Step into the early days of Christian history on a private, 6-hour tour of Rome’s holy sites, and experience the city where Constantine, St. Peter and St. Paul lived and preached. Discover the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of St. John Lateran and Pontius Pilate's steps, an important pilgrimage site. See millennia-old relics treasured by saints and Popes, then head to the below-ground Catacombs for a tour of the tunnels where generations of Christian martyrs were buried and remembered.
6-hour private tour of Rome's Christian sites
Enjoy the flexibility of a private tour
Visit churches, relics and the Catacombs
Step back into Christian history
Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver
Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Professional informative English-speaking driver
Live commentary on board
Private vehicle for the day
Transport by air-conditioned sedan/minivan
Courtesy and service
Food and drinks, unless specified
Admission to the Catacombs (approx. 8 euros)
Walking tour guide inside the sites
Departure & Return
Traveler pickup is offered Pick up is at your centrally-located Rome hotel.
What To Expect
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
We will pick you up at your hotel and drive you to the Basilica of St. Mary Major which reigns as an authentic jewel in the crown of Roman churches. Its beautiful treasures are of inestimable value, and represent the Church's role as the cradle of Christian artistic civilization in Rome. Built on the Esquiline hill in 352 A.D., this is the smallest and most precious of the four basilicas, and for centuries has held its position as a Marian shrine par excellence. Among the Patriarchal Basilicas, St. Mary Major is the only one to have kept its original structure, though it has been enhanced over the course of years. Special details within the church render it unique including the 5th century mosaics of the central nave, the Cosmatesque pavement, the 15th century coffered ceiling in gilt wood . The numerous chapels, from the most ornate to the most humble, constructed by popes, cardinals and pious confraternities, the high altar begun by Ferdinando Fuga and later enriched by the genius of Valadier, the Baptistery and finally the relic of the Holy Crib complete the array of splendors contained within these walls.
The tour continues with the visit of the Basilica of St. John in Lateran, the oldest and highest ranking of the four major basilicas in Rome. Built by the Emperor Constantine, first residence of the Popes until the year 1307, the Cathedral of the City, with the wonderful 17th century remaking by Borromini, the beautiful gentilitial chapels, the relic of the table of the Last Supper, the lovely 13th-century cloister, the Baptistry, the oldest and tallest among the 13 Egyptian obelisks in Rome, the Holy Stairs of Christ's Passion, is a site not to be missed.
The Scala Sancta are a set of 28 white marble steps that are Roman Catholic relics located in an edifice on extraterritorial property of the Holy See in Rome, Italy proximate to the Archbasilica of St. John in Laterano. Officially, the edifice is titled the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs (Pontificio Santuario della Scala Santa). The Holy Stairs, which long ago were encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are in an edifice that incorporates part of the old, Papal Lateran Palace. The Holy Stairs lead to the Church of St. Lawrence in Palatio ad Sancta Sanctorum (Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Palatio ad Sancta Sanctorum) or simply the "Sancta Sanctorum" (English: Holy of Holies), which was the personal chapel of the early Popes.
The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem or Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and titular church in rione Esquilino, Rome, Italy. It is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome.
According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. At that time, the Basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; it is not dedicated to the Holy Cross which is in Jerusalem, but the Basilica itself is "in Jerusalem" in the sense that a "piece" of Jerusalem was moved to Rome for its foundation. The most recent Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Crucis in Hierusalem was Juan José Omella, since 28 June 2017.
From here the tour will take you to the Old Appian Way, passing by Porta San Sebastian and the chapel of "Domine Quo Vadis". This tiny 9th-century church (redone in the 17th century) was built on the spot where Peter, while fleeing the city to escape Nero's persecution, saw a vision of Christ. Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, where are you going?" ("Domine quo vadis?" in Latin), to which Christ replied, "I am going to Rome to be crucified again." This miraculous sign gave Peter faith and courage, causing him to return to Rome and meet his destiny.
We finally arrive at the Catacombs of St. Callixtus: the present catacombs are a series of underground galleries and vaults of various sizes. These were holy sites where Christians buried their dead and came to pray and celebrate liturgy. After Constantine, the bodies of many martyrs and saints were moved to churches within the city. Being outside the old city walls, the catacombs were often pillaged and seriously damaged by the invading Goths and Lombards in the 6th and 7th centuries. In time, the catacombs were abandoned and forgotten to be rediscovered only centuries later. By late 19th century, they had once again become an important and romantic place for visitors to learn about their early Christian past. Expect to pay approximately 08.00 euro per person for admission to the Catacombs. Kindly take note that the admission fee includes a guided tour with a local guide. They may not be using a microphone that is why we suggest that you stay as close as possible to the guide to better hear what (s)he will be saying.
No tour would be complete without the visit of Rome's second largest church, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Erected on the site which is traditionally believed to be the burial place of the Apostle Paul, the cella memoriae was subsequently turned into a basilica by the Emperor Constantine and consecrated in 394 by Pope Silvester I. Throughout the centuries the Basilica would not cease to be embellished and enhanced by the Popes only to be almost completely destroyed by a terrible fire on the night of July 15, 1823. The Basilica was reconstructed identically to what it had been before, using all the elements which had survived the fire and embellished over time with beautiful mosaics , a magnificent portico with 150 columns while contemporary work has uncovered the tomb of the Apostle so that all pilgrims can pray and visit
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 7 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
Infant seats available
If you are not ready to depart at the assigned time , we cannot promise to fulfill the mentioned itinerary nor promise to extend the duration of the tour.
Order of stops may vary.
Your driver is not a licensed tour guide. Due to strict Italian laws and regulations in place to protect officially licensed guides, drivers can comment and explain attractions only from inside the vehicle. Drivers cannot elaborate on the attractions when they are outside of the vehicle.
This is a private service no one will join your party
Transportation is wheelchair accessible
No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
Pleae be aware that on Sundays some Churches have restrictions to the places you may visit.
This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.
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