1. Rome: The Passion of Jesus Private Guided Tour
Embark on a 3.5-hour private guided tour with a focus on the spirituality of Rome and some of the churches linked to the Passion of Jesus. Start out at the Basilica of Santa Prassede, where you’ll see a relic of the pillar of the flogging, a segment of the column upon which Jesus was flogged before his crucifixion. Mentioned in 3 of the canonical gospels, this relic was brought to Rome during the Middle Ages. Next is a visit to the amazing Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This is the largest Marian Church in Rome and is home to a piece of wood said to come from the crib of Jesus. Move on to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the first of the 4 papal basilicas to be built, and the Cathedral of Rome. See the Scala Sancta, or Holy Stairs. These are the steps leading up to Pilate's headquarter in Jerusalem, on which Jesus stepped before he was sentenced to death. To gain the plenary Indulgence, believers climb the steps on their knees. Nearby is the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. It was built in the 4th century A.D. to preserve the relics brought to Rome by St. Helen, the mother of Constantine. Several relics are preserved in the Cappella delle Reliquie. See the panel that hung on Christ's cross, 2 thorns from his crown, and 3 pieces of his cross.