Through the centuries, the Basilica has profoundly transformed, particularly between the end of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, during which is grew with the addition of two side chapels and a new facade, re-designed by Ferdinando Fuga and superimposed over the Thirteenth Century original. There is, however, one thing time could not change: its magnificent, intricate interior.
From mosaics to frescoes to pavements to sculptures, popes, princes and lay people have showered gifts and decoration upon this magnificent space, making it one of Rome's most beautiful (and intact) sacred edifices, among the few surviving from early christianity. In fact, the Crypt of the Nativity, or Bethlehem Crypt, located beneath the high altar, boasts a crystal reliquary which is said to contain wood from the actual Nativity Crib of Jesus Christ.
Led by an expert on Ancient Roman Topography, Livia Galante, this Course will focus on the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased comprehension of the significance of the most important Papal Basilica dedicated to the cult of Virgin Mary in Rome.
About Your Expert
Livia obtained a degree in Archaeology at the Sapienza University of Rome and has a Master's degree in the History and Conservation of Cultural Heritage from the University of Roma Tre. Her main field of interest is ancient Roman topography and early Christian architecture; however, she is an accomplished scholar whose teaching ability extends to the Renaissance and Baroque Rome. As a native Roman, Livia is very enthusiastic about sharing the deep love and knowledge she has for her hometown with clients.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.