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Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) Tours

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Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano)
The Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) is the most important of the four major papal basilicas in Rome and is seat of the bishop of Rome: the Pope. One of the most important Catholic churches in the world, the archbasilica is decorated with rich mosaics, Cosmatesque floors, and 12 baroque statues of the apostles.
 
The Basics
The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Sts. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist in the Lateran is the cathedral of Rome. More commonly known as the Basilica of St. John Lateran, it is named for its location at the Lateran Palace. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, donated the property to the church. It became the main papal residence and the venue for consecration of popes for centuries. Today, visitors can see the six papal tombs and larger-than-life-size statues of the Twelve Apostles.
 
St. John Lateran is best visited with a guide as part of a Christian Rome tour to be able to fully appreciate its historical and religious importance. Many small-group tours also include visits of the Vatican City’s Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen if joining a walking tour of Rome, as there is a lot of ground to cover.
  • Catholic churches have a strict dress code that requires knees and shoulders to be covered.
  • Photography without flash is permitted inside the church.
  • The basilica is fully accessible to wheelchairs or strollers via ramps inside and outside.
 
How to Get There
The Basilica of St. John Lateran is located at the southern edge of the city center, about a 5-minute walk from the San Giovanni Metro Station on Line A.
 
When to Get There
Italy's capital city is one of the most visited destinations in Europe, and its holy sites, such as Saint John Lateran, are especially crowded during the Catholic holidays and Jubilee years. Try to schedule your tour outside of these popular times to visit.
 
The Holy Stairs
St. John Lateran is also the site of the Holy Stairs (Scala Sancta)—said to have been climbed by Jesus Christ to reach the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem and brought to Rome in the fourth century. Today, they lead to the Sancta Sanctorum, a chapel that contains some of the holiest relics in Christian history, though pilgrims today climb a nearby replica, as the original stairs are closed to visitors.
Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Italy
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60 Tours and Activities to Experience Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano)

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St John Lateran Holy Stairs and Baptistery Private Tour

St John Lateran Holy Stairs and Baptistery Private Tour

star-4.5
Discover several important Christian landmarks during one itinerary with this small group tour in Rome. Hear stories about history and architecture from your guide as you explore the interior of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Chiostro corridor, and the Holy Stairs. Discover the Chapel of Sancta Sanctorum, originally the first private papal chapel.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$395.13
per group
From
$395.13
per group
Taking safety measures

Skip the Line to Vatican Treasures, Sistine Chapel and Optional Upgrade with Lunch

Skip the Line to Vatican Treasures, Sistine Chapel and Optional Upgrade with Lunch

star-4
Spend a morning or an afternoon at the Vatican with this 2-hour skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel) and St. Peter's Basilica. Get an up close and personal look at Michelangelo's masterpiece, his murals in the Sistine Chapel that changed the history of painting forever. See Raphael's cherubs. Gawk at the Gallery of Maps. Explore St. Peter's Basilica. And if you want more, upgrade to a full-day tour and visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Catacombs and more. Lunch can also be included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$72.25
From
$72.25
Taking safety measures

Rome Walking Tour of Holy Sites: Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, San Giovanni in Laterano and Scala Santa

Rome Walking Tour of Holy Sites: Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, San Giovanni in Laterano and Scala Santa

star-5
Seek out the religious gems of Rome on a 2-hour, small-group walking tour. In a group that’s limited to just 15 people, you’ll visit the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, the Scala Santa, and the Basilica of the Holy Cross with a guide. Hear stories about the sacred relics inside the monuments, and discover a side of Rome that many visitors miss.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.42
Price varies by group size
From
$120.42
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Afternoon Tour

Christian Rome Afternoon Tour

star-3.5
Explore the highlights of early Christian Rome with this exciting 3-hour afternoon walking tour via foot and coach.  Led by a knowledgeable driver-guide, get an insider's view of the Eternal City and its Christian history. Stops include the Basilica of Sant Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of St. John Lateran. And then go underground by checking out the intriguing catacombs, an early Christian burial spot just outside of the city at the Appian Way.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$71.05
From
$71.05
Taking safety measures

