Saint Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro ) is stunning and a must see attraction while visiting Rome. Since there is so much to see, you need to allow plenty of time. This is considered one of the most visited churches around the world. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century, but work on the actual basilica begun in 1506, and was finally completed in 1626.
This basilica is considered to be one of the most renowned pieces of renaissance architecture and is one of the largest churches in the world. It is also considered to be one of the holiest Catholic sites, and to have the opportunity to visit is overwhelming. Saint Peter is believed to be buried in a tomb directly below the altar, and many people travel from all over the world to visit this basilica.
The building itself is spectacular, and incredibly tall standing at an impressive 137 m from floor to the tip of the cross that stands on the famous dome. Michelangelo was the mastermind behind the dome and is responsible for the wondrous architectural design. Although he was the initial architect responsible for the design and building of St Peter’s, the basilica was completed long after his death.
Giacomo Dalla Porta took on the mammoth task, and by following Michelangelo’s drawings he was able to complete this beautiful piece of art. Not only is the outside impressive, but the interior is magical and awe inspiring for everyone that enters. Inside there are numerous collections of priceless art, and eleven chapels, with 45 altars.
The space inside is massive, and covers a staggering 15.000 sqm, which can hold 60,000 people, and there have been occasions when that many people have been inside. History is on every wall, and there are over 100 tombs of famous people of their times. Everywhere you turn there is something to admire, and you must allow plenty of time to explore every area of the basilica.
Piazza San Pietro, 00120, Vatican City
The Basilica is open every day from 7.00 to 19.00, April to September and from 7.00 to 18.00, October to March.
Metro Line A - Station Ottaviano, buses