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“The most important cathedral in cristendom” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, 4, 00184 Rome, Italy (Esquilino)
06.698.86433
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Recommended
$55*
and up
Jubilee Small Group Tour: Rome and its Great...
Ranked #4 of 1,030 things to do in Rome
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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.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
800 reviews
691 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 376 helpful votes
“The most important cathedral in cristendom”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is a very important cathedral because it's the Papal Archbasilica and it's a very old one (dating from the 4th century). The exterior is great (The facade is neoclassical and on the right side of the facade you can find the Lateran Obelisk) and the interior is quite amazing (the church gives you the sensation of greatness, making every visitor to feel small).

Visited November 2012
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1 Thank menq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,089 reviews from our community

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
393 reviews
190 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
“Beautiful Church, Peaceful Atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

One of the most important churches in Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano is also one of the most opulent. Constructed in the basilica style, its gorgeous, high ceiling is breathtaking. Because there are powerful statues across Rome, those here won't stand out, but the biblical stories recounted in marble are of interest. I wouldn't bother with the cloister (for which there is a fee), but do check out the Scala Sancta and the Baptistery. Also, be sure to take in the front of the church--there's a side entrance you'll use if you walk up from the Colosseum (15-20 minute trek) and miss the grand facade.

Visited October 2012
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1 Thank jsctraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Interesting and opulent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

I visited San Giovanni's on a Sunday when a church service was in progress, so I only stayed briefly and quietly saw what I could without disturbing those in prayer. The church is beautiful with ornate ceilings, huge sculptures of the apostles, paintings, crypts, and numerous side chapels. It was only after visiting that I read some of the history of the cathedral. To fully appreciate all I was seeing, I should have read about it prior to my visit. It was only later that I found out that the massive bronze doors were once located in the Senate in the Roman Forum. This church certainly merits a visit, but if possible, do it at a time when a religious service is not being conducted so that you can see all that it has to offer without distracting anyone. I walked from the Coliseum and it took about 15-20 minutes.

Visited October 2012
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1 Thank L77346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BOLOGNA ITALY
Level Contributor
167 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“SO CROWDY YOU MAY LOOSE THE ATMOSPHERE”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This is really the cradle of christianity in Rome. The baroque apparel (from Bernini) hide the ancient glory of this church. But you'll find it sooo crowdy that you can miss the authentic atmosphere. This is a real shame. Go and visit the SCALA SANTA too, in order to see devotes climbing to the top on knees! Keep silence and respect!

Visited October 2012
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Thank Biavati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
plainfield, nj
Level Contributor
95 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Another wonder of Rome.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Every church you visit in
Rome is filled with treasures. San Giovanni in Laterano is no exception. Add this one to your list of places to visit.

Visited October 2012
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1 Thank comicbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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