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5 churches you must visit in Rome?

Making an adequate ranking of the most beautiful churches in Rome is an almost impossible task, but we have made a selection of the five churches to visit at least once in a lifetime. So, which ones were chosen? Come and find out :)

Rome (Source Pixabay)
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5 churches you must visit in Rome?

Rome is a city that boasts 5000 years of history and requires time to get to know it. Tourists flock to the eternal city at any time of the year because it is an artistic and cultural capital like no other. Don’t forget that Rome is also rich in churches, in fact there are almost a thousand of them, big and small jewels that shine in the streets and on highways or that hide in the most remote alleys. Since we have so many churches, we have selected 5 especially for you who have little time. Let’s go to our post of the day: 5 churches you must visit in Rome? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Introduction

Making an adequate ranking of the most beautiful churches in Rome is an almost impossible task, but we have selected the five churches to visit at least once in a lifetime. So, which ones were chosen? Well, this question, we will answer it immediately and you will see the top five churches up close. Also read What to visit near Rome? The best round trips from Rome.

1) 5 churches you must visit in Rome? SAINT PETER’S BASILICA

We couldn’t start if not from the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. In Saint Peter’s the most important religious functions are celebrated by the Pope, such as birthdays, funerals of deceased popes and announcement of the new pope, in addition to Easter and Christmas masses; it is the center of Christianity in the world and its gigantic size is proof of its greatness. The church, as we see it today, is the result of a reconstruction of a church erected in the 4th century, by the emperor Constantine I, and the place is attributed to the tomb of Saint Peter, Jesus’ first apostle. Shall we get to know religious Rome?

About St. Peter’s Basilica

It was only during the Renaissance, and through the work of Pope Julius II, that the total renovation of the Basilica began systematically. For the construction of the church, which would soon become the largest and most majestic in the Christian world, the greatest artists of the time were called by many successful popes. Masters like Bramante, Rafael, Michelangelo, Bernini, who did an extraordinary job that has no equal in the world. The Basilica is a true Renaissance and Baroque treasure and is also a huge and remarkable treasure, rich in works of art such as Pietà, by Michelangelo or Baldacchino, by Bernini. Externally it has wonderful columns by Bernini; there are 284 Doric columns and 80 travertine pillars from Tivoli surrounding Saint Peter’s Basilica, giving the impression of a symbolic embrace to the believers who visit it. Find out here How to use the subway in Rome?

5 churches you must visit in Rome?
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican

2) 5 churches you must visit in Rome? SANTA MARIA DEL POPOLO (“SAINT MARY OF THE PEOPLE”)

Another church among the most beautiful in Rome, which deserves mention, is Santa Maria del Popolo. Leaning on the ‘People’s Gate’, it has its side on the city walls. This church is on the site of the Mausoleum of Domizi Enobarbi, where Emperor Nero was buried. According to a medieval legend, from the ashes of Emperor Nero, a walnut tree was born infested with demons in the form of crows.

About Santa Maria del Popolo Church

In 1099, to exorcise the area, and in thanks for the liberation of Jerusalem, Pope Pasquale II built a chapel in honor of the Virgin Mary, built at the expense of the Roman people, which was called Santa Maria del Popolo. Bernini, Bramante, Bregno, Caravaggio, Pinturicchio, Raphael, Sansovino, are some of the names of the great artists who worked in this church. The church is located in Piazza del Popolo (“People’s Square”), which is one of the most beautiful urban antechambers in the world, placed on top of a triangle of streets, known as the Trident.

What makes it special is that many noble and non-Roman families had, in this church, the ‘family chapel’. Precisely for this reason, over the centuries, all the great characters of the Roman art scene have left their mark on the church; Bernini, for example, tried to make Baroque style, while in Caravaggio, he had two of his greatest works ordered here; they are: the crucifixion of Saint Peter and conversion of Saint Paul. You need to visit it to see how much beauty she can give you.

5 churches you must visit in Rome?
Santa Maria del Popolo Church (Source flip)

3) 5 churches you must visit in Rome? SANTA PRASSEDE (SAINT PRAXEDES)

The Basilica of Santa Prassede is hidden in the narrow streets of Monti; it has very ancient origins and still carries intact some mosaics from the 9th century. Unknown to most Romans, just behind Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major), it is accessed by a secondary entrance and its interior is breathtaking, with an arch containing perfectly preserved 9th-century mosaics.

About the Basilica of Santa Prassede

It was built by Pascoal I and has been restored several times, with obvious changes from its original design. In the center of the floor, there is a porphyry ‘disk’ that covers a well, where, according to legend, Saint Praxedes collected the remains and blood of the martyrs. Inside are two absolute masterpieces from the height of the Roman Middle Ages, which are the triumphal arch with mosaic and the Chapel of Saint Zeno.

