Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere

About Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere

The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is an ancient Virgin Mary church located in the Trastevere neighbourhood of Rome. It is one of the oldest churches in Rome, and contains beautiful mosaics, paintings, and sculptures. The church was built in the early Christian era, and its traditional design and stunning mosaics make it a must-see for anyone visiting Rome.

The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere stands here presently and was constructed in the 12th century, but has since been through several rounds of renovation and remodelling. It is a gorgeous example of Romanesque architecture, with a large central nave flanked by two side aisles, both adorned with 12th-century mosaics. The basilica is also known for its beautiful frescoes, which were painted by some of the most famous Italian artists of the time. The frescoes in the basilica depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, as well as stories from the Bible. The frescoes are a great example of Italian Renaissance art, and they are one of the reasons why the basilica is such a popular tourist destination.

Explore the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere


A façade is generally the front part or exterior of a building. In the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, the narthex or patio was revamped via Carlo Fontana in 1702. It has five arches, flanked by a couple of Ionic pilasters and with a deep entablature above. The façade of the nave over the narthex has a row of three round-headed windows in a block facade which has gravely blurred the 19th-century fresco work. The tympanum of the pediment contains another gravely faded 19th-century fresco of Christ in Glory.

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The three doorways into the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere have door cases created using stone mouldings from the Imperial Era, reused from an old structure. At present the two side doors lead into the side paths, however before the sixteenth century the three doors were together and opened into the central nave. Over the lintel is a tondo containing the Greek characters MPΘY representing Mητηρ Θεου or "Mother of God''.

Chapel of the Crib

This small chapel is proclaimed to be the oldest in the church, and to date from the repair by Pope Gregory IV. It is a little square box with a saucer vault, decorated in cream with gold features in a Baroque style. This is because of a rebuilding supported by Cardinal Francesco Antonio Finy and executed by Filippo Raguzzini; the work entailed the loss of frescoes by Raffaellino da Reggio.

Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows

The third chapel on the right is devoted to Our Lady of Sorrows. There is a little figure of her on the altar of the school of Bernini. But when the chapel was commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Cornaro in 1652 it was devoted to St Frederick of Master, and had an altarpiece which was a replication of a work by Giacinto Brandi showing the saint being attacked by a criminal. The chapel has a saucer dome divided into eight inconsistent areas in a Maltese Cross pattern.

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Chapel of SS Peter and Paul

The fourth chapel on the right is devoted to SS Peter and Paul, was finished by the 16th century but now it is totally forgotten. The altarpiece, Christ Giving the Keys to St Peter, is by Giuseppe Vasconio. The vault has a fresco of God the Father, and there is a landmark to a female member of the Lunghi family by Rinaldo Rinaldi of 1838.

Chapel of the Winter Choir

At the furthest side of the transept, to the right side of the apse, is the Chapel of the Winter Choir. It has this name because the university ministers serving the chapel used to recite the Divine Office here in winter when the main church becomes excessively cold for solace. Today, the church is saved for private prayer, and casual guests are not allowed to enter.

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Chapel of St Jerome

The Chapel of St Jerome in the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, Rome is a beautiful and historic chapel that dates back to 1686 and was designed by Antonio Gherardi. The chapel is situated to the left direction of the basilica, and is decorated with stunning sculptures and mosaics. It has a Baroque vault, wherein the oculus is supported by four stucco angels. The centrepiece is a portrait of St Jerome by Gherardi, to whom the chapel is devoted.

Chapel of the Sacred Heart

The Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Rome is a Roman Catholic chapel located on the grounds of the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere. In its early years, it was devoted to St John the Baptist, but later on it was re-dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A painting of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is on the left wall and the dome vault contains a fresco of her with the Christ-Child by Nicola Trometta. While the Chapel of the Sacred Heart may not be as well known as some of Rome's other churches, it is nonetheless an important part of the city's religious heritage. Its beautiful interior decoration is a fitting tribute to the power and majesty of God.

Monument to Pope Innocent II

Pope Innocent II was one of the most influential popes of the Middle Ages. He increased the power of the papacy considerably, and was also one of the first popes to openly involve himself in European politics. He was from one of the most remarkable families in Trastevere. He was buried in the tight space between the chapel, highlighting a stone coffin with strigillate embellishment which is a relatively scholarly neoclassical work.

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Chapel of St Francis

The Ardize church dates from 1591 and is devoted to St Francis of Assisi. The art and sculpture in the Chapel includes an altarpiece of him, the side pictures, and a number of frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Francis, which were painted by Guidotti. The dome arch shows God the Father Revered by the Heavenly Host.

Chapel of Our Lady of Divine Love

The Spinosa Church was created in 1618 and devoted to SS Marius and Callixtus; Marius was picked because the founder was Mario Spinosa, who supported him throughout his journey. The chapel in Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is presently re-committed to Our Lady of Divine Love, who has her sanctum on the Via Ardeatina. A modern replication of the respected symbol to be found at the sanctum to the left.


