Basilica di Santa Maria
Many believe the Basilica di Santa Maria was the first church built in Rome
. While archaeologists can't definitively corroborate this claim, this landmark remains of supreme importance to locals who come to worship beneath its gilded ceiling. The church was continuously updated over the course of centuries, which means you'll get to see an accumulation of embellishments stretching back to the 12th century. Among the most impressive are Pietro Cavallini's gold and glass mosaic behind the altar and the ancient stone floor laid out in a dizzying geometric design.