The tintinabulum, essesntially a bell on a pole, is one of the distinguishing attributes of a basilica. The design always incorporates the papal tiara and crossed keys. The patron of the basilica, here the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is usually depicted above the bell. The bell is rung by means of a red cord.
The other attribute of a basilica is the ombrellino (next photo): http://us.fotolog.com/cybermonk/62707377
tintinabulum basilica Baltimore
On May 02 2009 at Maryland, United States 174 Views