Church of Santa Maria del Popolo

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Church of Santa Maria del Popolo: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour

1. Rome: Half-Day Angels and Demons Semi-Private Tour

Explore Rome following the trail of Robert Langdon in Dan Brown's best-selling novel, Angels and Demons. The 3.5-hour tour begins at Pantheon, where Robert Langdon, the protagonist of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, arrives having misunderstood a clue. His intended destination was the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, and that is the tour's second stop. The church is noted for the Chigi Chapel, where Langdon found the first dead cardinal, branded with the word earth on his chest. Your next stop will be St. Peter's Basilica, the center of Christianity. In the middle of St. Peter’s Square you’ll find an obelisk surrounded by a wind compass rose. On the west ponente oval tile the protagonist found another dead cardinal, branded with the word air. After this, Langdon enters the Vatican’s secret archives to look for information about the Illuminati. From the Vatican you’ll head to the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, where you’ll see Bernini's sculpture, Estasi di Santa Teresa. It was here that Langdon found the third dead cardinal, who was branded with the word fire. Your guide will take you through the most important places in the ancient city center, including Repubblica Square, and Navona Square, where you’ll see Bernini's stunning Fountain of the 4 Rivers and the obelisk. According to the book, Langdon finds the last dead cardinal here, branded with the word water. From Navona Square you’ll head to the last stop, Castel Sant’Angelo, a gathering place of the Illuminati, and hear about the passetto, a hidden passage that leads to Vatican City. This shortcut was used by past popes as a way to escape, and in the book it is used as a hideout for the assassin.

Caravaggio in Rome Tour

2. Caravaggio in Rome Tour

Stroll through the district of Rome where Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio lived and worked. Discover the stories, anecdotes and the outstanding technical skills that have kept his name known across the world for over 400 years.  Born in Milan in 1571, Caravaggio was in Rome by the end of the 1580's. Admire some of the most beautiful masterpieces in the original churches for which they were commissioned. See in Santa Maria del Popolo: Saint Paul's Conversion and the Crucifixion of Saint Peter. See in Sant'Agostino, The Madonna of Pilgrims. Finishing up in San Luigi dei Francesi, one of the few French churches in Rome, to admire the three paintings which represent the stories of Saint Mathwe. These were the first altarpieces ever painted by Caravaggio.

Piazzas of Rome Small Group Sunset Tour

3. Piazzas of Rome Small Group Sunset Tour

Enjoy a romantic walking tour of Rome at dusk, and see the sunset over the “Eternal City’s” beautiful squares. Meet your guide in Piazza del Popolo, formerly used for popular games and public executions, and now a lively space for concerts. Learn about the vision of its architect, Giuseppe Valadier. Continue to Pincio Terrace to see the sunset over the rooftops of Rome. Marvel at the broad sweep of the Spanish Steps and Barcaccia’s fountain to a half-sunken ship. Next, go to the Trevi Fountain on Piazza di Trevi, and throw a coin in the pool according to tradition. See the historic Pantheon on Piazza della Rotonda, built in 27 BC as a temple to all the gods of Rome. Wander over to Piazza Navona, built on the site of a Roman amphitheater. Experience “La Dolce Vita” of Rome around Bernini’s magnificent Four Rivers Fountain in its center. End on Campo de' Fiori, dominated by the statue to the poet and philosopher, Bruno Giordano. Learn about his trial for heresy, and how he was burned at the stake at the medieval marketplace in the 16th century.

Rome: Caravaggio and Baroque Art Private Guided Tour

4. Rome: Caravaggio and Baroque Art Private Guided Tour

This 3-hour private tour of Caravaggio’s art and Rome’s Baroque masterpieces is the perfect opportunity for a close-up look at the artist’s work. Michelangelo Merisi, alias Caravaggio, one of the greatest painters of all time, spent the majority of his life in Rome. The tour begins at Piazza del Popolo and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, where you’ll see The Crucifixion of St. Peter and The Conversion of St. Paul. Then you’ll pass near 2 of Caravaggio’s residences, Palazzo Madama, the seat of the Senate, and Giustiniani Palace, which now houses the offices of the Senate. Your guide will tell you about unusual events in Caravaggio’s life and also provide commentary on the architecture or current functions of the main Italian government houses such as Montecitorio Palace. See the major masterpieces of Caravaggio, including The Life of St. Matthew in St. Louis of France’s Contarelli Chapel, and The Madonna of the Pilgrims in St. Augustine. Admire Baroque architectural masterpieces, including the Church of St. Ignatius. Pass by the Pantheon and hear about its history from your guide. Your tour ends in Piazza Navona, where you’ll be able to admire one of the Bernini’s masterpieces, the Fountain of the 4 Rivers, and Borromini’s façade of St. Agnes in Agony. Hear stories of these rival artists, and about the tragic end of Caravaggio’s life in Rome.

