Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome

4.8
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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  • This is one of the four major bascilicas in Rome. It is beautiful on a monumtal scale. Lots of art!!  more »
  • Among lots of basilics in Rome, you may put this one in 10th rank, but it is worth a see! Lots of paintings and sculpture may seems usual when you visit Rome, but don't miss a point because you would ...  more »
  • The Basilica is impressive, another San Pedro but a little small. The sculptures are wonderful. But to tell the truth what touched me most was the SCALA SANTA in front. Legend has it that was rescued by St. Helena and is a staircase that Jesus went up on the road of the crucifixion. You must climb on their knees, are about 20 steps and when you get to the last found a relic of a drop of blood of Christ. Very movilzante!
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  • The church to see and be seen. So much more fascinating than St Peter’s (especially with all the post 9-11 security measures). If you can figure out the secret code they have to make you Pope! True story!
  • Amazing place. Totally recommend It. It has so much history and is one of the oldest Christian church ever made. Do not miss it!
  • This church, in my opinion is one of the locations MUST SEE "when in Rome". This is one of the oldest churches in the world. Considering that the Pope is also the Bishop of Rome, the basilica is considered to be the place of the papal throne. The Basilica is also the cathedral of Rome.
  • This is actually the oldest of the four Papal basilicas in Rome and the official cathedral of the Pope. However there are few tourists compared to St Peter's basilica. There is a tent which acts as the security checkpoint with no queue on a sunny Monday afternoon in September. It is a lovely building though located at a busy traffic and metro intersection. The grand interior has large statues of the twelve Apostles on the sides with lots of neoclassical touches such as the pillars.
  • The most beautiful (in my opinion) of Rome's basilicas. Seemed to have less tourists than most. Stunning statues of the apostles and biblical scenes.

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Where to stay in Rome

For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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