St. Peter's Basilica


Visiting St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is one of the most important and representative churches of Christianity and is a must-see for all visitors to the Italian capital.

Visiting St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican

Book the guided tour to skip the line

Admission to St. Peter’s Basilica is free, but to avoid having to wait in long lines, we recommend booking a guided tour to skip the line so you can have the full experience and avoid excessive waiting.

History of St. Peter's Basilica

The basilica’s history dates back to the fourth century, under Pope Julius II, when Emperor Constantine allowed the church to be built on the site of the tomb of St. Peter, the apostle who is considered the first pope of the Christian Church. Over the centuries, the basilica has been expanded and restored several times, becoming one of the most important examples of Christian architecture in the world.

The size of the Basilica

The dimensions of St. Peter’s Basilica are impressive: the width of the building is about 186 meters and its height reaches almost 135 meters. The basilica can hold up to 60,000 people and its interior is decorated with frescoes, mosaics and sculptures created by some of the greatest artists in history.

The dome of the Basilica

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of St. Peter’s Basilica is its dome, a majestic work that dominates Rome’s sky-line and offers spectacular views of the city to the bravest visitors who decide to climb the 551 steps to reach it. The dome was designed by Michelangelo, who also worked inside the basilica, creating the famous Pieta sculpture.

The dimensions of this work of art are majestic:

  • Total weight: about 14,000 tons
  • External height: m 133.30
  • Interior height: m 117.57
  • Outer diameter: m 58.90
  • Inner diameter: m 41.50

St. Peter's Square in the Vatican

he Piazza di San Pietro was designed in 1656 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

The plaza is elliptical in shape, surrounded by a wide collonade consisting of 284 columns and 88 pillars, stretching around a circumference of about 1,200 meters. The hillock is about 20 meters high and is divided into four rows, symbolizing the church’s welcome to visitors from all sides of the world. In the center of the square is the Vatican obelisk, an ancient Egyptian column about 25 meters high. Bernini was able to create a work of extraordinary skill that has the power to enchant visitors and make them feel part of the great history of the Catholic Church.

Also visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

One cannot leave Rome without also visiting the Vatican Museums and the Sitina Chapel.

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Colosseum Rome

Buy skip-the-line ticket or guided tour