Santa Maria del Popolo

Opening hours Open 7am-12noon & 4pm-7pm Mon-Sat, and 8.00am-7.30pm Sun.

Ticket prices Admission is free.

On the northern side of the Piazza del Popolo, next to the huge and elaborate Flaminian gate, is the relatively unassuming entrance to the 5th century church of Santa Maria del Popolo.

Inside the church however, you'll discover a beautiful treasure-trove of art including work by Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael.


Santa Maria del Popolo inside Santa Maria del Popolo (photo: Eleanor Murkett)

There's a lot to see in Santa Maria del Popolo. It's perhaps best known for the two paintings by Caravaggio - The Crucifixion of St Peter and The Conversion on the Way to Damascus. Both paintings are in the Cerasi Chapel, which is at the far end of the church from the door, on the left-hand side. Another highlight of the church is the Chigi Chapel, which was begun by Raphael and finished by Bernini. Other things to see include some false perspective art and an unusual (and somewhat alarming) crucifix.

Visiting Santa Maria del Popolo

Santa Maria del Popolo is on the edge of Piazza del Popolo, at the top of the Corso. The simplest route by public transport is to take the Metro (linea A), get off at Flaminio and walk through the gate to the church. Alternatively, get off the metro at Piazza di Spagna and walk up to Santa Maria del Popolo from there.