In Italian, ‘ho fatto il giro delle sette chiese’—I’ve been around the seven churches— means that you’ve been absolutely everywhere looking for something. But what are the origins of this phrase?
Today, the city of Rome has more churches than any other city in the world, about 900 to be precise. But not all churches are created equal. Some churches, the Papal Basilicas, have a special connection to the Pope, whilst others are ordinary parish churches. In Medieval times, seven of these churches, including the four Papal Basilicas, where considered so important that a special pilgrims’ route was created, ‘la via delle sette chiese’, in which people would visit all seven of the churches in one day.