The fee to climb the cuppola will afford you two different views. One of inside the cuppola and one of the very top of Basillica di San Pietro and the beautiful area around it. Inside the cuppola, you can see Michaelangelo's amazing mosaics. You can take your time looking at the hard work that went into making the mosaic pictures all along the cuppolas. From inside the cuppola, you can also get a few ariel views of the inside of the Basillica. They only let you see one side of the cuppola, but that is OK because the pictures are repeated on the other side. What is neat is that you can see the entire picture of what you are seeing up close, if you look to the other side. After you have had your fill of the inside of the cuppola, you can make your way up the steps to the top of Basillica di San Pietro. You can explore the outside of the roof. You can even see the statues that sit atop the Basillica. After you are done on the roof, make your way up more steps to go to the very top of the Basillica (the outside of the cuppola). Walk around the top of the cuppola to get the 360degree view around the Basillica. You can down into the Vatican City (where they don't really let the public go), some ariel sites of Rome, and also down into the St. Peter's Square. The views are great, it is definitely worth your time.
If you want to go to the top of Basillica di San Pietro, you have two options, climb to the top or take the lift part way and climb the rest. My suggestion is to climb the entire way. You save a few euros by climbing. And the part of the climb that could be replaced by the lift is the easiest part of the climb anyways. For the most part, that part of the climb is barely a climb anyways. The steps are at a very mild grade and they are very wide steps. Save the euros, do the climb the entire way.
Climbing up the dome of the Basilica offers the possibility to give a closer look to the beautiful mosaics.
The pendentives carry four mosaics (8m across) representing the Evangelists, while the interior of the dome is deocrated with figures of the Popes and the Doctors of the church.
With a diameter of around 43 meters, the beautifull dome was Michelangelo's last great work.
The dome sits on four great arches that stand on four massive piers, each with a perimeter of 71 meters.
Giacomo della Porta finished the works, raising it 10 meters so it's now at 136 meters above floor level.
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.