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Basilica di Santa Maria in Via Lata
Basilica di Santa Maria in Via Lata

Basilica di Santa Maria in Via Lata

Via del Corso, 306, Rome, Italy

The basics

Cloaked in mystery, Santa Maria in Via Lata sits above a 5th-century crypt said to be where St. Paul spent two years of house arrest. Other versions contradict this claim, but the crypt and the church erected above it in the ninth century are among the most sacred early Christian sites in Rome. Exploring the church with a guide is the best way to fully appreciate its unique history and religious significance, and pilgrims and art lovers can join a tour of early Christian sites in Rome or an itinerary that traces the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul that include a stop here. View the underground crypt, home to the marble column said to be where St. Paul was chained and replicas of the 17th-century frescoes by Pietro da Cortona (the originals are now conserved in the Crypta Balbi Museum), as well as the church above, completely reworked in the 1600s and decorated with a number of important 17th-century paintings and the 13th-century icon of the Virgin Advocate.

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Things to know before you go

  • If you are joining a walking tour of early Christian sites in Rome, wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.
  • Modest attire is required to enter Santa Maria in Via Lata, with knees and shoulders covered. Photography without flash is permitted inside the church and crypt.
  • There are stairs at the entrance to the church and down to the crypt, so it is not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
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How to get there

Santa Maria in Via Lata is located along the main Via del Corso thoroughfare in central Rome, just a short walk from the Piazza Venezia transportation hub.

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Trip ideas


When to get there

One of the most popular destinations in Europe, Italy’s capital city can be very crowded in summer and its historic churches and monuments filled with high-season tourists. Try to visit from November to April to enjoy the city's treasures in relative peace.

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St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome

Rome is home to a number of important basilicas that hold clues to the years the saints Peter and Paul spent in Rome. Among the most sacred are the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica Papale San Paolo Fuori le Mura), the UNESCO-listed church where St. Paul is buried; and St. Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli), which holds the chains said to have bound the saint in prison and is home to Michelangelo’s monumental Moses statue.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Basilica di Santa Maria in Via Lata?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Rome?
A:
As well as visiting the Basilica di Santa Maria in Via Lata, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: