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Skip the Line: St. Peter's Basilica Self Guided Audio Tour
Skip The Line • Audioguide in 11 Languages • Mobile Tickets
  • Get priority, skip-the-line access with a dedicated entrance to St. Peter's Basilica, one of the most magnificent churches ever built that holds a pride of place at the Vatican.
  • With a downloadable audio guide that is available in 11 languages, explore the inner sanctum of this exquisite church and learn about its importance in the Catholic Church.
  • See impressive Renaissance masterpieces such as Michaelangelo's Pieta and Bernini's Chair of St. Peter, and also pay homage to the grand tomb of St. John Paul II on this self-guided audio tour.
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Guided Tour Of St. Peter's Basilica With Fast Track Entrance
Expert Local Guide • Skip The Line • Wireless Audio Headsets
  • Get priority, skip-the-line access to St. Peter's Basilica, one of the most magnificent churches ever built that holds a pride of place at the Vatican.
  • Enjoy the company of an official Vatican guide who will take you through the impressive Basilica and educate you on all the aspects of this holy monument.
  • Check out the stunning works of art and architecture by Renaissance greats such as Bernini, Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno and more, and also pay homage to the grand tomb of St. John Paul II on this guided tour.
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Fast Track: St.Peter’s Basilica Self Guided Tour with Rome City Guide
Small Group Tour • Best Of Vatican • Skip The Line
  • Skip the notorious wait lines at St.Peter's Basilica, the most revered basilica in the world and waste no time as you explore this Renaissance masterpiece.
  • With a handy audio guide, delve into the finer details of the famed St.Peter's and explore its inner sanctums at your own pace.
  • Don't miss a chance to scale the glorious dome of the basilica and enjoy panoramic views of Rome and Vatican City.
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Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica
Instant Confirmation • Free Cancellation • Skip the Line • Mobile Tickets
  • Get a chance to explore the Papal seat of power with these tickets that allow skip the line access to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.
  • With a local expert by your side, start your tour with the Vatican Museums, then make your way to the Sistine Chapel and end your experience with a visit to the St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • For just €56, benefit from the most cost-effective guided tour of all three significant attractions of the Vatican City.
  • Guided tours are available in English, French, Spanish and German at different times through the day.
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Likely to sell out
Early Access Group Tour to St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
Mobile Tickets • Early Access • Small Group Tour s
  • Before the tourists crowd the Vatican City, discover the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica in the company of your solitude and your tour guide.
  • This small group tour allowing a maximum of 16 people begins at 7:30 AM and runs for a durations of 2.5 hours.
  • Once your early morning tour concludes, feel free to spend some time exploring the rest of the Vatican Museums on your own in a leisurely way.
  • Please note that you will be unable to return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter's Basilica so if you would like to spend more time inside the museums you will need to forgo the Basilica on the tour.
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Express Guided Tour of Colosseum, Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
Mobile Tickets • Instant Confirmation • Skip the Line
  • Kick off your exciting full-day guided tour of Rome at 8: 30 AM with skip-the-line entry to the stunning Vatican museums.
  • After exploring the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica ( replaced by Vatican Library on Wednesdays) over 3 and half hours, grab lunch (at your own expense) before making your way to the day’s second meeting point at the Arch of Constantine.
  • After consuming stunning views from the Palatine Hill, make your way to the magnificent Colosseum of Rome.
  • After walking the footsteps of the gladiators at the Colosseum, make your way to the final leg of the tour - Roman Forum, where you will bid bye to your tour guide.
  • This 7 hour tour is exclusive of transportation.
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Skip the Line: St. Peter's Mosaic School Guided Tour
Skip The Line • Expert Guided Tour • Mobile Tickets • Mosaic Studio
  • Gain exclusive access into the smallest state in the world with exclusive access to the Vatican square, allowing you hassle-free access.
  • Enjoy an insightful tour of the Vatican Mosaic Studio with an expert guide whose immersive commentary will enlighten your inner art connoisseur.
  • Learn more about the breath taking Vatican owned mosaics that adorn the walls of St.Peter's Basilica.
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Fast Track: St. Peter's Basilica and Mosaic School Guided Tour
Fast Track • Expert Guided Tour • Mobile Tickets • Combo
  • This comprehensive guided tour enables you to enter St.Peter's Basilica as well as the Vatican sqaure to tour the famed Mosaic Studio.
  • Enjoy an immersive tour of the Mosaic Studio with a well versed guide whose informative commentary will give you a closer look into the art of Mosaic restoration.
  • Marvel at the Renaissance masterpieces that adorn the walls of St.Peter's Basilica and don't miss the world famous Pieta by Michealangelo.
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Fast Track: St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Necropolis - Guided Tour
Best Of Rome • Expert Guided Tour • Skip The Line
  • This special tour grants you priority access to the famed St.Peter's Basilica as well as the haunting Vatican Necropolis, both give you a more immersive and in depth look into the past of the Papal state of power.
  • Enjoy a guided tour in English of both attractions and marvel at their history and significance.
  • Individuals below the age of 15 are not permitted to participate in this tour.
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St. Peter’s Basilica History

St. Peter’s Basilica was originally the Circus of Nero and a cemetery. St Peter, one of the 12 apostles was martyred under the reign of Emperor Nero in 64 AD. In 306 AD, Emperor Constantine became the first Christian emperor of Rome and he decided to erect a basilica at Vatican Hill on St. Peter’s tomb.

