Free Audio-guide at St John in the Lateran and the Cloister with the OMNIA Rome and Vatican Pass

St John in the Lateran and the Cloister

  • St John in the Lateran and the Cloister Rome
  • St John in the Lateran and the Cloister Rome

OMNIA Rome and Vatican Pass Benefits:

Free Audio Guide at St John in the Lateran & Cloister
Normal Price: €5.00

Admire the stunning Cosmatesque architecture and see the legendery Scala Sancta at the official seat of the Pope, St John in the Lateran

As the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope, the Basilica of St John in the Lateran is the oldest and most important church in Rome (you wouldn’t have guessed it was ranked above St Peter’s Basilica!). It’s also one of the oldest basilicas in Western Europe, having been built in 324 AD. Its adjacent Cloister is an oasis for meditative prayer and both buildings are popular amongst visitors to Rome both for their religious symbolism as well as their architecture and history.

OMNIA Rome and Vatican Pass holders can enjoy a free audio-guide worth €10. Simply show your pass at the entrance to redeem your complimentary audio-guide.


  • Cosmatesque interior design and baroque façade and architecture
  • Twelve large sculptures of the Apostles by the late baroque artists of the early 18th century
  • Holy Steps, the Scala Sancta
  • 14th century Gothic baldacchino
  • The Cloister

Did you know:

  • St John in the Lateran and Cloister is actually a nickname; its official name is Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and of Sts. John Baptist and John Evangelist in the Lateran
  • There are six Papal tombs inside the basilica, the more recent tombs are now held in the crypts at St Peter’s Basilica
  • The basilica suffered the fate of two destructive fires during the Avignon papacy and from then the Pope moved out and into St Peter’s in the Vatican, where he lives to this day

Things to see:

Interior design

The nave features the original cosmatesque mosaic floor and gilded wooden ceiling which survived the fires and Borromini’s renovations in the mid 17th century. The papal cathedra (chair) sits in the elaborate apse, rich in decoration and mosaics. Not to be missed!

Holy Steps

The holy steps are a set of 28 white marble steps in the old Lateran Palace, leading to the Sancta Sanctorum – the early personal chapel of the Popes. According to Catholic belief, the steps are the same ones that Jesus Christ stepped up leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem.

Baroque Façade

Topped with fifteen Travertine statues, the façade is one of the basilica’s most impressive features and was part of a renovation project commissioned by Pope Clement XII. Alessandro Galilei won and finished the final façade, as we see today, in 1735. It’s now one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in the city.


Built in the early 13th century the cloister is one of the most beautiful in Rome and displays the ornate Cosmatesque style in its mosaic friezes, as well as the thick spiralling columns embellished in mosaic decoration, too. The ambulatory houses a ninth century well and small garden, a secret oasis in the centre of Rome.

How to get there:

- San Giovanni (Metro A)

see the: full list of attractions included

Great Value. If you are planning on staying in Rome for at least 3 days I would highly recommend The Omnia Vatican & Rome Card. The access to public transport especially the underground and the open top buses make getting the card extremely valuable. Having the added benefit of getting free entry to some of the sites also saves a lot of money. The queues in Rome can become long due to the popularity of the city and its tourist attractions so there are significant time saving benefits to being able to skip queues. My husband and I were able to see everything we wanted to see in 3 days by using this card - skipping queues and ease of travel on the open top buses to all the attractions. It was also nice to sit down and take a break from walking by sitting on the open bus for a few circles while also seeing the city sights.
Sandra MacDonald from UK

Monday 09:00 - 19:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 19:00
Thursday 09:00 - 19:00
Friday 09:00 - 19:00
Saturday 09:00 - 19:00
Sunday 09:00 - 19:00
Monday 09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 18:00
Friday 09:00 - 18:00
Saturday 09:00 - 18:00
Sunday 09:00 - 18:00

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Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, 00184 Rome


+39 0669896.1/380/334

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