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

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, 4, Rome, Italy
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Ranked #3 of 686 attractions in Rome
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Churches/ Cathedrals
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Known to be the first church in Christendom, this church belongs to the Vatican and has the privileges of extraterritoriality.
Bucharest, Romania
Top Contributor
336 reviews 336 reviews
287 attraction reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
“The most important cathedral in cristendom”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 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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Rome, Italy
Top Contributor
268 reviews 268 reviews
126 attraction reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
180 helpful votes 180 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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Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
44 helpful votes 44 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BOLOGNA ITALY
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76 reviews 76 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
49 helpful votes 49 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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plainfield, nj
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34 reviews 34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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