Across Italy Roman Catholics pay homage to John the Baptist, in particular within Rome where you will find Vatican City and the head of the Catholic Church. This is however also a perfect opportunity to see the Pope outside of his headquarters, as he leads candlelit processions to the Papale di San Giovanni. Also known as Archbasilica of St. John Lateran the impressive church is the centre point of the celebrations and one of the oldest churches within Rome. The celebrations are joined thousands of followers, often barefoot who also partake in a traditional feast of stewed snails and roast pork.
The nearest airports to Rome are Ciampino and Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci International Airport), both of which are less than 45 minutes into the city. The San Giovanni church (Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) is in the Laterno region, which is accessible by the metro and bus routes. Whilst celebrations will take part in the street, it is free to enter the church – although tickets to the cloister are €2 and the museum €4.
Whilst the procession is something to be witnessed by tourists, it is more of an occasion dedicated to those celebrating, so one for Roman Catholics to partake in. As such be respectful of others beliefs. It is however also the ideal time to see the Basilica in all its glory, look out for the 12 statues of the Apostles. The church is one of the main four in Rome and as such it needs time to be explored properly. While you are in the area for the Festa di San Giovanni, revisit the museum at a less busy time.
Look at a wide selection of villas and apartments, houses, holiday homes and other private rentals near to the San Giovanni Church. If you are looking to stay close to the area or travel elsewhere within the city, it is easy to arrive on foot or use public transport. Check our accommodation in Rome.
In Rome you will also find Vatican City, which includes the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. The famous Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the ruins of the Roman Forum are also nearby. Take a walking tour to the impressive Trevi Fountain and the temple of Pantheon.
For more information, read about the San Giovanni church including: its history, archaeological history, the twelve statues, the papal tombs, the feast of San Giovanni and more.
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