Explore the highlights of early Christian Rome on this 3-hour coach and walking tour. With an expert guide, visit the magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and Basilica of St John Lateran, two of Rome's great ancient churches. View the Holy Stairs; the 28 marble steps that Jesus is said to have climbed to his trial; and follow the ancient Appian Way to visit Rome's ancient catacombs. Descend into these eerie tunnels used as cemeteries and hideouts by the early Christians and witness first hand their burial niches, frescoes and other hidden treasures.
Meet your guide in central Rome or enjoy a pickup from your central Rome hotel. Then, board your air-conditioned coach to start your 3-hour tour.
Get an interesting lowdown on Rome's Christian heritage from your guide as you head to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore on Esquiline Hill. Dating from the 5th century, this magnificent church is one of Rome's five great ancient basilicas, and considered second only to St Peter's Basilica for beauty.
Marvel at the exterior fašade and hear how the church was among the first dedicated to the Virgin Mary that sprang up across the Roman Empire in the 400s.
Then, head inside to admire the interior. See the stately columns and sumptuous chapels, and view the golden mosaics, many depicting the life of Christ.
Continue to the Holy Stairs (Scala Sancta), the 28 marble steps that, according to legend, Jesus climbed to his trial in Pontius Pilate's palace. View the wood-encased stairs and then visit the ornate Basilica of St John Lateran, the church that was dedicated to Christ in 318 and the first to be built in Rome.
Next, trace the Appian Way, the famous ancient Roman road, passing the Chapel of Domine Quo Vadis, reputed to stand where St Peter saw a vision of the risen Christ.
Arrive at Rome's catacombs - the nearly 186 miles (300 kilometers) of tunnels used as burial chambers and hideouts by early Christians. Then, depending on accessibility, explore the San Castillo, Santa Domitilla or San Sebastiano tunnels to see the burial niches, frescoes and other treasures lying inside.
Lastly, take in views of the Baths of Emperor Caracalla, the ruins of a 3rd-century Roman bathhouse. Then, end your tour at the start point or your choice of several city-center locations.
Departure Dates: November 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday April 1 to October 31, 2014: Monday, Wednesday and Friday November 1 to March 31, 2015: Wednesday and Sunday Commences: Rome, Italy Departure Point: Tour departs from a central Rome meeting point, a short walk from the Termini train station. Hotel pickup is available from selected Rome hotels between 1:30pm and 2:15pm Departure Time: 2:30pm
Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to this time, exact pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.
Return Details: Returns to original departure point. It is also possible for guests to be dropped off at Via Veneto, Piazza Barberini, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Cavour, Piazza della Repubblica, Termini station or GLT Terminal. Please ask the guide on the day of the tour
Hotel pickup (selected hotels only)
Transport by air-conditioned coach (maximum 50 people)
Food and drinks, unless specified
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Not wheelchair accessible
There can be a considerable amount of walking on Rome tours, (often on uneven, cobbled surfaces) due to coach regulations. It is possible for clients to remain on the coach, however this means that many of the sights will be missed
A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops are allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. This dress code is strictly enforced and you will risk refused entry if you fail to comply with requirements
Special Policy: Hotel pickup is offered for this activity. Please enter your hotel pickup details or enter 'local' if you live locally.
For every confirmed booking you will be required to print a voucher for presentation at the destination. You will receive a link to your voucher via email once your booking is confirmed.
Local Operator Information
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.
Note: Flights are NOT included and unless otherwise stated above transfers and car hire are also NOT included.