Your Private St. Peter’s Basilica Dome Climb Tour begins in St. Peter’s Square with an explanation of the magnificent columns encircling the square. It is here where thousands of believers from all around the world gather to hear the words of the Pope every Wednesday.
Your expert private guide will explain the renowned architects who were commissioned to work on what is now one of the most visited attractions of Rome, if not the world. After the security check, you are ready to enter St. Peter’s Basilica whose name derives from the first Pope, known as the gatekeeper of heaven.
Once inside, you will be escorted up a few flights to the interior ring of the dome, to access an elevator which will take you to the bottom of Michelangelo’s dome. Where the elevator stops, the steps begin. You will be able to take in an aerial view of the basilica below, including the stunning bronze canopy over the high altar. The view from this angle is gorgeous, but you will be happy to know it only gets better. Your LivTours guide will give you the information and materials you need to enjoy exploring the tallest building in Rome – the top of Michelangelo’s dome! The only way up is via a climb of 281 steps which take you to the breathtaking views over St. Peter’s Square and beyond. Once you have taken in the views, it is time to make your way down to meet up with your guide once more.
Then, it’s straight into St. Peter’s Basilica, your expert guide will lead you to see the most important highlights such as the extraordinary 96-foot tall bronze canopy over the High Altar design by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, used during papal masses. Soak up the stories about the elegant and pristine sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding Christ’s lifeless body in Michelangelo’s La Pietà, The Pity, sculpture. Find out why it is encased behind bulletproof glass and why this is the only work of art signed by Michelangelo.
Your LivTours private expert guide will share with you the Statue of St Peter in Bronze. It is a ritual for travelers to touch or kiss his foot to honor him, which has left him with a worn-down right foot. You will also see the beautiful Chapel of the Baptistery, a 17th-century design by Carlo Fontana which is still actively used to perform baptisms. See one of Bernini’s last masterpieces – the Memorial of Alexander VII, a work depicting the pontiff’s courage in the face of death with the aid of prayer.
Now you will head downstairs to explore the papal tombs, allowing you to see firsthand where some of the most famous popes have been laid to rest. In this sacred space, you’ll also see where St Peter himself was buried. One of Jesus’ twelve apostles, his tomb is located directly below Bernini’s Baldacchino altar.