Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura : Michelin's recommendations
It is one of Rome's four major basilicas. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world flock to see the tomb of St. Paul, "The Gentiles' Apostle". St. Paul was beheaded under Nero, and his body placed along the Via Ostiense, which was lined with tombs at that time. In the 4C, Emperor Constantine had a basilica built there. Its apse surrounded the apostle's tomb, where the altar lies today. A new sanctuary was built in 395, and was carefully looked after, despite looting by Lombards and Saracens, until the night of 1823 , when fire destroyed the building. It was immediately fully rebuilt, according to its original plan. Once inside, you'll be amazed by its five naves, separated by 80 monolithic, granite columns ! The white coffered vault (where Pius IX's monogram is present), where light filters through the alabaster, niches housing statues of the apostles, or the triumphal arch topped by two gigantic granite columns give the edifice a grandiose solemnnity. The ciborium, set on four thin porphyry columns, is a Gothic creation by Arnolfo di Cambio (1285) and is a fine example of delicacy and harmony. It houses the altar. The altar stone is placed above a marble slab with Paul's name engraved upon it, thus marking the spot of the apostle's tomb. The cloister, that was perhaps built by one of the Vassallettos, with its small columns decorated with gilded marble fragments and a very delicate mosaic frieze, has an atmosphere reminiscent of early Christianity.