Second in size to the Basilica di San Pietro, the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano is a grand place, beautifully adorned and tucked away just so, so you don’t find yourself in as crowded a place as St. Peter’s but are still able to experience similar grandeur.
Inside, as with most basilicas, chapels or chiesas line the walls, recessed into them to create little nooks or areas for different religious statues or sculptures or prayer rooms.
Up in front, grander, more heavily adorned corners with painted artworks and gilded molding
I can’t remember what this tower-looking thing is for
Stairs lead down to the entrance of an undercroft (i think—it looks like the one in st peter’s where the entrance to the vatican grottoes is)
In the main hall, the walls are lined with larger-than-life statues of different angels, saints or apostles. They look like them.
Quiet side hall
More beautiful gilded details
All in all, we enjoyed our visit to San Giovanni in Laterano. It’s big and grand, and similar to St. Peter’s in many ways, but also more open to exploration and appreciation because the density of tourists around you is much less. We never felt pressured to run around or be in any hurry, and there’s definitely more freedom to roam. Although St. Peter’s is undeniably epic and beautiful too, this basilica has its own grandeur and elegance, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.
Photos: Canon 450D + 10-22mm
*San Giovanni in Laterano is near Santa Croce in Gerusalemme