The preciousness of this church is not only in its beauty, but also in the presence, in that chapel, of the Sanctuary of Saint Zeno, which is still completely covered by Byzantine mosaics, and is perhaps the best example of such mosaics in Rome. This flame of mosaics that already affects the main entrance, is most impressive in the twilight of the night, when the mosaics are artificially lit and that is definitely the best time to enjoy this absolute beauty. A set of wonderful mosaics of chromatic fantasy, complexity and, above all, wealth of symbols, such as the heavenly Jerusalem, which also shows the elect, Christ surrounded by angels and saints, and the themes of the Apocalypse. A jewel that should not be missed.

5 churches you must visit in Rome?
Basilica of Santa Prassede (Source flip)

4) 5 churches you must visit in Rome? BASILICA OF SAINT JOHN LATERAN

Through this excursion in the five most beautiful churches in Rome, you cannot miss the Basilica of St. John Lateran, a very important and fundamental stage, whose construction was ordered by Constantine I, in the 4th century. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, as well as the official seat of the Pope and the Church, and is located in the southern part of the Celio hill.

About the Basilica of St. John Lateran

This is one of the four Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome, together with the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the intermediary between pagan and Christian times. In fact, this building was born for public meetings and to administer justice, but with the spread of Christianity it has become a majestic place of worship. Dedicated to John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and the Most Holy Savior, it has been restored several times; the façade was made by Alessandro Galilei, imposing and beautiful. Today the Basilica is a crucial destination for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.

5 churches you must visit in Rome?
Basilica of St. John Lateran (Source flip)

5) 5 churches that you must visit in Rome? SAINT PAUL OUTSIDE THE WALLS

The fifth church chosen is another very famous and unmissable: the Roman Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, the second largest religious building after Saint Peter’s. Originally this building was used as a burial chapel by the early Christians, in fact, it was built on the tomb of the Apostle Paul and was converted into a basilica by the emperor Constantine. It became one of the most important stages of the pilgrimage and, therefore, inadequate to accommodate the many believers, although often rebuilt, its current form is due to Pasquale Belli, in collaboration with other architects, rebuilt between 1825 and 1854.

About the St Paul Outside the Walls

It is located on Via Ostiense, near the left bank of the Tiber, about two kilometers outside the Aurelian walls of the Gate St Paul. Under the high altar, the papal altar, is the tomb of the Saint. The interior of St. Paul’s Basilica is extraordinary, with huge columns of alabaster and precious golden mosaics. Unfortunately, due to the fire in 1823, few parts of the medieval basilica remain intact. One of the greatest treasures found in the church is the cloister, which survived the great fire and is in perfect condition.

5 churches you must visit in Rome?
St Paul Outside the Walls (Source Emmanuele Longo)

Are you going to stay in Rome? So you can get our exclusive hotel tips!

Here you will find great and free tips to not get fooled when choosing your hotel in Italy.

Plus: read our tips and advices about the Rome neighborhoods and where to stay! Here you will find the perfect hotel for you and for your needs, respecting you budget! Also: booking at booking.com, you will help us to keep our blog and for free! No fees, no click baits, no fake news!

Hotel I suggest near the Historic Center

If you are passionate about art and would like to stay in the center where you can move around walking, as well as having countless possibilities for places to have lunch / dinner or a snack, I advise you to stay in the historic center. Regions near the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Imperial Forum and the Villa Borghese, Piazza Spagna and Piazza Navona can be considered as “historic center”. These are the most expensive areas, but you will be close to everything, literally!

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices.

If you prefer a good hotel, I have three options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest near the San Giovanni Region

For those who want to find cheaper alternatives in quiet areas, but at the same time close to the means of transport to the center, I suggest the region of San Giovanni or Monti (near the metro stations San Giovanni, Castro Pretorio and Circus Massimo) – which it is a more residential neighborhood; therefore, more economical and quiet! And with just 15 minutes by subway you will be in the center too!

I have two options for Hotels that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I suggest near Vatican City

An interesting area to stay and a little cheaper than the historic center is the Vatican area (Vatican Museums) which is very well connected with everything.

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a hotel, I have three options that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotel I suggest near Termini Station

For those who prefer to stay in neighborhoods that have good access to the rest of the city and at a better price, then you should choose accommodation in the surroundings of Termini Station (from where a dense network of public means of transport starts, serving both: the local people and tourists).

I have 3 good hotel suggestions in Termini, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer B&B I have 2 good suggestions, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest in Trastevere

For those who prefer to “taste” authentic and characteristic Rome, there is nothing better than booking a hotel in Trastevere (on the outskirts of the city’s historic river), full of typical Roman history and traditions, known for the tortuous streets of sampietrini stones and the centers medieval style housing.

The neighborhood is in the historic center and to the right of the Tevere River, in the midst of a spectacular landscape, where each visitor can observe the countless churches and squares (such as Santa Maria in Trastevere). In addition, this neighborhood offers several local restaurants and canteens for those who want to try typical Roman cuisine.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have two options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)


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Conclusion

5 churches you must visit in Rome? The churches, which are the symbol of Christianity, are also a fundamental part of the capital’s artistic history, and these 5 churches are an integral part of this piece of Roman art history. And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier.

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