Rome: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & Pantheon

5. Rome: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & Pantheon

Rome’s famous squares, monuments, fountains and artists offer you the very best attractions on this 2.5-hour afternoon walking tour. Let the Eternal City enchant you as you stroll through its picturesque cobblestone alleyways, and discover some of the world’s most famous sites, such as the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Travel back in time and admire all of the city’s must-see art and architecture, in a single afternoon! Begin in Piazza del Popolo, the traditional northern “door to Rome,” with the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo as the first church that visitors to Rome would see upon entering its gates. The Spanish Steps, with its lively atmosphere and stunning views, bring you down into the winding alleys of the heart of the historic center, where you will encounter the ornate Trevi Fountain. Throw a coin in the fountain and promise to return! Continue with a stop at Piazza Colonna and see the column erected by Marcus Aurelius that is now considered by Romans as the very center of the city. We will also stop at the Pantheon to explore its impressive concrete dome and open oculus. Nearby, visit Piazza Navona to get a close-up view of Bernini’s famous “Fountain of the Four Rivers,” triumphantly marking its ornate center. Finally, you will go to Piazza Navona for a taste of one of the liveliest and most famous piazzas in Rome.

Rome: 3-Hour Baroque Walking Tour

6. Rome: 3-Hour Baroque Walking Tour

Starting from Piazza del Popolo, an enormous square with the city’s second obelisk in the center, which was brought to Rome by Augustus and re-erected here by the architect Domenico Fontana under Sixtus V (1589). In the square, the beautiful church of Santa Maria del Popolo is one of the most interesting in Rome, rich in works of arts and masterpieces of Raphael and Caravaggio. Arrive at the Spanish Steps and Spanish Square with the charming monumental flight of steps (1772), whose sinuous line harmoniously follows the slope of the hill. At its feet is the graceful fountain La Barcaccia by Pietro Bernini. At the top of the Spanish Steps is the Church of Trinità dei Monti with the two cupolas, and in front of its façade is an obelisk, which was taken from the Sallustian Gardens in 1789. Then, go to the Trevi Fountain, the most spectacular fountain in Rome. It was built by two Popes starting in 1730, with the legend that whoever throws a coin in will assure his return to Rome. The large fountain is located along a side of Poli Palace, decorated with statues and bas-reliefs on heaps of rocks and the water gushes from every part. Almost halfway up Via del Corso, the principal Roman street, is the Piazza Colonna with the column of Marcus Aurelius. On the square, you'll find Chigi Palace, the minister’s office. On the opposite side of Via del Corso is the Colonna Gallery. Montecitorio Palace at the square close by with the same name, is the headquartes of the Chamber of Deputies. The Pantheon, the best preserved monument of Ancient Rome and one of the most beautiful, is located in the picturesque Piazza della Rotonda with the wonderful fountain designed by Giacomo Della Porta, surmounted by the little obelisk Ramses II. The Baroque Rome Tour ends at Piazza Navona. Built on the site of the stadium of Domitian (84 AD) used for athletic competitions, in the middle of 17th Century under the pontificate of Innocent X Pamphilj (1644-1655) became the most beautiful square in Rome with the amazing Fountain of the Four Rivers built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who designed it as a base for an  Egyptian Obelisk, with the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and the Pamphilj Palace built by Girolamo Rainaldi and Francesco Borromini.

Rome: Masters and Mysteries Walking Tour

7. Rome: Masters and Mysteries Walking Tour

Start at the Galleria Spada where you will see the world-famous Galleria Prospettica built by the architect Borromini in the 17th-century. Marvel at how the corridor looks wide and long but it is just an optical illusion. Walk a little further and enter the gothic church of Santa Maria Sopra la Minerva home to Michelangelo's Standing Christ. Nearby in Piazza Navona, see breathtaking paintings by Caravaggio that will change your perception of light and darkness. Finally admire the authentic works by Raphael, located in the Chigi headquarter church. Amaze your friends and family with knowledge gained from this off-the-beaten-track walking tour.

