St Peter’s Basilica, Rome
Ranked #9 in Italy Tourism
There’s no easy way to begin explaining a place as sacred and beautiful as St Peter’s Basilica. You can call it the highlight of Rome and you won’t be wrong. Tourism attains a higher level here, because not just Catholics come visit but many a diverse people-type, all arriving to partake of an aura that feels as old as time itself.
The first thing you need to make sure of, if you’re a visitor, is the schedule. As you may have learned, many sections of Vatican City have specific times when they open and close. Being punctual can go a long way in making your visit memorable.
Mass in St Peter’s Basilica is in Italian and makes for an amazing experience for anyone. It follows in a Catholic tradition going back centuries. Another thing to keep in mind—and this isn’t meant to cut back on anyone’s fun—is to dress appropriately. You are, after all, going to one of the most respectable locations in the world, not to mention sacred, so bare shoulders, mini-skirts, shorts and the like are best worn elsewhere.
Once you’re settled into nice accommodations like the Visconti Palace Hotel, Tulia Guest House, or Residenza Paolo VI, you must head to the Basilica. For those of you who like specifics, it stands in the Piazza San Pietro or Saint Peter’s Square.
St Peter’s Basilica Dome
Climbing the cupola can be quite the challenge but it leaves you feeling a sense of freedom and accomplishment going up 320 steps to the top of the dome where, aside from the superb views, you get to see the world’s largest Basilica in a whole new light. For those of you who loath to climb it the old-fashioned way, there’s a serviceable elevator coming to the rescue; but it’ll cost you, about 7 euros. Come to think of it, the climb costs a fee too, about 6 euros. But who wouldn’t pay to get a more detailed look at one of the greatest historical, cultural and architectural marvels of the world.
Your climb exits at an interior gallery where you can opt to go up to the dome or head on down to roof level. Going up, you’ll have excellent views from several windows and the best thing of all, up there, is the panoramic view with a clear view of the Pantheon, one of Rome’s oldest churches.
Don’t worry about modern amenities. You have restroom access, a coffee bar, a gift shop and water fountains to enjoy. The statues are yet another thing you have to see to believe. Etched or sculpted in times when electricity was unheard of, you can imagine the commitment some famous names had to invest to get such beauty to come down to us in the present generation.
The Vatican Grottoes are another thing to check out. As mentioned before, there’s so much to do here in St Peter’s Basilica. Besides, it’s always best to be there and confirm this fact.