Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksReligious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
One of seven pilgrimage basilicas in the world, this church was founded in 432 AD and is where the famous architect Bernini is buried.
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Plan your visit
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Centro
How to get there
  • Termini • 6 min walk
  • Vittorio Emanuele • 7 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Claude M
    Vence, France934 contributions
    Beautiful mosaics and ceilings
    Magnificent basilica. This church is unique because of its mosaic and papal altar. The sacred door, opened only once per year is also incredible. Take the time to explore this well worth visiting church. Ceilings are also worth a look
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 28, 2023
  • cheshire3131
    Runcorn, United Kingdom608 contributions
    A beautiful basilica
    Our hotel was close to the basilica and we visited on the first day. We went on a Sunday afternoon we didn't expect it to open and it was. It was free to enter and once inside it was spectacular. One of best places to visit in Rome.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 17, 2023
  • Foodie935
    Johannesburg, South Africa256 contributions
    Simply stunning
    Like true clueless tourists, we stumbled into this church as we walked by. I’ll never forget that first glance as we entered the venue. Breathtaking! A respectful stroll through the main church and the side wings should take you around 45 - 60 minutes. Don’t miss it
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 22, 2023
  • Terry M
    Hamilton, Canada4,642 contributions
    A SPLENDID BASILICA
    Its exterior grime befits the most important church in Christendom dedicated to the Virgin Mary. A rare papal basilica, you have to pass through airport-like security to get in. What awaits you is golden splendour. Its holiest relic is portions of the crib of Christ. St Paul's Chapel is massive. The sacristy and baptistery on the other side are also very impressive.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 25, 2023
  • Adewale
    Lagos, Nigeria747 contributions
    Magnificent
    One of the many grand buildings scattered throughout Rome, this basilica has a very rich history and is indeed a sight to behold. If you're into arts, culture, history etc, this is definitely one of the stops you'd like to make. It's located about 12 minutes or so from the main Rome terminal/station
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 10, 2023
  • Leslie B
    San Antonio, Texas46 contributions
    Absolutely beautiful.
    As with many churches in Rome, the outside does not prepare you for the grandeur of the inside. It is truly beautiful. We were also staying nearby and were able to attend a Rosary on the church "porch" with the Bishop and a choir. It was a one of a kind experience.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 17, 2023
  • Dominik Kiezik
    Warsaw, Poland4,729 contributions
    A very beautiful place
    A very beautiful place. Full of beautiful sculptures and paintings. Apparently, the remains of the alleged manger where Jesus could have been born are stored inside. I'm sometimes skeptical about such revelations, but as a historian I can't rule it out 100%.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 27, 2023
  • haveboozewilltravel
    Murrieta, California739 contributions
    The largest church dedicated to Mary
    This spectacular church is one of four papal basilicas and the largest dedicated to Mary. It has many extremely old mosaics and is said to house the remains of Baby Jesus’s manger. The great artist and architect John Lorenzo Bernini is buried inside.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 25, 2023
  • Julie S
    Gurnee, Illinois6 contributions
    WOW!
    We stumbled upon this church while walking around, enjoying a beautiful Rome day. We had no idea what we were walking into! This church is a beautiful gem with so much history. We paid a few dollars to have a mini tour on the second floor and it was well worth it!
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 26, 2023
  • Skeney57
    Sydney, Australia21,983 contributions
    Beautiful Basilica
    Having missed visiting this Church last time in Rome, I made sure I got to go this time around. And was I glad that I did? It is a spectacular Basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary that dates back to 434AD and has undergone many changes over the centuries. Most planned by Popes but also after the 1348 earthquake damage. Originally started by Pope Celestine I it is a vivid mixture of 5th century mosaics, marble & granite columns and frescoes with gold plated highlights throughout. The 14th century campanile stands at 75m and is the tallest in Rome. The Basilica is also the final resting place of many Popes and Bishops including Pope Pius V, Pope Clement VIII & IX as well as the sculptor Bernini. A big plus was the crowds were no where near the Vatican hordes! Really glad I got to view this beautiful Basilica, don't miss it.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 28, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
16,562 reviews
Excellent
12,470
Very good
3,577
Average
460
Poor
43
Terrible
13

Derek B
Somerton, UK32 contributions
Jan 2020
Although our visit was in late January the crowds were horrendous.
It was worse than being in the London underground rush hour on a busy Friday night. Couldn't actually stop to study or see anything. What it must be like in the height of the season I dread to think. I'm told by a resident of Rome the the ques to get in can be up to three hours.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Flyingred
Buckinghamshire, UK430 contributions
Jan 2020
We visited late afternoon on a Friday. The church was busy with two masses in side chapels and several priests in their booths ready to take confessions.

