Icon of faith
None of the great Roman basilicas represent a mixture of different styles so skillfully as Santa Maria Maggiore.
Her triple-hall format is lined with columns from the original 5th-century building. The floor is made of cosmatesque white marble and the charming and romantic bell tower is from the medieval era.
There is also a Renaissance ceiling, a gift of Pope Alexander VI, which is said to have been done with the first gold brought from the Americas. The mosaics in the apse are incredible and the entire temple seems to glow in gold, silver, bronze, and sterling white marble. Outside, you find the grand obelisk erected by Pope Sixtus V to guild pilgrims to the door, as if the massive and monumental church wasn't enough.