"All that glitters" Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere Tip by goodfish

Another gorgeous church and one more St Mary's, this gem is one of the oldest Christian churches in Rome, and possibly the first of them in which mass was celebrated. Technically it dates to the 4th century but most of what you see is from a 12th-century Medieval overhaul.

It has a few relics (the head of St. Apollonia and a bit of Holy Sponge - whatever that is), the tombs of two Popes (Callixtus I and Innocent II) and a few Cardinals but this Santa Maria's most famous treasures are her magnificent mosaics. The apse of the basilica literally glows with radiant, gilded 12th and 13th-century depictions of the life of St. Mary and her coronation; beautiful and well worth crossing the river for. On the exterior facade, and from the same period, are a series of faded mosaics which also honor the Virgin.

Entrance is free; visiting info:

Address: Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere
Directions: TRASTEVERE AREA: If coming from near the Forum, cross at Ponte Palatino. From Via Giulia, cross at Ponte Sisto, and Pontes Cestio/Fabricio if combining with a visit to Isola Tiberina.
Phone: 06-581 4802
Website: http://www.060608.it/en/cultura-e-svago/luoghi-di-culto-di-interesse-storico-artistico/chiese-cattoliche/santa-maria-in-trastevere.html

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 31, 2014
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Comments (2)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    Must must must see :-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Wow, on my wishlist now! Love the mosaics!!

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Dec 18, 2014 at 7:04 AM

      It's a really interesting church, and those mosaics are MUCH more impressive in person!

    • Trekki's Profile Photo
      Dec 18, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      I believe so. I only saw one church with mosaics (in Sant'Apollinare in Classe, south of Ravenna) and since then I always refer to these churches as "Ravenna churches" :-)


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