Attractions & monuments

St John Lateran, Holy Stairs & the Baptistery private tour

based on 6 reviews
Availability: Monday to Saturday
Duration: 3 hours
Language: Italian , English , French , Spanish , German
Mobile voucher accepted
Do this because
  • Be amazed by the beauty of the Basilica of St John Lateran and its sculptures
  • Walk around the Chiostro and learn the history hidden behind it
  • Follow your professional guide inside the Baptistery of St John in Lateran
  • Walk up the Holy Stairs to see the Chapel of Sancta Sanctorum
What to expect

Follow your guide inside the wonderful St John Lateran. The sculptures inside will blow your mind and so will the central nave of this baptistry with its richly decorated 16th-century celing, commissioned to Borromini by Pope Innocent X for the 1650 Jubilee. Be prepared to be amazed at the interiors.

You will then be led into the Lateran Chiostro. Admire the beautiful and gracious marble columns while walking under the corridor. The Chiostro is one of the largest in Rome with its 36-meters sidewalk, dating back to the 13th century.

Next, cross the street to enter the small yet unique Baptistery of Lateran. The proper denomination should be 'San Giovanni in Fonte'. It was built in the 4th century by Constantine, together with the basilica of Saint John in Lateran, on top of a villa and a thermal building that dates back to the 2nd century.

Something that is particularly interesting is the entrance with a fragment of Roman lintel. The interior is constructed by an octagonal plan. In the middle center you will see an eight porphyry columm ring with Corinthian capitals supporting an octagonal lintel over which there is another order of smaller white marble columns. On the walls there are modern copies of Andrea Sacchi’s works that recall the stories of Giovanni Battista, under which there are frescoes of Constantine’s stories painted by A. Camassei, G. Gimignani and C. Maratta. In a smaller apse, a 5th century mosaic is worth to be mentioned. In the middle of a 16th century round closure is a font, a green basalt urn with a bronze cover, a work by Ciro Ferri (1634-1689).

A must-see in your visit is the sacred Holy Stairs. You will not walk up to the top on your knees but, you will be able to reach the top to see the Chapel of Sancta Sanctorum by side stairs. It is one of the most important and renowned sanctuaries in the Roman Catholic Church. Located near the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the Sanctuary is considered as the first private Papal chapel. The sanctuary gets its name from the 28 marble steps of the Holy Stairs.

At the end of the tour you will be able to remain in St John Lateran to wander around and re-enter all those sites if you wish.

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What's included
  • 3-hour guided private tour
  • Professional, licensed guide
  • Admission fees to the Chiostro
  • Headsets
What's not included
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off

Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 10, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

Meeting point:

Meet your guide at the main entrance of St John in Lateran Basilica. You will find this church in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. The nearest metro station is "San Giovanni" on Line A. Please be at the meeting point 15 minutes before tour starts. Your guide will hold a "Mea Tours" sign.

What to remember
  • As you are entering sacred places, shoulders, cleavage and knees must be covered.
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
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  • All languages start at 3.00pm
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Mea Tours&Events
Booking fee
Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.
Cancellation policy
Receive a 100 % refund if you cancel up to 48 hours before the activity begins.
What people say about this experience
based on 6 reviews
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