When visiting eternal city of Rome one of the must-do things is a visit to Saint Peter's Basilica - the largest church in the world and the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture.
This basilica is the home to one of Michelangelo's most famous masterpieces, the Pieta which can be seen once you enter (it is protected by bullet-proof glass). The interiors caracterized by huge mosaics, are sites of some of the most famous art works from all over the world. The central position of the basilica holds Baldacchino of St Peter's which is 29m high, made by Bernini.
Saint Peter is said to be entombed just underneath the church and other popes are also buried here. You can visit this area called the Necropolis but you must book long in advance as there is a limit to how many visitors they will allow.
The entry to Saint Peter's Basilica is free, but the most of the time there are long queues of people waiting to enter. It is open every day from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. from April to September and from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. from October to March.
The best way to beat the crowds while visiting Saint Peter's Basilica is to arrive as early as possible or to use fast track entry. Be sure to dress appropriately (covered knees and shoulders) or you will be turned away at the door.
To get the most of your visit consider renting an audio guide from the kiosk inside or taking one of guided tours. If you plan to visit all major Rome sights it may be convenient for you to purchase OMNIA Card which allows you to skip the line when entering Saint Peter's Basilica.
For stunning views of Saint Peter's Square and entire Rome you should climb the cupola of Saint Peter's Basilica. The beautiful cupola was projected by Michelangelo in 1546 and is 136m high.
Visiting Saint Peter's Basilica cupola is possible every day from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. from April to September and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from October to March. The entrance is in the portico of the Basilica. You have two options:
To reach the top of the cupola you need to climb the spiral staircase and narrow tunnels for about 15 minutes. Once at the top you will be rewarded with a unique views of Saint Peter's Square, Vatican Gardens and the city of Rome.
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