Join us on this day-long journey, a pilgrimage to the Vatican's four major basilicas – the most important churches in the world. All contained within the city of Rome, you’ll enjoy the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, the Holy Stairs (La Scala Santa), St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran, and St. Mary Major basilicas – all on one unparalleled tour.
Our day begins with No-Wait access into the Vatican Museums, allowing you to bypass the long lines and enjoy more valuable time within these hallowed halls. An intimate morning tour of 12 people or less, your expert, local English-speaking guide will bring the world’s most incredible art collection to full vibrancy, providing the historical accounts behind every brushstroke. Visit the ornate Raphael Rooms among other treasures before arriving at one of the highlights of our tour, the Sistine Chapel. From below this incredible visual masterpiece, you’ll be escorted through a special access door, allowing us to bypass another long and winding line our tourists, straight into St. Peter’s Basilica. Stand in awe before the largest Church in Christianity – guardian of St. Peter's tomb, Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s immense Baldachin. This experience is worth the trip alone, but this incredible journey does not end there.
Many do not realize but St. Peter’s Basilica is one of only four major basilicas in Rome – the other three being St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John of Lateran and Santa Maria Maggiore. Lucky for you, you’ll be able to visit them all on this valuable tour. Scattered throughout the city of Rome, we’ll take you to each one via private air-conditioned coach. These are some of the most important places of worship in Catholicism.
After St. Peter’s, we’ll take a nice, relaxing break for lunch (approximately 2.75hrs), before heading to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here lie the remains of Saint Paul amidst an intricate display of 5th Century mosaics shimmering alongside brilliantly colored original frescoes.
From here we’ll take you to Basilica of Saint John Lateran, an imposing Roman cathedral and traditional seat of the Pope. Built by Constantine even before Saint Peter's, it is actually the most important church within in Christianity (even more important than St. Peter’s Basilica) because of its Papal headquarters.
Next you’ll visit the 28 white marble steps said to be climbed by Christ during his passion – the Holy Stairs. While time does not allow for ascending all of them (since to do so takes an hour and a half as tradition says you must say a prayer on each one), you are welcome to take the first step, say your prayer and absorb the incredible energy of this area. We’ll wrap up your experience at Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major), which showcases quite exuberant mannerist sculptural decorations, stunning 5th century mosaics, enchanting frescoes and Bernini’s tomb. It is a dichotomy of visual senses not to be missed.