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“Combined with a visit to San Giovanni, this is a must see attraction in Rome”

Scala Santa and Chapel of San Lorenzo
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Owner description: For centuries, the Scala Santa has attracted Christian pilgrims and visitors who wished to honor the Passion of Christ. Tradition says that originally the Holy Stairs led to the praetorium, or judgment hall, of Pontius Pilate's palace in Jerusalem. Today, those same 28 white marble steps lead to the Sancta Sanctorum, or “Holiest of Holy Places”, the first private chapel of the Popes. Many have undergone the spiritual ritual of ascending the stairs on their knees.The Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs, one of the major projects by Pope Sixtus V, encompasses 1700 m of frescoes completed in 1590. These images tell the story of both the old and new testaments while including depictions of various saints, doctors of the church and the superb landscapes by Flemish master Paul Bril.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
5,695 reviews
3,699 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12,203 helpful votes
“Combined with a visit to San Giovanni, this is a must see attraction in Rome”
Reviewed 31 March 2012

If Scala Santa were isolated on its own, it would still be a very good attraction to visit, worthy of seeking out. However, being just across the street from the excellent San Giovanni, makes this a combined 'must-see' attraction in Rome. Visits here are free and you can take photos inside.

What is so very special at this location are the 28 steps, believed to be the same used by Jesus when ascending to his trial at the house of Pontus Pilate's. They were brought here in the 4th century by St. Helen and are now laid out before believers and worships, who climb these steps on their knees while offering up prayer. This is a sight to be seen and potentially experienced.

The inside staircases are also lined with beautiful fresco artwork, well worth examination and some photo taking. Low light conditions are found in most of Scala Santa so make sure to slow your shutter speed and hold your camera very still while taking pictures.

To visit, you can use the San Giovanni (Metro) stop but it remains quite a stroll back towards the main city. Instead, you might want to just start off with a taxi to this Santa Scala and San Giovanni, early in the morning and then continue your day of sightseeing by making your way to the very good Basilica di San Clemente, which is just up Via Giovanni in Laterano, 12-15 minutes walk. Beyond this church you find the ancient Coliseum and Forum, rounding off an excellent 1/2 to full day of sightseeing in Rome.

Overall, Scala Santa is an important place to visit for believers and makes a very good complimentary visit to the excellent San Giovanni in Laterano church, just across the street. Combined, they should be a priority visit for those visiting Rome.

Visited February 2012
3 Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

This is a little out of the way, and doesn't really look like a church, and inside it's basically a staircase. But the staps are wooden and they have to be climbed on your knees. I did this and found it very moving, even though I'm am not religeous. It's a sacred place and needs to be respected.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank SjGirlieX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverstick, Cork, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“holy steps”
Reviewed 28 March 2012

i went with my friend and while i had a great time in rome this was the most special part of the trip when you look up the steps they are steeper than i thought but as you go up its amazing the journey you go on there is a point when you think i cant move another knee and then you remember what Jesus did fo us and you get strenght to go on when you reach the top it is very moving if you go to rome please go you wont reget it

Visited March 2012
7 Thank Judy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“The Sacred Steps”
Reviewed 27 March 2012

This is worth the trip and not far from two metro stops. If tradition is true, these are the steps from Pontius Pilot's villa, where Jesus walked the day He was brought before him. They must be climbed on your knees, and when we went, the pace was very slow. The sign said you can get the same indulgence by climbing the stairs next to the Sacred Steps. My knees were bruised the next day, but it was well worth it.

Visited March 2012
3 Thank Jackie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bratislava, Slovakia
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“We call this a highlight of our visit”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Santa Scala (Holly steps) right across the street from Basilica Laterano are amazing. This experience was so strong, we call it THE highlight of our visit to Rome. Almost 30 steps you must walk by knees, praying and meditating are strong spiritual exercise and it`s definitely a spot to visit while in Rome. You`ll find another dimension here. (there are also alternative stairs to get to top, which you don`t need to walk kneeling down). Holly steps are the artifact that brings you to the ancient times and helps you to get more inside you and talk to your soul. Such a spiritual adventure!

Visited February 2012
2 Thank adricka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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