St. Peter’s Basilica

The Largest Catholic Church in the World

Must-Do's Rome Published on 2 October 2018

Reaching St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) from across St. Peter’s Square is a rather exciting mix of sight-seeing and mysticism. In fact, the colonnade in the Square builds a humbling atmosphere as you approach the biggest Catholic church in the world. It’s also the largest of Rome’s four major basilicas. Inside, pomp and beauty combined describe two millennia of history in the Catholic Church.

Highlights at St. Peter’s Basilica

Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, don’t miss the perfection of Michelangelo’s masterpiece The Pity (Pietà), which emphatically describes compassionate love in the deposition of Christ. At the centre of the Basilica you can spend hours exploring the in and outs of St. Peter’s Baldachin by Bernini, whose rich detail is indeed worthy of the most important church in the world! You should also check out the statue of St. Peter, whose foot has been rubbed completely smooth due to centuries of pilgrims who’ve touched it! Lastly, climb the 551 steps to the top of the basilica’s majestic dome for an eagle eye view of the Basilica.            

St Peter's Basilica Interior Altar Vatican City Rome

Ornate interior and altar inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

Time to Explore: About 3 hours. 

Top Tips: Mind your dress code: shoulders and knees must be covered to enter. You should also know that the pope gives Papal Audiences every Wednesday just in front of the Basilica. Attendance is free, but you’ll still have to book. To request a ticket, contact +39.06.69883114 or +39.06.69884631.

What’s Close? Vatican Museums and the Vatican City, Castel Sant’Angelo, Piazza Navona, Pantheon.

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