Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome (must see)

The Papal Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the four ancient major basilicas and the largest Marian church in Rome. According to legend, Mary, the mother of Christ, appeared in a dream to Pope Liberius in August of 356 and told him to build a church in a place where a miracle would take place. The next day, news of a strange snowfall on Esquiline Hill was announced to the Pope and he hurried to the top of the hill to sketch in the snow the design for the new church.

The present basilica was constructed nearly a century later, commissioned by Pope Sixtus III, and although the facade was renovated in the 15th century, the interior still bears the original 5th century mosaics in the nave, depicting Moses leading his people out of Egypt and the Egyptians being drowned as they tried to follow him across the Red Sea.

The Triumphal Arch, raised to Pope Sixtus III, dates back to the 5th century, but other decorations, such as the cosmatesque pavement by Paparone, the Nativity scene by Di Cambio and the coffered wooden ceiling by Sangallo, are from the 13th and 14th centuries.

The church has numerous chapels, commissioned by various popes, cardinals and noblemen. The most beautiful is the cappella sistina – not to be confused with the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II inaugurated the Basilica Museum, dedicated to the history of the museum and the spread of Catholicism throughout the world. Here you will see ecclesiastical paintings, ritual vestments, scores from the choir and manuscripts detailing church events.

Why You Should Visit:
Central, easy to access, and grandiose both outside and inside.
Marble, gold, relics, wall paintings and sculptures – you have them all here.

Tip:
Make sure not to miss the small tours of the church’s treasures.
Visiting the balcony loggia is also worthwhile since you get to see more of the beautiful church.
At night, you can sit by the fountain and enjoy the view of the building all lit up!

Opening Hours:
[Church] Daily: 7am-7pm
[Museum] Daily: 9:30am-6:30pm
It is also possible to visit the "Loggia delle Benedizioni" and the "Presepe of Arnolfo di Cambio" in the Sistine Chapel with a tour guide.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore on Map

Sight Name: Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state consisting of an enclave within the city of Rome, it is the smallest recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican is one of the most sacred places in Christendom, it attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. Although only 44 hectares in overall surface, the Vatican features several worthwhile places to see, such as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles
Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Ancient Rome around Colosseum

Undoubtedly, Rome's ancient past has been the main Roman attraction for centuries, drawing millions of tourists to the Eternal City each year. The Colosseum and the surrounding sights, like the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Imperial Fora, Roman Forum and other monuments – or rather what's left of them now – are the stately reminders of what was once the center of one of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

An established tourist mecca, today's Rome is hardly imaginable without two of its much loved attractions – the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Magnets for tourists as they are, these two sights are surrounded with a number of other, not less worthy of attention locations, such as the Fountain of the Longboat, Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Piazza Colonna and its centerpiece, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Rome Introduction Walk I

Rome Introduction Walk I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Holy Sites Walking Tour

Holy Sites Walking Tour

Being the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's biggest religions, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each church and basilica represents a significant part of Rome's culture and history. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover Rome's magnificent religious heritage.

...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles

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