A legend links the “Miracolo della Neve” (Miracle of the Snow) to the magnificent Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore.
In 358 A.C. the Madonna appeared to Pope Liberius in a dream, asking him to build a church dedicated to her. Just that morning it snowed, on the 5th of August, and the snow covered the place where Basilica now stands.
Each year the Miracolo della Neve is re-enacted, and is considered an event for all of the city. There is a suggestive show of sounds and lights, with artificial snow which falls extraordinarily from the starry sky, within the beautiful site of the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore.