Rome Italy Basilicas Tour. Nowhere is the intersection of Western history, religion, art, and architecture as palpable as in the basilicas of Rome, the four churches in which a high altar has been set aside for use by the Pope. The oldest and most important of these is the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is also the ecclesiastical seat of the Pope and therefore the only actual cathedral in Rome. First constructed by Constantine I in the fourth century, it was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times but still contains elements dating from Imperial times, as well as medieval, Baroque, and modern additions. The Basilica of St. Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) is the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin. It is said to have been begun in the 4th century on a plan outlined by a miraculous August snowfall. It contains some of the oldest and most impressive apse and nave mosaics in Rome (dating from the Byzantine period and comparable with those in Ravenna). The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the burial place of St. Paul, is outside the Roman walls and hence is less visited. It was reconstructed in the 19th century following a devastating fire and retains much of its ancient appearance. St. Peter’s Basilica, designed by Bramante, Michelangelo, and Bernini and built upon the tomb of the apostle Peter, houses Renaissance and Baroque treasures both including Michelangelo's famous Pieta.
Highlights and What’s Included
- English-speaking driver and private vehicle
- Expert, licensed English-speaking local guide
- Visit to four major basilicas: St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, and St. Peter’s
- Lunch at a selected trattoria (not included)
- When booking, please specify the name and port of call of your cruise ship
- This is a private tour.
- This tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. Please contact us directly and we will devise alternate routes suitable for you.
- There is a dress code for churches and basilicas: shoulders and knees must covered; shorts, miniskirts, and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. It is recommended that you not take large bags or backpacks on tours that include churches as storage accommodations are not always available.
- Please wear comfortable footwear, as this tour involves a lot of walking.
The Basilicas of Rome shore excursion from Civitavecchia Port departs from and returns to your cruise ship.
Duration of Tour
This tour lasts 10 hours from pick up to drop off time. Note that the journey time between the port of Civitavecchia and Rome is approximately 1.5 hours each way.
- What happens after I've made a reservation through your website?
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- Your driver will be holding a sign with YOUR OWN ITALY and the name you provide at the booking. Your confirmation voucher will define the meeting point.
- And if there is bad weather?
- Our tours operate rain or shine!
- Is there a dress code?
- Yes! There is a dress code for churches and basilicas. Shoulders and knees must be covered; shorts, miniskirts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted.
- Can wheelchair users go on an excursion tour?
- Not all excursions tours are fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on alternative routes suitable for you.
- What is the difference between a "driver-guide" and a "licensed guide"?
- Nearly all of Your Own Italy’s excursions tours are conducted by an English speaking driver AND a licensed tour guide. A few tours, such as our tour to the Cinque Terre, do not require a licensed guide and are conducted solely by the driver.
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- Booking must be made at least 72 hours prior to the excursion tour date.
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- What is your cancellation policy?
- Cancellations must be made within 24 hours of the excursion tour departure time. The cost of museum tickets are always refunded when museums are unexpectedly closed. A full refund is given if the docking of the cruise is cancelled due to weather conditions.
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