“Rome-ing” Rome with ItalyXP!

Let's Go to Italy Together!When I contacted ItalyXP about being sponsored for a tour in Rome this fall (2014), I was quickly obliged.

They had space on their 3-hour “Tour of Christian Churches and Basilicas of Rome”, a tour I was very excited to take!

Throughout my travels, I always love visiting churches and basilicas but, when possible, it’s far more rewarding for me to visit with a local guide, one of many reasons I love tours!Rome fall 2014Rome has over 900 churches, the most famous being (of course) St. Peter’s. This tour was appealing because they focused on four of Rome’s most significant churches and basilicas and because I would have the benefit of learning more about each firsthand from a knowledgeable local expert.

Needless to say, capturing the beauty  and details of these gorgeous churches is virtually impossible…you just need to see it for yourself!

Please Note: Due to the sanctity of these sacred spaces, in many cases taking photos was not allowed or appropriate so most of my photos are from our our visit to St. John in Lateran.Rome fall 2014

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Tour of the Christian Churches and Basilicas of Rome with Jeannette

Arriving early at our meeting point, St. John in Lateran, I looked for my “group”. After approaching several strangers and checking and double-checking the instructions, I was a bit concerned until I found my guide, Jeannette, and learned that I was the group!Rome fall 2014Jeannette and I spent the next three hours together exploring four of Rome’s most renowned and significant churches and basilicas!Let's Go to Italy Together!Rome fall 2014Rome fall 2014We began at the Basilica of St. John of Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterno) and the famous Scala Sancti. Magnificent and impressive, St. John’s is not only the oldest church in the west but it is the church of the Diocese of Rome and official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. Needless to say, it is dazzling in its elegance and scale…

Rome fall 2014Rome fall 2014Let's Go to Italy Together!Our next stop was the nearby Baptistry of St. John. However, it failed to open on time and, not wanting to risk seeing the other venues, we decided to move on… Let's Go to Italy Together!The Church of St. Clemente (Basilica di San Clemente) is  a small but lovely medieval church built in the 12th century. It is made more fascinating because of it’s Underground. It was built on top of a 4th century church which was built over the original Roman streets and pagan temples. Descending to the now rather damp and dank lowest street level is literally stepping back thousands of years to the alleys and temples of ancient Rome. Fantastic! Let's Go to Italy Together!I had been to St. Peter’s in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli) many years ago and was delighted to return.  Originally built in the 5th century and renovated over the centuries, it is famous for Michelangelo’s glorious statue of Moses (part of Pope Julius II’s tomb) and for being the home of the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem.

I just can never get enough of Michelangelo’s masterpieces – always breathtaking. Such genius…

Let's Go to Italy Together!St. Mary Major (Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore) is the final stop on our tour.  St. Mary’s, built in the 4th century on Esquilino Hill,  is the largest church in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Over the centuries it has been embellished and renovated and, today it is truly splendid and magnificent. When we arrive there is a service in a side chapel. We take time to sit and be surrounded by the sounds of a choir and murmurs of prayers… a welcome and peaceful respite from the heat and noise of the city…

Jeannette and I part after a very special and very moving tour together…

Grazie, ItalyXP!Let's Go to Italy Together!

If you’re heading to Italy, please take a look at the tours offered by ItalyXP! You’ll be glad you did!

About PostcardZ from Victoria

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information! Enjoy my newly published book, "Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style!" and then let's go to Italy together!
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