Vatican, Rome

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  • St. Peter's Basilica seen from Castel Sant'Angelo
    St. Peter's Basilica seen from Castel...
    by Jefie
  • square saint peter and the obelisk
    square saint peter and the obelisk
    by gwened
  • right side of the square Saint Peter
    right side of the square Saint Peter
    by gwened
  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    An easy side trip to Vatican City

    by Jefie Updated Dec 6, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although I made a separate page for Vatican City to reflect the fact that, technically, I had made it to another country, this independent state is very much a part of Rome. Vatican City is located on the right bank of the Tiber River, just northwest of Rome's city center, and while it is still surrounded by fortified walls, these no longer serve any kind of barrier purposes, so you don't need to bring a passport or go through any kind of customs. In fact, you can easily get there on foot or by metro. The one real obstacle when visiting the Vatican is that it needs a bit of planification. The only place visitors have easy access to is St Peter's Square; anything else requires that you either book in advance or spend a lot of time waiting in line. For more details, check out my Vatican City page!

    St. Peter's Basilica seen from Castel Sant'Angelo

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    St Peter's and the Vatican

    by gwened Written Sep 3, 2013

    This is a monumental place worthy of a State, and it will take a good couple days to see it all in detail. We are not into long lines and there were, so I leave you with the outside square of St Peter's. The rest of the time we came by here was to shop by the castel san angelo nearby.

    Books have been written here about it, so just to know its the center of Roman Catholicism in the world, and great history attached to it.

    The square is a movement, people of all countries sharing one belief it is extraordinary even to be there. of course ,its a must to see;whether you have the time to sit outside in long lines is another matter;only for the diehards.

    The Cathedral alone is 219 meters long, 136 meters high ,and with interior dimensions of 188 meters long and 154,60 meters wide with 119 meters high. Located on the right bank of the river Tiber opening towards the nice big square Saint-Peter.

    here is more info on it from a good site
    http://saintpetersbasilica.org/

    Cathedral of Saint Peters arriving on via della conciliazione to St Peter's left side of square Saint Peter right side of the square Saint Peter square saint peter and the obelisk
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  • clareabee's Profile Photo

    Amazing!!!

    by clareabee Written Feb 9, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wow!!! what an amazing place! the artwork inside is absolutely beautiful, stunning. There is so much to see in here. we spent a good couple of hours wandering around, admiring the sculptures and the artwork that was in there. Even the floor is amazing. There are many different areas for worship, and services are performed throughout the day which you are free to attend, no ticket required. What i would say is please show some respect. This is at the end of the day a place of worship. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't film or take photographs of services when they are on - please show some respect. It is quite bad they have to have 'bouncers' telling people not to take photographs whilst a service is taking place - to me that is common sense!!

    St. Peters Basilica Dome in St. Peters Font
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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Amazing and Enormous

    by Donna_in_India Updated Apr 17, 2012

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    We stopped for a really good pizza and cappuccino outside the Vatican museum before walking to San Pietro’s Basilica (St. Peter’s Basilica). As you enter the Piazza San Pietro it’s easy to imagine how it must be when thousands and thousands of worshipper’s gather to hear one of the Pope’s sermons, which he delivers from a balcony above. After a(nother) security check, we entered the church. It is really amazing - the altars, the ceiling, the stained glass windows – and it is enormous!

    We walked around for quite a while before getting on a very, very long line to make the climb to the top of the Basilica. It turned out that there was one very slow ticket man for hundreds and hundreds of people on line – in addition to one elevator that took about 10 people at a time up to the first level. After taking the elevator up the equivalent of 230 steps, we now had to climb 320 steps. The stairs were very narrow (claustrophobic!) and many portions wound around and around like in a lighthouse. Before the last part of the climb we reached a walkway around the top of the dome that was inside the church. It was pretty cool to look down on the people in the church who looked like ants! Fortunately we had a nice clear day and our reward for the long, hard climb was a spectacular view of Rome. The climb is a must do!

    Seeing the Pope: The easiest way to get tickets just days before the Wednesday General Audience with the Holy Father is to go to St. Peter's Square, find the Bronze Doors to the Apostolic Palace, and request them from the Swiss Guards.

    On Sundays at noon, the pope usually (if he's in town) appears at the second window from the right of the Apostolic Palace, to pray the Angelus and bless the crowd in the Square. Benedict XVI has continued this tradition, no ticket required.