Papal Basilicas: St. John Lateran, Saint Mary Major, St. Paul outside the walls

Papal Basilicas: St. John Lateran, Saint Mary Major, St. Paul outside the walls

On this tour you will explore three of the most important Basilicas in the world, after St. Peter's: St. John Lateran, St.Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls. Built in the 4th century by the emperor Constantine, the Basilica of St. John Lateran is the oldest church in the western world. A former seat of the papacy, and the current seat of the Archdiocese of Rome, St. John Latera is Rome's Cathedral. Its many treasures include the original doors of the Roman Curia or senate house. Nearby are the Scala Sancta ( Holy Stairs ) believed to be the very steps on which Chist stood trial before Pontius Pilate. St. Mary Major is one the oldest churches dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and is known for its mosaics featuring scenes from the life of Mary. It also houses the relic of Christ's manger. Last but not least, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is the second largest Basilica after St. Peter's Basilica. It was founded on the burial ground of St. Paul.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$295.02
Price varies by group size
From
$295.02
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Christian Rome

Private Tour: Christian Rome

star-5
Step into the early days of Christian history on a private, 6-hour tour of Rome’s holy sites, and experience the city where Constantine, St. Peter and St. Paul lived and preached. Discover the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of St. John Lateran and Pontius Pilate's steps, an important pilgrimage site. See millennia-old relics treasured by saints and Popes, then head to the below-ground Catacombs for a tour of the tunnels where generations of Christian martyrs were buried and remembered.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$423.34
per group
From
$423.34
per group
Taking safety measures

Passion of Christ Walking Tour in Rome

Passion of Christ Walking Tour in Rome

star-5
View items related to the passion and death of Jesus Christ during this 3-hour tour in Rome. Visit the Basilica of St Mary Major to see fragments of the wood from the manger where Jesus was born and explore San Prassede, which features pieces of the pillar upon which Christ was flogged. At the Basilica of Santa Croce, see fragments of the true cross and a nail of the crucifixion. Along the tour, learn about the history of these sacred religious objects from your guide. All entrance fees are included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.53
Price varies by group size
From
$81.53
Price varies by group size

Christian Rome Tour Semi-Private

Christian Rome Tour Semi-Private

star-4.5
Explore the sacred Christian sites of Rome with a small-group tour, including the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and more. Skip the hassle of finding all these sights on your own and hear fun facts and stories about Rome’s early Christian history as you travel from site to site with a guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$168.58
Price varies by group size
From
$168.58
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Small Group Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas Half-Day Tour

Small Group Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas Half-Day Tour

star-4.5
Explore the Christian basilicas and landmark locations in Rome on this guided, 3-hour, small-group tour. Visit the Basilica of San Clemente, the ancient Santi Quattro Coronati, the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran. Learn fascinating facts about these and other basilicas along the way. Skip-the-line entrance tickets to the Basilica of San Clemente provided. Please dress conservatively. Attire such as shorts, miniskirts and uncovered shoulders are not allowed. Rome hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$110.78
Price varies by group size
From
$110.78
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Secret Rome and Historical Churches

Private Tour: Secret Rome and Historical Churches

star-5
Bypass Rome’s tourist hotspots and uncover the lesser-known gems that many visitors miss. Guided by an expert in art history, the 3.5-hour tour introduces you to Caelian Hill with its history-steeped churches and archaeological digs. Check out Case Romane del Celio, an ancient Roman house, and step inside the city’s so-called medieval Sistine Chapel. Visit the papal seat, aka the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, and learn about the city’s history from Roman Empire days to the Middle Ages.  The tour can be tailored to your preferences.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$137.99
Price varies by group size
From
$137.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day Vatican Museums and Underground Tour in Rome

Full Day Vatican Museums and Underground Tour in Rome

star-3.5
Discover Rome’s history on a full-day tour to Vatican City and the catacombs. Begin at the Vatican with a skip-the-line ticket to visit the museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica where you can find works of art by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and more. Then head underground to explore the ancient Roman catacombs and other Christian landmarks such as the Cathedral of Rome and the Holy Staircase.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$198.69
From
$198.69
Taking safety measures

Secret Rome Basilicas and hidden Underground Catacombs Tour

Secret Rome Basilicas and hidden Underground Catacombs Tour

star-4.5
Take a journey through the history of Catholicism in Rome on this tour to two of Rome's four papal major basilicas and the Catacombs of Rome. See the sacred sites and holy relics of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and then descend underground to explore the subterranean tombs of the Catacombs.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.21
From
$60.21
Taking safety measures

