The next stage of this itinerary is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, located on the top of the Esquilino Hill, the most important of the Roman churches dedicated to the Madonna. The legend says that was the Madonna herself who inspired the construction of a church in her honour, appearing in a dream on the night of August 5, 352 with Pope Liberius and a Roman patrician and inviting them to build a church where in the morning they would find snow. The next morning incredigly snowed in August and they decide to make the foundations there. The Basilica is embellished with valuable chapels, among which are the Pauline Chapel and the Sforza Chapel. Crossing the Tiber River, you can admire the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere that, according to the legend, rises on the family house of St. Cecilia, martyred here in 230 A.D. Absolutely to be seen the wonderful underground crypt and the so-called “bath”, the calidarium where according to the legend was made the first attempt to choke Cecilia.
Finally, the itinerary ends with a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the major of the papal Basilicas and the universal symbol of Christianity. The present Basilica was built between the beginning of the sixteenth century and the first decades of the seventeenth century on the site of the primitive basilica erected around 320 by the Emperor Constantine in the place where, according to tradition, the Apostle Peter was buried. For the construction of the basilica alternated the most famous artists of the time: Raffaello Sanzio, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Domenico Fontana, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Inside are preserved a large number of valuable works of art, among there stands La Pietà, Michelangelo’s youthful masterpiece, performed in 1499 when the artist was barely 24 years old.