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Scala Santa and Chapel of San Lorenzo

Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano 14, 00184 Rome, Italy
+39 06 772 6641
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For centuries, the Scala Santa has attracted Christian pilgrims and visitors who wished to honor the Passion of Christ. Tradition says that originally the Holy Stairs led to the praetorium, or judgment hall, of Pontius Pilate's palace in Jerusalem. Today, those same 28 white marble steps lead to the Sancta Sanctorum, or “Holiest of Holy Places”, the first private chapel of the Popes. Many have undergone the spiritual ritual of ascending the stairs on their knees.The Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs, one of the major projects by Pope Sixtus V, encompasses 1700 m of frescoes completed in 1590. These images tell the story of both the old and new testaments while including depictions of various saints, doctors of the church and the superb landscapes by Flemish master Paul Bril.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good26%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“holy stairs” (49 reviews)
“pontius pilate” (38 reviews)
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Hours Today: 6:00 AM - 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano 14, 00184 Rome, Italy
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1 - 10 of 239 reviews

Reviewed October 31, 2017 via mobile

Tradition holds the these are the stairs that Jesus walked on during his trial with Pilot. Often times pilgrims will crawl up the stairs on their knees. You may avoid the crawling pilgrims by using a parallel staircase.

Thank ADolores
Reviewed October 29, 2017

This is supposedly the stairway Christ walked en route to cruxifiction, brought from Jerusalem by Constantine's Mom. You may only climb the stairs on your knees. It's kind of amazing to see what faith can lead people to do.

Thank flaneur40
Reviewed October 25, 2017

This is one of the places most tourists miss. About 30 minutes is all you need here. To think that Jesus walked or climbed up these steps is quite amazing. You don't have to climb the steps on your knees to appreciate it. You can...More

Thank Chris P
Reviewed October 1, 2017

We came across this building by chance and went in. Looks really impressive. Did not know anything about the history of it, so were surprised by the stories about the steps. The architecture is quite interesting and there are some nice paintings inside.

Thank Dimitris L
Reviewed September 15, 2017 via mobile

We went to this place as recommended by a friend of mine. Just sacred and holy. A must for all believers.

Thank Abdallah O
Reviewed August 29, 2017

This is one for the truly devout, and for those who have sturdy knees! These are the 28 steps, which Jesus is said to have climbed to access Pilate's praetorium. As per tradition, they were brought here in the fourth century by St Helena. The...More

Thank Alex280546
Reviewed August 22, 2017 via mobile

Great monument , Lucky 🍀 to have been here, truly a devotional experience & a way to make a small sacrifice of climbing the stairs on your knees , of course you have an option for foot next to the wooden stairs ,felt belittled when...More

Thank Santhosh L
Reviewed August 16, 2017 via mobile

It was moving to see the devotion and faith of so many today. Problem was that those who took to the steps for praying did not seem to move fast enough and quite frankly prevented others to also share in the moment; there seem to...More

Thank Cypressman
Reviewed July 12, 2017 via mobile

Happened upon this site while in Rome. The stairs must be climbed on your knees. Very spiritual experience.

Thank Phyllis Z
Reviewed July 9, 2017

Because of physical problems I took the stairs, but I was certainly moved by the numbers of people of all ages who ascended the Holy Staircase on their knees, stopping to pray at each step.

Thank John L
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
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Questions & Answers
Michele L
October 22, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from JellyrollsKaren | Reviewed this property |
I took the subway to San Giovanni and walked from there. I had a bit of a tough time finding it, though. I even went into a store and asked some of the workers, and they had no idea what I was even talking about. Look for... More
March 3, 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Mike K | Reviewed this property |
Don't know exact hours, but sure it is open all day.
Jaz G
December 14, 2015|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Jesse N | Reviewed this property |
I don't know about Easter week, but we had a family of 14 there at about 10am on a weekday and we walked right in without a wait.