4 star rating: Recommended 21 Reviews

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  • Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Italy
  • Hours: Daily 7am-7pm (closes at 6pm in winter)

Rome ATTRACTIONS See all

St John Lateran's Basilica Tours

Contrary to popular belief, St Peter’s Basilica isn’t the cathedral of Rome. This honor goes to “the Cathedral Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist at the Lateran.” Quite the mouthful, but the church is more commonly known as the St John Lateran’s Basilica or Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. The basilica is the most important of the four major basilicas in Rome, and on top of that, it’s the seat of the Bishop of Rome—the Pope himself—and considered one of the most important Catholic church in the world. 

Although one might think so, St John Lateran isn’t a person. The church is named after its location at the Lateran Palace, ancient seat of the noble Roman Laterni family and later the main papal residence. When the palace came into the hands of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, he soon donated the property to the church. Through fires, earthquakes, wars and much rebuilding, it remained the place where popes were consecrated. The present cathedral underwent a final remodeling in 1646, and although it has had a turbulent history, the church retained its original plan, which is made up by two aisles and a semi-circular apse.  

Apart from the six remaining papal tombs and the inlay stonework in the medieval Cosmatesque style covering the church in intricate mosaics of glass and marble, the main features of St John Lateran’s Basilica are the 12 apostles. Twelve niches were created by the church’s architect Borromini and then filled with life-sized statues of the apostles by the most notable sculptors of the period.

Practical Info

St John Lateran’s Basilica is located outside of the Vatican, but still within the city of Rome. The closest metro stop is San Giovanni, from where it’s only a short walk to the church. The basilica is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but in winter it closes early at 6 p.m.

Tours & Tickets

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Full Day Tour: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's and the Most Important Basilicas of Rome, Rome, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full Day Tour: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's and the Most Important Basilicas of Rome

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1169 Reviews

Mark your visit to Rome with special tour of the Vatican and Rome’s patriarchal basilicas. After a skip-the-line tour of the Vatican Museums, step inside the ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $120.07
Small Group Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas Half-Day Tour, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Small Group Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas Half-Day Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Enjoy a half-day walking tour (small group max. 12 people) of Christian Rome and discover underground treasures in some of the most sensational churches. Your ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $87.97
Christian Rome Major Basilicas and Catacombs 3 Hour Tour, Rome, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Christian Rome Major Basilicas and Catacombs 3 Hour Tour

Visit several of the most influential basilicas, such as St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran and discover just how important they were in shaping the history ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $65.39
Rome in One Day: Colosseum and Catacombs Tour with Skip the line, Rome, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Rome in One Day: Colosseum and Catacombs Tour with Skip the line

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Learn the stories behind the grand monuments of Rome, discover the Colosseum, the Roman Forum & Palatine Hill and finally the mysterious Catacombs

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $161.68
Private Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas - Half-Day Walking Tour, Rome, Skip-the-Line ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

Private Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas - Half-Day Walking Tour

Enjoy a half-day walking tour of Christian Rome and discover underground treasures in some of the most sensational churches. On this private tour, you'll hear ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $87.97
Private Tour of Catholic Rome, Rome, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour of Catholic Rome

Visit some of the most Catholic churches of Rome traveling in a comfortable, air-conditioned Mercedes car or minivan. See St. Peter's, St. John Lateran, St. ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $32.10
Passion of Christ Walking Tour, Rome, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Passion of Christ Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Superb tour providing an intimate encounter with the physical objects collected and/or related to the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. This tour visits ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $77.27
Best of Christian Rome Fullday from Rome, Rome, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Best of Christian Rome Fullday from Rome

We are immensely pleased to lead to you to visit the most significant sites of the Catholic Church in Rome. Included one Papal Blessing on Parchment in ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $130.77
Private Tour: Secret Rome and Historical Churches, Rome, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Private Tour: Secret Rome and Historical Churches

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Leave Rome’s main tourist trail to discover the city’s tucked-away treasures with a private art historian–guide. This 3.5-hour walking tour puts the spotlight ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $43.99
Vatican Museums and Christian Rome, Rome, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 4

Vatican Museums and Christian Rome

Take your chance to visit the Vatican Museums that represent together with   the Sixtine Chapel one of the biggest and interesting museum complex of ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $154.55

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