IN SHORT: This is a tour in search of sparkling mosaics, magical cloisters, and pure architecture. Roman Medieval times, not yet trodden by masses of tourists, will enchant you!
IN MORE DETAIL: The Medieval period is incorporated in the anatomy of the city, everywhere: clinging onto ancient ruins, or supporting Renaissance and Baroque constructions, it is hidden behind every corner. Emerging between lavish palaces or, like a precious pearl, it is contained in an apsidal shell or in the chapel of an antique church.
Let’s start with the Basilica of St. Mary Major, which still retains its original layout from the 5th century, its Medieval decor can be seen through the splendid mosaics and antique stone flooring. Continue on to the Basilica of Saint Praxedes where we find a small chapel completely covered in mosaic, crowned with a golden sky supported by angels (9th century). We then move on to the Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round, the oldest church in Rome with a circular plan (5th century), a bright, pure and majestic space—a perfect example of the great Roman architecture that was adopted by the early Christian community. Not far away is the Santi Quattro Coronati, a church-fortress with a complex history and frescoes that depict stories of Constantine, as well as a charming cloister.
We now head to the Aventine Hill and finish our tour with the Basilica of Saint Sabina, a perfect example of early Christian architecture. We end our tour on the beautiful terrace of the nearby garden of Oranges and admire the view of Rome. If the season is right, we can also enjoy the colors and exhilarating scents of the Rose Garden, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Palatine Hill.
OPTIONS: Visit the Loggia with its mosaics and the papal room at Santa Maria Maggiore (entrance fee).
MEETING PLACE In hotel or at the first site.
DURATION 4 hours with a car service. On foot, with some parts by taxi, shortening the itinerary a bit.
PRACTICAL TIMES Advisable from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All days. When one or more of the churches are inaccessible due to Sunday or Holiday services, or private ceremonies, we will change the itinerary sequence or make substitutions with other churches.
TRANSPORTATION This tour is calculated with a car service. In the event you prefer a taxi, or public transportation, the itinerary must be changed by either reducing the number of sites or by increasing the total tour time.
SUITABLE FOR lovers of Medieval times, and those who wish to retrace the tracks of early Christian Rome.
ACCESSIBILITY All the churches are accessible.
TICKETS Entry to the churches is free, but coins are needed to illuminate the mosaics and frescoes. There is an entrance fee to visit the “Loggia of Santa Maria Maggiore”; this visit is optional and requires more time. In this case, it will substitute another site on the itinerary.
RESERVATIONS Not necessary
NOTES The tour requires appropriate church attire: no low-cut dresses and bare legs.