Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome

4.8
World heritage site · Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The official ecclesiastical seat of the pope, Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is the oldest church in the city. Commissioned by Emperor Constantine, the church was consecrated in the year 324 CE, the first Christian structure to be completed in the city. Though massively renovated over the years, the interior owes much of its current appearance to Francesco Borromini, a prominent Baroque architect. The building's most notable features are the gilded ceiling, a 15th-century mosaic floor, and a central nave lined by 5 m (16 ft) high statues of the apostles. Over the papal altar, you can find a baldachin--an ornamental structure resembling a canopy--that contains the relics of the heads of saints Peter and Paul. The monument to Pope Sylvester II is rumored to have sweated and squeaked on numerous occasions when the death of a pope was imminent. Work out when and for how long to visit Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano and other Rome attractions using our handy Rome trip planner.
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Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
8,031 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We have visited the basilica of St. John Lateran numerous times and each time it is like the first time. Each time we discover and appreciate something that we didn't know before. It amazes us...  more »
  • Basilica of St. John in Lateran, is also called the Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World. This basilica is the cathedral of bishop of Rome, one of the four major basilicas. It...  more »
  • We were actually staying close by. Had breakfast in a lovely little cafe/bar on the piazza. Walked around the whole building and some beautiful painted ceilings in the adjacent building. It was a...  more »
Google
  • Superb church to rival St. Peter's in the Vatican. One can only marvel at the monumental scale of the buildings. Great location in the heart of the city with excellent access to public transport
  • Massive church, though not immediately obvious where the entrance is! Particularly enjoyed the statues of the 12 apostles inside. Outside curiously unkempt: a large area of scruffy grass where pigeons seem to enjoy sitting down. And why not?
  • An absolutely beautiful church with incredible architecture and wonderful historical artifacts (Roman Senate Doors, pillars from the Temple of Zeus). Beautiful side chapels and statues of all of the apostles. A definite"can't miss" when visiting Rome.
  • Crowded! Don't go without a guide. Very beautiful. The Vatican museum tour is a must do while in Italy. So much to see, take in. Security and staff, including one nun in the gift shop are surly and unnecessarily harsh. But then, they deal with empty-headed tourists, so... I guess I understand. There for the grace... Am I right?
  • This church is the most biggest and beautiful place I have ever seen before! I can come here every week! It is free to come in and has a lot of security. It’s important that you come early because sooner in the afternoon there will be many people to visit this church.

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56 days in Switzerland & Italy BY A USER FROM THE NETHERLANDS March, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: March, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 20 days in Rome & Frankfurt BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM SPAIN March, culture, historic sites, hidden gems Preferences: March, culture, historic sites Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 14 days in Italy BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 15 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 14 days in Italy BY A USER FROM ITALY November, kids, culture, relaxing, wildlife, hidden gems Preferences: November, kids, culture, relaxing, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 11 days in Northwest Italy BY A USER FROM CANADA November, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: November, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 16 days in Italy BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems Preferences: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 15 days in Italy BY A USER FROM BELGIUM September, popular & hidden gems Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in Northwest Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 23 days in Portugal & Italy BY A USER FROM BRAZIL June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 32 days in Italy BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium
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