Teresa. It was here that Langdon found the third dead cardinal, who was branded with the word fire. Your guide will take you through the most important places in the ancient city center, including Repubblica Square, and Navona Square, where you’ll see Bernini's stunning Fountain of the 4 Rivers and the obelisk. According to the book, Langdon finds the last dead cardinal here, branded with the word water. From Navona Square you’ll head to the last stop, Castel Sant’Angelo, a gathering place of the Illuminati, and hear about the passetto, a hidden passage that leads to Vatican City. This shortcut was used by past popes as a way to escape, and in the book it is used as a hideout for the assassin.

Rome: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & Pantheon

2. Rome: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & Pantheon

Rome’s famous squares, monuments, fountains and artists offer you the very best attractions on this 2.5-hour afternoon walking tour. Let the Eternal City enchant you as you stroll through its picturesque cobblestone alleyways, and discover some of the world’s most famous sites, such as the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Travel back in time and admire all of the city’s must-see art and architecture, in a single afternoon! Begin in Piazza del Popolo, the traditional northern “door to Rome,” with the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo as the first church that visitors to Rome would see upon entering its gates. The Spanish Steps, with its lively atmosphere and stunning views, bring you down into the winding alleys of the heart of the historic center, where you will encounter the ornate Trevi Fountain. Throw a coin in the fountain and promise to return! Continue with a stop at Piazza Colonna and see the column erected by Marcus Aurelius that is now considered by Romans as the very center of the city. We will also stop at the Pantheon to explore its impressive concrete dome and open oculus. Nearby, visit Piazza Navona to get a close-up view of Bernini’s famous “Fountain of the Four Rivers,” triumphantly marking its ornate center. Finally, you will go to Piazza Navona for a taste of one of the liveliest and most famous piazzas in Rome.

Rome: Fountains and Piazzas Walking Tour

3. Rome: Fountains and Piazzas Walking Tour

Join an expert guide on an enchanting journey through the historic cobbled streets of the Eternal City. Hear tales of history and intrigue from throughout the centuries. First, explore the Trevi Fountain and the beautiful Spanish Steps. Learn about the history of these stunning monuments and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the area. Then, head to the Pantheon, the best-preserved building of Ancient Rome. Marvel at the scale of the building and the giant columns, and look through the famous oculus of the dome. Learn about the incredible history of this monument that spans nearly 2,000 years. End your tour at Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most splendid squares, home to Bernini’s renowned Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Caravaggio in Rome Tour

4. Caravaggio in Rome Tour

Stroll through the district of Rome where Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio lived and worked. Discover the stories, anecdotes and the outstanding technical skills that have kept his name known across the world for over 400 years.  Born in Milan in 1571, Caravaggio was in Rome by the end of the 1580's. Admire some of the most beautiful masterpieces in the original churches for which they were commissioned. See in Santa Maria del Popolo: Saint Paul's Conversion and the Crucifixion of Saint Peter. See in Sant'Agostino, The Madonna of Pilgrims. Finishing up in San Luigi dei Francesi, one of the few French churches in Rome, to admire the three paintings which represent the stories of Saint Mathwe. These were the first altarpieces ever painted by Caravaggio.

Roman Heresy on the Trail of Angels and Demons Driving Tour

5. Roman Heresy on the Trail of Angels and Demons Driving Tour

Retrace the path of the Illuminati between freemasonry and occultism. Listen to stories out of the ordinary and challenge conventions. Visit the four places where the cardinals were killed. One of the biggest risks locals run immersing themselves into the wonders of Rome every day, is to take such beauties for granted. At that moment we are pushed to provide new inputs to our curiosity, and it is precisely this attitude that prompted us to invite you on this new journey... Are you ready to leave the main road, to put into crisis your most solid certainties, to explore fields of knowledge intentionally set aside because uncomfortable, to bare the weaknesses of what we believe in the search for a new level of awareness? In order to do this we will instruct a trial, putting in the dock the most influential figures of the 17th century, one for all the Pope Urban VIII, because they would be stained with a terrible crime. Although they are the most glaring expression of the established order, they would be guilty of the crime they most pursued, heresy. In this curious performance our tour guides will be playing their usual role as narrators and you won't be just witnesses, you will be the jury!

Rome: Caravaggio and Baroque Art Private Guided Tour

6. Rome: Caravaggio and Baroque Art Private Guided Tour

This 3-hour private tour of Caravaggio’s art and Rome’s Baroque masterpieces is the perfect opportunity for a close-up look at the artist’s work. Michelangelo Merisi, alias Caravaggio, one of the greatest painters of all time, spent the majority of his life in Rome. The tour begins at Piazza del Popolo and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, where you’ll see The Crucifixion of St. Peter and The Conversion of St. Paul. Then you’ll pass near 2 of Caravaggio’s residences, Palazzo Madama, the seat of the Senate, and Giustiniani Palace, which now houses the offices of the Senate. Your guide will tell you about unusual events in Caravaggio’s life and also provide commentary on the architecture or current functions of the main Italian government houses such as Montecitorio Palace. See the major masterpieces of Caravaggio, including The Life of St. Matthew in St. Louis of France’s Contarelli Chapel, and The Madonna of the Pilgrims in St. Augustine. Admire Baroque architectural masterpieces, including the Church of St. Ignatius. Pass by the Pantheon and hear about its history from your guide. Your tour ends in Piazza Navona, where you’ll be able to admire one of the Bernini’s masterpieces, the Fountain of the 4 Rivers, and Borromini’s façade of St. Agnes in Agony. Hear stories of these rival artists, and about the tragic end of Caravaggio’s life in Rome.

