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“Gorgeous and historic.”

Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
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US$ 67.51*
and up
Small Group Tour: Christian Rome and Underground Basilicas Half-Day Tour
Ranked #6 of 1,515 things to do in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Known to be the first church in Christendom, this church belongs to the Vatican and has the privileges of extraterritoriality.
Jackson, Miss.
Level Contributor
442 reviews
209 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 349 helpful votes
“Gorgeous and historic.”
Reviewed 7 April 2012

San Giovanni in Laterano was the first openly Christian basilica built in the city of Rome. The 18-th century facade is impressive, with large statues of Christ and the apostles at the summit. The tall bronze green doors were moved to this church from Rome's ancient Senate building in the 1650s to remind everyone that the church was Europe's lawmaker.

The church is huge and impressive. No wonder, as it's where the pope occasionally holds mass. The mosaic half dome over the apse glistens, and the bishop's chair beneath is where newly-elected popes must sit before the can officially become pope. (Methinks the ceremony is likely timed so that the shaft of light entering the window above left falls squarely on the bishop's chair.)

It's a good idea to combine a visit to this church with a visit to the Holy Staircase, which is right across the street. It's also not far from San Clemente, another fascinating religious site.

Visited March 2012
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Thank bradshawgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Glad we went”
Reviewed 5 April 2012

I was as impressed with this smaller basilica as I was with St. Peter's.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ritch L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Easy access via the subway. This Church is gorgeous and was not at all busy when I visited. You can really explore without the throngs of people like at St. Peter's

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank Frank N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“what a place”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

one of the most beautifull churchs of Rome.....and you can go to the holly staris....right next the churc

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank paulo p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dana Point, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“St. John Lateran”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Beautiful church and artifacts, well worth the visit

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
Thank Susan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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