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Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary

14th Jan 2014
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 1/8 by Eva Polino
St. Mary Major
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 2/8 by Eva Polino
Inside Santa Maria in Trastevere
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 3/8 by Eva Polino
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 4/8 by Eva Polino
Piazza Del Popolo
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 5/8 by Eva Polino
Santa Maria Del Popolo
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 6/8 by Eva Polino
Twin Churches
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 7/8 by Eva Polino
Santa Maria Montesanto
Photo of Divine Rome: Tracing The Footsteps Of Virgin Mary 8/8 by Eva Polino
Santa Maria Miracoli

Rome has beckoned travelers from afar for quite a few decades now. Some might call it mainstream, expensive, luxurious but very few travelers can wind their way away from this enchanting capital. Rome is the 11th most-visited city in the world and 3rd most-visited in Europe. If Italy represents romance, Rome stands for intimacy. Intimacy between its glorious past and urban present. Intimacy between its spellbinding art and inspiring culture. There can't be any itinerary, any trip, any travel attempt that can claim to have seen all aspects of Rome. There is always more to Rome, and no matter how many trips you take there will always be more to Rome. Needless to say that Rome receives millions of tourists each year.

Roman history dates back to more than two and a half thousand years, which is why very often poets and writers refer to this city as "The Eternal City". The beauty and life in this city is truly eternal. Rome is iconic for a lot of reasons. With a long and rich history, it is the birthplace of Western Civilization. Slowly, it grew to become the capital of the Papal state by the 1st century AD and later came under the influence of the Italian Renaissance and become one of the major centers of art and architecture in the world. Rome houses works of the famous Michelangelo and its streets and adorned with Renaissance and Baroque architecture. 

This itinerary is focused on the Virgin Mary, the mother of God. She is absolutely the Queen of the City of Rome. My passion for the glory of Mary carries to the discovery of each aspect of the human mystery: the mother of a God who became a man. Four are the churches in Rome who show us about Mary, from Birth to the Assumption. Chronologically speaking, we start with the Basilica of S. Maria in Trastevere with the fabulous mosaics by Pietro Cavallini.

Crossing the Tiber, it’s the Church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, the only gothic church in Rome and Piazza del Popolo, the square with the three churches named to the Virgin Mary: Santa Maria del Popolo, S. Maria in Montesanto e S. Maria dei Miracoli. We end our tour with St. Mary Major, one of the patriarchal basilicas of Rome, the leader of all Virgin Mary churches that Romans care. A unique itinerary centered around the life of the Virgin Mary from Birth to Assumption.


What's Included:

• Professional Tour Guide (Theologist)
• Amplifying system (for more than 8 people)

What's Not Included:

• Tips for the guide
• Food & drinks
• Transportation

Good to Know:

In order to visit the Churches, you need to follow the appropriated dress code, too short skirts and too short pants not allowed same for sleeveless shirts. Be sure to have with you a jacket, a polo o simply a scarf to wear around your shoulder. Thanks!



3,5 hours

An excellent example of Romanesque architecture, the Santa Maria Church situated in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome. Designed by architect Carlo Fonatna, this church was originally founded in the 3rd century by Pope Callixtus. Some of the best 13th century mosaics are found here, including Pietro Cavallini's Life of the Virgin. It was the first church in which Mass was celebrated openly. There is a tall column near the church which marks an ancient legend that the day Christ was born a river of oil flowed down to earth. The pillar is built on that supposed spot.
Photo of Santa Maria In Trastevere, Via della Paglia, Rome, Italy by Eva Polino
Crossing the Tiber we reach the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. This Church is one of the main churches for the Roman Catholics and is the only Gothic church in Rome. It was built over the ruins of the temple of Minerva, the Greco-Roman Goddess of Wisdom and is thus called the Church of Saint Mary over Minerva. There are Renaissance sculptures inside the church, including Michelangelo's Christ Bearing the Cross. There are also various Renaissance and post-Renaissance tombs here.
Photo of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Piazza della Minerva, Rome, Italy by Eva Polino
This huge square also called as the "People's Square" used to be the gateway into Rome. In ancient times the Via Flaminia was one of the important road links to Rome and gave the visitors a direct entry into the Piazza Del Popolo. Assuming the place's significance and as a show of Roman greatness to the visitor's that would enter pope Pius IV commissioned architect Nanni di Baccio Bigio to build a huge gate called Porta Flaminia. There is also a tall obelisk constructed by Augustus. The square has been a center of many activities in Ancient Rome including public executions.
Photo of Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Italy by Eva Polino
To the north of Piazza Del Popolo, this church was one of the earliest and richest Renaissance structures. It was built in 1099 and houses works of various famous and iconic artists and sculptures like Raphael, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio, Alessandro Algardi. According to a legend, this area was haunted by Nero's ghost and the church was built to Exorcise his ghost. The interior of the church is adorned with many of Bernini's famous works along with other artists.
Photo of Santa Maria del Popolo, Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Italy by Eva Polino
This is one of the twin churches in Piazza del Popolo along with Santa Maria Del Miracoli. Built in the 17th century, this church includes the handiwork of three great architects. Started by Carlo Rainaldi, continued by Gian Bernini and finally completed by Carlo Fontana. Literally meaning the Holy Mountain, this is also called as the Church of artists because of the weekly mass conducted here by artists. Referring to Mount Carmel in Israel it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The two structures are considered to be twin structures because they look similar, but if you look closely you will find this one to be much different than the Santa Maria of Miracoli.
Photo of Santa Maria in Montesanto, Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Italy by Eva Polino
This is the second church of the twin churches in the Piazza Del Popolo. Built in the 17th century, along with the one in Montesanto, this church was designed by the same three architects. There is a miraculous icon of the Madonna on the alter which gives the church its name. The church's rich interiors are done by Bernini's student and the entire structure was complete in 1981.
Photo of Santa Maria in Miracoli, Rome by Eva Polino
The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore or St Mary Major is the biggest and the most important church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome. The building of this church was inspired by the idea that Rome (at that time) was the center of the Christian World. Today, the church enjoys a somewhat embassy-like status with the Vatican police guarding it. It has a typical Roman architecture and was built by Pope Liberio after he saw Mary in his dreams. Our Lady pointed him towards the locations for building the church with snowfall and thus the church is also called "Our Lady of the Snows."
Photo of St. Mary Major, Rome, Italy by Eva Polino