Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano
4.5
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
About
Known to be the first church in Christendom, this church belongs to the Vatican and has the privileges of extraterritoriality.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Monti
Monti is Rome’s rebel yell. This neighborhood just west of Termini train station mixes grit with fun as it continues to fight for its reputation as a magnet for the artsy, alternative, and hipster. Every season, quirky boutiques and food spots sprout up on its cobblestone streets. The neighborhood supports unique and homegrown businesses that cater to its longtime residents as well as hipsters on the hunt. Hang out at Piazza della Madonna dei Monti anytime after lunch and you'll always find something going on.
How to get there
  • San Giovanni • 4 min walk
  • San Giovanni • 4 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • greektraveller13
    Cardiff, United Kingdom208 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A fantastic place to visit the paintings are just stunning to see
    The figures on the outside of the church are amazing just by themselves! This is deemed to be one of the most important churches in Rome! It is one of four papal basilicas in Rome. The building itself is stunning. The paintings in this church are amazing. It is supposed to be the first church constructed inside the walls of Rome and the Mother of all churches in the city and the world!! This is one of the must see places in Rome!!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 6, 2023
  • MtEverest
    234 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see for the faithful
    Beautiful basilica with a long history of the church behind it. Don't miss the obelisk behind the church, and the statue of St. Francis in the park across the church, with his hands holding up the church in the distance. Also, go across the street to the Scala Santa. For the faithful you can climb the steps on your knees. Alternatively, walk up the steps on the right. To enter the Sancta Santorum at the top of the stairs, you do need to pay 3.5 Euro. It contains the most venerated relic in all of Christiandom, a painting of Christ by St. Luke. The place is on Metro A line, easy to get to.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 24, 2023
  • Ksenia Rrr
    Germany11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    must-see that'll leave you in awe and wonder
    The Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is a truly magnificent basilica in Rome that will leave you speechless. As you enter, you're surrounded by exquisite marble work and intricate decorations that make you feel like you've stepped back in time. I really liked this place!! It's a must-see destination in Rome that will leave you in awe and wonder.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written February 7, 2024
  • Peter C
    Island of Malta, Malta2,620 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent Cathedral of Rome
    The oldest and highest ranking of the four major papal basilicas, the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran serves as the seat of the bishop of Rome, the Pope, and is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. The Loggia delle Benedizioni forms an integral part of the basilica. Inside the Basilica you can admire the beautiful high altar, ciborium, decorative ceiling, chapels, frescoes and mant statues of saints. A truly worthwhile experience.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 15, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles8,097 reviews
Excellent
6,297
Very good
1,567
Average
204
Poor
16
Terrible
13

Francesco F
Rome, Italy231 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Despite the importance of the basilica, the exterior is more beautiful than the interior, if we exclude the apse and the tabernacle. The cloister which is accessed from the left aisle is also very beautiful.
To access the cloister you pay € 5 which includes a visit to the small museum which is instead located at the end of the right nave.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malgorzata
12,091 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
Basilica of St. John in Lateran, is also called the Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World. This basilica is the cathedral of bishop of Rome, one of the four major basilicas. It was part of the residence of successive popes after 313. Pope Gregory XI moved his headquarters to the Vatican. The main facade of the basilica was built in the early eighteenth century in a classic style. The facade is crowned with fifteen seven-meter figures with a sculpture of Christ placed in the central part. At the intersection of the naves, there is the main altar covered with a Gothic canopy, which was made in 1367. The main nave is closed by an apse, which draws attention to a rich mosaic made in the 13th century. Absolutely magnificent, one of the most beautiful basilicas in Rome. Not too much tourists, amazing atmosphere. Big parking lot in front of.
Written April 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noraatc
Sudbury, MA38,387 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
Arcibasilica Papale Romana Maggiore di San Giovanni in Laterano is the oldest and highest of the four papal major basilicas in Rome. It is also one of the most spectacular architectural sights in Rome... only the Papal Basilica di San Pietro can surpass Lateran’s ethereal beauty.