Construction started in 319 AD took about 30 years to complete construction. While the basilica stood sturdy for over 1,000 years, it had started to deteriorate and due to serious concerns that it may collapse, Pope Julius II decided that it was beyond repair and that it would have to be demolished and rebuilt.

After the first Basilica was knocked down, the construction of the new basilica began in 1506 and it took over 100 years to rebuild the Basilica. It was consecrated on 18 November, 1626 and showcases the work and design of some of the most famous architects of the time - Bramante, Michelangelo and Carlo Maderno.

Interesting Facts About St. Peter’s Basilica
  • There are two levels below St Peter’s Basilica; the first level is the Vatican Grottoes - a large underground graveyard where the tombs of 91 Popes are buried. The level below the Vatican Grottoes is the Vatican Necropolis and houses St. Peter’s Tomb.
  • Only 3 women are entombed in the Vatican Grottoes; Queen Christina of Sweden, Agnesina Colonna Caetani and Queen Charlotte of Cyprus.
  • Michelangelo’s famous carving of the Pieta is housed in St Peter’s Basilica and is protected by bulletproof glass. Pieta was carved from a single slab of marble and happens to be the only work Michelangelo ever signed.
  • The holy door in St Peter’s Basilica is only opened for Jubilee Years, which happens once every 25 years. They are usually cemented shut to prevent them accidentally being opened.
  • In the courtyard outside St Peter’s Basilica , there are 140 statues of saints which stand upon the colonnades. These statues have been standing since 1670.
  • Swiss Guard, the world’s smallest army, was formed in 1506 and exists till date to protect the Pope, the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.
What To See At St. Peter’s Basilica

The St. Peter’s Basilica was designed to amaze, every nook and turn will leave you in absolute awe. Here’s are the main highlights of the Basilica.

St. Peter’s Basilica Cupola

Climbing to the top of the St. Peter’s cupola is a fascinating experience. It was started by Michelangelo, continued by Giacomo Della Porta and completed by Carlo Maderno in 1614. Know that climbing to the top of the Cupola entails an extra admission charge. You can either take the stairs entirely to the top (551 steps) or take the elevator and then climb the remaining on steps (320 steps). There is a minor difference in the ticket for stairs only and lift + stairs. On your way to the top, you can stop at a terrace facing the interiors of the dome and enjoy the beautiful mosaics that deck the periphery. At the top you will be greeted by stunning 360-degree panoramic views of Vatican City and Rome.

The Central Nave

The Central Nave is where you will find the main body of the Basilica. The Nave is about 46 meters (150 ft.) high and 187 meters (615 ft.) long. Charlemagne and other emperors were crowned on the red disc located at the entrance of this Nave. You will also find the measurements of the largest churches in the world printed in brass letters on the floor.

St. Peter’s Treasury

St. Peter’s Treasury is another section of the basilica that has an extra admission charge. Its exhibition contains, crosses, papal vestments (clothing), jewels, reliquaries church ornaments, statues and various other objects that were royal gifts from the past. It costs 5 euros for adults and 3 euros for children 12 and under.

Vatican Grottoes

The Vatican Grottoes is an underground graveyard that contains the tombs of many Vatican popes as well as members of the royal family from the 10th century. Entrance to the Vatican Grottoes is free. It is open daily from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM in the months of April to September and from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM from October to March. Ensure this is the last place you visit in St. Peter’s Basilica since you will be outside the basilica upon exiting the grottoes and you cannot reenter the Basilica with the same ticket twice.

Bernini’s Baldachin

Situated directly under the dome in stands this 29-meter high bronze canopy. Gian Lorenzo Bernini started work on the Baldachin in 1623 and took 11 years to complete this masterpiece.. The Baldachin is said to stand over the papal altar which is directly above St Peter’s tomb. Only the Pope is allowed to serve at the altar.

Bronze Statue of St. Peter

Created in 1300 by Arnolfo di Cambio, the statue of St Peter seated on a throne has been a part of the the Basilica since 1605. The tradition of pilgrims either touching or kissing the statue’s feet has caused the right foot to wear down.

Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture

Competing with David as Michelangelo's best-known sculpture, this poignant portrayal of Mary holding the body of the dead Christ can be found on the right as soon as you enter the chapel . Michelangelo is said to have carved this master sculpture when he was just 24 years old.

St. Peter’s Square

Locally known the as Piazza San Pietro, St. Peter’s Square is right in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. There are two stunning fountains on either side of the square. There is also a 40-meter high Egyptian obelisk which was brought to Rome in 37 B.C. At the front of the square you will be able to see the large statues of St Peter and St Paul.