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St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro )

Experience this high-domed church at the heart of Catholicism and its magnificent gallery at the heart of the art world.

The lofty dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is the great towering symbol of the minuscule Vatican state and a towering artistic statement of the Late Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The history of this site incorporates a great deal of Christian mythology. The story goes that, after the crucifixion of Jesus, one of his 12 disciples, Peter from Galilee, embarked on a long trek to Rome where he was martyred by Emperor Nero. The location where he died, close to the Egyptian obelisk in the Circus (which still stands today), was initially marked by a red rock, and then by a shrine, followed by the first (Old) St. Peter’s Basilica in 360. This wooden structure stood for more than a millennium until it fell into disrepair in the 15th century. In 1506, Pope Julius II broke ground on the basilica and a series of Renaissance masters began an immense century-long construction project.

Officially opened on November 18, 1626, the last 400 years have seen St. Peter’s Basilica become one of the most sacred sites of Catholicism and one of the world’s top tourist attractions. The beautiful exterior is a cross-generational collaboration between Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo, and includes an enormous nave and the high, iconic dome. It’s what stands inside, however, that really impresses.

Once inside, you’ll find frescoes and mosaics by the likes of Bernini and Giotto and a host of other treasures. Michelangelo’s Pietà and Arnolfo di Cambio’s Saint Peter sculptures, Vico Consorti’s Holy Door and Bernini’s famous altar are in good company with the treasures buried below the ground, such as the beautiful tombs of significant Vatican figures, from St. Peter to Pope John Paul II. Whether you’re a Catholic, an art aficionado or just a lover of beauty, St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see.

The basilica is in central Rome and is open daily, although opening times vary according to the season. If you are planning to visit the Vatican Museums at the same time, be aware it is closed on Sundays with the exception of the last Sunday of the month. 


You can walk to the basilica from the city center; the most direct route is to cross the Tiber and walk straight up Via della Conciliazione. The Metro train station Ottaviano is a short walk away along Via Ottaviano.


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 9,200 properties near St. Peter's Basilica
Domus Del Corso Flaminio £49
Domus Del Corso Flaminio

Domus Del Corso Flaminio

Piazzale Flaminio 19, Rome
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Rome City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Villa Borghese, Via del Corso and Piazza del Popolo. National Gallery of Modern Art and Piazza di Spagna are also within 15 minutes. Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station and Rome Piazzale Flaminio Station are within a 2-minute walk.

    Hotel Quirinale £112
    Hotel Quirinale

    Hotel Quirinale

    Via Nazionale 7, Rome, RM
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Repubblica, this family-friendly Rome hotel is steps away from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Via Nazionale and Via XX Settembre. Via Veneto and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore are also within 10 minutes. Repubblica - Opera House Station is only a 2-minute walk and Barberini Station is 8 minutes.

      Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House £134
      Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House

      Best Western Plus Hotel Spring House

      Via Mocenigo 7, Rome, RM
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the centre of Rome, this family-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Via Cola di Rienzo, St. Peter's Square and Monte Mario. St. Peter's Basilica and Castel Sant'Angelo are also within 1 mile (2 km). Cipro Station is 6 minutes by foot and Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 8 minutes.

        Fragrance Hotel St. Peter £51
        Fragrance Hotel St. Peter

        Fragrance Hotel St. Peter

        Via Monte del Gallo, 36, Rome, RM
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Vatican, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica. Sistine Chapel and Castel Sant'Angelo are also within 1 mile (2 km). Rome S. Pietro Station is 5 minutes by foot and Rome San Pietro Station is 5 minutes.

          Residenza Paolo VI £95
          Residenza Paolo VI

          Residenza Paolo VI

          Via Paolo VI, 29, Rome, RM
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Vatican, this property is steps away from St. Peter's Square, Paul VI Audience Hall and St. Peter's Basilica. Sistine Chapel and Apostolic Palace (Palace of the Vatican) are also within 10 minutes. Rome S. Pietro Station is 9 minutes by foot and Rome San Pietro Station is 9 minutes.

            Starhotels Michelangelo £117
            Starhotels Michelangelo

            Starhotels Michelangelo

            Via Della Stazione Di San Pietro 14, Rome, RM
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Vatican, this family-friendly Rome hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel. Castel Sant'Angelo and Vatican Museums are also within 1 mile (2 km). Rome S. Pietro Station and Rome San Pietro Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              Relais Vatican View £78
              Relais Vatican View

              Relais Vatican View

              Via del Mascherino 34, Rome, RM
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Vatican, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Via Cola di Rienzo and St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's Basilica and Castel Sant'Angelo are also within 10 minutes. Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 9 minutes by foot and Rome S. Pietro Station is 14 minutes.

                Hotel Il Cantico £62
                Hotel Il Cantico

                Hotel Il Cantico

                Via del Cottolengo 50, Rome, RM
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Vatican, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica. Sistine Chapel and Castel Sant'Angelo are also within 1 mile (2 km). Rome S. Pietro Station is 9 minutes by foot and Rome San Pietro Station is 9 minutes.