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Tour of Rome most significant Christian sites: Basilica of St. John in Lateran (visit), Holy Stairs, Lateran Square, Lateran Baptistery, Tuthmosis IV Obelisk, Caracalla's Baths, Old Appian Way, Quo Vadis Chapel, Catacombs (visit), Basilica of St. Paul's outside the walls (visit), the Pyramid of Gaius Caestius. Know about martyrs and persecutions. Learn why the Basilica of St. John in Lateran is the most important church in the world and that Catacombs where not hiding places but only burial places.
Tour Code & Name: RD/02 - Christian Rome
Duration: 3 hours approximately
Meeting Point: your hotel or to be agreed
Departure Time: 2:00 P.M.
Operating days: all year round
Handicapped Visitors: itinerary very difficult with wheelchair
Entrance Fees: Catacombs 8.00 €
Dress Code: entrance to the Churches and Catacombs requires appropriate attire: covered shoulders, long or short sleeves (no sleeveless arms), skirts or trousers, long enough to cover knees, for both.
Booking: Tours should be booked at least 15 days prior to your scheduled arrival. Anyhow you may always send us an e-mail at any time and we will make all the efforts to meet your requirements.
Visit the Patriarchal Basilica of St. John in Lateran, Rome Cathedral, the Pope's Church since the 4th C., when the Papacy seat was beside the church, omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput, mother and first of all the churches in the city and in the world. Transformed internally by the baroque architect Borromini with monumental statues of the apostles. Interesting is a Giotto’s rare portrait of Boniface VIII, the Pope who began the series of Holy Years in 1300.
See the Holy Stairs, the Lateran Square, the 5th century Baptistery and Tuthmosis IV's 15th century B.C. Egyptian Obelisk.
See Caracalla's Baths, the best preserved Roman Spas. Drive through the Via Appia, Old Appian Way; once along its sides was the most beautiful necropolis of ancient Rome.
See the Quo Vadis Chapel. Visit the Catacombs, sacred underground cemeteries with memories of innumerable martyrs.
Drive to the Basilica of St. Paul's outside the walls. Visit this 5th century monumental church, which still has its original architecture appearance and in the interior it is divided by 80 granite columns; it has a gilded ceiling and magnificent mosaics. Under the 13th century main altar lies the tomb of St. Paul. It's the church where are the mosaic portraits of all 264 Popes. Visit the charming cloister, remarkable example of medieval art.
Conducted by a qualified tour guide, perform this itinerary on foot and using a vehicle for long distances.
Visit the 4th C. Basilica of St. John in Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome, seat of the bishop of Rome: the Pope.
The monumental façade in travertine was completed by A. Galilei in 1735. Upon the gable the marble statues 7 m. high, represent Christ the Savior, at his sides John the Baptist and John the Evangelist (the church is dedicated to the three) and Fathers of the Church.
In the portico we find the 4th century D.C. statue of emperor Constantine, who ordered the building of this church in 316 D.C. The central 3rd century D.C. bronze doors, settled here in the 17th century, belonged to the Curia, the ancient Senate House in the Roman Forum.
The interior, modified by the great Baroque architect Borromini in the 17th C., has an imposing nave and two aisles in each side divided by square pillars; twelve monumental marble statues of Apostles are settled in the niches in the pillars of the nave. This is floored with precious mosaics of the 13th century and embellished by a splendid 16th C. gilded ceiling.
Upon the main altar is a magnificent Canopy in Florentine gothic style of 14th C.
The 13th C. splendid mosaic in the apse represents various Saints. Underneath is a chair decorated with mosaics: the Cathedra, used only by the Pope, Bishop of Rome.
In the transept, the rich Chapel of Holy Sacrament (1600) is on the left, while on the right is a monumental organ of the 16th C. worked in gilded wood.
Leave the church going out to St. John Square, where is the 16th C. side façade and a 3.500 years old Egyptian Obelisk, oldest monument erected in Rome. It arrived in Rome in 357 A.D. from Thebes to be erected in the Circus Maximus. Since 1587 it is in this square.
On the left side is the 5th C. octagonal Lateran Baptistery.
From St. John's Basilica arrive soon to the Old Appian Way and to St. Sebastian Gate, ancient Appian Gate opened in the Aurelian Walls of the 3rd C.
At about a kilometer, on the left, see the Quo vadis Chapel. According to ancient tradition this was the place where Christ appeared to St. Peter who was running away from the persecutions of emperor Nero.
The Catacombs are hypogea (long galleries dug from the 2nd to the 4th C. under earth by early Christians to entomb their dears).
After the visit of Catacombs visit the Basilica of St. Paul's outside the Walls the largest and longest church of Rome.
The monumental portico with is decorated by 146 gray granite columns with trabeations, capitals and basements in Carrara marble. The façade has a magnificent mosaic of the 19th century which recalls the ancient 5th C. mosaic destroyed by the fire in 1823.
The interior has been rebuilt in the same dimensions and same style of the 5th C. church, partially destroyed by the fire. Eighty imposing columns in gray granite divide the church in a central nave and four aisles. In their trabeations see round mosaics portraying all Popes, from St. Peter to John Paul II.
Upon the main altar is a splendid canopy in Florentine gothic style signed and dated by Arnolfo di Cambio, 1285. Beneath the altar in a 4th century sarcophagus are the mortal remains of St. Paul.
The apse is decorated by a mosaic completed in 1220 by Venetian artists; it depicts Christ between Apostles. Decorated by precious malachite and lapis lazuli are the two altars at the sides of transept.
The cloister of this church is a masterpiece of the 13th C. 'marmorari romani' (families of artists specialized in different artistic branches).
Follow with a vehicle to the St. Paul's Gate (ancient Ostiensis Gate) and nearby see the Pyramid of Caius Caestius, imposing mausoleum built in 12 B.C.
Entering through the ancient Aurelian Walls, 3rd century D.C. defensive walls, see the conspicuous remains of Caracalla's Baths, the best preserved of ancient Rome. Their surface was about 9 hectars (24 acres).
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