• Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 60.54 View price calendar

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Explore the highlights of early Christian Rome with this exciting 3-hour afternoon walking tour via foot and coach.  Led by a knowledgeable driver-guide, get an insider's view of the Eternal City and its Christian history. Stops include the Basilica of Sant Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of St. John Lateran. And then go underground by checking out the intriguing catacombs, an early Christian burial spot just outside of the city at the Appian Way.

Highlights

  • 3-hour coach and walking tour of Rome’s early Christian highlights with an expert guide
  • Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome’s five great ancient basilicas
  • See its gold mosaics, marble columns and richly decorated chapels
  • View the Holy Stairs, said to have been climbed by Jesus to his trial in Pontius Pilate’s palace
  • Admire the ornate Basilica of St John Lateran, the first church built in Rome
  • Explore the tunnels used as burial places and hideouts by Rome’s early Christians

What You Can Expect

Christian Rome Afternoon Tour

Admire the ornate Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica on this 3-hour Rome tour

This 3-hour afternoon guided tour of Christian Rome is an excellent way to learn the history of the faith and the city. After getting picked up at your hotel and meeting your guide, learn about the early history of the Church in Rome and how the city was a major influence on Christianity today. 

Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, a cavernous 5th-century church that today has a Baroque appearance. Stroll around the huge church with your guide learning about the history of the building and then head to San Giovanni in Laterano, otherwise known as the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the historic and official church of the pope. Go inside and walk around and then head next door to the Lateran Palace where the supposed steps of Pontius Pilate, known from the Biblical account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, exist. Today pilgrims ascend the 28 steps on their knees. 

At the top of the steps is the Holy of Holies, otherwise known as the Sancta Sanctorum, the erstwhile resting place for some of the most legendary relics in Church history: a chunk of the table that held the Last Supper, the heads of Saints Peter and Paul and the Holy Foreskin, the only piece of flesh Christ could have conceivably left on Earth, said to have been given to Pope Leo III by Charles the Great in 800 AD.

Next, trace the Appian Way, the famous ancient Roman road, passing the Chapel of Domine Quo Vadis, reputed to stand where St Peter saw a vision of the risen Christ.

Arrive at Rome’s catacombs – the nearly 186 miles (300 kilometers) of tunnels used as burial chambers and hideouts by early Christians. Then, depending on accessibility, explore the San Castillo, Santa Domitilla or San Sebastiano tunnels to see the burial niches, frescoes and other treasures lying inside.

Lastly, take in views of the Baths of Emperor Caracalla, the ruins of a 3rd-century Roman bathhouse. Then, end your tour at the start point or your choice of several city-center locations.

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Customer Reviews

theresaleyva

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2018

This was an excellent tour - we were driven to visit the Domatilla catacombs and then to St. John Lateran and Maria Maggiore Churches. Our tour guide was excellent and gave a wealth of information about the sites we visited. Well-worth the ticket price - thank you!

Cindy D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2017

We enjoyed this tour. Very organized and informant.

Cindy B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

The tour is excellent our guide was very knowledgeable she answered all our questions. Thank you

Madeleine H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

We loved this tour! Our guide was awesome! Not only knowledgeable, but fun!

Braden G New Zealand

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

This tour was amazing!

Janet S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

They did not pick us up at the hotel but it was relatively easy to find. Our guide was excellent and we really enjoyed learning about the catacombs. It is a little eerie to visit the tombs below ground but definitely an important part of our stay. We were unable to see the steps at St. John's due to heavy guarding, but the church in beautiful.

monicaidelis

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was amazing!

monicaidelis

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was amazing!

Alice M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Tour made it easy to see the catacombs which are hard to reach on public transportation which was why I chose it. Glad that it also included St Mary Major and St John in Lateran and guide led those of us interested through the Holy Doors of each. Guide was knowledgeable and careful to keep us together, spoke English clearly.

Nancy G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent guide really enjoyed the catacombs fairly small group could hear well.

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