Rome: Caravaggio Walking Tour and Bus Excursion to Lazio

8. Rome: Caravaggio Walking Tour and Bus Excursion to Lazio

Enjoy a guided walking tour through the district of Rome where Caravaggio created some of his most noteworthy works. Visit three churches in the historic center, then travel by bus to Ladispoli, his last residence before he died from wounds sustained during a bloody duel. Start your tour with the trio of churches, Santa Maria del Popolo, Sant'Agostino, and San Luigi de' Francesi. Explore the entrancing narrow alleys of Rome as you wend your way through the historic city center. After the guided walking tour, make your way to the town of Ladispoli aboard a comfortable GT bus and experience the northern coast of Lazio. Get to know an internationally renowned destination of natural beauty located just 30 km from the capital. Walk across the therapeutic black sands, where numerous Roman nobles spent their time. Explore the place where Maestro Caravaggio was arrested. See where he made a daring escape by sea after a bloody duel, taking refuge at the Odescalchi Castle in Palo Laziale. Listen as your guide explains how Ladispoli today represents an important meeting point for artists and lovers of Caravaggio's art. Before your tour concludes, see the waterfront bronze statue of Caravaggio by the artist Sergio Bonafaccia.

Rome: Angels and Demons Between Faith and Science Tour

9. Rome: Angels and Demons Between Faith and Science Tour

This private Angels and Demons tour of Rome is a unique opportunity to enter the world of Dan Brown’s best-selling book. You'll visit famous monuments and locations from the thrilling novel, all of which are based in the "Eternal City". Prepare to go off the beaten path, exploring the side streets of the historic center and uncovering the secrets of some of Rome’s most mysterious churches. From the splendor of Piazza Navona to the magical atmosphere of Santa Maria della Vittoria (home to Bernini's stunning Saint Teresa and a masterpiece of Baroque sculpture), you’ll be enchanted by the history and beauty of Rome as you unravel the city's secrets thanks to the expertise of your private guide. As well as learning about art history and the lives and works of painters such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio, you’ll gain new insights into the history of science and religion in the Eternal City whilst separating fact from fiction along the way. Join this gripping adventure and follow in the footsteps of fiction's most famous symbologist, you might just discover that the truth is the most compelling narrative of all.

Rome: Highlights of Caravaggio's Rome

10. Rome: Highlights of Caravaggio's Rome

Meet your guide in Campo Marzio, heart of the historical center of Rome and scenario of our tour! Not that much has changed in this peculiar neighborhood since the time Caravaggio used to wander around its alleys. Marvel at his masterpieces inside churches, stop by the Palaces where he lived as a guest, and the workshops where he started his carrier. Find the infamous locandas and taverns where he used to hang out and the houses of the courtesans becoming models of his creation. Get to the place where he eventually murdered someone causing the artist to leave the capital, leading to his descending parable, his wandering up and down Italy waiting for the forgiveness of the Pope which will arrive shortly before his death in the coast of Tuscany. Itinerary: - Piazza del Popolo - Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo (inside) Crucifixion of Peter, Assumption of the Virgin, Conversion of Saint Paul - Via di Pallacorda - Vicolo della Torretta - Palazzo Giustiniani - Piazza Navona - Palazzo della Cancelleria - Via delle Coppelle - Via della Maddalena - Via della Lupa - Via della Scrofa - Basilica of San Luigi dei francesi (inside), Calling and Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, Saint Matthew and the Angel - Basilica of Sant'Agostino in Campo Marzio (inside), Madonna del Pellegrino - Basilica of Santa Maria in Vallicella (inside), the Deposition - Parish of San Nicola dei Prefetti - Palazzo Madama - Via del Governo Vecchio

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What people are saying about Church of Santa Maria del Popolo

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 629 reviews

Anestis was an excellent guide through the streets and landmarks of Rome and the Vatican. Like all great tour guides, his attention to detail and intricate knowledge of the city's history, lore and legends was evident throughout. Whether you've read Angels and Demons or not, this is worthy every dollar you spend. Also good to know - this is a long walking tour, so get your walking shoes on and carry water/refreshments with you.

Laura was our guide..From start to finish of our tour she was full of information and knowledge of the film and the city, my daughter and son loved the tour....she was very kind and helpful also ..thankyou. Pamela.Ireland

Laura was the perfect guide. She was full of useful information. She knew the scenes to match up with the sites. It was the full 4 hours and probably the most entertaining of the 4 tours we took.

Super knowledgeable friendly guide a great experience highly recommend this tour you won't be disappointed

The guide, Vincenzo, makes this trip a worthwhile experience.