St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the great architectural wonders of Rome. It took over 150 years to build & many of the greatest artists & architects of the Renaissance & Baroque periods would make it a gleaming masterpiece from every angle. On this St Peter Basilica Tour, you’ll experience every corner of the Basilica from the very top of the dome, down to the crypts below the marble floors.
Entering the Basilica in the early morning before it starts to fill up with visitors, you’ll start by climbing the dome before it gets too hot. The climb up is a special experience in & of itself as you get a view from the inside of the dome down into the basilica (& get an up-close look at those glittering gold mosaics!) before climbing up the curved shell of the dome to come out on the very top for a breathtaking view. The basilica’s top is the highest point in Rome & you’ll be able to look back down over the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Vatican gardens & St. Peter’s Square. A St. Peter’s Dome Tour gives you an unforgettable perspective on the eternal city.
Back in the basilica, you’ll get a full tour of the church itself. Michelangelo’s pieta was completed when the artist was just 23 & is the only work he ever signed. Its solemn beauty contrasts with some of Bernini’s great works on display in the cathedral: the attention-grabbing Baldachin over the altar of Peter & the high Baroque drama of the tomb of Alex&er VII. You’ll see the tombs of Pope John Paul II & the remarkably embalmed body of Pope Innocent XI & the chorus chapel before descending into the Vatican grottos where popes have been buried for centuries near the body of St. Peter himself & where you can even see the foundations of the original cathedral built by emperor Constantine in the 4th century.
This isn’t just a Vatican tour focused on St. Peter’s but a journey back in time to the very origins of Catholicism & some of the most remarkable artists in Rome’s history.