Rome's Papal Basilicas: Private Tour of Early Christian Rome

Rome's Papal Basilicas: Private Tour of Early Christian Rome

Rome’s religious history extends beyond the Vatican and this tour visits three of the city’s most important Christian sites. Visit Rome’s oldest church, St. John Lateran; admire ancient Christian artworks at St. Mary Major; and see the tomb of St Paul at St. Paul Outside the Walls. Travel in the comfort of a private vehicle and learn all about Rome’s early Christian history from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
From
$348.61
Price varies by group size
From
$348.61
Price varies by group size

Between Holy Doors

Between Holy Doors

star-5
What exactly can you expect from this tour? Immerse yourself in the Rome of the Popes, where stories, wonders, legends and reality blur and harmonize with today's Rome. You will be guided by one of our local, certified tour guides. What makes our guides special is their passion for Rome and they want to share it with you. Highlights of the tour: On this tour, you will experience "Santa Maria Maggiore", which contains one of the four Holy Doors. Then we will reveal the hidden basilica "Santa Prasede" and its secrets. Followed by "San Pietro in Vincoli" where you will see the statue of Moses by Michelangelo and the miraculous chains of St. Peter. Then we will visit two of the oldest churches in the city: "Santi Quattro Coronati" with the legend of Pope Sylvester "San Clemente", dedicated to the fourth Pope "Clemens I" The tour culminates in a visit to the arch-basilica of "San Giovanni in Laterano", which contains another of the four Holy Doors.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.13
From
$36.13
Taking safety measures

Cristian Catacombs & Basilicas Small groups

Cristian Catacombs & Basilicas Small groups

Explore the Christian Catacombs & the Basilicas This tour starts with a visit to two of the Four Major Basilicas in Rome: St. Mary Major, the most important and best preserved of the Roman Churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with its fifth-century mosaics; and St. John’s in Lateran, Cathedral of Rome and first Papal residence. After a stop at the Holy Stairs, we proceed to the ancient Appian Way, probably the most important of the Roman roads, until we reach the Catacombs of Rome, the ancient underground cemeteries and extraordinary expression of faith to the earliest Christians.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$108.38
From
$108.38
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome on this all-day shore excursion. Choose between a self-guided tour or a customized tour with a guide. The itinerary may include visits to the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Holy Stairs, St. Peter’s Basilica, Christian Catacombs on the Ancient Appian Way, and more.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$276.96
Price varies by group size
From
$276.96
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full Day Cristian Catacombs & Ancient Rome - Pick up and Lunch included

Full Day Cristian Catacombs & Ancient Rome - Pick up and Lunch included

This tour starts with a visit to two of the Four Major Basilicas in Rome: St. Mary Major, the most important and best preserved of the Roman Churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with its fifth-century mosaics; and St. John’s in Lateran, Cathedral of Rome and first Papal residence. After a stop at the Holy Stairs, we proceed to the ancient Appian Way, probably the most important of the Roman roads, until we reach the Catacombs of Rome, the ancient underground cemeteries and extraordinary expression of faith to the earliest Christians. After lunch, Walking through history: visit the Colosseum, symbol of the ancient Roman times, and its surrounding area, the most important and beautiful archaeological site in the world.The Palatine Hill, where the city of Rome was founded became. For centuries, the Roman Forum was the center of public and economic life, where the most important structures of the ancient city were located.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$222.77
From
$222.77
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas and Lunch Shore Excursion from Civitavecchia

We are immensely pleased to lead to you to visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome. Included one Papal Blessing on Parchment in English. • Saint John Lateran • The Holy Stairs • Saint Mary Major • Saint Paul Outside the Walls • St. Peter’s Basilica (if and when open) • One Christian Catacomb (Skip-The-Line tickets included) Lunch included in a tipical Roman Restaurant. Upgradable with Official Licensed Expert Tour Guide (in Private option) Pickup and dropoff will be at your ship. Private or Shared Tour available options. Worry-free Shore Excursion: We will ensure your timely return to Cruise Port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. See terms and conditions for full details.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$276.96
Price varies by group size
From
$276.96
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Special Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas

