Audio guided tour of the Basilica of San Marco and Archaeological Excavations

The basilica was built in the place where St. Mark the Evangelist would have lived during his stay in Rome in 41 AD. and which was later transformed into an oratory. Between 337 and 340, Pope Mark transformed the oratory into a basilica at the end of the persecutions against the Christians, with the contribution of the gifts received from the emperor Constantine.

Piazza di S. Marco, 48, 00186 Roma RM


€ 9,00


1 hour aprox.


The original basilica was restored several times over the centuries. In the 9th century, Pope Gregory IV rebuilt it almost completely and had the arch and the mosaics that we still see today decorated. In the 12th century the precious Romanesque bell tower was added. Another radical transformation of the building took place in the 15th century at the behest of Cardinal Pietro Barbo, who became Pope Pius Paul II in 1464. We owe him the central door of the church, surmounted by a relief depicting Mark the Evangelist attributed to the sculptor Isaia da Pisa, the portico with the overhanging loggia with three arches attributed to Leon Battista Alberti, and the ceiling of the church in which he worked architect Bernardo da Fiesole in 1467. The current appearance of the church is linked to the restoration begun in 1654-1657 and then completed at the behest of Cardinal Angelo Maria Quirini with the architect Filippo Barigioni in 1735-1750, in which the imprint was given Baroque that the basilica still retains. It is a parish basilica, title of cardinal and officiated by the Chapter.

The Basilica of San Marco, like other basilicas located in the surroundings, was built on the remains of a previous one: it is the basilica of Pope Mark, built during his brief pontificate, in the year 336 AD. In the basement it is possible to observe the perimeter walls of the original early Christian basilica, perfectly preserved and only recently brought to light. During the recent excavations, tombs dating back to around 500 have also been found, these appear to be of particular importance as they allow us to deduce that, at that time, the Roman law which obliged the burial of the deceased outside of the wall.

The advantages

  • Guaranteed access by reservation
  • Multilingual audio guide in: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese
  • To listen to the audio guide you will need to download our Vatican&Rome App from the App Store or Play Store

What’s included

  • Visit with audio guide of the Basilica of San Marco and the archaeological excavations
  • Assistance from our staff

What’s not included

  • Guided tour of the Basilica of San Marco and the archaeological excavations
  • Anything not expressly indicated in the "Included" section

Information and reception

Adult ticket + 18 years € 9,00

Reduced ticket € 6,00

  • Children between the ages of 6 and 17
  • Groups made up of students belonging to schools and institutes, first and second grade (aged between 7 and 16 years)
  • Students of archeology, architecture, history of art and cultural heritage up to 25 years of age, who present themselves with adequate certification
  • Priests, men and women religious, seminarians and novices, who present themselves with adequate certification

The visit includes: Free visit of the Basilica and excavations with the support of a multilingual audio guide

  • Access for children and teenagers (0 -16 years) only if accompanied.
  • It is possible to take pictures.
  • Audio guide available in the following languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese

How to get there

From Termini Station:

  • Buses 64, 40, H (Piazza Venezia stop);
  • Open Bus Vatican&Rome (Stop n°6 Piazza Venezia)

From St. Peter's Basilica

  • Buses 64, 916, 46 (Piazza Venezia stop)
  • Open Bus Vatican&Rome (Stop n°6 Piazza Venezia)