St. Peter's Basilica Cupola
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended St. Peter's Basilica Cupola History & Heritage

  • St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

    1. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb

    Meet your art historian guide in St. Peter's Square and stroll across the piazza into Vatican City. In the Basilica, take the elevator part of the way up and then climb the remaining 171 steps. You can climb at a leisurely pace and enjoy the journey up with frequent stops. At the summit, witness the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Vatican City as it extends out into Rome and its seven hills. Take as many photographs as you can because you are very high and will be able to see for a long distance. After heading back down to ground level, take a brief break before entering St. Peter's Basilica. This famous monument is a triumph of art and architecture, unmatched anywhere else in the world. This is where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter himself. 

  • Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

    2. Vatican City: Basilica, Dome Climb & Optional Crypts Tour

    Experience St. Peter's Basilica from the top of the dome and admire views of the Vatican and Rome. See the dome's interior on your own or select a guided tour of the basilica and crypts.

    Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics depicting the saints, the magnificent Latin scripts which circle the dome, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below.

    Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and everything you need to know about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then head above the double structure of the dome and pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops bel...

    If you only selected the dome climb, be aware that the tour isn’t only 45 minutes as listed on the site. It turned out to be about 1.5 hours and your ending point is on the outside platform to start the dome climb.

  • St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

    3. St. Peter's Basilica: Tour with Dome Climb and Papal Tombs

    Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square, then head up to the first level of the dome to the viewing balcony. Admire the array of incredible mosaics, the magnificent Latin scripts, and the top of Bernini’s 3-story canopy below. Listen to your guide share facts and stories about the history of the dome, and learn all about the Dome’s artists and Renaissance splendor. From the first level, take the spiral staircase to the top of the dome and enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace. Then pass by windows that give a tantalizing glimpse of the Vatican rooftops below. After 320 steps find yourself on the viewing platform 448 feet above the basilica floor. From the highest point within the Vatican, admire breathtaking and panoramic views over the city, including the Vatican Gardens below. Looking into the distance, you can also marvel at the monuments of ancient Rome, including the Colo...

  • Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

    4. Rome: Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb

    Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter's Square - a quick ascension by elevator later will carry you up to the top of the dome from where you can see all of Rome and far beyond Rome too. The views are absolutely spectacular. Back on terra firma you will tour the entirety of St. Peter's Basilica - this in itself is rare as most other Rome tour operators do not include it in their Vatican tours. Take a break before making the short walk to the comfortable customer center ahead of your second tour to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Genuine skip-the-line access means that you will be fast tracked to the artistic and archaeological masterpieces which make the Vatican Museums absolutely must-sees when in Rome.

    This was an amazing tour. Our guide Ciara is really what made it fantastic. Her knowledge and witty comments kept us learning and laughing.

  • Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Tomb, and Dome

    5. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Tomb, and Dome

    Discover the beauty of St. Peter's Basilica on this guided tour. Start with an ascent to the top of St. Peter's Dome to admire the breathtaking views of Rome and then work your way down to the underground grottoes. Following a quick security check, climb to the top of the Dome, which is the tallest point in Rome - despite being 500 years old! From atop St. Peter's Dome, lauded as the pinnacle of Renaissance architecture, enjoy panoramic views of the city below. Following St. Peter's Dome, prepare to be dazzled by the intricate levels of detail and gold displayed all over the interior of the Basilica. We will cover its construction, interior and importance in Christianity. Making sure not to miss the important pieces inside by the likes of Michelangelo, Bernini and Raphael. Finish the tour with a trip to the grottoes underneath the church and visit St. Peter's tomb. At the end of the g...

  • Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Basilica Audio Tour

    6. Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Basilica Audio Tour

    Located on the right bank of the Tiber only a short distance from the Vatican City, the Castel Sant'Angelo is an ancient fortress with centuries of history. Built for the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the building has played an important part in Rome’s history. Discover this architectural landmark with skip-the-line, hosted access. Explore the museum's seven floors to discover an extensive collection of ancient artifacts and perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period. Climb the spiral staircase to reach the Chamber of Ashes where a number of historical figures were incarcerated, before continuing up to visit the Papal Residence. Finish the experience by admiring one of the largest churches in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica, with a audio guided tour. Learn about the architects behind its astonishing construction, including Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini. Inside, admire worl...