    Hours:

    St. Peter's Basilica is open daily, Apr-Sep 7:00-19:00; Oct-Mar 7:00-18:00
    Treasury Museum: 9:00 - 18:15 (Apr - Sep) 9:00 - 17:15 p.m. (Oct - Mar)
    Grottoes: 7:00-18:00 (Apr - Sep) 7:00-17:00 (Oct - Mar)
    Cupola: 8:00 - 18:00 (Apr - Sep) 8:00 - 16:45 (Oct - Mar)

    Cost:
    Basilica (including grottoes) is free.
    Stairs to the dome €7; elevator to the dome €6.

    Dress code: The Dress Code is strictly enforced at St. Peter's Basilica. No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts. This applies to both men and women. Even if you get through security, you will be turned away by the attendants at the door.

    Photography: Permitted throughout (except in special necropolis tour).

    All visitor information is correct as of this writing.

    View from top of the Basilica San Pietro?s Basilica, Rome At entrance to San Pietro?s Basilica, Rome Inside San Pietro?s Basilica, Rome Inside San Pietro?s Basilica, Rome
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  • Homanded's Profile Photo

    VATICAN TOUR - WELL WORTH IT

    by Homanded Written Mar 27, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We went in December and went with Context tours which was highly recommended by a cousin of ours who happens to be an art historian and she and her husband had been very pleased with the company.
    We couldn't have been happier.
    Our guide was a theology and art history doctor and took his time to explain all the hidden gems within the paintings and sculptures throughout the Vatican.
    Additionally, as we requested a private tour of a maximum of 6 people it is also the only tour which goes into the Vatican at 8:00am - a full 1 1/2 - 2 hours before anyone else.
    There are pictures posted on our Vatican pages so you can see just how empty we had the major part of the tour during the first part of it as well as being well ahead of many of the crowds afterwards.
    We are so happy we had a guide and it truly added to an experience which we may not be able to repeat again.

    Although a bit pricier than many others at Euro 85/pp, we feel it was one of our highlights.
    Their website which we booked through was:

    http://www.contexttravel.com/city/rome/walking-tour-details/arte-vaticana-our-vatican-tour-including-sistine-chapel-and-st-peters-with-reservations?sched_walk=43073

    Homer

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  • didier06's Profile Photo

    VATICAN

    by didier06 Updated Feb 20, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We spend a lot of time here, after having waited in line we entered in the vatican's museum, it contains such a wealth of statues, busts and others that we were near a overdose, but finally we were able to admire the beauty of the SISTINE CHAPEL.
    Then we went to ST PETER'S BASILICA , from the dome a beautiful view of ST PETER'S square.

    On December 25 Christmas Day ,all is closed, may be a boring day...? not at all, curiosity bring us back to ST PETER'S square, despite the rain the crowd is there , believers or as we simply curious are there to attend the POPE' s blessing.

    Be careful , transports doesn't work on 25th décember between 1.30 pm and 4.30 p.m

    ST PETER SWISS gards The POPE VATICAN
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  • GuitarStan's Profile Photo

    Visiting the Vatican City.

    by GuitarStan Updated Jun 6, 2011

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    Their is so much to see and do here! My wife and I spent a complete day in this area and probably only scratched the surface. St. Peters, the cuppola (the dome), Vatican Museum and on and on. I encourage you to climb up Michelangelo's dome. On your way down you can take a rest, go to the bathroom and get a drink on the roof of St. Peters! This is an area I had not heard of in my research of Rome. If one is looking at St. Peters Basilica from St. Peters Square you would be standing behind Bernini's statues of Christ and the apostles that adorn the top of the basilica. The view of Rome is beautiful from here, I believe it is the highest spot in all of Rome, since no high-rises are allowed. Taking pictures in the Sistine Chapel is forbidden! Guards are constantly yelling "NO PHOTO!" I really don't see the harm in taking pictures without flash, the frescoes are very high up and picture quality is questionable at any rate. We heard that one should go in the afternoon as opposed to morning as the crowds are thinner. We visited in the afternoon and had no trouble with the crowded Chapel.

    Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel........... The roof of St. Peters with dome in background. Small entrance to a Great Vatican Museum! The famous spiral ramp at exit of Vatican Museum.
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  • MonaOve's Profile Photo

    Planning your Vatican Visit

    by MonaOve Written May 12, 2010

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    Prior to coming to Rome I knew what I wanted to see: the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and Saint Peter’s Basilica. The only thing I didn’t know was what differs these attractions, are they all in the same place? The older I am the more I know, so for all of these confused travelers I prepared a little explanation.

    The Vatican and the Holy See

    First of all you have to remember that the Vatican is a separate country, indeed the smallest in the world (about 0.2 square miles). Although there are people living there, none of them can feel too comfortable; they will never become permanent residents! Like every country, the Vatican has its own post office, bank and even its own butcher shop. Although you can’t actually go inside and buy the same beef that the Pope eats (unless you have special permission) you can send a postcard from the Vatican Post Office which is available to everyone (a lot of Romans say it works better than the Italian one!).
    The Holy See isn’t the same thing as the Vatican. The Vatican was established as a country only in 1929 whereas the Holy See has been in existence almost from the beginning of Christianity. The Holy See, “Santa Sede”, maintains the international relations and represents the Catholic Church on a worldwide arena. Let’s say colloquially that the Holy See acts like the government of the Church based within the territory of the Vatican.

    The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

    The Vatican Museums are some of the biggest in the world and although a lot of people say: “We would like to see the Vatican Museums and then the Sistine Chapel”, I’ll tell you: “Don’t worry, you will see both, because it’s not possible to reach the Sistine Chapel without passing through the Museums”. One important thing: Remember about the dress code! You have to have your knees and shoulders covered otherwise you risk not being allowed to enter the Sistine Chapel and the Basilica. Water bottles are allowed and strongly recommended as in the summer time the Museums get really hot! Also I’d recommend you going on a guided tour otherwise you might miss a lot. I used Rome Illuminated Tours. My guide Alex led me through the maze of corridors, galleries and courtyards bringing history to life with her wicked stories.

    The Basilica of Saint Peter

    While going to the Museums and Sistine Chapel means paying the entrance fee (15 euro adults; 8 students), going to the Basilica is free and accessible through Saint Peter’s Square. If you visit the Museums you can go to the Basilica using the right-side exit from the Sistine Chapel which will guarantee you skipping the line. Otherwise you might spend a while waiting to go inside. It is absolutely necessary to see this huge church dedicated to the first pope, Saint Peter. Geniuses like Michelangelo, Bramante, Bernini, and Fontana worked on it for 120 years, so need I say more to convince you?

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  • Vatican Tour with Roman Empire Tours

    by EpicJourney Written Feb 8, 2010

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    Just came back from Rome. Had a ball. Actually we came across something brilliant and we want to share it. Jimmy our tour guide on the vatican tour was just amazing so much so we bought him a bottle of whiskey and got him to give us a private tour the next day.

    We will be definitely using him next time we come and want our friends who are going there in a couple of weeks to use them. He has great passion for art and makes his tours very entertaining. He works for Roman Empire Tours - http://www.romanempiretours.com/

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    The World's Smallest Country

    by Tom_Fields Written Dec 20, 2009

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    The 1929 Lateran Treaty established the Vatican as a sovereign state in its own right, not merely part of Italy. The Pope and Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini found this to be best for both the church and the state. It was Mussolini's one positive achievement.

    The Basilica of St Peter's has the largest dome in Christendom (St Paul's in London is next, the the Cathedral in Florence after that). It was built in the 16th century, on the site of St Peter's martyrdom. Michelangelo began the work, which was completed by Bernini, who also designed the Colonnade in front of St Peter's. Domenico Fontana oversaw the placement of the Egyptian obelisk in the center of the piazza.

    The famed Sistine Chapel is inside the building to the right of St Peter's. Visitors cannot help being awe-struck by this magnificent work, Michelangelo's most famous. Of course, they don't let you photograph it.

    The Vatican's famed Chiaramonti Museum is filled with priceless art treasures, rare manuscripts, and historical antiques. It was founded by Pope Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800-1823). Next to it is the Vatican Library.

    St Peter's at the Vatican Inside St Peter's Inside the dome Michelangelo's Pieta The Chiaramonti Museum
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  • MM212's Profile Photo

    St Peter's & The Vatican

    by MM212 Updated Jul 16, 2009

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    A state within a state, the Vatican is centre of the Catholic world. It inherited this importance from the Roman Empire, which had made Rome, its capital, as the seat of the Empire's new religion. For visitors, the Vatican contains numerous sites of interest, including the Basilica of St Peter's, built in the 16th century on the shrine of St Peter's, as well as the Vatican Museum and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Also, Castel Sant'Angelo is within the Vatican's borders. The attached photos are from November 1999, my first visit to the Vatican.

    Saint Peter's (Nov 1999) Nov 1999 Seen from Castel Sant'Angelo (Nov 1999) The Vatican Museum (Nov 1999) Michelangelo's Dome seen from Quirinale (Apr 2007)
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  • WheninRome's Profile Photo

    Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica

    by WheninRome Updated Jan 24, 2009

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    Entering the Vatican City is awe-inspiring. Words again cannot do it justice and neither do the pictures I took. Wander through the square, look at the columns and statues, and wonder at the beauty of Vatican City.

    We waited in line about an hour to get into St. Peter's Basilica in vain. They stopped letting people in before we were anywhere close to the front of the line. See my Vatican Museum tip for the best way into St. Peter's.

    I recommend marielexoteria's VT Rome page for tips on getting a papal audience and the Vatican City excavation tour. I would have loved to do both of those, but tickets are hard to get and you must be in the know. Next time!
    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/eaabc/23513/4/

    The Vatican Museum, Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica are a full day in and of themselves. Don't skimp on time here.

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  • Cazee's Profile Photo

    Visit the Vatican City

    by Cazee Written Nov 22, 2008

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    You need to allow probably a full day to do this tourist destination as this is a huge place and one of the richest country's in the world. The Vatican City has it's own currency and it's own postage system. It is a really fabulous place to visit and see the Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Square and Basilica etc. The souvenir shop at the end is the best one I have ever been in and not at all expensive.

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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Vatican

    by apbeaches Updated Oct 22, 2008

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    The Vatican City is a sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of around 800, it is the smallest independent state in the world by both population and area. The Pope has resided here since 1929; although during the summer he leaves due to the excruciating heat.

    The inside of the basilica is absolutely enormous, ornate and beautiful. Second largest in the world and the biggest in its day. Incredible colors which don’t show through as well as they should with the bad lighting. You are allowed to take pictures and use a flash. As we entered, Michelangelo’s famous Pieta is on display behind glass.

    Catholic tradition holds that Saint Peter's tomb is below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes, starting with the first ones, have been buried there. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. We visited over 100 tombs within St. Peter's Basilica, many located in the Vatican grotto, beneath the Basilica. These include 91 popes, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Exiled Catholic British royalty James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart, are buried here, having been granted asylum by Pope Clement XI. Also buried here are Maria Clementina Sobieska, wife of Charles Edward Stuart, and Queen Christina of Sweden, who abdicated her throne in order to convert to Catholicism. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005. Beneath, near the crypt, is the recently-discovered vaulted fourth-century "Tomb of the Julii".

    The Passetto, also known as the Borgo Corridor, is a 800 meter long and winding passage that connects the Vatican to Castel Sant'Angelo. It was conceived by Pope Boniface IX and restored by John XXIII who understood the importance of the passageway for the safety of the popes. Attached is the Cupola, we waited on line and climbed steps to the top. The views were mesmorizing.

    The Vatican has its own currency, stamps, police, and flag. The City is served by an independent, modern telephone system,the Vatican Pharmacy, post office, book shop, gift shop, train stop and supermarket that are all tax exempt. The Vatican also controls its own newspaper, Internet domain and has Vatican Radio.

    View of the Vatican from the top of the copula St Peter's Square Inside St. Peter's Bastillica Swiss Guard Tomb within St. Peter's Basilica
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  • HispanicYob's Profile Photo

    One of the holiest places on earth

    by HispanicYob Written Oct 6, 2008

    It's not as old as Rome itself, having only being around since 1929, the Vatican is, next to Monaco, the smallest countries (yes the Vatican is actually a country) in the world. It's convienently located in Rome, Italy and a must stop for any tourist to Rome. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vatican is home to the Pope and all of the Roman Catholic Clergy. To walk into the Vatican is treading ground where all the Popes of centuries past have walked and congregated. It is here that you can find St. Peter's Bascilica and Square and the Sistene Chapel. I, along with so many others before and after me, strongly recommend a visit here. Even if you're not really religious, coming here is still considered a strong recommendation for any visitor to one of the oldest cities on Earth.

    The wonders mankind have created with their hands St. Peter's Square and Bascilica
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