St. Peter’s Cathedral

Basilica di San Pietro

Founded on the site of the tomb of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Cathedral is the largest and perhaps the most magnificent church in the world.

Piazza San Pietro (click for google map) | Wikipedia

Quick Facts:
St. Peter’s Cathedral is home to Michelangelo’s Pieta (1498–1499) and several works by Bernini including the Baldacchino (1623–34), Cathedra Petri (1647–53) and St. Longinus.


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Santa Maria del Popolo

Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo | Saint Mary of the People

Consecrated in 1477 | Piazza del Popolo (click for google map) | | Wikipedia

Quick Facts:
Santa Maria del Popolo reads like an art history text book since it was modified by several important Renaissance and Baroque architects including Bramante, Fontana and Bernini, and its numerous and varied chapels feature several important works by Renaissance and Baroque artists such as Pinturicchio, Raphael, Caravaggio and Bernini.

  • The Cerasi Chapel: Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of St. Peter and the Conversion of St. Paul, and Annibale Caracci’s Assumption of the Virgin, 1600-1601
  • The Chigi Chapel: An octagonal chapel designed by Raphael (featuring his Creation of the World ceiling mosaic, 1516), and later completed by Bernini (with his Habakkuk and the Angel (1656–61) and Daniel and the Lion (1655-57) sculptures).
  • The Della Rovere ChapelThe Adoration of the Child with St Jerome by Pinturicchio

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San Carlo al Corso

Sant’Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso (usually known as San Carlo al Corso) | San Carlo al Corso on wikipedia | 437 Via del Corso (click for google map)  |

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Trinità dei Monti

Santissima Trinità dei Monti | Most Holy Trinity of the Hills | Piazza della Trinità dei Monti (click for google map)

Quick fact:
Trinità dei Monti is the church at the top of the Spanish Steps

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Sant’Andrea delle Fratte


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Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio | Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius | Via del Caravita, 8a (click for google map) |

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San Luigi dei Francesi

Church of St. Louis of the French | Piazza di San Luigi dei Francesi (click for google map) | | San Luigi dei Francesi on Wikipedia

Quick fact: San Luigi dei Francesi is the home of three magnificent paintings by Caravaggio,  The Calling of St Matthew (1599-1600), The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602), and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (1599-1600), in the Contarelli Chapel.

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The Pantheon

The Pantheon (Of all the gods) | Santa Maria ad Martyres (St. Mary and the Martyrs) | Built in 126 AD | Piazza della Rotonda (click for google map)

Quick facts:

  • The Pantheon’s dome is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
  • The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are exactly the same (142 ft), which means that a 142 ft sphere could fit inside the Pantheon.
  • The oculus is 27 feet wide
  • The Italian Renaissance painter Raphael is buried in the Pantheon

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Santa Maria sopra Minerva

Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva | Saint Mary above Minerva | Piazza della Minerva, 42 (click for google map) |

Quick facts:

  • Santa Maria sopra Minerva is adjacent to the Pantheon

  • It is the home of several notable Renaissance masterpieces including Michelangelo’s Cristo della Minerva (1521), and a cycle of frescos by Filippino Lippi (1488–1493).

  • The Pulcino della Minerva (1667) is a monument in Piazza della Minerva (in front of the church) designed by Bernini, depicting an elephant supporting the shortest of the Egyptian obelisks in Rome


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Santa Maria in Trastevere


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