Major Basilicas of Rome | Private Jubilee Tour

3 hrs
Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore
Refundable booking
Rome Holy Doors | Private Jubilee Tour

Embark on a pilgrimage spanning centuries of devotion, architecture, and papal tradition with this Private Jubilee Tour of Rome’s Holy Doors.

In preparation for the approaching Jubilee year, discover the spiritual significance and architectural splendor of the three major papal basilicas beyond the Vatican: Saint Mary Major, Saint John in Lateran, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, with a private guide and dedicated chauffeur service.

On this private tour, you’ll learn the fascinating history of Jubilee years, and have the chance to see and touch the Holy Doors.


  • Make your Jubilee pilgrimage with an expert guide and private transportation
  • Learn about the history and significance of Jubilee years
  • Visit the three papal basilicas of Saint Mary, Saint John, and Saint Paul
  • See and touch the bronze Holy Doors made for the millennium Jubilee
  • Admire the spectacular art and architecture of each basilica

Exclusive private Tours and Experiences. Also offered in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish and Russian

Our prices always include tickets and reservations fees (no waiting in lines!)

Our tour guides and staff are selected experts and speak perfect English

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Eco-sustainable tourism, designed to respect and support local culture, art and traditions

There are four papal basilicas in Rome, each with a Holy Door that remains locked shut until the Pope opens them for a jubilee year on Christmas Eve. The tradition of the “Jubilee Year” was created in 1300 by Pope Boniface VIII as an antidote to war and famine. It proved so popular with Catholics that now it happens every 25 years.

This private tour is your pilgrimage to the papal Basilicas beyond the Vatican. Your expert guide will meet you outside Santa Maria Maggiore. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the basilica dates back to the 5th century and boasts the tallest bell tower in Rome, beautiful 13th-century golden mosaics, a relic of the Manger, Bernini’s grave, and the tomb of Paulina, Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister. The ceiling is reputed to be Inca gold donated by the catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. You also have exclusive access to see the papal loggia.

On exiting the basilica, hop in a private car and head to San Giovanni in Laterano. This is the most important basilica in Rome being the seat of the Bishop of Rome, also known as… the Pope. It is also the site of the very first legal Christian church in the world. Until the 14th century, the Lateran palace was home to the Papacy and the Curia. When Pope Martin V returned to Rome from Avignon after the Great Schism, the palace had collapsed due to an earthquake – so he moved to the Vatican.

Today the basilica is known as the Head and Mother of All Churches, and is a baroque masterpiece by Francesco Borromini with a spectacular façade. The great bronze doors are the original doors to the Ancient Roman senate. The interior is cool and calm, the nave lined with statues of the apostles, and you can play with the ‘whispering arches’ on the side aisles.

Opposite San Giovanni you will be able to see the Holy Staircase, Scala Santa. This is the marble staircase to Pontius Pilate’s Palace, up which Jesus himself trod, brought to Rome by Saint Helena. It can only be climbed on one’s knees.

Then, you’ll be driven to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, built on top of Saint Paul’s tomb, which you can still glimpse beneath the altar. A fire in the 19th century destroyed 90% of the church, and it was rebuilt with donated marble from Egypt, Russia, and Greece. The vast nave is lined with 80 pillars, above which you’ll see portraits of every pope since Saint Peter. A vast, golden mosaic of Christ looms large over the nave and a precious medieval Easter candle that survived the fire. Saint Paul’s also has a Vatican post office, gift shop, and café, as well as a very peaceful cloister for quiet contemplation.

Finally, you’ll be driven back to the city center.


  • Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Special loggia access in Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Basilica of St. John in Lateran
  • Basilica of St. Paul
  • Tomb of Saint Paul
  • Dedicated chauffeur
  • Expert private guide

  • This tour does NOT include St. Peter’s Basilica. In order to visit the St. Peter’s Basilica and devote the proper attention to this master church and the Vatican complex surrounding it, please consider booking one of our many Vatican tours – just click here! 
  • Places of worship have strict dress code requirements for entry. All participants are required to have shoulders and knees covered (no tank tops or short dresses) to enter.
  • Access to certain parts of churches may be limited in the case of religious ceremonies.

LivTours’ group size of max 6 participants is and always has been based on sustainable travel, and we are proud to be at the forefront of change and innovation in the industry.  LivTours is committed to providing travelers with truly sustainable tours with the lowest possible environmental impact, all while supporting the local industries and people of each unique destination. To learn more about how you can actively support sustainable tourism  and how LivTours is contributing, click here.


When you book a LivTours Private Tour or Experience, you are guaranteed a dedicated, expert guide that allows you the flexibility to start your tour at a time which is convenient for you, making planning easy. Our private tours ensure that you will get a tailored experience to meet all your needs so we go at your pace, perfect for families with younger children, elderly, or individuals with accessibility needs. Please be advised that all private tours begin at a base price starting at two people*. Prices are inclusive of entry tickets where applicable. *Some Ferrari private experiences are inclusive of one person only.


Make your experience even more unique by upgrading your LivTours experience. Please note: add-ons are non refundable.

One Way Pick-Up Transfer Service
With the one way pick up service, your driver will pick you up directly from your accommodation and drive you to the meeting point where you will be greeted by your tour guide. Guarantee stress-free. One way only.
starting from 85 €
Visit to Basilica of the Holy Cross & Holy Stairs
Add an hour to your tour, with guide and chauffeur service included, to visit the the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and the Scala Sancta, or "Holy Stairs," at the Basilica of St. John in Lateran.
starting from 250 €

By selecting Choose Dates Later / Buy as Gift at booking, any tour can be purchased without fixed dates. This is the perfect option if you want to purchase your tour as a gift for a loved one, or if you are in the pre-planning phase of your vacation. After booking, you will receive a Travel Voucher Code and full instructions on how to schedule your tours when ready. Once your travel plans are confirmed, you can easily use the Travel Voucher Code on the LivTours website to formally schedule your tours. You can find out more here.