Friday, January 2, 2015

Rome: the Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major Postcards

After having done so much walking our first week in Rome, Ed and I decided to take a break and headed to St. Mary Major, the Papal Basilica about half a mile from our hotel. We had gotten a late start that day, and planned to take what we thought would be a quick look around before going to a museum. What we hadn't realized was that there was a museum inside the Basilica, nor had we known that there were archaeological ruins beneath the Basilica, which dates back to at least the early 400s (fifth century).

After viewing the museum, we booked what turned out to be a private tour with a guide who led us around the remnants of various archaeological sites, including this Roman house, which dates to the 1st - 4th century.

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

This being a very old church, there was of course some lovely art, such as the Benediction Loggia: angels in marble and gilded bronze created by Pietro Bracci (1700-1773).

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

There was also a spiral staircase designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 - 1680).

From Rome & Vatican City (December 2014)

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