You’ve probably already heard about the Jubilee and also about the Anno Santo, the Holy year. This is a tradition that began in the 1300, when it became possible to obtain plenary indulgences, absolution, by visiting at least 4 of the largest Roman basilicas. Through walking miles and miles from one place of martyrdom and penance to another, pilgrims would visit these churches seeking the pardoning of their sins.
Inspired by these long pilgrimages of devotion, in the second half of the 16th century, Saint Phillip Neri decided to organise the famous Seven Churches in Rome pilgrimage: a total of 25 kilometres by foot in two days.
Apart from the 4 patriarchal basilicas (Saint Peters, Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Saint John of Lateran and Saint Mary Major), another three churches with celebrated reliquaries were added: Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls, The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls.
Of course these days the path is less difficult and tiring than it was back then, yet it is still an experience filled with profound significance and interest.
A visit to the most important churches was once an obligation to anyone who arrived in Rome. Today this is still one of the more thought-provoking explorations of the city and not for purely religious motives. This is one of the best ways to discover and enjoy the artistic and archaeological beauty of Rome, each of these churches is a masterpiece.
We have chosen three. The most significant, Saint Peter’s Basilica, we have left out because it is generally included in our tours of the Vatican, and it truly does deserve a dedicated tour.
The perfect match for this tour is: Saint Peter's Basilica private tour
from 120€ per tour
We did four tours with Grace and found her to be extremely knowledgeable, speaking at length about the history, culture and traditions of the artifacts we saw. She answered all... read more
Took four tours with Joy of Rome and Francesca and Grace were a true Joy! We did the Vatican, catacombs, pantheon and colosseum. Highly recommend! Thanks so much ladies.