The primary house of prayer off the left side is the little octagonal baptistery, even though it used to be devoted to St Michael the Archangel, before the re-ordering by Cardinal Altemps in 1592. The first date of erection is said to be in the 14th century. Pope Benedict XV requested a rebuilding in 1920, whose coat-of-arms is above the entry. The wall behind the text shows The Baptism of Christ.

History of Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere

Origins and Shrine of martyrs: Santa Maria in Trastevere was initially one of the tituli, the ward places of worship of paleochristian Rome. It was, as per custom, the main church in Rome where Mass was celebrated openly. It was potentially designed by Pope Julius I, as he is on record as having built a basilica trans Tiberim. However, some cases say that it might have been constructed not long after Pope St Callixtus' demise in 222. As per custom, that pope was martyred close to this spot, where the chapel of San Callisto presently stands, and it was envisioned that the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere remains on the site of his house-church.

Middle ages: The chapel was revamped in 1140 under Pope Innocent II. He kept the basilica plan, when the Gothic style was acquiring prevalence in Northern Europe, and clearly plundered the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla for building materials. During a few blessed years in the Mediaeval times or later, when plague or flooding prevented the use of the chapels outside the walls, this chapel was included among the seven houses of worship in the pilgrim itinerary. This practice keeps going into current times and is celebrated at the central door.

Modern times: The eminent nave roof was embedded in 1617, before then, there was no rooftop to secure the church. In 1702 the narthex was remade, and in 1865-66, the chapel was heavily re-established and redesigned on the orders of Pope Pius IX. The church has been rebuilt and expanded several times over the centuries, and today it is one of the most beautiful and well-known churches in Rome. The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is especially popular with tourists, who come to see its stunning interior and beautiful mosaics.

Cardinalate: The historical backdrop of the church as a title for cardinal clerics returns to the earliest cardinals. The title here was, by custom, given to St Calepodius when he was made cardinal in the early 3rd century. The title was subsequently changed to SS Iuli et Callisti, yet when Santa Maria in Trastevere was rebuilt it was changed once more. Among later titulars can be tracked down Henry, Duke of York, appointed in 1759. The most renowned nominal minister of recent times was Józef Cardinal Glemp, who passed away in 2013. He was succeeded by Loris Francesco Capovilla, appointed in February 2014. Later, Carlos Osoro Sierra was appointed in November 2016.

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Plan Your Visit

Essential Information
How to Reach
Tips to Visit

Opening Hours: It is open all days of the week from 7:30 am to 8.30 pm.

Location: Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

Best Time to Visit: The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is one of Rome's oldest churches, and it's well worth a visit. However, it can be quite crowded, so it's important to choose the right time to go. Morning is the best time to visit the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere. The church opens at 7:00 am, and there are usually no crowds at this time. You'll have plenty of time to explore the basilica and take photos without being jostled by tourists. If you can't make it in the morning, try to visit in the late afternoon or early evening. The crowds will have thinned out by this time, and you'll be able to enjoy the basilica in peace.

By Taxi: There are taxi services available just outside the Ciampino Airport. You can hire a taxi to reach Trastevere and reach in 20 to 25 minutes.

By Tram: To reach Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, you can take H, 23, 280, 44, 75, 8 numbered trams.

By Bus: You can take bus number 115, 280 and H to reach Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere.

  1. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere during the morning hours to avoid unwanted traffic and crowds.
  2. Please dress appropriately. Visitors to the basilica should be sure to cover their shoulders and knees.
  3. Photography is allowed inside the church, but please be respectful and refrain from using flash photography or taking videos.
  4. Large bags and backpacks must be left at the coat check located just inside the entrance to the basilica.
  5. Food and drink are not allowed inside the church.
  6. The use of electronic devices such as cell phones and computers is not permitted inside the basilica; please be sure to silence your devices before entering.

FAQ's of Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere

When was the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere built?

According to the legend, it was built by Pope Callistus I in the 3rd century and was finished by Saint Julius I in 340.

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why is the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere famous?

The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is one of the oldest and most significant churches dating back to the 3rd century in Rome. For centuries, it has been a popular pilgrimage site for devout Christians from all over the world.

What is the best time to visit the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere?

You'll have a more tranquil and personal experience with the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere if you go early in the morning, before the place gets too crowded.

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What are the visiting hours of the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere?

It is open all days of the week from 7:30 am to 8.30 pm.

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Is there a dress code for the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere?

Clothes must cover both your knees and shoulders. Low-cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not allowed.

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What are the nearby attractions of Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere?

-The Vatican Museums: A must-see for any art lover, the Vatican Museums are located 7 Km away which will take you just a short walk from the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere.

-The Sistine Chapel: The Sistine Chapel is located in the Vatican Museums, 7 km away from the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, and it is one of the most renowned religious sites globally. People can see Michelangelo’s well-known ceiling frescoes up close.

-St. Peter’s Basilica: Located within 2.7 km from the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the world's biggest churches. Tour goers can explore this remarkable basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà statue.


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