Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome

The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, also known as the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, is the oldest and most important of the four major basilicas in Rome. Located at the highest point of the city, it has been an important site for Christian worship since the 4th century.

The basilica was first constructed in the 4th century under Constantine I, making it the oldest church in Rome. The church served as the cathedral of the Popes until the 14th century, when the papacy returned to the Vatican. Since then, the Basilica di San Giovanni has served as the papal archbasilica, one of the four major basilicas of Rome, and holds the title of “Mother of all Churches in the City and the World”.

The basilica is a beautiful example of Italian Baroque architecture, featuring two bell towers, two grand colonnades, and an impressive façade. Inside, visitors can admire the beautiful frescoes by Domenichino, Pietro da Cortona, and other masters of the Baroque period. The basilica also houses important relics, including the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) which are believed to be the steps of the praetorium of Pontius Pilate, and the relics of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is one of the most important churches in the world, and a must-see destination on any trip to Rome. Its lofty position and beautiful architecture make it an unforgettable sight, and its ancient origins and important relics make it a unique and powerful reminder of the history of Christianity.