If you are passionate about Christian art, this itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days is for you. It will take you on a journey through the most beautiful and most interesting churches from the historical, artistic and faith point of view.
All itineraries can be walked all on foot.
Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
The itinerary, which will last a full day, takes place in the historic center of the city. You can start from Piazzale della Repubblica (metro station: Repubblica) in front of which stands the huge Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (St. Mary of Angels and Martyrs) that incorporates those that once were the great antechamber and the tepidarium of Diocletian Baths, of which eight huge Egyptian marble columns remain.
Designed by Michelangelo, it was completely remodeled by Vanvitelli in 1750. Notice the double sundial traced on the transept floor, which indicates the polar star and when the sun rises to the Zenit.
From the square get on via Nazionale and reach the Church of San Paolo in the walls. In gothic style, it is the first non Roman Catholic church. The American episcopal church, completed in 1880, is famous for the nineteenth-century mosaics made by Edward Burne-James, who included among the characters of the work some portraits of his contemporaries.
Santa Prudenziana, step of the itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days
The trip to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days continues with the Church of Santa Prudenziana, the church of the Philippine community of Rome. Noteworthy is the golden mosaic of the 4th century which represents the oldest apsidal mosaic of the city. Continue past Piazza Esquilino until you arrive at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four papal basilics dating from the 5th century. Among the things to see there are the 13th-century mosaics of the façade, the cosmatic floorings, similar to marble carpets and mosaics of the apse.
From here keep going and you will find the Church of Santa Prassede, characterized by its glittering Byzantine mosaics, whose tiles still shine after a millennium from its creation. Then take via Merulana and go down to the bottom where the Basilica of Sant’Antonio in Laterano stands, with its artistic masterpieces and frescoes attributed to Franciscan artists. Next to this building you will find the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, the oldest among the papal basilicas. Consecrated in 324 it was a papal seat until 1309, then fell into ruins. What you see today is the result of remakes made after 1361. You can admire the monument to Pope Silvestro, the canopy and the cloister.
We propose to spend the second day of our itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days in the Vatican City. We recommend that you start your visit early in the morning when the influx of tourists is not yet “crazy.”
St. Peter’s Basilica
The basilica is the largest and richest church in Italy. The first thing that will surprise you is the large size of the church and of everything inside it (including the holy water containers!). Among the things to admire there are the Bernini canopy on the papal altar and the immense dome. Take some time to admire the moving Michelangelo’s Pieta, which is behind a bulletproof glass in a chapel at the beginning of the right nave. Sculpted by the artist when he was 25, it is the only work that comes with his signature (on the band that surrounds Maria’s chest).
The itinerary continues with a visit to the Vatican Grottos, which stretch under the basilica for its entire length. Here you’ll find the tombs of many popes, including that of Pope John Paul II, which will surprise you for its simplicity in comparison to the glittering of the monuments of the basilica above. You can also see some large columns belonging to the basilica of the fourth century.
The last stop that we propose is the Vatican Museums, an attraction not to be missed. Buy the tickets online to avoid the queue at the entrance. The museum complex contains one of the largest art collections in the world. It has been calculated that it would takeSpend at least 12 years to visit it all! Spend there at least a couple of plentiful hours, without missing the Pinacoteca, the Pio-Clementino Museum, the Geographic Charters Gallery, the Raffaello Rooms and of course the unmissable Sistine Chapel
We recommend that you dedicate the last day of the itinerary to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days to a visit of the Aventino hill, where some of the oldest churches in Rome can be found.
The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth)
The itinerary starts from the Circo Massimo (metro stop: Circo Massimo). Today it looks more or less a working grass basin, but in the I century. B.C. was the largest stadium in Rome, with a capacity of up to 250,000 spectators. From there proceed to the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). Take some photos that can witness that you’ve been here and then head to the Aventine, which hosts the Roseto Comunale (Town Rose Garden) with more than 1100 roses from around the world. Continue the itinerary by taking Via Santa Sabina and visit the Giardino degli aranci (Oranges Garden), from which you can see one of the most beautiful views of Rome. Take advantage of it to make some panoramic photos. Return to the street where you will meet the Basilica of Santa Sabina, dated to the 5th century, period when the cypress wood portal with 18 carved panels were made up. One of them is the crucifixion, one of the first portrayal of Christ’s passion. The church of Santa Maria del Priorato is located next to Piazza Cavalieri of Malta, the order to which the church belongs.
Keep going straight to the Cimitero Acattolico (Non Catholic Cemetery), considered one of the most beautiful non-Catholic cemeteries in the world. In front of the cemetery there is the Pyramid of Caio Cestio inspired by the Egyptian style and built in I sec. B.C.
Visit the churches of Rome in 3 days. Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
The tour to visit the churches of Rome in three days ends with a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Built by Constantine in the 4th century on the tomb of Saint Paul (decapitated under Nero in 67 AD), the splendid basilica was the largest church in the world until the construction of today’s St. Peter’s Basilica. what we see today is a faithful reconstruction after the fire of 1823, although some original parts remained, such as the triumphal arch, the Gothic ciborium and the candelabrum for the Easter votive candle.
In the itinerary that we have proposed to visit the churches of Rome in 3 days, we did not suggest any times for pauses and we entrust them to you depending on your interest and on the time that you would like to dedicate to individual attractions.
Basilica Santa Maria of Angels and Martyrs: 7am-6.30pm free admission
Saint Paul’s Church inside the walls: 9am-1.30pm free entrance
Church of Santa Prudenziana: 8am-12am / 4pm-6pm free admission
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: 7am-8pm free admission
Church of Santa Prassede: 7am-12am/4pm-6pm Free admission
Basilica of St. Anthony in Laterano: 7am-6.30pm free entrance
Saint John in Lateran Basilica: 7am-6.30pm free entrance
St. Peter’s Basilica: 1st October – 31st March every day 7am-6.30pm / 1 April – 30 September every day 7am-7pm. Free admission.
Vatican Museums: Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm (last entry at 4pm and exit from theaters half an hour before closing).
Vatican Grottos: 7am-6pm free entrance
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Visiting Rome in 3 days – Our recommended itinerary
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Visit the Vatican City – What to visit
The Vatican – Curiosities that you might to know
Trips outside of Rome – What to see and where to go
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