Major Basilicas of Rome: 3-Hour Small Group Tour
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- Visit the 3 major papal basilicas in Rome
- See the Holy Stairs, believed to be the steps that Jesus climbed on his way to trial under Pontius Pilate
- Learn about the fascinating history of the papacy in Italy
- Relax in an air-conditioned minibus as you are transferred between stops on the tour
While inside the first Catholic church in the western world, your guide will show you the 14th century baldachin, the incredible gold mosaics in the church apse, and the 12 monumental apostles, each sponsored by a prince or pope.
As a special treat to those interested in the crusading history of Italy, you will visit the Scala Sancta, or Holy stairs, brought from Jerusalem by Constantine I’s mother, St. Helena. The devout come to climb the stairs on their knees as, legend has it, Jesus did on his way to his trial under Pontius Pilate.
A short drive away is the Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura, or Saint Paul Outside the Walls, another project of Constantine I, and one of the least visited (and least crowded) of Rome’s major churches. Reportedly built on top of the remains of St. Paul, its stunning cloisters and mosaics are among Rome’s hidden gems.
The final stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest of Rome’s churches, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its 5th century mosaics and the story of the early Christians who made them will give you a deep appreciation for the roots of Christianity.
With this group tour of 15 or fewer participants, you’ll have plenty of time to quiz your expert tour guide about the places you visit and hear some fascinating stories about the rise of one of the world’s great religions.
- Transportation between sites by comfortable air-conditioned car/minibus
- Expert English-speaking guide
- Hotel transfers
Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, at the left-hand corner when facing the church Meeting point directions: San Giovanni is on the same Metro line as Ottaviano (line A) which makes it easy to reach from the Vatican. Once you exit the Metro, look for the ancient Aurelian wall, go under the arches and you will see the Basilica of San Giovanni on the left. Walk up to the facade of the church, and meet your guide at the left-hand corner (when facing the church). During the the Holy Year (Jubilee) the meeting point is on the left hand side facing the church outside of the fenced off security area.
• On rare occasions, when the basilicas are being prepared for high masses or special private events, they can be closed without prior notification
• Unfortunately this tour is unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, and no wheelchairs or strollers are allowed on the tour
• This tour takes place in groups no larger than 15 people
Product ID: 58330