St. John and surrounding area

Be ready to feel strong emotions: myths, glories and dark secrets of Rome


Our favourites tours in St. John district.

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Catacombs and

the Appian Way

  • 2 hours with our local tour guides.

  • From € 190 for 1 to 4 people. Kids up to 5 years old are free. Attractions tickets are not included.

  • Highlights of this tour: Cecilia Metella, Catacombe San Sebastiano, Stadio di Massenzio, Appia Way.

  • Timetable: in consultation

Aventino Tour

  • 2 hours with our local tour guides.

  • From € 190 for 1 to 4 people. Kids up to 5 years old are free. Attractions tickets are not included.

  • Highlights of this tour: The Orange Garden, Church of Santa Sabina, Basilica of Santi Alessio and Bonifacio and the Rose Garden (opened April to June) and panoramic view.

  • Timetable: in consultation

Further information about these tours:

  • English, Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Korean, Russian and German languages

  • Solo Traveller and all age groups (included: family with kids&teen; senior disabled, students and couple travellers). Catacombs are not accessible to disabled people

  • Group Size: private max 10 people and small group max 20 people

  • Tours by: foot and private transportation on request

  • Good to know: wear comfortable and low-heeled shoes. The knees and shoulders should be covered in Sacred places and worship

Rome Map

St. John district Map

The Basilica of St John Lateran and the Holy Stairs

  • 2 hours with our local tour guides.

  • From € 190 for 1 to 4 people. Kids up to 5 years old are free. Attractions tickets are not included.

  • Highlights of this tour: St John Lateran and Holy Stairs.

  • Timetable: in consultation.

The Baths of Caracalla

and Circo Massimo

  • 2 hours with our local tour guides.

  • From € 190 for 1 to 4 people. Kids up to 5 years old are free. Attraction tickets are not included.

  • Highlights of this tour: The Baths of Caracalla and Circo Massimo

  • Timetable: 5pm last admission. Sunday closed.

St Clement Basilica & Underground and The Great Gladiatorial Training School

  • 2 hours with our local tour guides.

  • From € 190 for 1 to 4 people. Kids up to 5 years old are free. Attractions tickets are not included.

  • Highlights of this tour: St Clement Basilica and Underground and The Great Gladiatorial Training School (outside)

  • Timetable: the recommended departure time is 4pm.

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ALTERNATIVE TOURS:

  • For families, we're providing the Kids Friendly Tour is designed to suit the needs of children from 6 years up. The tours become a Children's learning and fun experience. Kids and Parents can enjoy educational content together.

 

 

 

 

  • You can combine all these tours with a Foodie tours.
    This includes a Road-Food-Stops that could be: coffees; pizza+gelato; aperitif and restaurant dinner (at the end of tour). Tour duration will be 1 hour extra.

Explore St. John district

Colosseum Zone

We will take you behind the scenes of Colosseum, amongst the catacombs and underground passageways, atop one of the seven hills of Rome, immersed in the smells of roses and orange trees, in the most important churches of the artistic and religious history of Rome and you will see where once upon a time Roman social life took place. Let start!

On the left bank of the Tiber River, proceeding towards the South, you reach the district of St John, which takes the name from the homonym church of St John in Lateran. For a thousand years this monumental cathedral was the most important church in Christendom because of was home of the Papacy and it was the first Christian basilica built in the city. It’s a breath-taking sight which a late-baroque classicism facade, a golden gilt ceiling, a 15th-century sparkling mosaic floor, the most ancient roman bronze door, the Renaissance tomb of Pope Martin V, the relics of the heads of Sts Peter and Paul, a beautiful 13th-century cloister, an incomplete Giotto fresco and surmounted by 15 7m-high statues. Thus, St. John Lateran Basilica is a blend of epochs; materials and styles combined with an elegant harmony. The result is a unique, majestic and unforgettable building.

A few steps away from the St. John Basilica, is located the Santuario della Scala Santa (English: Holy Stairs). According to Roman Catholic tradition, The Scala Santa were the staircase leading up to the Pontius Pilate’s Jerusalem palace on which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during his Passion and it was brought to Rome by St Helena in the 4th century. Pilgrims consider it sacred and climb it on their knees, saying a prayer on each of the 28 steps. At the top there is "Sancta Sanctorum" (English: Holy of Holies) which was the pope’s private chapel.

Next stop of this itinerary is The Basilica di San Clemente. A surprising and unexpected place that metaphorically recall the Russian dolls, “matruska”. In fact this is a multi-layered church where the ground-level 12th-century basilica sits atop a 4th-century church, which, in turn, stands over a 2nd-century pagan temple and a 1st-century Roman house. Hidden beneath it all, are foundations dating from the Roman Republic where you can hear the eerie sound of a subterranean river flowing. Indeed, you can never find a better illustrates the various stages of Rome's turbulent history and multiple changes than in this fascinating and mysterious place.

