St. John Lateran • Holy Stairs & Baptistery Guided Tour
You will be guided inside the fabulous St. John in Latern.
15 participants maximum
Service with guide
The sculptures inside will blow your eyes and its central nave, with its very rich sixteenth century celing, commissioned by Pope Innocent X for the Jubilee in 1650, to Borromini. The interiors will definately surprise you.
From inside the Basilica, you will be led in to the Lateran Chiostro. Admiring the beautiful and gracious marble columns while walking under the corridor, you will not be dissapointed. The Chiostro is one of the largest in Rome with its 36 meters sidewalk long dating back to the thirteen century.
Afterwards cross the street to enter the small yet unique Baptistry of Lateran. The proper denomination should be “San Giovanni in Fonte”. It was built in the fourth century by Constantine, together with the basilica of Saint John in Lateran, on top of a villa and a thermal building dating back to the second century.
Highly interesting is the entrance with a fragment of Roman lintel. The interior has an octagonal plan. In the center middle, there is an eight porphyry columns ring with Corinthian capitals supporting an octagonal lintel over which there is another order of smaller white marble columns. On the walls there are modern copies of Andrea Sacchi’s works depicting the stories of Giovanni Battista, under which there are frescoes of Constantine’s stories painted by A. Camassei, G. Gimignani and C. Maratta. In a smaller apse, a fifth century mosaic is worth to be mentioned. In the middle of a sixteenth century round closure is a font, a green basalt urn with a bronze cover, a work by Ciro Ferri (1634-1689).
No to missed out, is the sacred Holy Stairs. Your will not walk up to the top on your knees but, beside, you will be able to reach the top to see the Chapel of Sancta Sanctorum by side stairs. It is one of the most important and renowned sanctuaries in the Roman Catholic Church. Situated near the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the Sanctuary is recognized as the first private Papal chapel. The sanctuary gets its name from the 28 marble steps of the Holy Stairs.
At the end of the tour you will be able to remain in St. John Lateran to wonder around and re-enter all those sites if you wish.
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano Meet your guide at the main entrance of St. John in Lateran Basilica situated in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. Metro stop San Giovanni Line A. Please be at the designed meeting point 15 minutes prior tour departure. Your guide will hold "Mea Tours" sign to be easily located.