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Let’s visit the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome?

Among the oldest and most important places of worship in Rome, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is certainly one of the first places in the ranking. Today we will talk about its history and give tips and information about Rome's second largest basilica.

Basílica San Paolo - Roma (Source: Emmanuele Longo)
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Let’s visit the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome?

After St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Paul’s Outside the Walls is the second largest basilica in Rome. One of the most beautiful Basilicas in Rome, St Paul Outside the Walls impresses with its grandeur and magnificent details. The four archibasilicas of Rome are: St. Peter, St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major. But after all, shall we get to know the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls 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

It all started with Emperor Constantine, who wanted to carry out excavations at the beginning of the 4th century, in the place where Christians worshiped the memorial of St Paul, beheaded at the time of Emperor Nero. And it is precisely on this tomb, located on Via Ostiense, about two kilometers outside the walls of Aureliano, that Constantine had to erect a first basilica dedicated to the Apostle, but it soon became too small to accommodate the influx of pilgrims and therefore, was destroyed to make way for a second church, even bigger and imposing. Read aldo What to visit near Rome? The best round trips from Rome.

The Mosaics

The Basilica, in fact, with its powerful Byzantine structure, is the largest among Rome’s patriarchs, and it is easy to imagine how the large number of popes who had to deal with its continued increase, were able to beautify it during the passing of the centuries. For example, Leo Magnus, in the 5th century, made mosaics cover the Arch of Triumph, asked for the roof to be rebuilt and started the famous series of portraits of all the popes that is made on the ceiling and transept, with 265 rounds of mosaic (including the new one, which was lit by Pope Benedict XVI), whose original series is preserved in the museum, next to the Basilica. Gregory VII is credited for the beautiful front door, which consists of fifty-four panels engraved in silver plate, which date back to the 11th century. Also read Religious Tourism in Italy! and 5 must-see churches in Rome?

Its location

The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is one of the most beautiful churches in Rome, perhaps the most beautiful of the four papal basilicas, and it is located outside the historic center, at Piazzale San Paolo, 1, 00146 Rome RM, Italy. It is certainly less visited by tourists and much less known by the Romans, although, I repeat, it is very beautiful, inside and out. First, it is located in a park. And when the sun illuminates the beautiful golden mosaic that decorates the facade, it is impossible not to fall in love. You enter the portico, around the entrance, and then you realize that you have an incredible experience, a palm tree and a statue of San Paul are there to give you an imposing welcome. TIPS FOR ROME!

The Interior of the Basilica and its Attractions

After walking around and seeing the entire outdoor courtyard, you enter the Basilica. The interior of the church is in classic Latin cross with three arches, divided by a series of columns and with a high ceiling fully decorated. The first effect is very striking, we have the impression of being in a huge place. The eye is easily attracted to the altar and the surrounding arches, where the Tomb of the Holy Apostle is located, even if the attention is captured by the beautiful side chapels. I will not bore you with detailed descriptions of the beauty found inside, because you yourself, when you visit it, will be impressed, but I guarantee that the church is very beautiful and the photos do not do it justice.

Basilica Management

Thirteen hundred years ago, the management of the basilica and the attached abbey was entrusted to the Benedictine monks who still live there. For centuries it was the favorite pilgrimage place for the same Roman citizens and for many foreign faithful, especially after the first jubilee, in 1300, which also had the participation of the great poet Dante Alighieri.

The Exterior of the Basilica and its Attractions

To fully appreciate the importance, it is not enough to observe the grandeur and beauty of the building, but the visit of the Basilica must also include the external areas, such as the Cloister of St. Paul, called Vassalletto, one of the wonders of Rome in the 300s, a courtyard with columns and beautiful mosaics that symbolically links the Basilica to the Abbey.

In addition to the cloister, there is the Pinacotheca, the Chapel of Relics, the Exhibition Gallery and the archaeological area near the bookshop, there are also the numerous remains of the old church and works of great historical and artistic value. As a last step, finally, it is also worth visiting the excavation area of ​​Saint Paul’s Necropolis, in the square in front, to see a small part of the vast Roman cemetery that houses the saint’s remains, in the place where it all started.

Useful Information

The following is some useful information to get to know the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Take a tour of Christian Rome and the catacombs, click here to find out more!

Opening Hours

  • Opening hours of the Basilica: open daily, from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm, admission is free.
  • As for the cloister, the Pinacoteca and the monastic orchard of the archaeological area, it is open every day, from 08:00 am to 06:15 am and admission costs € 4 per person; for groups of at least 10 people, the value is 2 € per person. Official website.

How to get to Rome?


You can get there by any means of transport.

1) How to get to Rome? BY AIRPLANE

The main airport is Leonardo Da Vinci – Fiumicino (How to get from Fiumicino Airport to the Center of Rome?) And Ciampino (How to get from Ciampino Airport to Center of Rome?).

Also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:

2) How to get to Rome? BY TRAIN

It will be even better, because the train is one of the best and most effective solutions to reach the Eternal City.

Termini Station

It is the center of this movement network, the main station in the city, modern and spacious, with several services. It is a vital center, not only locally, but also at the national level.

Tiburtina Station

There are trains, practically, from all over Italy that reach here. Tiburtina station is known for its overnight routes. An old proverb says that “all roads lead to Rome”, in fact it is so thanks to the very efficient system designed, precisely by the Romans, to connect the different points of the Empire with several consular roads.

Important informations

  • In addition, everything is also suitable for transportation by train; for the train Station in Termini, more and more options of all types arise every day, the Eurostar (capable of making a significant distance in a short time, such as from the capital to Florence or Milan and Turin) even the Intercity.
  • At high speed, there are Frecciarossa (non-stop, capable of traveling long distances in up to three hours), Frecciargento (for those who want to reach cities like Verona, Venice, Bari and Reggio Calabria) and Frecciabianca (for those who prefer the more traditional line).

Did you know ?

Did you know that Trenitalia is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of railway transport? Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.

Being in Rome use the Subway

Once you are in the capital, to reach the Basilica, it is very simple: just go towards Subway B, Laurentina and get out in San Paolo, a few hundred meters away, you get there! Read also How to get around Rome with Public Transport?

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

The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is such an imposing monument and so full of history, a true reference for international Christianity. Due to the Jubilee of Mercy, proclaimed by Pope Francis, throughout this year we will have the opportunity to cross the Holy Door. One more reason to visit Saint Paul Outside the Walls, it must also be said that, in addition to the beauty of the place itself, since 1980 it has been part of UNESCO, is it little? Certainly not!

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. 🙂

Did my post help you? If so, be sure to post your comment below, but if you still have questions just send me a message I will answer you as soon as possible!



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