what are the basilicas in italy


All About Basilicas in Italy

Italy is home to some of the most stunning and significant basilicas in the world. These architectural wonders hold great historical, religious, and cultural significance, drawing visitors from all over the globe. In this article, I will take you on a virtual tour of Italy’s most famous basilicas, each with its own unique story and charm.

What is a Basilica?

A basilica is a type of building that originated in ancient Rome and was later adopted by the Christian church as a place of worship. In Italy, basilicas are often grand, imposing structures with ornate architecture and beautiful artwork. They serve as important religious sites and are often filled with historical artifacts and treasures.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Located in Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most iconic basilicas in the world. It is the largest church in the world and is known for its breathtaking architecture, including the famous dome designed by Michelangelo. St. Peter’s Basilica is also home to many priceless works of art, including Michelangelo’s Pieta and Bernini’s Baldachin. It is a must-see for anyone visiting Rome.

Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica

When visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, be sure to climb to the top of the dome for a stunning view of Vatican City and Rome. You can also explore the crypts below the basilica, where the tombs of many popes are located.

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

This ancient basilica in Rome is one of the four major basilicas in the city and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is known for its beautiful mosaics, including the famous fifth-century mosaics in the nave. The basilica also houses a relic believed to be part of the manger from Jesus’ birth.

Visiting Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

When visiting this basilica, take the time to admire the stunning mosaics and explore the side chapels, each filled with unique artwork and historical significance.

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Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

Located in the city of Padua, this basilica is dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, a beloved figure in the Catholic Church. The basilica is a popular pilgrimage site and is known for its stunning Byzantine architecture and beautiful artwork, including the Tomb of Saint Anthony.

Visiting Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

Be sure to visit the Tomb of Saint Anthony and spend some time exploring the basilica’s interior, which is filled with awe-inspiring religious art and relics.


Italy’s basilicas are not only architectural marvels but also important religious and cultural landmarks. Each basilica has its own unique story to tell, and visiting them is an experience that should not be missed for anyone interested in history, art, or religion.


What is the oldest basilica in Italy?

The oldest basilica in Italy is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome, which dates back to the 3rd century AD.

Are basilicas only found in Italy?

No, basilicas can be found in many countries around the world, but Italy is particularly famous for its impressive and historically significant basilicas.

Can non-Catholics visit Italy’s basilicas?

Yes, all of Italy’s basilicas are open to visitors of any faith, and many tourists from all over the world come to admire their beauty and historical significance.

Are there admission fees to enter Italy’s basilicas?

While some basilicas may have a voluntary donation box, most basilicas in Italy do not charge entrance fees for visitors.

How should I dress when visiting Italy’s basilicas?

It is respectful to dress modestly when visiting basilicas in Italy, covering shoulders and knees, regardless of the weather outside.