Special Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas

Sensational churches. The tour starts in the Lateran area, visit of St. John Lateran Basilica, the oldest of the four Papal Basilicas, considered “The Church of Rome”, the mother of all churches The Cathedral, the place where the Bishop has the seat. Then the tour continues with the visit of St. Clement’s Basilica, the only church in Rome to be built on 3 different levels, from the 1st to the 12th century and the underground floors can be explored, including the altar of Mithras from the 1st century. The visit ends with St. Peter’s in Chains Basilica, called like that for the chains that, according to the tradition, Helene Constantine’s mother brought in Rome and for a miracle where joined to the other St. Peter’s chain in Rome. The church, is famous also for the statue of Moses, created by Michelangelo the tomb of the Pope Julius II.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$111.64
Price varies by group size
From
$111.64
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour of Catholic Rome

Private Tour of Catholic Rome

Customize a private tour of Rome with a visit to its famous Catholic sites. Be chauffeured in the personalized comfort of a private Mercedes car or minivan and stop at monuments, piazzas and cathedrals. See the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica and explore others in the Eternal City such as the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo and the Holy Stairs at St John Lateran. Note: entrance fees and private guide are not included in the tour price.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.87
From
$33.87
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

We are immensely pleased to lead to you to visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome. Included one Papal Blessing on Parchment in English. • Saint John Lateran • The Holy Stairs • Saint Mary Major • Saint Paul Outside the Walls • St. Peter’s Basilica (if and when open) • One Christian Catacomb (Skip-The-Line tickets included) Lunch included in a typical Roman Restaurant. Upgradable with Official Licensed Expert Tour Guide (in Private option) Pickup and dropoff will be at your accommodation in Rome. Private or Shared Tour available options. Worry-Free and Safe Private Tour Experience, operated only with: • Expert Professional English-Speaking Drivers • Selected local Expert Licensed Tour Guides (when booked) • Welcoming by private licensed fully-insured air-conditioned comfortable Vehicles
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$469.63
Price varies by group size
From
$469.63
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

We are immensely pleased to lead to you to visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome. Included one Papal Blessing on Parchment in English. • Saint John Lateran • The Holy Stairs • Saint Mary Major • Saint Paul Outside the Walls • St. Peter’s Basilica (if and when open) • One Christian Catacomb (Skip-The-Line tickets included) Lunch included in a tipical Roman Restaurant. Upgradable with Official Licensed Expert Tour Guide (in Private option) Pickup and dropoff will be at your accommodation in Rome. Private or Shared Tour available options. Worry-Free and Safe Private Tour Experience, operated only with: • Expert Professional English-Speaking Drivers • Selected local Expert Licensed Tour Guides (when booked) • Welcoming by private licensed fully-insured air-conditioned comfortable Vehicles
More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$258.90
Price varies by group size
From
$258.90
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

Christian Rome Four Major Basilicas Lunch Included Fullday from Rome

Visit several of the most venerated Catholic sites in Rome, accompanied by a private driver and guide. Trace the history of Roman Christianity as you visit ancient catacombs, churches, sacred stairs, and more, including a stop inside the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church. Enjoy the comfort of private transportation in a Mercedes, and commemorate your time in Vatican City with a papal blessing on parchment paper.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$258.90
Price varies by group size
From
$258.90
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

THE BIG FOUR: Itinerary Dedicated to the Papal Basilicas of Rome

THE BIG FOUR: Itinerary Dedicated to the Papal Basilicas of Rome

Rome is the world capital of Christianity and since the 5th-century 4 basilicas have been recognized as the major Papal ones of the city. Generations of pilgrims experienced the feeling of walking on the footsteps of the Saints who made the history of Christian religion, such as the first Pope, Saint Peter or the great Apostle of Gentiles Saint Paul. The importance of these sites is not only religious, but dued to the beauty and the historical significance. Kings, emperors and great women during the centuries have inked their names with the four Papal basilicas of Rome. During THE BIG FOUR TOUR, your group will have the opportunity to visit the papal basilicas inside with a professional and licensed guide and admire the milestones of architecture and Christian religious art.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$361.25
Price varies by group size
From
$361.25
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano)?