Also worth a visit is Ludus Magnus can be translated as "The Great Gladiatorial Training School". It was one of the four places where generations of Roman gladiators lived and learned the art of the Gladiator. The gladiators prepared for the games by undergoing gruelling athletic and combat training in these schools that were often run by successful retired gladiators. The gladiatorial games started in the 3rd century and reached the peak of popularity in the 1st century BC across the Roman Empire. Ludus Magnus - located just a few hundred meters away from Colosseum - was built by the emperor Domitian (81-96 AD). The complex included the arena that was surrounded by seats for the public, the cells of the gladiators (about 130 cells) and an underground tunnel that linked Colosseum (recently restored). Today is still visible in large part by its imposing ruins.

For travellers who want to see a Rome beyond the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, we suggest a visit to the historic district of Aventino. It's a well-heeled residential quarter with very important churches, monasteries and breath taking glimpses and is set in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere on the top of the homonym hill.

We will take you to one of Rome's most beautiful and solemn early Christian churches that also preserves one of the oldest Crucifixion scenes in existence and a meditative 13th-century cloister: Basilica di Santa Sabina. Then, we will continue towards the Basilica Ss. Bonifacio e Alessio and Monastery situated on the crest of the hill overlooking the Tiber, with a spectacular view over the heart of the city.

We will conclude our journey on the Aventino hill passing through the romantic Oranges garden and the lovely Rose Garden and enjoy the silences and smell of nature. The scents and colours create a memorable experience, especially when combined with the stunning view of the city.

Proceeding in a southerly direction we come to Baths of Caracalla and Circo Massimo.

Baths of Caracalla is the most famous of all ancient Roman thermae and the Rome’s most suggestive ruins. It was a huge luxury bathhouse complex 10-hectare site, which comprised cold baths, tepid baths, hot baths, steam baths and the open air bath, which was the size of a modern, Olympic-sized swimming pool (50 meters in length), gyms, libraries, shops, surrounded by a park as well as a 9.5km below ground tunnels used by the slaves for ensuring the functioning of the facilities and plumbing systems. Around 7000 people used the baths daily. The baths was established in 1986 by the emperor Caracalla’s and remained in continuous use until AD 537 when Rome was besieged by Witigis and the water supply was destroyed. Very little of the original architectural grandeur, it remains today, but our skilled and competent tour guides through their knowledge and narrations will be able to bring back to light its former splendour and you will have the impression to do a time travel. It also will be possible to include in this tour some events because in summer, the ruins are used to stage spectacular opera and ballet performances, just let us know.

The Circus Maximus was the largest stadium in ancient Rome. Popular chariot races were held here for almost a millennium as well as it was occasionally used for events such as processions and gladiator combats, a 250,000-seater capable of holding up to a quarter of the city’s population. Today, only the layout of the original circus remains because the most of the original structure was used as building material during the Middle Age and the Renaissance.

Leaving the Circo Massimo and the Bath of Caracalla behind us, and passing through the old town walls, we are plunging in the green land of Caffarella Park to meet the Queen of the Road: The Appia Way. It was in the 312 B.C. when the Roman censor Appio Claudio Cieco, in order to open Urbe access to the Southern Adriatic Sea and to facilitate trade with the East, began the construction of the famous Appia Antica. It is considered one of the most major civil engineering works of the ancient world. The Queen of the Road has over more than 2000 years of history and some of these facts reveal the Rome's darkest aspect such us crucifixions, slavery, persecution and massive burial grounds (the catacombs) as well as a large number of events related to Christian religion and the Papacy. Walking through the park it is possible to see the Appia Way with its original basalt paving slabs and many other interesting archaeological sites such as the circular tomb of Caeclia Metella and the best-preserved ancient Rome’s racetrack: Stadio di Massenzio. Let yourself be guided by our team of experts.

Along the first stretch of the Appian Way is the basilica of Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls is also known as Saint Sebastian at the Catacombs. As the name of the basilica indicates, this was erected to worship the saint of San Sebastian in the early 4th century whose mortal remains were buried at the site. The original church was destroyed by the Saraceni in 826 AD and then rebuilt in 1609 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Today it is considered one of the 7 Pilgrim churches of Rome where inside you can see one of the arrows used to kill St Sebastian, as well as a marble slab with miraculous imprints of Jesus' footprints. Beneath the Church of St Sebastian, it is still possible to visit the catacombs that extending 3 levels underground including more than 11 kilometers of deep tunnels (part of which are accessible). The catacombs at St. Sebastian are quite small, but burial began here in the 1st century AD, making them one of the oldest in Rome and is where the birthplace of the term "catacomb" has sprung (the underground burial site was located "near the quarry", kata kymbas in Greek).

You will not regret your choice of touring to St. John and surrounding area.

In summary, this destination is a journey that embraces the past, present and future of the city, through the spiritual atmosphere of sacred places such as the monumental Basilica of Saint John Lateran and the little gem of Church of Santa Sabina; the bloody histories of ancient Rome, such as the challenges between gladiators and the catacombs as well as this tours will tell you about the great successes of Roman such as the Appia Way and the complex of the Baths of Caracalla. Finally, savouring the pleasure of the landscapes, the gardens and elegant and noble Aventino district. You can spend hours wandering, photographing and hearing remarkable stories from our local experts.

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