Rome:  A Catholic’s Guide to Rome, the “Eternal City”

 

What can we say about Rome that has not been said a thousand times before? No where else can you find so many reminders of the history of the Catholic Church and so many beautiful churches and monuments.

And much of Rome is easy to walk. Many of these locations are within 10-20 blocks of one another, so if you pace yourself (perhaps stop for a cup of cappuccino along the way) you can easily visit many of these places on foot. Of course if you are with an organized tour they will probably provide your own private transportation. Check in advance to find out–especially if you have mobility problems–but don’t let that keep you away.

Deduct $100 off any pilgrimage when you mention code CTGuide
Deduct $100 off any pilgrimage when you mention code CTGuide

A word of warning if you plan to contract with a local tour guide in Rome. Some guides are excellent and some are very poor. In addition, some can be quite anti-Catholic. Comments such as “these items were stolen from…..and brought to Rome” or the use of the word “legend” rather than “tradition” will give the traveler a biased and in-accurate experience.

And, be aware, that Italy has strict licensing laws concerning guides. A guide might be licensed for Assisi, but not Rome, or vice-versa. If you use an unlicensed guide and he gets stopped by the authorities, your tour might come to an abrupt halt!  

Click here to read our suggestions about private tour guides in Rome.

Whether traveling on your own or with a group, we recommend you have a map to orient yourself to the city. Even if you are with a tour group, it is nice to know the layout of the city.

For example, you might find that the hotel you are staying in is just a few blocks from Saint Peter’s Square and you can get out and explore on your own after dinner.  The “City Wise” maps are great–waterproof and easy to fold and read.

The Vatican cookook...a great gift idea
The Vatican cookbook…a great gift idea

Click here for “Vatican Cookbook Set”

 by The Pontifical Swiss Guard..buy it for yourself or order the gift set for someone else. 

Below are some of the most notable Churches in Rome:

There are four major Basilicas:

Basilica of St. John Lateran *

Basilica of Saint Mary Major *

Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls *

Saint Peter’s Basilica *

Some other interesting churches:

Basilica of Saint Bartholomew: the 20th Century Martyrs, a must-see.

Our Lady of the Conception Capuchin Church: the church of the bones

Church of the Gesu (Jesuit Church) and home of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Church of San Francesco a Ripa

Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli (statue of the Bambino Jesu)

Church of Santa Susanna (the American Catholic Church in Rome)

Church of Saint Paul of Tre Fontane (beheading of Saint Paul)

Churches of the Roman Forum (some of the oldest churches in Rome)

Minor Basilica of Saint of San Chrisogono

Saint Peter in Chains

Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs ( the steps Jesus climbed in Jerusalem)
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love *

Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem *

Basilica of Sant’Agostino (relics of Saint Monica)

Church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri (Original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help)

Minor Basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls *

* Indicates one of the Seven Station Pilgrimage Churches of Rome.  This is a tradition begun by Saint Philip Neri in the 16th Century & continuing on today.

And other places to visit:

San Lorenzo Center for young people

The Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

The Catacombs of Rome

Tre Fontane: apparitions of Our Lady of Revelation

Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel)

Vatican Gardens 

Castel Gandolfo (Papal Summer Residence)

Retreat Houses
Domus Australia For Australians visiting Rome

Villa Irlanda Roma: For Irish visitors to Rome

And, a word about Gelato:
Gelato: an Italian treat not to be missed

Any suggestions?
E-mail us or post a note on our forum.

Religious Goods
There is a gift shop at the Vatican that we recommend as your first stop.  

Soprani Relgious Goods Store in Rome has great prices
Soprani Relgious Goods Store

Then try Soprani Religious Goods: Every time we go in there, we see priests and nuns shopping, so you know their prices are right!  Just off Saint Peter’s Square.

 

Click here to find hotels in Rome, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

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