As the mother church of the Catholic faith and the largest church in Christendom, Saint Peter's Basilica is one of the top sights to see in Rome and the Vatican City. With its impressive dome, the focal point of Rome's cityscape, and gilded treasures, Saint Peter's is without doubt pleasing to the eye. But the church also draws millions of visitors each year because it is the resting place of many former popes including John Paul II and Saint Peter, Christendom's first pope and the founder of the Catholic Church. Pilgrims also flock to Saint Peter's during religious holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, as the pope performs special masses at the basilica during these times.
Saint Peter's Basilica Visitor Information
Location: Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter's Square)
Hours: Daily, 7am-7pm.
Cupola: 8am - 5pm, open until 6pm April 1 - September 30. 5 euro (2011) taking the steps (551) only or elevator plus 320 steps, 7 euro (2011)
Information: Saint Peter's Basilica website; Tel. (0039) 06-6988-4466 (0039) 06-6988-4866
Tip: Visitors who are not dressed in the appropriate attire will not be allowed entry into the basilica. Refrain from wearing shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless shirts when you're visiting Saint Peter's and/or bring a shawl or other cover-up.