Visit the four ancient churches of Rome and follow in the steps of countless saints and pilgrims for centuries and millennia before. The four Papal basilicas of Rome are the Basilica of St Peter, the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, the Basilica of St Mary Major, and the Arch-Basilica of St John Lateran. Enter into each of these basilicas with an expert guide during this 5-hour tour.
Meet your guide in the morning at St Peter's Square and head out for your tour, beginning at the Vatican with the Basilica of St Peter. Once you have entered through the great doors of St Peters, your expert guide will give you a tour of the interior of the basilica including Michelangelo's Pietà, the relics and altars of the major saints of the Catholic Church and the history involved.
After the Basilica of St Peter, you are then transported by air-conditioned mini van to the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls where the remains of the great 'Apostle of the Gentiles', Paul, lies to this day. Magnificent in its size, this basilica is one of the lesser frequented gems of Rome.
From there, the group is once again transported by minivan to the ancient Basilica of St Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) to once more enter and experience a tour which includes visiting the chapel, said to contain relics of the manger of Bethlehem, and relics of saints and popes. Marvel at the golden ceiling and stunning mosaics in the apse.
After this thrilling experience, the group will once again board the minivan to be taken up the road to the Arch-Basilica of St John Lateran (San Giovanni), the Cathedral of Rome. Here, the group once more receives a detailed tour of the interior and a lesson in its history.
With the tour of the basilicas now completed, the tour does not stop there. The group will continue on to the Holy Stairs, the steps upon which the Christ is said to have been judged by Pilate, and the conclusion of the tour. Legend has it that the steps were transported by the mother of Constantine, St Helena, from Jerusalem to Rome in the 4th Century.
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you to plug into the life of the church and experience what countless Catholics have experienced through the years.