The exterior is very grand and the interior is stunningly beautiful. With the smell of incense drifting through the basilica it was easy sense the spirituality present in the building. If you're in the area make a point of visiting this beautiful church to soak up the atmosphere.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andy s
Cleethorpes, UK97 contributions
Jun 2022
We bought omnion tickets and thought we could "skip the Queue"! No chance. Everybody is in a very long queue to get in and it is swelteringly hot. There are free water refills, if you have a container. Also, when we enquired about the tour nobody mentioned the fact that shoulders/arms must be covered up. There are street sellers selling thin scarf type coverings which most women are forced to buy if they want to gain access. once inside the decor is, as you might expect, fabulous. We went there on the open toop bus tour, which was difficult to find but we eventually found the boarding points and used a three day pass to good effect.
Written August 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Victoria L
Kansas City, MO336 contributions
Aug 2022
This is a stunning basilica with a short security wait before entering. All the chapels are full of art, you are able to purchase masses for loved ones written in a beautiful velum card and mass is offered on the hour in differing chapels . It was over 100 degrees outside but peace and tranquility reigned inside, our mass was well attended for 11am with organ music. Confessions are offered in multiple languages and all the brothers and staff we interacted with were warm and friendly. Outside they have cold bottled water for a euro and a cold frozen treat named after a miracle. A beautiful way to start your day.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Coryy20
Port of Spain, Trinidad4,837 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
This Basilica is one of the many buildings in Rome I was really thrilled by. The front and back of the church is so detailed and beautiful. I didnt enter because at the time I visited, there was security screening and didnt felt like going through that. So I opted to just admire from the outside. On both sides many people hang out and just enjoy the scenery.
I will also recommend a visit to this church it's about 10 minutes walk from the Colosseum and about 8 minutes from the Termini station.
Written June 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malgorzata
12,113 contributions
May 2019
A magnificent basilica built according to legend in a place where, as announced by the Mother of God, snow fell in Rome.When you walk inside, your eyes immediately go up. Ceiling is beautiful. The three-nave interior of the basilica is 86.0 m long. The floor made of porphyry and marble . The Renaissance ceiling designed by Giuliano da Sangallo was decorated with gold brought by Christopher Columbus. Along the walls of the nave, above the columns, there are mosaics from the 5th century depicting scenes from the Old Testament. The rainbow arch is decorated with mosaic stripes made in the years 432–440. They show scenes from the New Testament, creating a series dedicated to the Mother of God. At the height of the main altar there are two chapels. The chapel on the right is the chapel of Sixtus V, it is also called the Sistine chapel. The chapel on the left, similar in assumptions, was built according to the design of Flaminio Ponzio, it was completed in 1613. Inside are also the relics of the Crib of the Nativity and a beautiful baptistery. One of the four most important basilicas in Rome . Majestic both outside and inside. Plan at least a couple of hours to have a meaningful visit.A must see for any visitor to Rome. Free to enter.
Written April 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KAB in Virginia
Virginia5 contributions
Feb 2020
Much of this Basilica's ornature is beautiful mosaics. They sparkle and give the feeling of life from the works of art. This church has a rich and interesting history and should be best viewed by someone who knows here inside and out.

To those who light candles - there's a trick. Rather than use real candles in many places there are electronic tapers. When you drop the donation into the box, a light automatically appears. Don't forget to watch or you won't know which candle lit. It took a few churches, but we finally figured that out.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robbee P
Gungahlin, Australia201 contributions
Jan 2020
Gday All

From the Corso you cant see any sign of the grandeur of this Cathedral but once you pass through the entry doors its simply Stunning.

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is listed as one of the most significant Cathedrals to visit in Rome and I must have seen 20 or so in a few days and there are only a few which would get a similar or better reaction. There is of course St Peters for pure size and granduer and then I would include Basilica S Maria de gli Angeli e dei Martiri (near Republica) just for its scale but very "rustic" design.

Whichever Catherdral you visit ..you get the "air" I hope ..... I do ...... Santa Maria Maggiore is a very special place

Cheers

Robbee
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SpaceTruckker
Greenwich, CT27 contributions
Jul 2019
A great self directed walking tour is to start at the Church of the Quirinale, which is on Via del Quirinale. Then head east towards the "4 fountains" which is on the corner of Via del Quirnale and Via delle Quattro Fontane. Then stop at the Church of the Four Fountains, which was designed by Borromini. After this head south on Via delle Quattro Fontane to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and then head down the tree lined and very pretty Via Merulana and end up at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran. You will see four late renaissance fountains, a baroque church and two important cathedrals, one more beautiful than the other. It's a great way to see the sights of Rome in an unhurried way and make a mini-pilgrimage and praise God all at the same time. If you have time left over stop at the Scala Santa, which is across the street form St. John Lateran and watch the faithful climb the stairs on their knees as a way to show humility and worship. Make sure to check the opening times of all the churches as the first two have limited hours.
Written June 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noraatc
Sudbury, MA35,359 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
I owe my love of travel to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. This magnificent Basilica was the very first sight I have seen in Rome many years ago and was totally smitten by it. That was the moment I promised myself to return to Rome and Italy as many times as I could, and my husband and I kept this promise: this trip was my 8th trip to Italy and my 4th trip to Rome.

As always, the Basilica was pure magic and opulence, luxury and elegance... The altar with its divine twisted columns took my breath away yet again as well all the chapels, and the beautiful statue of Madonna, the mosaics... everything! I had no time left for the crypt, but I have been there before.

There was literally no security line in December and the Piazza was not too crowded. It was a great opportunity to take photos of the Basilica from different angles.
Written June 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

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