Basilica/ Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere

"Basilica/ Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 26th June 2011

This Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere (Basilica/ Chiesa di S.Maria in Trastevere) occupies the 5th place in the hierarchy of Roman churches after St Peter's, St.Paul, St.John and S.Maria Maggiore for its ancient origins as well as for being the first dedicated to Madonna. It is the first among so called "minor basilicas" and it was the church which more often substituted far away basilica of St Paul in the obligatory visits of pilgrims in the years of calamity and pestilence.

Santa Maria in Trastevere front view Santa Maria in Trastevere upper portion
According to a tradition the church was founded by pope Callistus I in 217-222 and was finished by Julius I in 352. In the 9th century Gregory IV conducted some works here to deposit the bodies of saints brought from the catacombs in danger to be damaged by Saracens. But radical and decisive was the total reconstruction of the church in the 12th century began by Innocent II and completed by Eugenius III, who also built the bell-tower in 1145-1153. The bell-tower, built during C.XII, has a little mosaic portraying the Virgin on top.
bell tower of Santa Maria in Trastevere.jpg side wall of Santa Maria in Trastevere.jpg
The other works were executed in 1584 by cardinal Marco Sitico Altemps, while in 1617 was created a ceiling, and for the whole of the century continued the works over the baroque chapel construction.

In 1702, by the project of C.Fontana was created a portico. The other important changes were executed under Pius IX by V.Vespignani.

The facade is decorated with the mosaics of the 13th century and probably restored by P.Cavallini. The portico (pictured below) with the five entrances is crowned by a balustrade with the statues, it contains a dense Christian lapidary and marble rests of old basilica.
Inside the portico of Santa Maria in Trastevere.JPG
Interior is on basilica plan with three naves divided by two rows of 22 granite columns with diverse diameters, all bearing Ionian and Corinthian capitals. The very rich ceiling has carved and golden coffers with polychrome bottoms, on a drawing by Domenichino (1617) also painter of "L'Assunta".

The ceiling was designed by Domenichino in 1617. The apse mosaics were executed by P.Cavallini "Madonna e Santi", "Scene della vita della Vergine", and by unknown authors of the 12th century.

The church contains some interesting funeral monuments of different epochs. Among the chapels should be noticed the Cappella di Altemps projected by M.Longhi, covered by stucco-works and paintings; and Cappella D'Avila by A.Gherardi (1680).

The basilica was probably the first official christian cult place in Rome. The porch was remodeled by Carlo Fontana in 1702. The balustrade has decorations of Popes’ statues.

Basilica/ Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Via della Paglia, 14/c, Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere
00153, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trastevere (Gianicolo) (Roma centro)
Basilica/ Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is Shown By "Map J Zone" As "26"
Hours: Open 07:30 am-20: 00pm. Mass times: Holidays :08.30-10 .30-12.00-17.30, Weekdays :09.00-17 .30, Vigil: 20.00. During the celebration of Holy Mass is not possible to visit the church.


Bus: 23, 271, 280, or 780. Bus line n° H goes from Viale di Trastevere across Ponte Garibaldi, through Campo de Fiori, around Piazza Venezia, up Via Nazionale (Veneto/Quirinal area) past Piazza della Repubblica and finishes at Stazione Termini (the main train station). Night Bus n° 8.
Take bus 23 or 280 from Piazza della Rovere to the stop before Tiber Island. Continue to follow the Lungotevere to Piazza Belli. Take a right on viale di Trastevere and then take another right on via della Lungaretta, following this till reaching the church. Or, take bus 23 or 280 the stop before Tiber Island. Take the first right and follow this street for two blocks until reaching via della Lungaretta. Take a right and follow this street to the church.
Trains: The Trastevere area has no Metro nearby but there are plenty of buses and also a handy tram to choose from. (marked regionale, not the express to Termini) from Leonardo da Vinci airport stop at Trastevere Railway station. Then hop on tram n° 8.
Tram: n° 8 From Piazza Argentina. This is a nice tram for the short distance from close to the Pantheon to Trastevere. It runs frequently.
Contact - Basilica/ Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Telephone: 0039 06 5819443
Fax: 0039 06 5896460

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