The mosaics of the apse, the cathedra and the statues of the apostles belong to different architectural styles and yet they co-exist in majestic harmony. The twelve niches by Francesco Borromini were filled with twelve grandiose statues of the apostles created in the beginning of the 18th century by several prominent Italian sculptors.

Even before entering this beautiful basilica a visitor will be stunned by its magnificent facade created by Alessandro Galilei and the statues.

Another remarkable sight is the octagonal Lateran baptistery, which a separate building adjacent to the archbasilica. To my surprise, the Baptistery was opened - it is the first time I managed to see its marble interior and the central basin.

Also, do not miss the Lateran cloisters and the cloisters’ courtyard.

Written December 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angelo S
Hilliard, OH4,838 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
Being the Bishop of Rome, this is technically the Pope's church. This beautiful edifice fronts a large piazza and the baptistry is around the back of the basilica. We went there for Sunday mass and it was stunning. Said in Italian, the area for worship is roped off from the rest of the nave. Pay close attention to the posted times as we arrived quite a bit earlier than we expected to.

Inside the large gilded ceiling alone is a sight to behold, besides the very large statues of saints and the cherubs all around. Less busy/crowded than the Vatican, it is most certainly worth a visit as it is only a five minute walk from the Colosseum.
Written January 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

grace
26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Solo
Beautiful church! Cloister was 3 euros entrance, only open till 4:30 unfortunately but the rest of the church is open longer. Security in front which you breeze through. Lax on tourists’ dress but be respectful. One of my favorite churches in Rome to visit !
Written June 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Exploring Chris
Calgary, Canada245 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
This should be the second Basilica you visit in Rome after St. Peters. The scale is very nearly as grand and opulent as St. Peters but entirely different. A visit here also allows you to visit the Santa Scala across the street of the tallest obelisk in Rome, just behind the cathedral. As a tourist, I would put this at the top of the my 2nd tour (2nd visit) attractions.
Written February 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

William B
Bryan, TX49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
When we planned our trip to Rome, a visit to the San Giovanni Lateran Basilica was tied to how much time we had. We had to rush to get there before it closed but I am so glad we did. The interior is nothing short of spectacular for renaissance art and statuary, and the fact that we got there in time to see the beginning of a mass was even more special. Maybe I was just a bit overwhelmed by the Vatican, but this smaller venue was, for me, easier to appreciate, take in and enjoy. In retrospect, if I had to choose between this coupled with the holy stairs against the Vatican tour, I would choose this in a heartbeat. It was also far less crowded than the Vatican.
Written March 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ginsengNewYork
New York City, NY1,305 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This « archbasilica » was erected in 320 by emperor Constantine. From this ancient church, little remains as invasions and fires took their toll. The current monumental basilica dates mainly from the 17th century, its renovation having been entrusted to Borromini who transformed it into a baroque splendor (however, the beautiful 15th century pavement and coffered ceilings were preserved). The mosaics of the apse are magnificent, but not authentic : they're actually a copy made in the 19th century. (To see gorgeous and authentic mosaics, go to the Baptistery next door, to me much more interesting as it was the archetype of octagonal baptisteries built later on).
Many Councils took place in this Basilica, including the infamous 1215 council, which was a prefiguration of the Inquisition (it exhorted Jews as well as Saracens to wear distinctive clothes to be immediately identifiable).
The adjoining palace was the popes'residence until 1309 (when they moved to Avignon, France, then to the Vatican around 1447.
In the Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, you can see the Scala Santa or Holy Steps (a staircase supposed to be that on which Jesus climbed during his trial) that Constantine’s mother supposedly brought back from Jerusalem...
Written October 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Renee M
Monterey, California, Usa224 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Solo
I can’t go to Rome without visiting this church. It’s so big that I see something new each time. Go early in the morning to have it to yourself and the extra 3 euro to visit the cloister is well worth it to see the historical architectural treasures or pray like the monks did.
Written May 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ksenia Rrr
Germany11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
The Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is a truly magnificent basilica in Rome that will leave you speechless. As you enter, you're surrounded by exquisite marble work and intricate decorations that make you feel like you've stepped back in time. I really liked this place!! It's a must-see destination in Rome that will leave you in awe and wonder.
Written February 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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