The Cupola of St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
When you enter the Basilica, you don't know quite where to look. To the left, to the right, up or down haha. There is just so much to take in and absorb. You really need a few hours in the Basilica alone.
From the inside, the Cupola of St Peter's Basilica is reaaaaaaaaally high up and not all that clear to see form the floor. You view it in a lot more detail at the first level, and it is amazing. Hard to fathom the artists creating this masterpiece in days gone by sans modern technology! It really is amazing.
This dome is the largest dome on earth. Following this is Saint Paul's in London. The sheer beauty of it is amazing.
If you're looking for a place to get a wonderful view over Rome and the Vatican City - the "Cupola" is the place to visit. Make sure you plan enough time for this activity - it is best combined with visiting the ground floor of the basilica, as well as the tombs. That's because you need to queue for about an hour to enter the three places mentioned. And there's another queue for the Cupola - it takes extra 15-20 minutes.
There are two levels of the Dome. The first one is reachable with an elevator and allows you to see the interior of St. Peter's Basilica from above. The other one is a platform at the top, that gives you the wonderful view over Rome. The top level is reachable only by stairs and there's a couple of hundred of them, so it isn't really suggested for people with heart problems, etc.
This, as so many things on our Rome trip, was not at all planned - we didn't even know one was allowed to climb up the Dome.
We were all thrilled from the near-mystical experience we had in front of St. Peter's shrine, when we exited the basement of the basilica and saw a small gate on the side. We went to the window, inquired what it was, paid, and were permitted to enter.
First there were the looong stairs. It went round and round and round on these really long stairs - long, not meaning many, but long as in they have a weird length and you never know whether to take one big step or 2 little steps. So we finally figured out a rhythm and ended up on the roof of the building with a very nice view.
Then it went off to the next set of stairs; these were smaller and led us to the front of the cupola, overseeing St. Peter's square: simply spectacular! You could walk on the little way along the outside of the dome and enjoy the view 360 degrees around, or just sit on one of the stone overhangs and bask in the sun.
From there on, it went even further up an even smaller staircase (If the vertigo didn't get to you before, the claustrophobia here surely will!), and we ended up on the very top of the cupola, overseeing the inside of the Dome, watching a mass from high above.
It may take a while to get up there but it's worth the while as the views over Rome are spectacular. You have the option of taking the elevator or the stairs, the stairs being a bit cheaper so you might as well take the elevator!
As far as i remember the dome in this cathedral is the biggest dome in the world.
You can climb up the dome for a great view !.
The dome was designed by Michelangelo as far as i remember.
Famous view of St.Peter square can be obtain from top which known as Cupola.
£5 as entrance fee, heading to the a long queue just to get into elevator to on top.
However, heart throbbing journey hasnt end yet till you finish cupola steps( more than 300 steps i suppose) to get to Amazing view of the Vatican and Rome.
Saint Peter's Dome is the biggest dome on Earth. Following this one is Saint Paul's in London. The beauty of it, the perfection of the inside is amazing. You can go up and have a great view of Rome. But then again, the 2 1/2 hour queue was not for me.
Just realised my title rhymes :-)
The vast, vast dome of St Peter's Basilica has a great secret - you can climb up inside it to the very top. From the top, 135m up, you are presented with tremendous aerial views of St Peter's Square, and the rest of Rome's rooftops.
It is one of the most fun things I have ever done. Such a super historic building and there you are, squeezing your way between the inner and outer skin of Michaelangelo's dome, up first a lift and then 300 steps. Really, the space gets smaller and smaller towards the top!
The price worked out at about £3 but whatever the price is today, I can guarantee it is worth the climb. Unless you suffer from claustrophobia, scared of heights etc. (sure there must be some spiders up there too :-)
Unless you are claustrofobic (really necessary) you have to climb the Dome of the St. Peter. Nowhere in Rome you can have a more beautiful view over the city. But really: you shouldn´t do it when you are claustrofobic, because the stairs to the top are really narrow!
I can at least write something positive about the Vatican...that is the view from the top of the Dome. You can see the whole of the Vatican, as well as a good deal of Roma. But you have to share that view with scores of others, most of whom have no qualms about shoving you out of the way just as you're about to take that amazing photograph. The queues down in the square are never-ending...although you can eavesdrop into a few interesting conversations. The middle-aged North American in front of me was not overly impressed either..."I always imagined it would be more than this," she remarked to her husband. "Whaddaya mean, honey?" he drawled..."Well, you know...more glitzy!".
There is a lift which takes the elderly, infirm, tired and lazy up to the rooftop, from where it is a longish climb up narrow slanting staircases which wind round the inside of the dome, before depositing you on the viewing platform.
From the top of the dome you will have the best views of the papal palaces and its gardens. Fortifications, grottoes and fountains dating from the 9th century are some of the features. Th french and italian gardens are best seen when the fowers are in bloom. There is even a papal vegetable garden! The vatican radio mast can also be seen and part of the defence wall around the vatican city .
This is the last part of the ascend and at the same time the narrowest and the most claustrophobic. But the views from the top reward any discomfort you may feel going up.
Although it's quite an exhausting trip, it's worth climbing up to the top (537 steps). To make it slightly easier you can take the lift up to just about the half way for an extra charge.
A picture to show that the Cathedral's cupola does not look impressive from the outside only...
More to come!!!
When you reach the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica , you can appreciate a wonderful view of Rome and the Vatican City