Basilica di San Giovanni - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Basilica di San Giovanni

Basilica di San Giovanni

The Basilica of St John Lateran was built in the 4th century by Constantine the Great and was the first church built in Rome. It is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, and as such ranks above all other Roman Catholic churches, even St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope, and it is here that he celebrates Mass on certain religious holidays. The building has suffered much damage in the past and has been rebuilt several times, leaving only fragmented parts of the original church. The present building is characterised by its 18th-century façade and contains several important relics, a 13th-century cloister and an ancient baptistery. Inside are numerous statues, paintings, the High Altar that can only be used by the Pope, and a cedar table that is said to be the one used by Christ at the Last Supper. Across the street is one of the holiest sites in Christendom that is visited by pilgrims from around the world: the Palace of the Holy Steps, believed to be the 28 marble steps originally at Pontius Pilate's villa in Jerusalem that Christ climbed the day he was brought before Pilate. They have been in Rome since 1589.

Information & Facts

Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano
Free entry to the Basilica, but EUR2 to see the Cloister. Tourist tax: EUR1
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is understood in the larger cities but not in the more remote parts of the country.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Those arriving in Italy with foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. ATMs are widespread. Travellers cheques can be exchanged with ease in the large cities, not so in the smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted in upmarket establishments and shops around the cities. Banks are closed on weekends, but tend to have better rates than casas de cambios.

Opening Times
Open daily from 7am to 6.45pm
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