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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 69 Reviews

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  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration:  2 hours (approx.)
Skip the line to St Peter's Basilica with a guided walking tour and a visit to the cupola. Ride an elevator to the cupola and admire the mosaic designs of Michelangelo. Then walk 300 steps to enjoy unrivaled views at the top, the highest point in Rome where few people go. Your comprehensive 2-hour tour includes all the highlights of St Peter's Basilica. Enjoy personal attention from your expert Vatican guide on this small-group tour, limited to 20 people.

Highlights

  • 2-hour St Peter’s Basilica and cupola walking tour
  • Gain fast-track entry to St Peter's Basilica and skip the lines
  • Enjoy unparalleled views from the dome, designed by Michelangelo
  • Explore St Peter's Basilica with a Vatican guide and listen to commentary on your audio headset
  • See the tomb of Pope John Paul II and the altar marking the tomb of St Peter
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 20 people ensures an intimate experience

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This is the only tour with a guided visit to the top of St Peter's cupola! You'll be one of an exclusive group to view all of Rome from the dome of the basilica.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: St Peter's Basilica Walking Tour Including views from the Top of the Cupola

Reach the Cupola of St Peter's Basilica

Your small-group tour starts in St Peter’s Square, where you’ll meet your professional guide. Skip the lines with exclusive access through the Vatican, Rome's famous papal enclave. Along the way, your guide will point out a few significant sites in the square, designed by Baroque architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Pass the northern fountain and the impressive obelisk, which dates back to 13th-century BC Egypt.

Head to the elevator for a ride to the cupola of St Peter's Basilica, created by Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo. When you reach the base of the dome, gaze up at the exquisite mosaics and learn about the artistry of Michelangelo’s design, completed by his successors in 1590.

Then, follow your guide up approximately 300 steps to the top of the cupola, the highest point in Rome, which reaches 450 feet (150 meters) from the floor to the cross at the top – large enough for the Statue of Liberty to fit inside! The dome’s summit affords spectacular views of the basilica’s interior as well as over much of the city – a unique experience that you shouldn't miss!

After you descend, begin your small-group walking tour through St Peter’s Basilica, whose cornerstone was laid in 1506. Your guide will explain the highlights of the basilica, which is believed to stand on the ground where St Peter the Apostle was crucified and buried. Hear about its significance as the holiest place in Christendom, and admire the incredible feats of architecture and art. You’ll see Michelangelo’s Pietà, rub the statue of St Peter for a blessing and pass some of the 91 papal tombs before ending your tour of the world’s largest church with a view of the Swiss Guards in St Peter’s Square.

Click on 'View additional info' to see the meeting point.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Excellent tour. Our guide was great -- very informative and attentive the entire group in a very crowded space. The tour is worth the price simply to skip the line which looked to be two-three hours of a wait in the hot sun. We skipped every line and only waited less than three minutes for security and then inside for distribution of headsets and tour logistics five minutes. The trip to the top of the Cupola was worth it as well -- some find the climb long, but it's very interesting -- spiral staircases, seeing the curved walls of the inside of the dome, etc. Again, an excellent guide. Stop looking -- just book this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

This tour was excellent, the guide was passionate and knowledgable. Although not for the unfit, the view was so worth the climb.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Fantastic tour of St Peter's and the cupola. Our guide was great! Skipping the line was fantastic!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Excellent guides. Clear and easy to hear. Small group. Highly recommend!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

If there is one thing you need to know about the Vatican is that it is PACKED! This tour allows you to avoid the 2-3 hour long line! The tour guide is informative. TIP: If you will be upgrading to climb up the dome wear comfortable shoes.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

It was a memorable tour not to be missed. It was everything we hoped for and more.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This tour was fantastic. Our guide's name was Cossimo. He was very knowledgeable and the tour was exactly as described. We will recommend this to friends and will be back to use the same tour group.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Basilica is beautiful! The trip up to the Cupola is a challenge (as well as the way down) but the view from the top is well worth the effort.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

The tour was very thorough and the guide was very knowledgeable.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This tour was amazing!

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Tour code: 5660CUPOLA

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