Rome: Masters and Mysteries Walking Tour

7. Rome: Masters and Mysteries Walking Tour

Start at the Galleria Spada where you will see the world-famous Galleria Prospettica built by the architect Borromini in the 17th-century. Marvel at how the corridor looks wide and long but it is just an optical illusion. Walk a little further and enter the gothic church of Santa Maria Sopra la Minerva home to Michelangelo's Standing Christ. Nearby in Piazza Navona, see breathtaking paintings by Caravaggio that will change your perception of light and darkness. Finally admire the authentic works by Raphael, located in the Chigi headquarter church. Amaze your friends and family with knowledge gained from this off-the-beaten-track walking tour.

Pantheon, Raphael & Caravaggio Walking Tour w/ Wine Tasting

8. Pantheon, Raphael & Caravaggio Walking Tour w/ Wine Tasting

This fantastic combined gastro-cultural walking tour explores the streets of Rome through the painterly eyes of Caravaggio, one of the most controversial artists of the Baroque. Stroll through some of the most elegant of Rome’s streets, where Caravaggio took inspiration for his masterpieces. Your guide will lead you to Santa Maria del Popolo church on Piazza del Popolo to see the Caravaggio masterpieces “Crucifixion of St. Peter” and “Conversion on the Way to Damascus.” Then visit the Campo Marzio district, along Via Ripetta. From here, visit Santa Maria della Pace church and Sant'Agostino church before moving onto the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. The last attraction will be the Pantheon, a unique structure established as one of the most impressive architectural features of the city. 

Rome: Highlights of Caravaggio's Rome

9. Rome: Highlights of Caravaggio's Rome

Meet your guide in Campo Marzio, heart of the historical center of Rome and scenario of our tour! Not that much has changed in this peculiar neighborhood since the time Caravaggio used to wander around its alleys. Marvel at his masterpieces inside churches, stop by the Palaces where he lived as a guest, and the workshops where he started his carrier. Find the infamous locandas and taverns where he used to hang out and the houses of the courtesans becoming models of his creation. Get to the place where he eventually murdered someone causing the artist to leave the capital, leading to his descending parable, his wandering up and down Italy waiting for the forgiveness of the Pope which will arrive shortly before his death in the coast of Tuscany. Itinerary: - Piazza del Popolo - Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo (inside) Crucifixion of Peter, Assumption of the Virgin, Conversion of Saint Paul - Via di Pallacorda - Vicolo della Torretta - Palazzo Giustiniani - Piazza Navona - Palazzo della Cancelleria - Via delle Coppelle - Via della Maddalena - Via della Lupa - Via della Scrofa - Basilica of San Luigi dei francesi (inside), Calling and Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, Saint Matthew and the Angel - Basilica of Sant'Agostino in Campo Marzio (inside), Madonna del Pellegrino - Basilica of Santa Maria in Vallicella (inside), the Deposition - Parish of San Nicola dei Prefetti - Palazzo Madama - Via del Governo Vecchio

Rome: Caravaggio Walking Tour and Bus Excursion to Lazio

10. Rome: Caravaggio Walking Tour and Bus Excursion to Lazio

Enjoy a guided walking tour through the district of Rome where Caravaggio created some of his most noteworthy works. Visit three churches in the historic center, then travel by bus to Ladispoli, his last residence before he died from wounds sustained during a bloody duel. Start your tour with the trio of churches, Santa Maria del Popolo, Sant'Agostino, and San Luigi de' Francesi. Explore the entrancing narrow alleys of Rome as you wend your way through the historic city center. After the guided walking tour, make your way to the town of Ladispoli aboard a comfortable GT bus and experience the northern coast of Lazio. Get to know an internationally renowned destination of natural beauty located just 30 km from the capital. Walk across the therapeutic black sands, where numerous Roman nobles spent their time. Explore the place where Maestro Caravaggio was arrested. See where he made a daring escape by sea after a bloody duel, taking refuge at the Odescalchi Castle in Palo Laziale. Listen as your guide explains how Ladispoli today represents an important meeting point for artists and lovers of Caravaggio's art. Before your tour concludes, see the waterfront bronze statue of Caravaggio by the artist Sergio Bonafaccia.

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What people are saying about Church of Santa Maria del Popolo

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 424 reviews

Our guide, Louisa, was very knowledgeable and seemed to like what she was doing. Very very personable with extensive knowledge of sculptures, architects and painters. I was fascinated to learn so much in a short amount of time. I will request her again if i am ever back in Rome. The only negative was that I scheduled for pick up and drop off at the hotel. They told me the night before that they do not do that anymore and I was told that only after I enquired about it. They say they will refund that cost but I have not been able to check and see if the refund has been posted.

Our guide shared his knowledge & love of Caravaggio with us, along with outstanding recommendations for books, more pieces to visit and where, along with Milan recommendations for churches and historical sites. Couldn't recommend this tour more! I have nerve damage so we had to make frequent stops along the way but he didn't act like it was ever an issue or tried to rush the experience, which was so appreciated!

Luisa was our guide and let me tell you all she is one of the BEST tour guides I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! The tour is not solely Angels & Demons related and I loved it. Luisa was extremely well versed in everything Angels & Demons, but also Roman/Italian history. We walked for almost 3 hours and It passed by way too quickly. I hope she has more tours because she is absolutely incredible!!

It was very good to book a semi-private guided tour. There were two of us (a couple) with a great guide Laura who took very good care of us and answered all individual questions.

Luisa was our guide and she was fabulous She was prompt, courteous and extremely knowledgeable We wouldn’t hesitate one bit to book with Get Your Guide again