The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is one of the tallest domes in the world. Many Renaissance artists contributed to the building, but the final design came from Michelangelo, who was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Inside the crucifix on the top of the dome are relics of the True Cross. This makes it the most important building in Christendom.
Climb The Dome And Absorb The Views Over Rome
Start your tour in St. Peter’s Square, where your expert English-speaking guide will place the dome in context as it appears in the Vatican skyline. At the entrance, your guide will take you into the dome elevator. This bypasses the first section and brings you straight to the first viewing platform of the dome. From here you will be able to see down inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Most visitors don’t know about this level, so you will be among the few who have seen it from here. Beneath, you will see the top of Bernini’s amazing canopy, the largest piece of bronze in the world. Above, you will see the glorious figure of God inside the lantern, and the light streaming through Michelangelo’s windows hitting the blue and gold mosaics on the walls. Your guide will point out and translate the Latin inscriptions and symbols along the walls as you bask in this building’s immense brilliance.
You will then be given some free time to climb to the highest point in historical Rome for stunning 360-degree views of the Vatican City and beyond.
From the viewing deck, you will be surrounded by Rome’s iconic landmarks, including the Papal Gardens, Colosseum, Pantheon and Villa Borghese. Take as much time here as you like enjoying the views and lining up those perfect shots of the city.
Instant Access Inside St. Peter’s Basilica
When you go down, you will now find yourself inside the basilica. While the rest of the world will be lining up outside, you will already be strolling around the vast church. From your time with the guide, you will know exactly what to look for inside the basilica, from the bees on Bernini’s canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà and the signature left by him when he was only 23 years old.
Small Groups And Vatican Experts
Climbing to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica Dome is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Having a guide well versed in Vatican history and architecture will make your vacation more meaningful. With a guide, you will learn important facts and history, including how the Dome became the model for later Christian churches, and even non-religious buildings such as the Capitol Building in the USA.
Your group will be capped at 25 people, so you have more time with your guide.
Upgrade with a Crypt Visit
Get the complete experience of St. Peter’s Basilica by adding a visit to the Crypts. After seeing Rome from the top, your guide will then take you underground deep into the basilica grottoes to see the sacred sarcophagi of the popes.