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Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome

Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome

Santa Maria in Trastevere is said to be one of the oldest (if not the oldest) church in Rome. It is believed it is one of the first where Christian masses were held. This small beautiful church is located in Trastavere, a small neighborhood on the west bank of the Tiber River.

The mosaics on the facade of the church showing Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus and the ten virgins holding their lamps is captivating. When you walk in make sure to soak in the details of the ancient rock carvings that cover the walls of the entrance, it is breathtaking. The church interior has gold, polished wood, marble mosaic floors, stunning paintings and statues. I really loved the stunning ancient mosaics, the story of Mary and Christ and of Jeremiah and Isaiah. Make sure you put the coins in so that the lights turn on so you can see the gold sparkle.

The gorgeous granite columns inside this ancient church are astounding and even more so given they were moved from the Roman ruins of Caracalla’s Baths.

Be sure to see the 6th century Madonna at the left front, it is just riveting.

There is even a papal tomb; the relics of Pope Innocent ll and Pope Callixtus are buried in this church.

I think the best time to visit Santa Maria in Trastevere is the late afternoon. It gives you the opportunity to spend the early evening in the area around the piazza. You can walk around the quaint winding and cobbled streets. The piazza has a fountain and is surrounded by small restaurants, cafes, bars and gelato shops and cute stores.

I was glad to take a stroll around Trastevere and see Santa Maria; this beautiful basilica is well worth the trip. 

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