  • Rome: Vatican Morning Tour with Breakfast

    7. Rome: Vatican Morning Tour with Breakfast

    Be amongst the firsts and spend the morning touring the Vatican Museums. Choose from either a shared or private guided experience to stroll through quiet galleries, see the museums' highlights, and experience the Sistine Chapel before the crowds arrive. Your morning experience in the Vatican begins with an American-style breakfast in one of the most beautiful parts of the Vatican, the famous Pinecone Courtyard. Once you finish up your coffee, your tour guide will take you through the peaceful museum galleries to show you the highlights from the vast collections Popes have acquired throughout centuries. Your tour continues towards the Sistine Chapel, home to the breathtaking frescoes painted 500 years ago by Michaelangelo. The last stop of the tour will be inside St.Peter's Basilica accessible directly from the Sistine Chapel. During the course of the pandemic, the tour will end in the ...

  • Rome: 2-Day Private VIP Immersive Tour

    8. Rome: 2-Day Private VIP Immersive Tour

    Start at the Arch of Constantine, and begin a private Colosseum tour with a top-rated local guide. Learn about the history of this amazing monument, the violence of the games, and the lives of the gladiators. Take a short walk to explore the breathtaking ruins of the Roman Forum. Next, head to the historic Capitoline Hill and enjoy a break in a bar with a stunning panoramic view of the city. Stop for a hearty lunch in a restaurant recommended by the guide, where you'll sample some delicious local dishes. After lunch, visit the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Sant’Eustachio, Piazza Navona, and Campo de'Fiori. See the Pantheon and Hadrian's Temple. Stroll through the magnificent Piazza Farnese for a memorable end to the first day of your 2-day private tour. Begin the second day with a visit to the Vatican Museums, which boast one of the greatest collections of art in the world. ...

  • Private Early Morning Sistine Chapel Tour

    9. Private Early Morning Sistine Chapel Tour

    Enjoy the Sistine Chapel as Popes and princes did: early in the morning. This private tour offers the perfect environment to explore the Sistine Chapel and other works of incomparable beauty in the Vatican Museums. Your personal guide will help you visualize the cultural context in which such works arose, immersing you in the climate of the Renaissance. This exclusive Vatican private tour will take you to discover this season of human history when the flowering of the arts was accompanied by the evolution of science, together laying the foundations for much of our modern world. This was a period of overwhelming enthusiasm and of amazing innovation. The men of the Renaissance didn't merely dream of changing the world, they  revolutionised it. The printing press, the geographic maps with which Columbus reached the Americas, modern science, architecture, art, and the modern sense of beauty ...

  • Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Private Tour

    10. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Private Tour

    Wander through one of the World’s largest art collections on a pleasant 3-hour journey, while discovering all the secrets about the favored artists of Renaissance and Baroque Popes. See the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Raphael, Perugino, Botticelli, and Pinturicchio are just some of the finest Italian painters you’ll meet between the halls of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll finally admire the breathtaking Giudizio Universale by Michelangelo. Enter the magnificent Basilica of Saint Peter, where your guide will share the secrets behind the Burial of Saint Peter, Bernini’s Baldachin, and Michelangelo’s Pietà. Leaving the Church, gripped by all this beauty, be welcomed in Saint Peter’s Square by stunning statues of the Apostles, Saints, and Martires dominating the façade of the basilica and Bernini’s Colonnato.

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What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica Cupola

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 5 reviews

The tour with Chiara absolutely amazing. We had a small group. No lines at the Basilica or Museum with the 8am tour. Definitely wear good walking shoes. Our guide Chiara (when in Rome Tours) was such a great guide. Very interacting and so very knowledgeable, funny and great energy. Personalized our tour so we could get to the most important stops in an efficient manner. Made sure everyone’s needs were met along the way. She offered to take photos of each person/couple at the best spots! She was interested in each person/couple. Asked where we were going next so she could recommend activities/restaurants. Guiseppi and Maria from Florida

Selenia was an amazing guide and walked us through all the important points! She managed not to bore us with unnecessary numbers and made the tour really interesting!

Lovely guide, lots of knowledge and easy to understand through the headphones. Showed us all around the Vatican, from the square to the dome and the crypts.

Thank you Chiara for this experience! It was such a great and funny tour. One of the best of my life. You are such a lovely guide… thanks! Murat and Arturo

Well organized tour full of interesting facts about this amazing building. Our guide Chiara was excellent.