St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican City, Vatican City
St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is the world headquarters of Roman Catholicism and one of the largest churches in the world. Founded by Constantine the Great in 324, it stands over the tomb of Saint Peter the Apostle.
Chiesa del Gesù
This grand Renaissance church is the headquarters of the Jesuits and has served as the model for Jesuit churches everywhere. It contains famous ceiling frescoes and the tomb of St. Ignatius, the order's founder.
Church of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs
This interesting basilica incorporates the remains of the extensive Baths of Diocletian. Inside are works of medieval and modern art and an astronomical gnomon.
This world-famous chapel painted by Michelangelo is still used for papal elections.
The Vatican Museums are among the best in the world, with treasures including classical sculptures, early Christian artifacts, Egyptian mummies and Renaissance masterpieces.
Santa Maria del Popolo
A 15th-century church filled with Renaissance and Baroque art by masters such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Bernini.
San Lorenzo Basilica
This basilica was founded in the 4th century but the current building dates from the 1420s. Its stark brick exterior hides a magnificent interior by Brunelleschi and two bronze pulpits by Donatello.
This magnificent cathedral is notable for its revolutionary dome designed by Brunelleschi (1436), its tall campanile by Giotto, fine marble exterior and splendid baptistery. Inside, the Duomo is a veritable museum of Renaissance art.
Holy House of Loreto
Since medieval times, the Santa Casa di Loreto has been believed to be the very home in which the Virgin Mary lived and raised the young Jesus. A large basilica was built around the small shrine.
Founded in 876, this church was dedicated to St. Satyrus, brother of St. Ambrose, and stands on the reputed site of his house. It was later remodeled by Bramante.
Church of the Holy Spirit
Located south of the Arno in Florence, this Brunelleschi creation was described by Bernini as the most beautiful church in the world. Inside are 38 chapels and 35 columns, all perfectly placed.
The lovely Duomo di Spoleto dates from the 12th century. It features a fine Romanesque facade, magnificent frescoes by Fra Filippo Lippi and others, and a handwritten letter from St. Francis of Assisi.