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- Posted:Tuesday, November 29, 2011
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It will come as no surprise to learn that there are hundreds of churches spread around Rome and many of these are the city's most visited attractions. Roman architecture can be breathtaking, and this is also represented throughout many places of worship in the city. Seeing as there is so much to see in Rome we out together a list of our top 5 churches that we think are worth checking out in Rome.
San Giovanni in Laterno
This is Rome's cathedral and was the first church of the popes in Rome. San Giovanni, or Saint John, is the site of the first church built in Rome and the pope also once resided here. This beautiful baroque style church is open to the public.
St. Peter's Basilica
Often regarded as one of the world's important churches, St. Peter's Basilica is probably the most renowned of Rome's churches. It is the church of the pope and it is amazing to look at from both outside and in. You will find beautiful paintings, sculptures and design inside St Peter's Basilica, and make the most of your visit with a guided tour of the church. It’s free to enter but expect a line during busy tourist times.
Trinità dei Monti
This is the church that dominates the top of the Spanish Steps and standing outside of it you will be met with some great views of Rome and down onto Piazza di Spagna. It is worth taking a trip inside the church as there is some beautiful art work depicting religious scenes.
Santa Maria Maggiore
Another of the four patriarchal churches of Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore dates from the 5th century. It has stunning marble floors, mosaics and a bell tower. The highlight of this church is its ceiling which is thought to be decorated with gold that Columbus brought back from the new world.
The Pantheon dates back over 1800 years and today it is one of the best preserved buildings of ancient Rome. It was originally built as a temple for all pagan gods, but later converted into a church. Its main feature is its impressive dome with a circular opening that lets in the light.
Extra tip: Keep in mind when you are visiting churches in Rome that you must cover up. Females in particular must have their shoulders and knees covered before entering these places. So if you’re visiting during warm weather keep a shawl or light cardigan on you for entering religious places.