Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore 42, Rome


Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore or Basilica of Saint Mary Major is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, from which size it receives the appellation "major." The present building of the basilica was constructed in 432–440. The basilica is dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary, as the health and protectress of the Roman people. the Basilica is not the territory of the Vatican City State, but the Vatican fully owns the Basilica, and Italy is legally obligated to recognize its full ownership. The original architecture of Santa Maria Maggiore was classical and traditionally Roman perhaps to convey the idea that Santa Maria Maggiore represented old imperial Rome as well as its Christian future. The mosaics inside the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica are one of the oldest representations of the Virgin Mary in Christian Late Antiquity. These mosaics gave historians insight into artistic, religious, and social movements during this time. The triumphal arch of the church is also illustrated with magnificent mosaics depicting different scenes of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

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Open Hours:

  • Mon

    07:00 - 19:00

  • Tue

    07:00 - 19:00

  • Wed

    07:00 - 19:00

  • Thu

    07:00 - 19:00

  • Fri

    07:00 - 19:00

  • Sat

    07:00 - 19:00

  • Sun

    07:00 - 19:00

Plan Your Visit to Rome


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  • David Mann

    - 21 August 2018 -

    A beautiful church in a nice part of Rome. An easy walk from the town. The area around the basilica is very nice too. There are plenty of drinking fountains and vendors along with many shops. Security is quite tight as it is in most churches in Rome now but it only takes a minute to get through to see this beautiful site

  • Jennifer Cartier

    - 16 August 2018 -

    My husband, kids and I "stumbled" into this Basilica when we were walking to the train station, and what a beautiful find. The art work, and the floor inlays were amazing. Plan to spend an hour at the least to see it all. Small Catholic relics are in the way back on the way out to the back courtyard - rosaries can be had for 2 Euro.

  • claire

    - 22 July 2018 -

    The basilica has some very interesting 5th century mosaics and the ceiling is decorated with the first gold to arrive from the New World, donated by the Spanish royal family. The basilica is free to visit, but for €5 you can also go upstairs to the loggia and get a close-up view of the mosaics you can see from the street. They would have been more impressive if the loggia hadn't been added, as it obscured several parts of it. The mosaic tells the story of how the basilica came to built on this site.

  • Gordon Hetrick

    - 20 July 2018 -

    Were going to church but we got to church late. Had taken taxi from apartment. We stood in square and we took pictures. Beautiful Facade and area. I am sure church interior was gorgeous. Maybe next time we will see church interior. Came from Pa. in USA.

  • Miriam del Carmen Fernández

    - 11 July 2018 -

    So much history inside! Wonder at its best. Take your time and enjoy every corner. Don't miss this icon you won't regret it. It's a pity that the goverment can't keep the streets and the square in the front clean.🤔

  • Sagar Buch

    - 04 July 2018 -

    Rome has some of the most beautiful basilicas in the world, and this one feels like falls under the radar for many tourists. This was a great advantage for me, since very few tourists were inside the basilica, which made it a much better, peaceful experience. My visiting time was on Sunday (July 1, 2018) at 3pm. There was no queue at the security check. There is a also an audio guide available for 2 euros. After listening to all the videos available, I highly recommend it!

  • Linda Roe

    - 30 May 2018 -

    The beautiful Basillica Papale Di Santa Maria Maggiore is such a holy place. This beautiful tribute to Saint Mary Major is special, not only as one of the major basilicas, but an active church much loved by the locals. Our guide let us know that there was a special connection with Mother Mary and them and they felt she saw no prayer too small for her attention. This is a “must see” while in Rome.

  • Willian Corrêa

    - 18 May 2018 -

    If you want to see something stunning (before going to Vatican) and see where all the church's money goes please pay a visit to this place. It's huge and full decorated - really, it's from the floor to the ceiling. There is a bunch of chapels around the main room. I did not go to the museum there, so I can't speak about that.

  • Cheryl Michele

    - 09 May 2018 -

    Visited twice & we’re glad we did. This is a magnificent church with much to see. The panels around the sides are noteworthy but when we first went we couldn’t make out much. On our second visit it was a sunny day & everything lite up. Stunning.

  • Aimamorn Suvichakorn

    - 04 May 2018 -

    #Reasons-worth-a-visit (1) Free entrance, short queue, only a quick security check. (2) You can sense peace once stepping in. The place is peaceful and beautiful. (3) It has wood from the Holy Crib and the Mary’s icon believed to be painted by St. Luke himself. (4) It has the relics of Sf.Jerome. Bernini and a few Popes also buried here. (6) It is where St. Ignatius presides his first mass and used to be a palace of popes before moving to Vatican. (7) For art-lovers: mosaics, paintings, marble sculptures are remarkable. Some of them were the pieces of famous artists, including Bernini. You may need some quality time to sit, ponder and enjoy.

  • Káren DallaCosta

    - 03 October 2017 -

    Praça linda na basílica de Danta Maria Mayore

  • Tamuna Shubitidze

    - 22 August 2017 -

    Church inside is really awesome with popes statue :)

  • Stanley Skyy

    - 08 June 2017 -

    This is breathtaking... definitely come if you have the time

  • Helena

    - 08 May 2016 -

    Very impressive church 😇

  • Los Viajes de Pitu

    - 16 April 2016 -

    Plaza normal, lo mejir las vistas a la Basílica

  • Elif

    - 28 December 2015 -

    Termini'ye yakınlığı ve meydandaki büyük kilisesi ile harika bir yer.

  • Marta Gómez

    - 15 August 2015 -

    Lo único destacable la vista de la basílica, por lo demás bastante normalita.

  • George MacD

    - 27 February 2015 -

    Great place to sit with a slice of pizza from the fantastic bakery at the Sma supermarket on the square.

  • shinbong STAR

    - 04 December 2014 -

    광장 옆 버스 정류장쪽 카페 커피가 싸고 맛있네요

  • Pierre Besses

    - 10 November 2014 -

    Place romaine qui n'a d'intérêt que par la basilique incontournable y siégeant.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore tours

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

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 Gallery of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries and Giuseppe Momo’s spiral staircase, and admire iconic Michelangelo frescoes inside the Sistine...

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

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 Sistine Chapel and then behold your first major basilica of the day: St Peter’s Basilica. Visit the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls,...

Christian Rome Afternoon Tour

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 Maggiore and Basilica of St John Lateran, two of Rome’s great ancient churches. View the Holy Stairs; the 28 marble steps that Jesus is said to...

I Love Rome Hop On Hop Off Panoramic Tour

Gain access to a huge swath of Rome on this fun and leisurely hop-on hop-off bus tour of the Eternal City. Choose from two types of tickets - 24 or 48 hours. As you're cruising around the city, listen to the on-going narrative about the city's history (in 13 different languages of your choice).

Christian Churches and Basilicas Walking Tour

Explore the most important Christian basilicas of Rome on this 3-hour small-group walking tour. Go to the Baptistery of St. John to admire its octagonal form and marvel at the mosaics of the Basilica of Saint Clemente. Admire the Cappella Sistina in the the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Discover...

Private Tour: Basilicas of Rome

Explore five of Rome’s major basilicas with an option to visit the Catacombs ancient burial site, on this seven-hour private tour including transportation from your Rome hotel by air-conditioned vehicle. Visit the Eternal City’s St. Paul Outside the Walls, Santa Maria Maggiore, St. John Lateran,...

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