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

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

Free admission
Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Italy

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.

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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
$154.04 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent tour!
Excellent tour! Thomas was very knowledgeable, answered all of our questions; I would definitely recommend this tour, you will not be disappointed!
Anna_D, Mar 2023

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Highly recommend this tour esp with Tomasi
74s5cz26x2, Dec 2022
Rome Walking Tour of Holy Sites: Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, San Giovanni in Laterano and Scala Santa
Climbing the escala sancta on my knees and seeing the sacred table. Seeing part of the Holy Cross, the Nail and thorns on Jesus’ crown
star-5
Fun and facts with Giorgio
Felixberto_V, Apr 2022
Rome Walking Tour of Holy Sites: Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, San Giovanni in Laterano and Scala Santa
It ended up being a private one as only the three of us were there for the tour. Giorgio, our guide, took his time to show and tell us information we did not know before. It was a moving experience going through the Cathedral and the steps of the Scala Santa. He was on time to meet us.
star-5
A must Do. Now. Don’t wait.
Angela_F, Jul 2022
Rome Walking Tour of Holy Sites: Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, San Giovanni in Laterano and Scala Santa
These three sites have been on my list for years and despite 4 previous trips to Rome I was not able to see them. The wait seem to make it sweeter. It was an amazing 2.5 hrs with Francesco who was an outstanding guide and garnered invitations to stay with us in Texas as a result. Climbing the stairs on my knees was incredibly powerful as I repeated the traditional Jewish Prayer on each step. I was sobbing in gratitude by the halfway point. The holy relics and churches were stunning and I especially found the full size copy of the Shroud of Turin (gift from Turin) amazing. Please do this tour. Please ask for Francesco. Please allow God to open your heart and mind during your time in these holy places.
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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.

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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.

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Trip ideas

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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.

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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Rome?
A:
As well as visiting the Basilica of St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: