While climbing the dome (cupola) of St Peter's is a great experience, it would be even be more enriching if you get a chance to view the interior of the cupola within the basilica. The best chance of getting up close to it would be before your climb to the dome (after the brief elevator ride). After getting off the elevator, don't rush to the...more
The Obelisk was brought from Egypt under the reign of Caligula for use in his circus in 37 BC. It was there that St Peter was killed. The Obelisk is 25 meters high and was moved to its present location in 1586. It is said that moving the Obelisk took 4 months. I found it particularly interesting that there are so many Egyptian obelisks in Rome. It...more
I've read most of the answers fairly quickly and I think you got most of the information you need, but I will tell you a little of our experience with our visit this past May. We stayed right down the street from Vatican City so we only had a leisurely 10 minute walk to Vatican City. St. Peters Basilica - On our first afternoon, just a few hours...more
After visiting the Basilica don't miss the chance to visit the Grottoes where are the tombs of the Popes. Entrance is free of charge and although I had read in my guidebook that the minimum age to enter is 10 or 11 years old, there was nobody guarding the entrance, so, on we went, although our son isn't that old yet. Neverthless, we were...more
Wednesdays are the Pope's audience day, and if you are lucky enough (like me) you might get to see him during one of those days when he appears in public at St Peter's Square. I did get a very good vantage point near the fountain, and what is amazing is not seeing the Pope himself (I'm not Catholic), but the reaction from his "flock." I was...more
The Basilica is named after St Peter, who was martyred in Rome in 67 AD. He was one of the two main disciples of Jesus Christ (the other being St Paul) Simon Peter, his real name, was a fisherman from Galilee. In the gospel of Matthew Jesus says of Peter-On this rock (petra in Greek) I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail...more
The Vatican Gardens are urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the Vatican territory in the South and Northeast. There are some buildings such as Radio Vatican within the gardens. The gardens cover approximately 23 hectares (57 acres) which is most of the Vatican Hill. The highest point is 60 metres (200 ft) above mean sea level....more
Vatican City is the capital of a functioning country as well as the home to several hundred people, including the Pope. Just as you can't wander at will through the halls of Buckingham Palace or...