Basilicas of Rome Private Driving Tour

Visit Rome's Incredible Basilicas

Join us on a private driving tour of Roman basilicas including the Holy Staircase, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Peter in Chains. Visit three out of four the Major Basilicas in Rome with a private English-speaking guide.

Leisurely

You will be cruising around the sites, and walking out occasionally for a closer look.

3 h
custom size
from 5 reviews
1 Hotel Pick Up
2 St. Paul Outside the Wall
3 Holy Door
4 Altar Mosaic
5 Baths of Caracalla
6 Lateran Obelisk
7 Cathedral of San Giovanni
8 Holy Staircase
9 Holy Door
10 Baldacchino
11 Basilica of Saint Mary Major
12 Holy Door
13 Reliquiary of the Holy Crib
14 Oldest image of Virgin Mary
15 Tomb of Bernini
16 Saint Peter in Chains
17 The Chains of Peter
18 Michelangelo's Moses

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

City Tours
Rome is the world center of Catholicism, and some of the most precious religious sites in the world are located here. Regardless of your own religious beliefs, our private Basilicas of Rome driving tour is your chance see all of the most important churches in Rome, and the important art and relics they house. Visit three out of the four Major Basilicas in Rome.The fourth Major Basilica is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, which we visit on numerous private and small group Vatican tours. This 3-hour private tour includes:
 
  • - Your own personal English-speaking guide
  • - Visits to St. Paul Outside the Walls, Arch-Basilica of St. John in Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Peter in Chains
  • - Comfortable, air-conditioned luxury transportation
  • - Door-to-door pick up and drop off
Important! Since the basilicas on this tour are sacred places, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry. We understand that summers in Rome are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Door-to-Door Transportation

To make this private tour in Rome even better, we pick you up and drop you off! Using a luxury climate-controlled vehicle, these private transfer services are included for accommodations located in Rome’s city center. Not sure if you're staying central? No worries, just contact our Travel Experts by email or online chat to be sure. For pick-up or drop-off at accommodations located outside the city center, an extra fee will apply.

St. Paul Outside the Walls

The first stop on this private driving tour is the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (San Paolo Fuori le Mura), where the remains of the Apostle St. Paul are buried. Built during the fourth century A.D., the basilica is the second largest in Rome after St. Peter's Basilica. The church features incredible marble columns and houses stunning mosaics from the thirteenth century.

Arch-Basilica of St. John in Lateran

Founded during the fourth century in honor of St. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, St. John Lateran (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) is also known as the Cathedral of Rome. This church is very important as it holds the official seat of the pope. Named an Archbasilica, this is the highest ranked Major Basilica out of the four in Rome.
 
Located opposite of the Arch-Basilica of St. John in Lateran are the Holy Stairs (Scala Sancta in Italian). They are believed to be the very stairs that Christ climbed on the day of his crucifixion. In 1589 they were transferred by Pope Sixtus the V from the Palace of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem to their current location. At the top of the staircase is the Sancta Sanctorum, a chapel originally dedicated to St. Lawrence. This special chapel was the first of its kind, providing a private place of worship for the papacy.

Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Built in the fourth century, legend has it that the Virgin Mary herself influenced where the church was built. In a dream that came to both Pope Liberius and the Patrician John, she requested that a church be built in a spot that she would reveal. Then, a blanket of snow covered the Esquiline Hill on August 5th as an indication that this was the spot. For this reason, the church is sometimes nicknamed ‘Our Lady of the Snows’. The basilica still retains the bell tower (the highest in Rome) as well as some impressive fifth-century mosaics and marble columns from the medieval era.

St. Peter in Chains

The last stop on this tour is the church of St. Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli), which houses the relic of Saint Peter’s chains from the time he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. With its simple decoration, the Basilica San Pietro in Vincoli stands apart from other churches built during the same time period. The church is renown because it houses Michelangelo’s statue of Moses which was intended as a funeral monument for warrior pope, Pope Julius II.

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