€ 57,00 4 hours

Rome’s sacred art treasures: mosaic masterpieces

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Mosaic is an ancient decorative art,  the first mosaics date back to 2500 BC.
Ancient Greeks and Romans decorated homes and temples with colorful mosaics, made of little pieces of stone, glass and gold. A Rome off-the-beaten-path church tour  will show you Rome’s finest Mosaic art takes you to some beautiful churches, such as Saint Clement, Saint Prassede, Saint Mary Major and Saint John in Lateran.

Our signature
Small group of 15 pax or fewer
Ticket to Saint Clement archeological  site
Rome off-the-beaten-path church (Saint Prassede, Saint Mary Major, Saint John in Lateran)
Headsets so you can always hear your guide
Complimentary “Apericena” in one of our selected spots to “Do as the Romans do”

Saint Clement

One of the most fascinating and yet less know sites in Rome is the Medieval church of Saint Clement, that holds a treasure beneath its floor. When you look the church from outside, you never say that under the current Basilica, built on 12th century AD,  there are two more storeys:  a 2nd century AD Mithraeum, the house of a Roman nobleman, and an ancient lower basilica dating back to the  4th century AD. Visiting Saint Clement  literally means to travel back in ages. Walking along narrow passages, you will go 200 feet under the street level. Why does a building like this exist? Since ancient times, Romans chose to build over existing houses. Think of Rome as a multi-storey building with  the oldest one hidden underground and inaccessible. That’s absolutely amazing!

Saint Prassede

Tucked away a stone’s throw from Saint Mary Major, this hidden gem offers some of the very finest medieval mosaics in Rome. The church of Saint Prassede houses Saint Zeno Chapel, shining majestically in the church’s apse,  is a massive and incredibly vivid ninth-century mosaic. Pope Paschal planned Santa Prassede as small-scale copy of the former Constantinian Basilica of St Peter’s in Vatican. The mosaics were made by artists whom Pope Paschal had brought in specially from Byzantium.

Saint Mary Major

This monumental church stands on Esquiline Hill, right where  is believed that snow fallen during the summer AD 358. To commemorate the event, each year on August the 5th, thousands of white petals fell down from the basilica’s ceiling.  Saint Mary Major Basilica is known for its magnificent interior, rich of glorious mosaics art.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the greatest artists in history, is buried here. Very much aware of his own greatness, Bernini designed a monumental tomb for himself during the last decade of his life.
In the middle of the square in front of the church, stands a column with a Baroque bronze statue of Saint Mary. The obelisk located at the other side of the church, at the Piazza dell’Esquilino, was erected in 1587 by pope Sixtus V as a beacon for pilgrims. It was originally located near the entrance of the Mausoleum of Augustus.

Saint John in Lateran

This huge church has played an important role throughout history. It was here that Popes were enthroned until 1870.  St John in Lateran is the most important among the four major Catholic Basilicas.
Constantine, Rome’s first Christian emperor, had it built in in AD 324 and in here Mass had been celebrated ever since. It’s Rome’s Cathedral and is definitely  one the most beautiful churches in Rome and a  must-see. The Basilica’s interior is magnificent with colossal statues, mosaics and frescoes from the ceiling to the ground.

The Scala Sancta

The Scala Sancta is a stairway of 28 white marble steps. According to Catholic tradition, they are the same steps that Jesus Christ walked on his way to trial with Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem. Scala Sancta is housed in a building near St. John in Lateran and it leads to the first private papal chapel, the Sancta Sanctorum.
Therefore, religious pilgrims in Rome who visit the Holy Staircase ascend each of the 28 steps on their knees, in order to gain a plenary indulgence, the  forgiveness of past sins.

The Lateran Palace

The Lateran Palace was the official residence of the Popes during the first thousand years of the Papacy.  On 14th century, when the Papacy moved to Avignon, the Lateran Palace fell into disrepair and suffered two different fires that caused extensive damage. The Papacy eventually returned to Rome but the Palace and church were too damaged. Renovations didn’t begin until he 16th century under Pope Sixtus V. His first act was to move the huge Egyptian obelisk from the Circus Maximus and place it in front of the Lateran Palace. The Lateran Obelisk remains the largest standing obelisk in the world.

Our signature “Do as the Romans do”
After Rome off-the-beaten-path church tour, we will be glad to show you “As the Romans do”. We will go to Rione Monti, to one of our favourite spots, where you will taste a complimentary “Apericena”. What’s an Apericena? It’s something related with food and drink and nowadays Romans’ lifestyle.

The tour lasts:
4 hours for churches visits
1 hour for the apericena

What’s included:
Comfortable and private bus
Licensed English speaking guide
Small group of 15 pax or fewer
Ticket to Saint Clement archeological  site
Headsets so you can always hear your guide
Complimentary  “Apericena” with italian food specialities
Insurance

What’s not included:
Shuttle service to and from the Hotel (we can provide extra charge)
Any additional services not previously listed

Dress code:
All churches  are places of worship; both men and women should wear clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Please wear comfortable shoes: this a walking tour.

Operating: Sunday
The tour will take place with a minimum number of 12 pax..

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