Photo of the Day: A Ray of Light in San Giovanni in Laterano

While hundreds wait in lines in the harsh sun to get into Saint Peter’s, the Archbasilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, also known as the Cathedral of Rome, is practically empty. San Giovanni is the oldest and largest papal basilica in Rome, although it has gone through many reconstructions over the years due to earthquakes, fires, and vandalism (by the actual Vandals, in the 5th century).

Admission to San Giovanni in Laterano is free. But you can purchase a ticket to visit the 13th century cloister, located through a door to the left of the altar, and the Scala Santa and Sancta Sanctorum (the Holy Stairs and Holy Sanctum, located across the street), one of the most important sites of pilgrimage outside of Vatican City.

Papal Basilicas of Rome: San Giovanni in Laterano

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San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran) is the basilica dedicated to the Bishop of Rome (i.e., the Pope). It is where the Pope delivers his Holy Week address on Maunday Thursday.  Continue reading Papal Basilicas of Rome: San Giovanni in Laterano