The Saintly Stairs
The Scala Santa, or Saint's Staircase, is found just opposite the magnificent Basilica of San Giovanni and is rumored to be the staircase from Pontius Pilot’s House that Jesus descended to face his trial. The mother of Emperor Constantine, St Helena, is thought to have brought it to Rome in 326. It was originally placed in the portico of the ancient Basicilica, but was moved here by Pope Sixtus V in 1589. The marble steps today are covered by wood and are a great attraction for the hundreds of devout believers coming here to ascend the 28 steps on their knees, especially on Good Friday. Take some time to look at the frescoed walls and ceiling, but note that placing a foot on the steps is strictly forbidden.