Papal Basilicas of Rome: San Giovanni in Laterano


San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran) is the basilica dedicated to the Bishop of Rome (i.e., the Pope). It is where the Pope delivers his Holy Week address on Maunday Thursday. 

San Giovanni in Laterano
Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4 (Laterano)
Phone: 06-698-86433
Getting There: Metro Line A to San Giovanni stop; Buses 4, 16, 85, 87; Trams 13, 30B
History: This massive church not far from the Colosseum contains the papal throne and its adjacent Lateran Palace was the home of the Pope until the early 14th century when the seat of the Holy See was moved to Avignon, France. Like St. Peter’s Square, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano has an ancient Egyptian obelisk. The Lateran complex is perhaps best known for the giant statues on the basilica’s façade and the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) on which Christ walked during his Passion.
What’s Cool: St. John’s day on June 24 is marked at Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano with a feast of snails and suckling pig. Foodies, mark your calendars!

Photo © britten4ever

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Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

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