- Visit the three Major Papal Basilicas of Rome
- See the Scala Sancta, or Holy Stairs, believed to be the steps that Jesus climbed
- Learn about the fascinating history of the papacy in Italy
- Relax in an air-conditioned mini-bus as you are transported between basilicas
We start our tour at the Archbasilica of St. John of Lateran, the seat of the Pope and the oldest papal basilica, built on the site of Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius, an event used to commemorate the founding of Christian Rome. While inside the first Catholic church in the western world, your guide will show you 14th century baldachin; the incredible gold mosaics in the church apse; and the twelve monumental apostles, each sponsored by a prince or pope.
As a treat to pilgrims and those interested in the crusading history of Italy, we will visit the Scala Sancta, or Holy stairs, brought from Jerusalem by Constantine I’s mother, St. Helena. The devout come to climb the stairs on their knees as, legend has it, Jesus did on his way to trial under Pontius Pilate. We won’t have time during the tour (nor is the deeply personal act very fitting with a guided tour), but you’ll have all the information you need to appreciate the climb if you do return to do it later.
A short drive away is the Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura, or Saint Paul Outside the Walls, another project of Constantine I, and one of the least visited (and least crowded) of Rome’s major churches. Reportedly built atop the remains of St. Paul, its stunning cloisters and mosaics are one of Rome’s hidden gems.
The final stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest of Rome’s churches dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its 5th century mosaics and the story of the early Christians who made them will give you a deep appreciation for the roots of Christianity.
These amazing churches can be a hassle to visit in one day if you are using public transport. We remove the annoyance of finding your way around the city with an air-conditioned mini-bus, chauffeured by a professional driver. With a tour group of 15 or fewer you will have plenty of time to quiz your expert tour guide on all the details of the places you visit while learning fascinating stories about the rise of one of the world’s great religions.
- Transport between sites by comfortable air-conditioned car/minibus
- Expert guide
- Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off
● Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
● Please remember that the basilicas are holy places, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.
● On rare occasions, when the basilicas are being prepared for high masses or a special private event, the basilicas itself can be closed without prior notification.
● Special note for tours running during the Holy Year (Jubilee): All guests must now pass through a security check before entering religious sites.
For cancellations made more than 72 hours prior to tour commencement: Full refund.
For cancellations made within 72 hours prior to tour commencement: No refund can be provided.
For amendments made more than 72 hours prior to tour commencement: No amendment fee, pending availability.
For amendments made within 72 hours prior to tour commencement: Amendments subject to a amendment fee per person, per tour, pending availability.
Late Arrivals & No Shows:
No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.