Catholic sites in Rome the Vatican, Major Basilicas, history of the Catholic Church
The Catholic Travel Guide


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 shown here are great--waterproof and easy to fold and read.

To maximize your enjoyment and get all you expect from your travel experience, we recommend you get one of the excellent Catholic guide books in our Amazon store. You can sometimes gain useful insights and information that the guide may not have shared with you.

Click here for a great book: "101 Surprising Facts about Saint Peter's and the Vatican"

Below are some of the major 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 *
St. 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 Chrysogono
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 (Our Lady of Perpetual Help)
Minor Basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls  *

* Indicates one of the Seven 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
Tre Fontane:  apparitions of Our Lady of Revelation.
Vatican Museums
Vatican Gardens
The Scavi Tour (see St. Peter's above)

Retreat Houses
Domus Australia  For Australians visiting Rome
Villa Irlanda Roma:  For Irish visitors to Rome

And some fun locations:
Gelato:  an Italian treat not to be missed 

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

Religious Goods
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.

A Catholic's Guide to Rome, the "Eternal City"

Back to Catholic Sites in Italy
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.

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 for a list of our recommended tour guides in Rome.
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Soprani Religious goods in Rome.
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