Vatican Egyptian Obelisk Tours

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The cityscape of Rome is characterized by numerous obelisks. They have a strong decorative effect, but the meaning behind these monuments dates back to the ecclesiastical influence of centuries past and is supposed to demonstrate the power of the church and the glory of the popes—a connection between our world and the world of the gods. It’s said that the higher the obelisk, the closer it is to god. 

The Vatican Egyptian Obelisk, often simply called the Vatican Obelisk, is situated in the middle of St Peter’s Square and, standing 84 feet (25.5 meters) high, it’s the second-largest of the 13 remaining obelisks in Rome. It has survived two millennia of world history and was brought from Heliopolis to Rome on the order of Caligula in 37 A.D. as a demonstration of power. In ancient times, it was located in the center of the Circus of Nero, but was moved in 1586 to the famous St Peter’s Square, which was built around it later on. 

The obelisk draws the eye immediately, standing strong in the middle the piazza. It has done so for 2,000 years, as it is the only obelisk that hasn’t toppled since Roman times. According to legend, a metal globe on the top was supposed to hold the ashes of Julius Caesar and a relic from the cross from Jesus himself. The former was proven false, but the second claim? Nobody knows.

Practical Info

The Egyptian Obelisk lies smack in the middle of St Peter’s Square, one of the most important plazas in Rome. To get to the obelisk, take the Metro line A to the Ottaviano San Pietro stop, from where it is  just a five-minute walk down the Via Ottaviano. The best view can be had near the fountains.
Location
Address: St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Italy
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3 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Rome by Night Tour

Rome is magical at night. Find out just how incredible the Eternal City is at night with this 2-hour guided sightseeing tour of Rome. Criss-cross the Italian capital via comfortable coach and, in the Centro Storico by foot. See the sites of Ancient Rome and visit Vatican City. See the Colosseum illuminated. Stroll through romantic Piazza Navona and toss a coin or two in the Trevi Fountain for good luck and to ensure you'll return.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$53.14 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$53.14 USD

No-Wait Dedicated Access: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

To dig deep into the history and art of St Peter’s Basilica, explore the church on a walking tour with a Vatican guide. From St Peter’s Square, walk to the basilica, jumping past the entrance queue with your No Wait Access Ticket. Inside, listen to stories about the popes, pilgrims and Renaissance art masters who have left their marks on this iconic catholic site, whose Michelangelo-designed dome dominates the Rome skyline.
  • Duration: 1 day
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$31.19 USD
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  • Duration: 1 day
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$31.19 USD

Papal Audience Ticket at Vatican City

Attend a Papal Audience with Pope Francis I at the Vatican! Tickets may be free but they are extremely hard to come by, so booking in advance is essential. By booking ahead, you're ensuring you won't waste any time trying to get tickets while you're on vacation in the Eternal City. 
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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$31.19 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$31.19 USD


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