Rome, Italy
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clock-o3 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 2 more


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.
  • 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
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.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

193 Reviews
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1 Star
, Oct 2018

The information and tour were enjoyable but we started out bad. We arrived at meeting destination and they loaded us on a bus. We sat and sat for at least 20 minutes in the heat with no air and no open windows. People began getting off and were told we needed to stay on. It was terribly hot! Not sure what we were waiting on but we should never have been loaded until it was time to depart. There were some really upset people. Including myself.

, Jul 2018

Since this was a tour of Christian sites I was expecting more information on the Christian significance of the churches visited from the guide.
However, the local guide at the catacombs was great.

, Jul 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!

, Jun 2018

lovely tour.

, Apr 2018

Excellent tour to see selected Christian historical sites. Catacombs tour was extremely interesting but due to the large number of visitors it was difficult to connect with the guide and not feel rushed. The catacombs is a must see but timing and number of visitors is important to research. Also taking a tour that requires your guide to use multiple languages during the tour can be a distraction. Recommend you selecting a tour that is dedicated to a specific language so you can get the most value out of each attraction.

, Dec 2017

The most interesting part of the tour is the catacomb. The other 3 churches are accessible in the city on foot. Its worth to join in pricewise.

, Nov 2017

Boring. Nothing to see. Waste of time and money.

, Nov 2017

Took this tour to complement the Vatican Tour. Really good! Nice sites. Would be better if an earpiece was provided to better hear the guide.

, Nov 2017

I would stay longer at St. John's so participants could go up the stairs that Jesus walked.

, Sep 2017

This tour was good to see these sights that were not as easy to get to by walking from the more central attractions of Rome, especially the catacombs. However, we were on a full sized bus with at least 40 people and there were four different languages spoken. There were two guides for this group. One led the Spanish speaking people and the other led the English, French and Italian speaking people. So we had to listen to three iterations of each topic along the tour route, which was distracting and a bit confusing. Besides that, there were no audio devices provided to assist with hearing the guide while visiting the sights, which is an essential need for these tours. If you want the most from these tours, stay CLOSE to the guide!

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Product code: 2390GRET4

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